With their diverse characteristics and atmospheres ranging from the Baroque to modern elegance, industrial architecture and arto deco on the one hand and dreamy romanticism to lively city life on the other, Saxony's cities have considerable touristic appeal. These cities are also convenient starting points for fascinating trips to the seven Saxon holiday regions.
Thirteen towns - ranging from A as in Annaberg-Buchholz to Z as in Zittau and Zwickau - are members of the Town Tourism Committee and each of these towns has its own unmistakable identity.
In the Erzgebirge town of Annaberg-Buchholz, for example, one does not need to dig very deep to discover that one is in a mining town. Major silver finds led to the foundation of the town in 1496 and the industry is still characteristic of the region and the people even today. Pillow-lace making, carving and passementerie are associated with Annaberg, as is the name of the brilliant arithmetician Adam Riese.
Bautzen it's the secret capital of the Upper Lusatian Sorbs and is thousand years old. With its 17 towers, its bastions and its town wall that is almost completely preserved it exudes an unmistakable medieval atmosphere, which is further underlined by the much-photographed „Alte Wasserkunst" in Bautzen city centre.
In the space of a few years Chemnitz has grown into a modern city and today proudly presents itself as a flourishing centre of commerce and knowledge. Various architectural features such as generously proportioned, lovingly restored buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries - Art Nouveau and Gründerzeit styles - monumental buildings of the Classical Modernity by famous architects and the city's rich heritage of industrial architecture all harmonize perfectly with the modern, completely redesigned city centre and create exciting contrasts between the historic and the post-modern. Chemnitz offers a broad and interesting cultural programme. Notable highlights include festivals such as the Saxon Mozart Festival in spring and cultural festival BEGEGNUNGEN (encounters). In December 2007, one of Germany's largest private collections of art of the Classical Modernity and the second half of the 20th century was added to the rich holdings of the Chemnitz Art Galleries. The Gunzenhauser Museum gives Chemnitz citizens and visitors the chance to admire, among other things, the world's largest collection of works by Otto Dix.
Dresden offers just about everything - the Saxon capital is so many-sided. As a baroque city, a cultural city, an Elbe city and a musical city it exudes a world-famous charm. Its architectural treasures located around the Theaterplatz with the Dresden Zwinger and Semper Opera and the Brühlsche Terrasse or the priceless art works of the State Art Collections are an integral part of its fascination. It is no accident that visitors and locals refer to it as „Florence on the Elbe". History and modernism are so close together in the Saxon metropolis, forming a contrast that is well worth studying.
Between the Saxon cities of Leipzig and Dresden lies the little 800-year-old town of Grimma, set in the attractive, wooded countryside on the banks of the Mulde river. Grimma´s pretty medieval Old Town has now been extensively restored; it is full of interesting sights and is a pleasant place to spend an enjoyable day strolling around and sightseeing. Visitors interested in history will find many fascinating examples of different styles of architecture, all perfectly restored. The old town hall alone is well worth a visit to the Mulde Valley - it boasts a magnificent Renaissance façade and parts of the building date all the way back to the early 13th century. The bridges of Grimma are another major attraction for visitors from both near and far. The most famous of these bridges was the old Mulde Bridge designed by M. D. Pöppelmann, the great court architect of Duke August the Strong.
The Cathedral City of Freiberg is Saxony's silver city par excellence. Even today the splendid patricians' houses surrounding the Obermarkt, one of the finest squares in Germany, attest to Freiberg's former wealth. A visit to the Cathedral of St. Mary with its world-famous Golden Portal is a must for every visitor to Freiberg. The cathedral is simple in design from the outside but the interior houses precious works of art such as the Tulip Office and the largest and most melodious Silbermann organ in the world. Visitors can re-live the adventure of mining in the Reiche mine, the oldest educational mine in the world.
Görlitz is a town with ancient commercial traditions and with a modern city centre. There is a dynamic mood in this town in the squares with their intact Gründerzeit buildings, carefully renovated Jugendstil houses, the historical flair of the old city and the 3,500 listed buildings. More than any other town, Görlitz, in the three-country triangle formed by Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic benefits from its close relations with its neighbours. It is only 160 km from Prague.
