• Leipzig railway station
Leipzig railway stationArcheology Museum Staatliches Museum für Archäologie SachsenVilla Esche in Chemnitz4 Chemnitz Eisenbahnmuseum HSF 5117-kTerra Mineralia

Industrial Heritage in Saxony (4 days)

Along the “Route of Industrial Heritage in Saxony” you’ll learn about how Saxony used to play an important role as economically strongest region in Germany – in museums or production sites that are still active today. Industries like mining, textiles, vehicles & transport, food and drink, printing & paper are examples of the former variety. Of course, many other branches can be found, as well as extraordinary examples of architecture.

In 2020, the 4th Saxon State Exhibition, taking place at six different locations, will have the theme “industrial heritage”.

Day 1: Leipzig

  • The cotton spinning mill “Alte Spinnerei” (once the largest on the European mainland) has been revived by artists, designers, printers and gallery owners. Today, it houses more than 100 ateliers and galleries.
  • Industrial culture, architecture and history can be experienced on a canal boat tour and a guided tour of the industrial quarter of Plagwitz.
  • Visit to the car factories of BMW and Porsche.
  • Tip: Become a Porsche driver for one day!

Day 2: Zwickau (117 km) - Plauen (43 km)

  • Zwickau: Birth place of the automobile empire of August Horch. In the new and extended August Horch Museum you’ll get to know automobile history in the only automotive museum in Germany located at its former production site. It houses very rare, sometimes even unique exhibits of early ­automobile production, e. g. refurbished models of Horch, Audi, Wanderer, DKW, and Trabant.
  • Tour of the Volkswagen factory in Zwickau-Mosel.
  • Plauen: Tour of the traditional show embroidery workshop of Plauener Spitze ® (Plauen lace): A demonstration on historic embroidery machines in the former embroidery manufactory conveys a vivid impression of the variety of Plauen laces and embroideries. Tour of the weavers’ houses, a 500-year-old listed row of houses.

Day 3: Chemnitz (77 km)

  • Chemnitz was once the most important city of German engineering.
  • Tour of the railway museum: the biggest, still functioning steam engine depot in Europe presents numerous, often still operational historic vehicles.
  • The Saxon Industrial Museum gives insights into the impressive history of Saxon industrial culture.
  • Museum of Saxon vehicles: In one of the oldest preserved multistorey car parks you will find an astonishing private collection of vehicles from Saxony.
  • Tour of Villa Esche: Milestone of classic modernism, showpiece of modern industrial architecture and highlight of the European Henry van de Velde Route.

Day 4: Chemnitz - Freiberg (36 km)

  • Tour of the VW engine works in Chemnitz, then onward journey to Freiberg.
  • Freiberg: Significant mining town and treasure trove of rich silver ores – Saxony’s town of silver.
  • Visit to the exhibition “terra mineralia” at Schloss Freudenstein Castle: largest mineral collection in the world in a variety of colours and shapes with more than 3,500 exhibits.
  • Guided tour of the exhibition mine in Freiberg.

Tips: Saxony was also home of motorcycle production. Schloss Augustusburg Castle shows one of the most significant and comprising collections of twowheelers in Europe. In the course of industrialisation the first rail vehicles were produced in Saxony. Many steam-operated narrow-gauge railways and museum railways are still operated today. Further showpieces of Saxon industrial culture are: the ships of the Saxon Steam Navigation – between 80 and 130 years old, they make it the world’s oldest and largest fleet of paddle steamers. They cruise the Elbe between Dresden, Diesbar-Seußlitz and ­Saxon Switzerland.