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coat of arms Germany map
Coat of arms of the city of Zwickau
Map of Germany, location of the city of Zwickau highlighted

Coordinates: 50 ° 43 '  N , 12 ° 30'  E

Basic data
State : Saxony
County : Zwickau
Height : 267 m above sea level NHN
Area : 102.58 km 2
Residents: 88,690 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 865 inhabitants per km 2
Postcodes : 08056-08066
Primaries : 0375, 03761 ( Hartmannsdorf ), 037604 ( Mosel , Oberrothenbach , Schlunzig )Template: Infobox municipality in Germany / maintenance / area code contains text
License plate : Z, GC, HOT, WDA
Community key : 14 5 24 330
City structure: 5 districts
with 35 districts

City administration address :
Hauptmarkt 1
08056 Zwickau
Website :
Lord Mayor : Pia Findeiß ( SPD )
Location of the city of Zwickau in the district of Zwickau
Bernsdorf Callenberg Crimmitschau Crinitzberg Dennheritz Fraureuth Gersdorf Glauchau Hartenstein Hartmannsdorf Hirschfeld Hohenstein-Ernstthal Kirchberg Langenbernsdorf Langenweißbach Lichtenstein Lichtentanne Limbach-Oberfrohna Meerane Mülsen Neukirchen/Pleiße Niederfrohna Oberlungwitz Oberwiera Reinsdorf Remse Schönberg St. Egidien Waldenburg Werdau Wildenfels Wilkau-Haßlau Zwickau Sachsen Thüringen Vogtlandkreis Erzgebirgskreis Chemnitz Landkreis Mittelsachsenmap
About this picture
Zwickau, aerial photo (2018)

Zwickau ( also Zwigge in the Saxon dialect ) is the fourth largest city in Saxony with around 90,000 inhabitants and a regional center in the southwestern part of the country.

An area called Territorium Zcwickaw was first mentioned in 1118. Hard coal was mined here and in the surrounding region for almost 800 years . As a result, the city developed into the center of the Zwickau coal field . As to 1806 electoral Zwickau was in the Kingdom of Saxony since 1834/1835 District Directorate headquarters, from 1874 seat of Kreishauptmannschaft (after 1939 administrative district Zwickau ) and in 1907 a county-level city . In the course of the total restructuring of the administrative structures to enforce the principle of so-called democratic centralism in the GDR , Zwickau lost its position as the district government seat that had been in place since 1834 and became part of the Karl-Marx-Stadt district . Zwickau has not been a district since 2008 ; the city was incorporated into the newly formed district of Zwickau .

The city is a founding member of the Central Germany Metropolitan Region and part of the Chemnitz-Zwickau metropolitan area . This is also where the administration of the above-mentioned district has its headquarters. The urbanization of the urban fringes, which has been increasing since 2000, has increased the area of ​​the city, which now largely covers the valley of the Zwickauer Mulde . The tourist route of the Saxon-Bohemian Silver Road , which is popular with motorists, is scenic and equipped with many cultural and historical sights, connects the old mountain town of Zwickau with the state capital Dresden, following the course of the Ore Mountains in an easterly direction.

Zwickau is the cradle of the Saxon automotive industry. The more than one hundred year old tradition in automobile manufacturing began at the beginning of the 20th century with the establishment of the Horch (1904) and Audi (1909/1910) plants, which were operated by Auto Union in the 1930s and 1940s and during the GDR era was continued by the Sachsenring works . After the end of the division of Germany , Volkswagen AG founded one of the largest companies in the new federal states, Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH, in what is now the Moselle district of Zwickau , which continues this automotive tradition.

The Romantic composer Robert Schumann was born here in 1810 . The city is therefore internationally known as the automobile and Robert Schumann city . In addition, on April 21, 2016, it was recognized as the “Reformation City of Europe”.

The August Horch Museum , the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences in Zwickau , the Robert Schumann Conservatory and the Plauen-Zwickau Theater are nationally important cultural and educational institutions.


Geographical location

Panoramic picture of the southwestern part of Zwickau, with the ridge of the Western Ore Mountains on the horizon
Geological profile of the Zwickau coal field
Silesian or Pennsylvanian fossils (Upper Carboniferous)

Zwickau in western Saxony is located in a wide flood plain at the entrance to the Western Ore Mountains and the Vogtland . In terms of area, this takes up part of the natural space in the Ore Mountains basin, which follows the course of the Zwickauer Mulde. The city center is located at a geographic altitude of 267  m above sea level. NN not far from the west bank of the Zwickauer Mulde. Immediately opposite on the east bank of the Zwickauer Mulde, the Brückenberg rises steeply with mountain cellars dating from the Middle Ages. In the east, just outside the city of Mülsen, is Saxony's longest municipality. In the west, after a gentle ascent towards the neighboring town of Werdau, the panorama is dominated by the Windberg ( 350  m above sea level ). Adjacent to this is the Zwickau city park, which largely consists of mixed forest in the north. In the north, the urban area extends over the wide, fertile flood plain of the Zwickauer Mulde in the direction of Crimmitschau , Meerane and Glauchau , where the city limits run not far behind the Zwickau Volkswagen plant. Upstream Zwickau shares a border with the city of Wilkau-Haßlau in the south . The Zwickau-Planitz district rises south-west of the Zwickau Mulde valley , the most striking buildings of which are the Lukaskirche, which is part of the Planitz castle ensemble, and the Oberplanitz water tower, which is close to the SOS Children's Village. Other highest peaks surrounding the city are the Kreuzberg (398 m), the Fernblick (377 m), the Alexanderhöhe (362 m), the Krähenhügel (360 m) and the Kuhberg (358 m). The extension of the city is around 20 kilometers in north-south direction and around 11 kilometers in east-west direction. The course of the 75-kilometer-long city limits is somewhat similar to the outline of Africa.