Leipzig is a town with many faces: Leipzig has an international reputation as a city of music and a summary of cultural event highlights in Leipzig. Leipzig has many green spaces, forests, parks, and recreational and sports facilities. This town presents many precious works of art and collections. Leipzig invites you to stroll around, shop and linger. Leipzig's culinary pages are the city's restaurants, cafes and culinary delights.
Meissen is world-famous above all for its porcelain. In 1710 no less a person than August the Strong announced the discovery of the „white gold" in Saxony. Meissen's Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur is a jewel that fascinates hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. It is now even possible for guests to take courses in the art of painting and designing porcelain. Apart from the porcelain, visitors also greatly appreciate the wine that grows on the steep slopes high above the town on the Elbe. Meissen is the capital of Germany's smallest wine-growing area. The town itself is remarkable for its magnificent facades, quaint, narrow cobbled streets, fine passages and its cosy and modern pubs. The highest points are the Albrechtsburg and the Meissener Dom, which rise majestically above the town.
Visitors to Pirna discover first and foremost a medieval jewel glittering on the banks of the Elbe between Dresden and the Saxon Switzerland National Park. If one had to describe the town, one would have to use terms like „magnificent environment", „cheerful lifestyle", „cultural wealth" and „part of modern Europe". Romantics, those interested in cultural history, enthusiasts and gourmets will get full value for money as they walk around the historical town centre. Pirna is a wealthy town - and its wealth is built on sand, among other things. The sand of the Elbe sandstone, which has been quarried here for centuries and is used for building. The Dresden Frauenkirche and the Reichstag in Berlin are made from local sandstone.
Plauen in contrast beguiles the visitor with lace. Plauen is world famous for its superb „Plauener lace". Embroidery on traditional machines still takes place in embroidery works that are open to the public and in the Lace Museum. And not far from the „Lace town", another unique feature awaits the visitor. For over 300 years, musical instruments of all kinds have been made by hand in the so-called Vogtland music corner.
Torgau is one of the finest Renaissance towns in Germany. Martin Luther once lived here, and the visitor can still feel the character of the former Saxon electoral metropolis, once a political centre of the Reformation. The newly-renovated Schloss Hartenfels is definitely worth a visit. One crosses a bridge beneath which wild bears are still to be found and enters the largest completely preserved German Early Renaissance castle. Torgau became famous because it was where American and Soviet troops met on 25. April 1945. The photograph of the legendary handshake between Bill Robertson and Alexander Silvashko on the destroyed Torgau Bridge made the front pages all over the world at the time.
Zittau is Germany's most south-easterly town. It combines the small-town idyll, living history and a lot of countryside. Right in front of the town are the Zittau mountains with the striking Oybin Mountain, the Lusatian mountains and the Jesenik and Iser mountain ranges. Zittau has a magnificent historic centre with countless monuments. One of these is the „Holy Cross Church". For just over a year this church has housed the „Great Zittau Lenten Veil". With its impressive measurements of 6.8 by 8.2 metres it is unique in Germany in its style and design.
For music enthusiasts Zwickau is Robert-Schumann town, for historians it is the pearl of Electoral Saxony and for lovers of the Trabant motor car it is the town of a thousand strokes. The various epithets underline the many-sidedness of the town on the Mulde. Cloth-making and silver-mining were once dominant. Even today the Silberstraße or Silver Road which goes from Zwickau through the Erzgebirge to Dresden, refers to this exciting period of history. In more recent times, Zwickau has been famous above all for the car industry. Here August Horch laid the foundations for his automobile empire from which the companies Sachsenring Zwickau and Audi in Ingolstadt later emerged. Notable works of architecture in the town centre are St. Mary's Cathedral, the Gewandhaus and Town Hall, the Robert Schumann memorial and Robert Schuman's birthplace and the „Neue Welt" Municipal Hall, the finest example of Jugendstil in Saxony.
Saxony's cities have considerable touristic appeal
Tourism Marketing Company of Saxony,
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