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Chemnitz – “C the unseen“ in the Capital of Culture 2025

Die Kulturhauptstadt 2025 - Zuhause in Chemnitz

Chemnitz is full of ideas and surprises, which include pioneering inventions, courageous decisions and cultural innovations. In 2025 Chemnitz will be the European Capital of Culture. But even before then, it is worth exploring the region’s cultural attractions and meet the people shaping the city and region with their “can do“ approach.

Taking as its slogan “C the unseen“, the Capital of Culture 2025 is highlighting various projects and unexplored places. People come together to share their experiences, in garages for instance. Having long become too small for modern vehicles, they are now workshops, storage areas and a haven for private worlds. 3,000 garages have become individual workshops where people meet, open their minds and hearts, reveal secrets, unearth memories and tell stories. The latter have become the subject of puppet theatre performances. With the Apple Tree Parade for example, more places have sprung up where people can meet and hold cultural events. The sponsors of 4,000 apple trees host events and invite people to join in with activities and exchange ideas. In 2025 the Purple Path, an art trail, will be winding its way across the entire region and presenting artworks in public spaces. Festivals such as the Fête de la Musique will be transporting events from the city to rural areas.

Visitors need not wait until 2025 to explore the hidden treasures of Chemnitz and the local region. Art and culture aficionados can get their money’s worth now. Chemnitz’s art collections have made a name for themselves with legendary exhibitions of works by Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. An exhibition is being planned for spring (21 March to 13 June 2021) with works by Pierre Soulages, an outstanding exponent of twentieth century modern art and abstract expressionism. Following its exhibition debut last year at the Louvre, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz is now partnering with Museum Frieder Burda to hold a second big museum exhibition in Europe. 

From a cultural viewpoint, Theaterplatz is the city’s beating heart, the place where Theater Chemnitz combines opera, a philharmonic orchestra, theatre, ballet and puppet theatre. Every theatre season, it has notched up successes with new, dynamic productions, spectacular stage designs and international partnerships. The opening programme in 1909 featured the ensemble of the Chemnitz Opera House with works by Richard Wagner. This was the beginning of a tradition which regularly sees fans of Wagner’s music flock to “Saxony’s Bayreuth“ from all over Germany. At Easter and on Ascension Day 2022 a regular performance of the Ring of the Nibelung will once again be taking place.

Aside from its mainstream cultural institutions a fascinating subculture has sprung up in Chemnitz. With their numerous festivals, club concerts and open air gigs, minor art performances, markets, galleries and fringe theatres, many movers from the cultural and creative scene have made a colourful contribution to the city’s green image.

Chemnitz is one of the birthplaces of Germany’s industrial revolution. The Industriemuseum Chemnitz is dedicated to the past, present and future. A special show entitled “MaschinenBoom“ which runs until 25 July 2021 asks “What is a machine and what role do machines play in people’s lives?“ Covering 26 hectares, the railway museum Sächsisches Eisenbahnmuseum Chemnitz Hilbersdorf is a monument to technical progress that is unique in Europe. Inside two circular boiler rooms an open-air museum features an impressive range of railway vehicles, including steam engines, diesel and electric locomotives, as well as a cable-operated shunting yard.

Situated on 3,000 square metres in Kaufhaus Schocken, a former department store designed by Erich Mendelsohn, the Staatliches Museum für Archäologie Chemnitz covers 300,000 years of cultural history. From April to September 221 a special show will be featured entitled "STADT. Zwischen Skyline und Latrine". Here, cities can be witnessed as places highlighting diversity, creativeness and urban density, but also conflicts. The exhibition depicts cities as a universal phenomenon and gathering places in a wide variety of societies, and offers inspiration for ideas on the Capital of Culture 2025.

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