During the Carboniferous , a primeval forest of ferns , giant bear moths and horsetail grew at the foot of the Variscan Mountains , the remains of which later formed coal seams under the Rotliegend and mountain rubble , which enabled mining in the Zwickau region for more than 600 years.

Geological peculiarities are also documented by fossil finds from the Cainsdorf strike of the Zwickau coal field . The picture shows left: Sigillariaceae remains (extinct club moss plants ), in the lower center: Annularia sphenophylloides leaves of the Calamitaceae ( horsetail ) and right: the Linopteris neuropteroides leaves of the extinct Medullosales ( seed ferns ). These were created around 305-310 million years ago.

The finds are located in the area of ​​the geological natural monument soot coal seam . This outcrop of the soot coal seam, the only continuously exposed outcrop of a coal seam in Saxony, is very rare as a geological natural monument in Central Europe , as an outcrop of different geological ages ( Silurian , Devonian and Upper Carboniferous ) and protected in accordance with Section 21 of the Saxon Nature Conservation Act (SächsNatSchG) .


The city was in the years 1486, 1500, 1529, 1543, 1560, 1573, 1604, 1607, 1608, 1622, 1627, 1655, 1661, 1672, 1694, 1721, 1723, 1733, 1736, 1750, 1767, 1771, 1778, 1786, 1790, 1830, 1858, 1897, 1917, 1932, 1954, 2002 and 2013 affected by floods or ice on the Zwickauer Mulde. The highest known water levels were:

  • July 31, 1858: 4.61 m at the beer bridge
  • July 31, 1897: 2.96 m at the beer bridge
  • January 4, 1932: 4.17 m at the beer bridge
  • July 10, 1954: 4.78 m at the Pölbitz gauge (2.10 m on the main market)

City structure

City districts and city districts

The urban area of ​​Zwickau is divided into the five urban districts center, east, north, west and south. Each district consists of up to nine districts (35 in total). The districts of Rottmannsdorf, Crossen, Cainsdorf, Mosel, Oberrothenbach and Schlunzig, which were only incorporated into Zwickau in the 1990s, are also localities within the meaning of §§ 65-69 of the Saxon municipal code . The localities were introduced by the main statute of the city of Zwickau and have a local council elected by the population , which has between four and six members depending on the number of inhabitants. The chairman of the local council is the mayor .

The five city districts with their associated official city districts and their numbers are:

¹ also locality


Formerly independent cities, municipalities or districts were incorporated into the city of Zwickau:

year incorporated cities, communities or districts
January 1, 1895 Pölbitz
October 1, 1902 Marienthal
January 1, 1905 Eckersbach
January 1, 1922 Weissenborn
January 1, 1923 Schedewitz
April 1, 1939 Brand and Bockwa
January 1, 1944 Oberhohndorf and the city of Planitz (Ober- and Niederplanitz)
4th December 1952 Auerbach, Pöhlau and Niederhohndorf
January 1, 1993 Hartmannsdorf
April 1, 1996 Rottmannsdorf
October 1, 1996 Cross and Schneppendorf
January 1, 1999 Cainsdorf, Moselle, Oberrothenbach, Schlunzig, Hüttelsgrün, freedom settlement

Neighboring communities

The following cities and communities border the city of Zwickau. They belong to the district of Zwickau and are named in clockwise order in the northeast:

Mülsen , Reinsdorf , city of Wilkau-Haßlau , Hirschfeld ( administrative association Kirchberg ), Lichtentanne , city of Werdau , Neukirchen , city of Crimmitschau , Dennheritz ( administrative association Crimmitschau-Dennheritz ) and the city of Glauchau .

City history


Today's West Saxony was settled by the Germanic tribes of the Suebi and Thuringians until the 6th century . Sorbs inhabited the area from the 7th century . In the 10th century, after the subjugation of the Sorbs by Heinrich I, the local population was gradually Christianized and German settlers began to immigrate. The name "Zwickau" is probably derived from the Sorbian name Świkawa and could - according to one theory - go back to Svarozič , the Slavic god of sun and fire: Coal seams are still visible on the bank of the Mulden . The Slavs probably already knew how to use the coal. The name “Zwickau” could therefore mean “valley” or “floodplain of the fire god”. In the Topographia Superioris Saxoniae of 1650, however, it can be read that the area where the city was founded along the Muldenaue was called the "swan field" at the time. A Latinized city name Cygnau (also Cynavia, Cygnea, Latin Cygnus = swan) was derived from this, which is also alluded to by the swans in the city's coat of arms.

360-degree panorama from April 2011 with an overview of the Zwickau city center taken from the tower of the cathedral.

middle Ages

From district to city

In 1118, the territory of Zcwickaw was mentioned for the first time in a document issued by Bishop Dietrich I of Naumburg in the Bosau monastery near Zeitz . This is not a specific place, but a Gau settled by Sorbs , the center of which was the village of Osterweih . This settlement was later abandoned; it was in today's northern suburb. Around this time, Countess Bertha von Groitzsch introduced Christianity to the region and built the Marienkirche in Easter consecration.

