With around 100,000 inhabitants, Zwickau is the Free State of Saxony’s fourth largest city, surpassed in size only by Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz.
Coat of arms of Zwickau
Situated on the river Mulde, the city is internationally known as the birthplace of the composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) and of the artist of the Brücke movement Max Pechstein (1881-1955). Zwickau is particularly committed to the legacy of its two great sons. This becomes evident in the International Robert Schumann Piano and Song Competitions and the International Choir Competitions. The economic region of Zwickau is one of the strongest growth regions in Saxony and the new German states.
Visitors to Zwickau never cease to be amazed by the carefully preserved historic buildings from six centuries. A stroll through the city becomes a discovery tour of various architectural styles. Multi-faceted Art Nouveau residential buildings with their modern interior furnishings are particularly inspiring.
Picture (Licence/photographer/designer): Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic Wikimedia Commons / Aka
A tour of the historic old town reveals precious witnesses of past centuries at every turn. The old Priests’ Houses, in their late medieval style, are one example of the treasures among Saxony’s cultural monuments. They are among the oldest buildings in eastern Germany and will gradually be made accessible to the public starting in 2002.
The cathedral of St. Marien in the historic city centre is the richest and most expensive late Gothic building in upper Saxony.
No less impressive is the Johannisbad bath. This health bath and sauna with a touch of oriental bathing and sauna culture combines stylistic elements of different periods, such as Art Nouveau and the neo-Gothic period. Another gem is the Concert Hall and Ball House “Neue Welt”, which boasts Saxony’s finest and largest Art Nouveau terrace hall.
The reconstructed birthplace of Robert Schumann is very popular with visitors. Not only is it a venue for cultural events, but also as an internationally acknowledged research centre and museum dedicated to the memory of Robert Schumann.
Also located in Zwickau is Saxony’s first public library - the Library of the Council School or Ratsbibliothek. It is well-known around the world thanks to its valuable stock of books, incunabula, prints and scripts.