A European selection jury has named the German city of Chemnitz the European Capital of Culture for 2025. The Saxonian city beat four other German cities on the shortlist: Hannover, Hildesheim, Magdeburg and Nuremberg.
The European Capitals of Culture initiative highlights and celebrates the diversity of European culture. It also brings international awareness to cities that receive these awards, often boosting tourism and bringing new life into a city’s culture. The initiative began in 1985, bringing more than 50 European cities into the spotlight thus far. The nomination of Chemnitz marks the third time that a German city has received the title; Weimar was a Capital of Culture in 1999 and Essen received the nomination in 2009.
To understand what makes Chemnitz unique, let’s take a look at a few fun facts about Saxony’s third-largest city:
1. Chemnitz is a city of contrast, a city where tradition meets modernity. Downtown Chemnitz features Bauhaus-style architecture, examples of New Objectivity and traditional structures such as the Rathaus.
2. Chemnitz’s town hall is a major attraction – and it consists of two parts. The Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) was built in the 15th century and gives visitors a glimpse into the city’s past. The New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) was built in the early 20th century in the Art Nouveau style.
3. Chemnitz is an art lovers’ paradise: From the Chemnitz Art Collections to the Gunzenhauser Museum, visitors can enjoy seeing collections of classical modernism.
4. In 1953, the East German government named the city Karl-Marx-Stadt and built a 23-foot tall bust of Karl Marx. Chemnitz was renamed after German reunification. The Marx statue remains one of the city’s major tourist attractions.
5. The city received its name from the River Chemnitz, which has a total length of 47 miles. The name Chemnitz means “stony brook”.
6. Chemnitz is just a short drive away from bountiful nature. The city lies at the foot of the Ore Mountains, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This mountain range is a great place for hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities.
Learn more about Chemnitz in this Deutsche Welle video below:
By Nicole Glass, German Embassy