Part of the medieval city wall and powder tower

Around the year 1150 the focus of the settlement shifted to today's inner-city area. A merchant settlement was formed around the Nikolaikirche (near today's Nikolaischule). This was at the intersection of two important trade routes, the salt route Böhmischer Steig and the Polish track . The former led via Halle / Leipzig to Prague, the latter from Krakow via Saxony to southern Germany. At the same time, a settlement center was built around the Marienkirche and around the area of ​​the later Wettin-electoral Zwickau Castle Osterstein with the Katharinenkirche .

It can be assumed that Zwickau received town charter between 1192 and 1212. In a document from the year 1212, the name Zwickaus can be found for the first time as an oppidum (fortified larger settlement or city). In the document dated May 12th, the Bishop of Naumburg confirmed the agreement between Margrave Dietrich von Meissen and the abbot of Bosau Monastery , in which the latter waived claims against the city and the city church in return for compensation of 250 marks.

The Zwickau Franciscan monastery with monastery school was first mentioned in 1232; it belonged to the Saxon Franciscan Province (Saxonia) . In 1240 the Cistercians laid out a farm yard, which was subordinate to the Grünhain monastery . Medical care was first mentioned in 1266 with the later St. Georgen and Margarethen Hospital . In 1273 there was already a council , with which the city's self-government began. There is evidence of a mayor since 1297.

Since the Mulde was easy to cross in Zwickau, important trade routes led through the town. Great importance was already in the 12th century, the high trade route from Nuremberg coming over Hof , Plauen and Reichenbach in Zwickau to Bohemia led. It promoted Zwickau's prosperity early on, so that the city rose from 1290 to 1407 as an imperial city alongside Augsburg and Nuremberg to become a city of the first rank. The Zwickau Latin School was founded in 1290 and was also known as the Zwickau grinding mill in the late German Middle Ages due to the strict house rules . In the same year the cities of Zwickau, Chemnitz and Altenburg formed an alliance. This came about on the initiative of the emperor and is evidenced by a document. The emperor intended to curtail the influence of the sovereigns. The Castrum Zwickaw , the later Wettin Renaissance castle Osterstein, is mentioned for the first time in 1292.

Mining began in the region in 1316, when Margrave Friedrich the Bitten enfeoffed the city with a treasure trove in Fürstenberg (between Kirchberg and Weißbach). Silver and copper were mined here. Zwickau already had a moat in 1295 and the city wall with the four city gates can be traced back to 1327.

In 1328 a fire destroyed large parts of the city, including the Marienkirche and the Katharinenkirche.

The land law and the Zwickau customary law based on the Sachsenspiegel were  codified in 1348 in the Codex Statutorum Zviccaviensium - the Zwickau city law book. Here you can find pictorial representations of the death penalty and the first craft regulations as well as the first mention of coal.

The devastating fire of 1403 destroyed almost the entire city. Margrave Wilhelm I then granted the city a seven-year tax exemption to facilitate reconstruction. The beer ban was pronounced in 1421 over numerous villages in the vicinity of Zwickau, a ban on brewing beer. During the Hussite wars besieged Hussite 1430 unsuccessfully the city, looted and burned, however, the suburbs and surrounding villages to the ground. The village of Osterweih, which was destroyed in the process, was not rebuilt.

Blood Court of 1407

Because of the expansion of sovereign power positions by Margrave Wilhelm I, who hired the city ​​judge Franz Steussing in a plot with the margrave Vogt Conrad Brückner and the councilor Nikel Hugk, there was a dispute with the Zwickau council. The withdrawal of city privileges by the sovereign resulted in an encroachment on the city's jurisdiction. Steussing abused his office as city judge and enriched himself with considerable damage to the city. After the death of Margrave Wilhelm I at the beginning of February 1407, the council had the opportunity to try Steussing. In 19 articles the council set out the offenses of Conrad Brückner and in 14 articles those of Franz Steussing in order to justify a drastic approach. Steussing was executed on February 14, 1407 on the main market in Zwickau. Thereupon the new sovereigns had Mayor Peter Mergenthal and three councilors beheaded under the Red Tower in Meißen on July 10, 1407 and buried them in the cloister of the St. Afra monastery. In 1983 the graves with the skeletons of the four executed Zwickau councilors were found. The Zwickau city arms adorned the grave slabs . This coat of arms shows the swans as well as the towers. This proved that the swans were part of the Zwickau coat of arms as early as 1400. The towers, on the other hand, have been adorned with the coat of arms since 1290. The event of 1407 is mentioned in the State Museum of Archeology in Chemnitz .

Silver, coins, privileges

In 1444 the city regained its jurisdiction. The Schneeberg silver deposits were discovered in 1470. Their exploitation was mainly in the hands of the Zwickau patricians, including the governor Martin Römer and his brother Nicol , Hans Mergenthal, Hans Federangel and other Zwickau merchants .

Emperor Friedrich III. granted the city the privilege of red seals in 1473 . The red color of the seal was only reserved for the emperor, state or clerical dignitaries (cardinals). Since then, certificates and official documents have been sealed with red wax by the council. This privilege was also represented by the city colors (red and white).

