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Chemnitz is the third-largest city of the Free State of Saxony, Germany.Chemnitz is an independent city which is not part of any county and seat of the government region Direktionsbezirk Chemnitz. Located in the northern foothills of the Ore Mountains, it is a part of the Saxon triangle metropolitan area comprising 3.5 million people.The city's economy is based on the service sector and manufacturing industry.The Chemnitz University of Technology has around 10,000 students and is the centre of scientific life.Chemnitz is named after the river Chemnitz, a small tributary of the Zwickauer Mulde.The word "Chemnitz" is from the Sorbian language and means "stony brook".It is known in Czech as Saska Kamenice.An early Slavic tribe's settlement was located at Kamienica, and the first documented use of Chemnitz was the 1143 site of a Benedictine monastery, around which a settlement grew. Circa 1170 Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor granted it the rights of an imperial city. In 1307, the town became subordinate to the margraviate of Meissen (the predecessor of the Saxon state). In medieval times Chemnitz became a centre of textile production and trade. More than one third of the population worked in textile production. By the early 19th century Chemnitz had become an industrial centre (sometimes called "the Saxon Manchester").In 1913, Chemnitz had a population of 320,000 and is one of very few cities which were larger at that time than they are today.During World War II, Chemnitz included factories that produced military hardware and a Flossenbürg forced labour subcamp (500 female inmates) for Astra-Werke AG.

Tourist sights include the Kassberg neighbourhood with 18th and 19th century buildings and the Karl Marx Monument by Lev Kerbel, nicknamed "Nischel" (a Saxon dialect word for head) by the locals. Landmarks include the Old Town Hall with its Renaissance portal (15th century), the castle on the site of the former monastery, and the area around the opera house and the old university. The most conspicuous landmark is the red tower built in the late 12th or early 13th century as part of the city wall.A petrified forest can be found in the courtyard of Kulturkaufhaus Tietz. It is one of the very few in existence, and dates back several million years. Also within the city limits, in the district of Rabenstein, is the smallest castle in Saxony, Burg Rabenstein.The town has changed considerably since German reunification. Most of its industry is now gone and the core of the city has been rebuilt with many small shops as well as huge shopping centres. Many of these shops have well known names, including Zara, H & M, Esprit, Galeria Kaufhof, Leiser Shoes, and Peek & Cloppenburg. The large "Galerie Roter Turm" (Red Tower) shopping centre is very popular with young people.The Chemnitz Industrial Museum is an Anchor Point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage.The Museum Gunzenhauser, formerly a bank, opened on 1 December 2007. Dr Alfred Gunzenhauser, who lived in Munich, had a collection of some 2,500 pieces of modern art, including many paintings and drawings by Otto Dix, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and others. The Botanischer Garten Chemnitz is a municipal botanical garden, and the Arktisch-Alpiner Garten der Walter-Meusel-Stiftung is a non-profit garden specializing in arctic and alpine plants.


How to Reach

By Air

Near Chemnitz there are three airports, including the two international airports of Saxony in Dresden and Leipzig. Both Leipzig/Halle Airport and Dresden Airport are situated about 70 km (43.5 miles) from Chemnitz and offer numerous continental as well as intercontinental flights. Leipzig-Altenburg Airport, which is actually situated closer to Chemnitz (39 km or 24 miles) than to Leipzig (51 km or 32 miles), offers connections to London Stansted (daily) and Barcelona Gerona (currently three times a week) operated by the Irish low cost carrier Ryanair.Chemnitz also has a small commercial airport (Verkehrslandeplatz Chemnitz Jahnsdorf) about 13.5 km (8.4 mi) south of the city. When its current upgrade is completed it will have an asphalt runway 1,400 m (4,600 ft) long and 20 m (66 ft) wide.

By Bus

Public transport within Chemnitz is provided with tram and bus, as well as by the Stadtbahn. Nowadays, the city and its surroundings are served by one Stadtbahn line, five tram lines, 27 city bus lines, as well as several regional bus lines. At the weekend, and before bank holidays, the city is served at night by two bus lines, two tram lines, and the Stadtbahn line.The length of the tram, Stadtbahn and bus networks is 28.73 km (17.85 mi), 16.3 km (10.13 mi) and 326.08 km (202.62 mi) respectively.

By Road

Chemnitz is crossed by the two motorways (Autobahn) A4 Erfurt – Dresden and A72 Hof – Leipzig. The motorway junction Kreuz Chemnitz is situated in the northwestern area of the city.The motorway A72 between Niederfrohna and Leipzig is still under construction.Within the administrative area of Chemnitz there are eight motorway exits (Ausfahrt).

Key places to visit
Kulturkaufhaus Tietz, Klaffenbach Moated Castle, German Games Museum, Chemnitz Museum of Industry, Chemnitz Theatres


Places to Visit

Kulturkaufhaus Tietz

is a cultural centre in Chemnitz, sometimes also called Cultural Department Store.In 1913 the house was built by Wilhelm Kreis.During World War II it was used as a department store by the Jewish family and label Tietz (then called: Kaufhaus Tietz - Department Store of Tietz).In the 1990s the label Kaufhof had a shopping centre there.After a massive restoration of the building, in 2004 it was re-opened as "DAStietz".Since then it contains some shops (e.g. a bakery, a Fair Trade Shop, a bookshop and so on).Also the City Library of Chemnitz and the adult evening classes of the city, the Museum for Natural Education and the New Saxonian Gallery are located there.

Klaffenbach Moated Castle

This versatile Renaissance castle was built in the 16th century.Today it is a popular excursion site which offers a wide variety of leisure-time activities.This is where the Saxon Vehicle Museum as well as a silversmith’s and a visitor’s workshop, arts and crafts galleries, a hotel, restaurants and conference facilities are located.Located in a small suburb in the South of the city, this is a sight seeing highlight you must visit, especially during the summer season.

German Games Museum

The museum had been open for a few years at the end of the 1990s, but then later closed down in 2000.The new museum will occupy a space previous called Cafe Warsaw in an East Berlin-era building.The exhibition, called "Computer Games.Evolution of a Medium" documents the development of computer games since 1951, and includes the first ever arcade game called "Computer Space," which was released in 1971 - it was a commercial failure.

Chemnitz Museum of Industry

More than 200 years of Saxon industrial history have been documented over an area of 4,000 square metres in the Chemnitz Industrial Museum.The contemporary age is also a topic of the fascinating permanent exhibition which not only focuses on technology for its own sake, but which also documents the social conditions of the age of industry.A special attraction of the museum is the machine room which has been restored according to historical models and which includes a functioning steam engine from the year 1896 of the Chemnitz Germania company.

Chemnitz Theatres

The Theatre Square with the Opera House, the Royal Albert Museum and St. Peter's Church is one of the most beautiful architectural ensembles in the city of Chemnitz.In 1909 the Opera House was inaugurated.In the second World War II destroyed, there could be reopened in 1951.At the beginning of the year 1988 began a comprehensive reconstruction of the house, which was completed after several years of construction in 1992.Since then, the Chemnitz Opera is one of the most advanced stages of Germany and, in its hundred year history of a place in the hearts of many conquered Chemnitz and their guests.

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