Germany from A to Z: Zwickau
We are taking a tour through Germany and every week we'll introduce you to a new town, guided by the alphabet. This time Z leads us to the last city we'll be presenting in this series: Zwickau in the state of Saxony.
St. Mary's Cathedral
In 1520, the reformer Thomas Münzer, who wa considered too radical in his views even for reformer Martin Luther, worked in the late Gothic St. Mary's Cathedral with its Baroque spire. In 1810 the composer Robert Schumann was baptized here. He later wrote about the church: "One of the strangest buildings in Saxony, dark and somewhat fantastic in appearance it is".
Priesterhäuser (Priests' Houses)
The Priesterhäuser from the 13th century are among the oldest residential buildings in Saxony, where the pastors and preachers of the St. Mary's Church lived. With the Reformation, the houses became official residences for the church servants and teachers at the Latin school. Today, the town history museum is housed here, which offers an insight into everyday life in the late Middle Ages.
The electoral town and residence palace of the Wettin family was first mentioned in 1292. From the 18th century onwards it served as a prison. Among the prominent detainees were the writer Karl May, and the social democratic proponents August Bebel and Rosa Luxemburg. Today, the castle is a senior citizens' residence, but can be visited on guided tours.
The Robert Schumann House
The composer Robert Schumann was born in 1810 in a corner house on the main market square. Today it houses a museum with the world's largest Schumann collection, comprising over 4,000 original manuscripts by Robert Schumann and his wife Clara. On display are also pictures, musical instruments, prints and memorabilia. The birth room is furnished with historical furniture from the couple.
August Horch Museum
In 1904 the A. Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke settled in Zwickau. Today the former Audi factory houses the August Horch Museum with exhibits relating to cars, such as a filling station from the 1920s and famous Audi vehicles. The racing successes of the Silver Arrows, which made Zwickau famous in the world as an automotive city, are also celebrated.
Kunstsammlungen (Art collection) Zwickau
The Zwickau Kunstsammlungen Zwickau is housed in a listed museum building with an impressive domed hall and contains art from the late Gothic period to German Expressionism. A focal point are the works of the Zwickau artist Max Pechstein. The mineralogical-geological collection with more than 16,000 minerals, precious stones and plant imprints also makes for an interesting exhibition.
Kornmarkt (Corn Market)
During a stroll through Zwickau, one inevitably passes the Kornmarkt, which is centrally located in the city center near the main market. Eye-catching is the corner house in late Gothic and early Renaissance style, which is affectionately called "Schiffchen" ("little boat") because of its shape. Zwickau's Christmas market takes place on this square, as do many other markets and events.
On the edge of the Erz Mountains
Zwickau is a perfect starting point for a tour into the Erz mountains. The densely wooded region offers many cycling and hiking trails, mountain bike routes, ski slopes and cross-country ski runs. The low mountain range is also known for its mining and steam trains as well as handicrafts and Christmas traditions.