The Zwickau mint was founded around 1440 . It was in operation with interruption until 1493. The first Saxon coins with the image of a ruler were struck here from 1492 to 1493. These groschen coins with the name " beard groschen " show the bearded bust of Elector Friedrich III. The Zwickau beard groschen and the interest groschen minted in Schneeberg of the same value served to prepare the first Saxon silver guilders ( thalers ) minted in Annaberg and probably also in Wittenberg .

The Ernestine Elector Friedrich III. Called Frederick the Wise , described his Zwickau as the pearl in the Electorate of Saxony .

When Duke Albrecht of Saxony set out on a pilgrimage to Rome and Palestine in 1476 , the Zwickau patricians Martin Römer and land pension master Hans Mergenthal were also in his entourage . Martin Römer died in 1483 as a generous patron of his city - among other things, he was the builder of the Zwickau Kornhaus next to Osterstein Castle. In 1477 he set up the large pond as a fire fighting pond and for fish farming. It was not named Schwanenteich until the middle of the 19th century .

The Nuremberg painter Michael Wolgemut (teacher of Albrecht Dürer ) created the winged altar of the Marienkirche in 1478. Zwickau had two pharmacies since 1486: the Löwenapotheke and the Salomonisapotheke (herbal vault). Both houses are still today on the main market diagonally opposite the historic town hall. The famous Zwickau carver Peter Breuer received citizenship in 1504. Numerous works in the churches of Zwickau and the surrounding area originate from his hand. His Pietà Lamentation of Christ in the Zwickau Mariendom is a well-known work of art.

The city is also home to works of art by one of the most famous artists in Saxony between the late Gothic and Renaissance periods, the stonemason and sculptor Paul Speck . In the city center, these include the pulpits and baptismal fonts of the Mariendom, the Church of St. Katharinen and, directly opposite, the portal of the post office.

The Zwickau City Archives were founded in 1487 when Elector Friedrich the Wise and his brother Duke Johann asked the Zwickau Council to set up a fire-proof vault for them and their cousin Duke Albrecht "with iron doors and three good locks" in order to keep important documents on both sides. Old treasures from the Middle Ages such as manuscripts, incunabula , documents, letters and books are archived here, including the Hans Sachs volumes of the Nuremberg Mastersingers (1494–1576). Of the twenty-one volumes of his master songs still available worldwide, fourteen volumes, two quarto and six folio volumes are master songs (MG 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 13 and 15), six folio volumes of verse poems (SG 4, 11, 12, 13, 16 and 18) as well as the Sachs' catalog raisonné available.

In addition to the city archive, Zwickau also has the council school library, one of the oldest libraries in the entire Upper Saxon region. Its historical roots go back to the establishment of the Zwickau Latin School, which was established at the end of the twelfth century. Its inventory includes around 250,000 different units, including the Zwickau manuscripts , including the oldest manuscript from the 9th century. Among the 6,000 volumes from the estate of Zwickau's chief town clerk and councilor Stephan Roth (1492–1546) there are also many university publications, printed unique items and music. Both the pedagogue and orientalist Johann Zechendorf (1580–1662) and Rector Christian Daum (1612–1687) left the council school library with further extensive collections. This facility, which also serves international experts in scientific historical research, was housed in the east wing of the King Albert Museum , which was newly built in 1914 and later became the Zwickau Municipal Museum. The facility has had online access since January 2011.

Elector Friedrich the Wise and his brother Duke Johann renewed the Zwickau coin mandate in 1490. Due to the demands of the bakers , the local grain mills were given bags in 1502 - the first documented use of this technology. In 1505 the council received church patronage from Eisenberg Monastery , which was patronage over the city's churches. Zwickau had the brewing privilege and the citizens who were entitled to brew beer had been building mountain cellars to store beer since 1511.

Modern times


Georgius Agricola
The Thomas Müntzer Monument (Jürgen Raue, 1983) in front of the Zwickau Katharinenkirche

Witch hunts were carried out in Zwickau from 1424 to 1629 : 14 people were involved in witch trials , three were executed.

In 1516 the citizens refused to pay homage to the new council. In 1519 Georgius Agricola (1494–1555) founded the Greek school, which he combined with the Latin school a year later. From 1519 to 1523 he was rector of the then well-known Zwickau council school .

From October 1520 to April 1521 Thomas Müntzer preached in Zwickau, he came here on the recommendation of Martin Luther . In 1520 Luther dedicated his book On the Freedom of a Christian Man to his friend, the mayor of Zwickau, Hermann Mühlpfort . Thomas Müntzer joined the " Zwickau prophets ", whom Luther later fought as "enthusiasts". In March 1522, citizens of Zwickau stormed the Grünhain monastery courtyard to free captured farmers. There were iconoclasts .

In April 1522 Martin Luther came to Zwickau at the request of the council and gave some sermons. Here he escaped an attempted murder by taking refuge in an inn. There he uttered the saying: "This is my paradise" . The inn was henceforth called "Zum Paradies". The adjacent Muldenbrücke is therefore also called the "Paradise Bridge". The steel riveted bridge built on the site around 1900 still bears this name today. The old inn, however, was torn down as part of a so-called “socialist urban redesign”.

The old Zwickau coat of arms from the Siebmacher Wappenbuch, sheet 221 , published in 1605

In 1523, pastor Nikolaus Hausmann was the first to commit to the Lutheran Reformation in Zwickau. The Franciscans were expelled from the city. Hans Schönsperger from Augsburg set up the first printing house in the city in 1523. At the latest under his successor Gabriel Kantz , Zwickau became an important center of Reformation publications. As a result, Zwickau was also referred to as “the strong castle of the Reformation” . In 1525 there were peasant uprisings in the Zwickau area . Pastor Hausmann obtained the pardon of 80 insurgents from Elector Johann .

