Exploring the City of Modernity

Chemnitz embraces the spirit of modernity. This once grey, industrial city is now a shining light of innovation and progress. Its architecture is astoundingly diverse. The combination of influences from the Gründerzeit period to art nouveau, Bauhaus and modern building styles give the city its distinctive charm.

City centre

Die Chemnitzer Innenstadt hat seit 1990 eine beispiellose Entwicklung genommen. Prägten zur Wende große Leerflächen das Bild, findet sich hier und heute das pulsierende Lebenszentrum der Stadt.

Namhafte Architekten haben eine völlig neue und moderne Struktur des Stadtzentrums geschaffen. Für die gelungene Mischung aus Einzelhandel, Büro, Gastronomie, Wohnen, Freizeit und Kultur der neuen Stadtmitte gab es im Jahr 2006 den DIFA-Award für innerstädtische Quartiere.

Das Chemnitz des 21. Jahrhunderts beeindruckt heute mit herausragenden und architektonisch anspruchsvollen Shopping-Möglichkeiten:

Galerie Roter Turm

2000 wurde das Einkaufszentrum "Roter Turm" in Chemnitz eröffnet. Das Gesamtkonzept der Stadtgalerie haben die Architekten Chapman Taylor Brune (Düsseldorf/London) entwickelt, Hans Kollhoff (Berlin) hat die Gestaltung der Fassaden übernommen

Kaufhaus Peek & Cloppenburg (Christoph Ingenhoven)

2003 entstand NW-Seite des Neumarkts unter wellenförmigen Dachformationen das Textilkaufhaus.

Galeria Kaufhof (Helmut Jahn)

Europas modernste, durchlässige Kaufvitrine aus Stahl und Glas wurde 1999/2001 gleich nebenan am Neumarkt erbaut.


In addition to numerous impressive industrial buildings, the success of the Chemnitzer economy is still evidenced by residential buildings dating from the early 19th century, art nouveau villas and public and private buildings from the construction period.

Artists and co-founders of the Bauhaus Henry van de Velde also left their mark in Chemnitz with the Villa Esche he designed.

The Kassberg is one of the largest connected Gründerzeit- and Jugendstilviertel in Europe.

Built in the neo-Gothic style, the theatre square symbolizes a return to classical ideals.

Chemnitz highlights

Karl Marx monument

The philosopher Karl Marx gave his name to Chemnitz between 1953 and 1990, when the city was known as Karl-Marx-Stadt. His 13-metre high bust has been part of the cityscape ever since.

The 13-metre high Karl Marx monument was designed by Soviet sculptor Lev Kerbel, and was cast in bronze in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) before being brought to Chemnitz for assembly. The 40 tonne statue was due to be torn down following the reunification in 1990. However, the city fathers and locals intervened, and the residents were allowed to keep their beloved “Nischl”. The second largest portrait bust in the world is still on display to this day, reminding all who visit of our city’s history. 

Theaterplatz, Opera House and Chemnitz Art Collections

With the famous Chemnitz Opera House, the King Albert Museum and St. Peter’s Church, Theaterplatz is home to some of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

The theatre is well-known for its diverse repertoire of shows and performances, and its many awards are testament to how well-respected it is within the theatre industry itself.

For fine art lovers, there is always plenty to see at the Chemnitz Art Collections, including works by Albrecht Dürer, Caspar David Friedrich, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Jörg Immendorff. It also features ever-changing temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.

Old town hall, new town hall, Roter Turm (Red Tower)

Despite it having been almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, rebuilt and then redeveloped all over again following reunification, there are still plenty of historical buildings to see in the heart of Chemnitz.

The place where the city’s history began is still home to the buildings in which its future will be determined: the old and new town hall on the market square. Due the city’s enormous growth as an industrial centre and trade metropolis in the 19th century, the new town hall was added alongside the old one in 1911. If you choose to visit, make sure you don’t miss the Grüne Salon and the 48 bell carillon.

The oldest building in the city of Chemnitz is the Roter Turm (Red Tower). In the 12th century, it was part of the city’s fortifications, protecting it from outside attack. It was such an important symbol of the city that, centuries later, the East German washing-up liquid “fit” was sold in bottles designed to resemble the building. Today, the striking structure is a key part of the new city centre architecture and experience concept. 


Kaßberg is one of the largest art nouveau and Gründerzeit period neighbourhoods in Europe. Below ground, there is a wide network of vaults and tunnels.

Both the area’s architecture and its historical underground passages were awarded protected status in 1991. Kaßberg’s many cosy pubs and popular restaurants give the area its distinctive flair.

Villa Esche

Villa Esche in the Kappel neighbourhood was designed and constructed by the Belgian artist, architect and Bauhaus founder Henry van de Velde between 1902 and 1903.

His artistic concept is reflected in everything from the garden fence to the cutlery. Today, Villa Esche is recognised as one of the most important architectural monuments of the art nouveau movement. The majority of its original fittings have been retained and restored. Following extensive renovations, the house is now home to a wedding venue, a restaurant and the Henry van de Velde Museum, and is also a popular setting for many different cultural events.