Zwickau was the center of cloth makers in the Electorate . "Zwicksches Tuch" was well known beyond the borders of Saxony. The cloth makers began building the Gewandhaus on Hauptmarkt in 1522; it was completed three years later. After the Oberhohndorfer hard coal deposits were discovered in 1530, hard coal mining began to a greater extent than before.

Around 1540 there were around 10,000 residents in Zwickau . 230 of them were master drapers.

Differences of opinion between the Ernestine Elector Johann the Steadfast and the Albertine Duke Georg the Bearded temporarily led to the reopening of the disused Zwickau Mint between 1530 and 1533. After the reestablishment of the mint community , the Wettins united the Zwickau mint with the Schneeberg mint in 1534 .

Leipzig division

Starting from the Saxon fratricidal war over the Altenburg prince robbery , Leipzig was partitioned in 1485. After that, Zwickau continued to belong to the Electorate (Ernestine Saxony / Thuringia) of Elector Johann Friedrich I. During the Schmalkaldic War , the city was in January 1547 by the troops of the Albertine Duke Moritz occupied, looted, burned down and the residents displaced. Although Moritz was a Protestant like his Ernestine cousin, he supported the army of the Catholic Emperor Charles V. In the event of the victory of the imperial troops, Duke Moritz counted on being awarded the title of elector. The Schmalkaldic War ended with the Wittenberg surrender . Thereafter, Albertine Saxony was given the title of elector by the emperor at the Reichstag in Augsburg in 1548. At the same time it was decreed that the city of Zwickau should be detached from Ernestine Saxony and annexed to the now electoral Albertine Saxony (Dresden / Meißen). This makes Zwickau the only large city in Saxony that belonged to the Electorate without interruption until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. The Elector of Saxony Office Zwickau was since 1691 part of from the large Meissen district leached Erzgebirgische circle . Due to its convenient location, the city became an administrative center of the Ore Mountains.

The following Zwickau quote has come down to us from Luther's friend and companion Melanchthon , one of the great humanists of modern times:

“Zwickau has always been a pearl in these lands, because it watches over discipline and customs with greater rigor than most other cities, and because it is fertile in terms of many talents and has had and still has many citizens who excel through their education that they decorate all of Germany. In terms of art and science, Zwickau surpasses all cities in this country. "

Until the Kingdom of Saxony was founded in 1807, Zwickau had the privilege of calling itself the “electoral city”. The seven red and white flags on the electoral hat of the city ​​coat of arms represent the seven electoral principalities of the Holy Roman Empire. Although the city was hit by a heavy flood in August 1573, the great prince shooting took place at the end of the month , in which numerous high-ranking guests from almost all parts of the empire took part in addition to the Saxon elector.

Thirty Years War until 1918

Zwickau before 1839
Today's main market around 1835
The construction of the Luther Church (1902–1906) resulted from the population growth of the late 19th century in the station suburb

In the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) Zwickau was besieged nine times. Wallenstein , General of the Imperial Troops , demanded contributions from the city in the form of goods and money. After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Zwickau had to pay the Swedes peace money of 2063 thalers. The war charges totaled 321,141 thalers.

During the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), Zwickau was exposed to changing occupations by Prussians , Austrians and the Imperial Army . The citizens suffered from billeting and high contributions. To Prussia alone, Zwickau had to pay 557,664 thalers into the 19th century.

On May 16, 1812, Emperor Napoleon and his wife Marie Louise took up quarters in Zwickau. The emperor was welcomed by the Zwickauers with bells, a rifle parade and citizens standing in line.

In 1835, in the Kingdom of Saxony, which had been halved since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Erzgebirge district was dissolved and the city became part of the district administration (since 1874 district administration) of Zwickau .

From February 26 to March 2, 1830, the worst ice drift for centuries on the Zwickauer Mulde caused a devastating flood .

In the middle of the 19th century the city walls were torn down and the moat was filled. Roads were laid on the filled moat. These initially had different names (Moritzgrabenweg, Schulgrabenweg, Mühlgrabenweg, Schloßgrabenweg).

Period of National Socialism and World War II

On October 11, 1921, the locksmith Fritz Tittmann founded the first local NSDAP group outside of Bavaria in Zwickau . In the Third Reich , Zwickau was also granted honorary citizenship to high-ranking National Socialist politicians.

In the Nazi era , before 1935, the Grabenwege were combined into a city ring surrounding the city center and renamed the Adolf-Hitler-Ring .

In Castle Osterstein one was from 1933 to 1934 temporary concentration camp set up. Up to 750 people were imprisoned here, mainly social democratic and communist critics of the regime. The first secretary of the KPD sub-district leadership, Martin Hoop , was murdered here on the night of May 10th, 1933. In the three Auto Union plants (Horch main plant, Dorotheenstrasse plant and Audi plant), a subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp was set up for the production of military vehicles for around 3,000 forced laborers . Among them were concentration camp prisoners as well as prisoners of war . Zwickau commemorates these victims with memorials or exhibitions.

During the pogrom night of November 9-10, 1938, the apartments of Jewish citizens in Zwickau were destroyed, a meeting place on the ground floor of Burgstrasse 10 and the chapel of the Jewish cemetery were set on fire.

In the air raids in World War II , in contrast to other major Saxon cities such as Leipzig and Dresden , Zwickau was not badly destroyed by area bombing . After deliberate attacks on armament factories and transport facilities such as aircraft repair Gustav Basser KG on the airfield Zwickau at the Reichenbach road (12 May 1944) and the Reichsbahn - repair shop in October, and the Auto-Union-Werke Horch and Audi (7, 1944 ), the city center was only a direct destination on March 19, 1945. The south side of St. Mary's Church ("Zwickau Cathedral") and surrounding residential buildings were damaged by the explosion of an aerial mine . Significantly damaged historic buildings in the city center were demolished after the war. In total, 5% of Zwickau was destroyed. 591 people lost their lives in the air raids (including Planitz and Cainsdorf ).

The air raid policeman Arno Rau saved Zwickau from the planned total destruction by hoisting the white flag on the tower of St. Mary's Church in the evening hours of April 17, 1945 and causing the church bells to ring. Thereupon the planes turned and units of the US Army advanced to the Zwickau Mulde without a fight .

Occupation time

The city center on the western bank of the Mulden was occupied by the 3rd US Army on April 17, 1945 . The strictly guarded demarcation line between the occupation area of ​​the Red Army and the US Army ran along the Zwickauer Mulde . It was forbidden to cross the hollow. There was sharp shooting here. Resourceful citizens used the underground paths of the coal pits to get from the east to the west of the city. After the agreements of the Yalta Conference , the entire Zwickau district was finally incorporated into the Soviet zone of occupation . The 3rd US Army withdrew its armed forces from West Saxony to Bavaria and from July 1, 1945 Zwickau was occupied by the Red Army.

As part of the uranium mining of SAG Wismut for Soviet nuclear weapons development, which began in the Western Ore Mountains in 1946 , Zwickau became an important processing and supply center for this branch of industry.

GDR time

The devastating floods and floods downtown on July 10, 1954

The former Adolf-Hitler-Ring was named Dr.-Friedrichs-Ring after the death of the Saxon politician Rudolf Friedrichs .

On 25 July 1952, the city came under the county reforms in the GDR to the district Karl-Marx-Stadt (until 9 May 1953, and from 1 June 1990 District Chemnitz). The then district of Zwickau was dissolved and divided into the districts of Auerbach , Reichenbach , Schmölln , Stollberg , Werdau and Zwickau-Land (main part).

Severe flooding in mid-July 1954 flooded large parts of the city center, almost completely of the old town. In the square in front of the Gewandhaus, the water was so high that about two thirds of the building's ground floor windows were covered by water.

In 1960 Zwickau was hit by a serious mine accident . There was an explosion at the “Karl Marx” coal works , killing 123 miners. Hard coal was mined for the last time in 1978 .

The central pioneer holiday camp " Karl Liebknecht " was built and operated as a tent city on the Windberg near Zwickau .

Development since 1989

With the reunification of Germany and the accession of the GDR to the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3, 1990, Zwickau again belongs to the state of Saxony.

When the district reform law came into force in Saxony on August 1, 1994, the two previous districts of Werdau and Zwickau were combined to form the district of Zwickauer Land . District seat was Werdau . The city of Zwickau still retained its status as an independent city .

As part of the Saxon district reform on August 1, 2008, the city's district freedom was withdrawn. Zwickau received the rank of a large district town and became the administrative seat of the now much enlarged, newly founded district of Zwickau , which was formed from the independent city of Zwickau and the former districts of Chemnitzer Land and Zwickauer Land .

On November 4, 2011, shortly after 3 p.m., there was an explosion and a subsequent fire in a residential building at Fruehlingsstrasse 26 in Zwickau- Weißenborn . As it turned out later, Uwe Böhnhardt , Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe , right- wing terrorists of the National Socialist Underground , had been hiding in this house for several years. After the police investigation, Beate Zschäpe triggered the explosion when the media reported that the two accomplices had died in Eisenach . The house was demolished half a year after the explosion. A memorial for the ten NSU victims in the form of ten trees and associated memorial plaques has existed since November 3, 2019, after a first tree planted on September 8, 2019 was sawed off by strangers just a few weeks later.

Population development

Wilhelminian style architecture: employment agency
Population by district (as of May 2009)

After the inner-German border was opened in autumn 1989, Zwickau suffered a sharp decline in the number of inhabitants. An eleven-story high-rise for the employment agency on Leipziger Strasse was therefore completely oversized for this purpose from the start. After the historic Wilhelminian-style building of the cotton spinning mill in Zwickau-Pölbitz was restored with private investment funds in 2006, the employment agency moved here. The initial departure of young, well-educated people due to the threat of unemployment was also related to the closure of five large Zwickau companies after 1990. In addition, the city could not escape the general negative demographic trend; in the new federal states the number of newborns fell dramatically after 1990. Another reason for the population decline was increasing suburbanization. Many residents of Zwickau have moved into their own homes on the outskirts of the city since reunification. As a result, Zwickau has the most moves in Saxony on an annual average. Similar to other large cities in Germany, Zwickau is now surrounded by a so-called " bacon belt ". The district of Zwickau still has by far the highest population density of all Saxon districts. The process has recently been slowed down considerably through investments in jobs, in day-care centers, in urban redevelopment and the renovation of historic buildings. According to information from the municipal statistics office on the migration movement of the Zwickau population, this already reached a balanced balance in 2009.


Communal history

In the Middle Ages, the city was headed by a margrave or royal bailiff. Evidently there was a council since 1273. This was later solely responsible in the city administration. The chairman of the council was the mayor, who changed annually on Michaelmas (29 September). This was later divided into two councils, the “governing” and the “old” council. Both took turns in office.

The Zwickau town hall (1404–1862) in the unrenovated condition (before 2008)

In the 15th century, Zwickau achieved great economic importance in the electorate due to the great mountain chatter . The Zwickau patrician Martin Römer was the first governor of the elector's finance minister. The city received the coin and customs shelf as a special electoral privilege . Even today there is a coin street and a customs house in the city . The economic importance of the Saxon electorate is reflected, for example, in the text of the Hymn of Württemberg . In the 17th century the old council was greatly reduced in size until it finally merged with the ruling council, which then consisted of only four members from 1832. The mayors continued to change annually until 1830, but were able to exercise this office several times. Between 1800 and 1830, “only” six mayors were in office. Lothar Streit , mayor since 1860, became the first lord mayor of Zwickau in 1874 . There was also a council.

With the first Saxon administrative reform in 1835, the Zwickau district administration was founded. Almost forty years later, due to the industrialization of the country in 1874/1875, a second administrative reform was carried out. Four district headquarters emerged from the district headquarters, including the district headquarters in Zwickau . It was the largest and most populous administrative district in the Kingdom of Saxony. In 1900 the Zwickau district main team was finally divided into approximately two equal parts. The Chemnitz District Headquarters emerged from the eastern part . In 1907 Zwickau became an independent city .

After the First World War, the constitutional monarchy in Saxony was abolished with the proclamation of the republic in Germany ; the Free State of Saxony was founded with an almost unchanged administrative structure. Although new parties emerged, the bourgeois parties retained a strong base. Inflation and the global economic crisis weighed heavily on the city. Nonetheless, forward-looking projects were initiated, such as the construction of a new hospital under Professor Heinrich Braun or the planning for the new main train station by building officer Otto Falk.

After the seizure of power of the NSDAP 1933 since 1919 governing mayor remained Richard Wood until 1934 at the office, then was Ewald Dost (NSDAP) to the entry of American troops Zwickau mayor. In 1938, the Saxon district chiefs were renamed administrative districts. Zwickau has been the seat of the administrative district of the same name since 1939 . Since then, the administrative authorities have been called rural districts and the urban districts became urban districts. Between 1934 and 1939, the Auto Union racing cars from the racing department of the Horch-Werke attracted international attention. The plans for urban development took into account the rapid growth of the city, which was over after the Second World War.

The Second World War ended in Zwickau with the surrender of the city to US troops on April 17, 1945 without a fight. Shortly after the war committed mayor Dost in American internment suicide . On July 1, 1945, the Red Army took over the city. In Zwickau, now part of the Soviet occupation zone, a new “ City Council ” with an assembly of city councils was founded. In the early years after the war, the majority of the representatives elected by the city's residents were from the bourgeois parties. When the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) issued Order 124 on October 30, 1945, almost all of the city's larger operations were sequestered . In 1946 the military administration set up district administrations. The first edition of the daily newspaper "Freie Presse" appeared on May 20, 1946. The newspaper was the central organ of the SED in the Zwickau district of southwest Saxony. With the SMAD order 201 of October 19, 1947, so-called district denazification commissions were formed, to which city councils from the parties and representatives of social organizations belonged. For example, Herbert Häber , later a member of the Politburo and Honecker's special representative for relations with the West, was a member of this commission as the FDJ representative. Their task was to identify active and responsible NSDAP members and war criminals (contaminated group of people). With order 64 of April 17, 1948, the Soviet military administration ordered the end of the sequestrations and ordered that property that had already been confiscated should be returned to those who had not been incriminated. The Audi and Horch plants of Auto Union , large companies such as Friemann & Wolf , the Zwickauer Maschinenfabrik, and the Zwickauer breweries, but also almost all medium-sized companies (e.g. stoneware and earth, printing industry), were not transferred to the original owners returned.

After the founding of the GDR on October 7, 1949, the Free State of Saxony was divided into three districts in 1952 and the new large district Karl-Marx-Stadt was formed. With this, the city lost its historical status as a district town, which had grown over the centuries.

When the Free State of Saxony was re-established in 1990 with the establishment of the unity of Germany , the city did not regain its historical status as a district town, but initially remained independent. It was not until the district reform in 2008 that the city also lost its district freedom. The then CDU Mayor Dietmar Vettermann declared in a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel that he was leaving the party in protest against this development . He then recommended the citizens of Zwickau to elect Pia Findeiß , the candidate of the rival party, for the mayor election . Since then, the city has been ruled by the SPD and is the administrative seat of the Zwickau district .

Result of the 2019 city council election in Zwickau
Turnout: 54.9% (2014: 41.2%)
Gains and losses
compared to 2014
 % p
-11.7  % p
+ 13.0  % p
-6.5  % p
+1.9  % p
-5.3  % p
+1.1  % p
+1.4  % p
+ 3.6  % p.p.
+ 2.8  % p

City council

On May 26, 2019, 48 city ​​councils were elected by the citizens of Zwickau for a period of five years.

Distribution of seats in the
Zwickau City Council 2019
A total of 48 seats

Mayor and Lord Mayor

Since 1994, the mayor has been elected by the city's citizens directly from among the city council's candidates. The mayor's term of office (electoral period) is seven years. The Lord Mayor is also the chairman of the city council.

Pia Findeiß ( SPD ) has been the city's mayor since August 1st, 2008 . There are two deputies at your side.

List of Mayors and Lord Mayors (complete since 1800)

The years after the names indicate the years of office, whereby the year of office did not correspond to the calendar year.

The city has had a mayor since 1874.

  • Konrad Brückner: around 1393
  • Franz Streussing: after 1393
  • Mergenthal: until 1407
  • Erasmus Stella : 1501-1518
  • Hermann Mühlpfort: 1518 – around 1530
  • Carl Wilhelm Ferber: 1800, 1802, 1804, 1806, 1808, 1810, 1812, 1814
  • Tobias Hempel: 1801, 1803, 1805, 1807, 1809, 1811, 1813, 1815, 1817, 1819
  • Christian Gottlieb Haugk: 1816, 1818, 1820, 1822
  • Carl Heinrich Rappius: 1821, 1823, 1825, 1826
  • Christian Heinrich Pinther: 1824
  • 1827–1830: Christian Heinrich Mühlmann (as mayor)
  • 1830–1832: Franz Adolf Marbach
  • 1832–1860: Friedrich Wilhelm Meyer (independent)
  • 1860–1898: Lothar Streit ( DFP )
  • 1898–1919: Karl Keil (independent)

City coat of arms and seal

Large coat of arms of Zwickau
The Zwickau heraldic animals at the swan pond

There are two variants of the Zwickau coat of arms, also known as the swan coat of arms. The small coat of arms is used as an official seal.

The lushly landscaped so-called "Big coat of arms" or "Des Council a whole" was 1560. The red and white colors and the design of the coat of arms with gold and silver represent the first rank among the towns of Saxony as a result of the "Great Berggeschreys " in 15 Century. Red symbolizes the imperial red seal privilege that Zwickau was granted in 1473 by Emperor Friedrich III. was awarded.

No other city than Zwickau was allowed to have two helmets in the coat of arms in the Electorate of Saxony . For large coat of arms belonging to the Saints Mauritius , which is already in 1212 mentioned as the patron of the parish church. Furthermore, the electoral hat with seven red and white flags as the highest badge of rank of the electorate are part of the great coat of arms . The seven flags symbolize the seven electoral principalities of the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806).

The swan's coat of arms is proven at the beginning of the 15th century. The grave slabs of the Zwickau councilors, who were executed after the blood judgment of 1407 and were buried in the cloister of the St. Afra monastery in Meissen, already bear the coat of arms. The picture shows the simple execution of the great coat of arms . The pompous form of the great coat of arms is above the portal of the town hall on the main market.

Blazon : The large coat of arms on the town hall has a square shield with a gold shield dividing cross and a gold shield border. In the fields at the top left and diagonally at the bottom right, three (two to one) striding white swans on a red background; in the fields at the top right and diagonally at the bottom left over blue waves the city wall with three different silver towers. Both helmets have a gold visor. Saint Mauritius forms the crest of the left helmet. On the right helmet, the electoral hat with seven white and red flags serves as a crest. One swan each on the left and right are provided as a shield holder in the red and silver decorative ribbons. The swan in the middle below the shield bears the decorative ribbon in which the dates 1404 and 1862 are written.

Town twinning

Zwickau's twin cities are:


The inhabitants of Zwickau were predominantly Protestant for many centuries . The majority of the Zwickau residents have been non-denominational since the GDR era .


Main market with a view of the Mariendom

On 31 October 1517 came to the theses of Martin Luther at the Castle Church in Wittenberg . Evangelical sermons were held in Zwickau as early as 1518 . The cloth weaver Nikolaus Storch , the cloth maker Thomas Drechsel and the student from Wittenberg Markus Stübner are considered the Zwickau prophets . Together they share the vision of the “inner word” and “the inner light”. From 1520 the population of Zwickau learned from them that the sacraments of the church were useless. They advocated the thesis that every person has an inner light in their hearts, whereby godlessness will end and the kingdom of peace will come. After all, what counts is acting according to Jesus' message and not just believing. The mayor of Zwickau, Hermann Mühlpfort, and the pastor of St. Mary's Church, Nikolaus Hausmann, oppose the prophetic popular movement that was sparked by the Zwickau prophets. Martin Luther also stands on the side of the authorities and fights for the introduction of an official church. He takes a stand against the Zwickau prophets and tries to dissolve the popular movement. In 1520, Martin Luther dedicated the book “ On the freedom of a Christian ” to the mayor of Zwickau, Hermann Mühlpfort . On April 8, 1522, Luther stayed with Mayor Mühlpfort. On May 1st, 14,000 people from Zwickau and the surrounding area gather in front of the Zwickau town hall. The Zwickau market square became the scene of an intellectual debate. Luther evidently did not succeed in getting the majority of the people on his side. In contrast to Luther, Thomas Müntzer , pastor of St. Catherine's Church in Zwickau, stood behind the early Christian ideals of the prophetic popular movement. In 1524 the Lord's Supper was given in Zwickau "in both forms".

After the failure of the Zwickau prophets, Thomas Müntzer's thinking became radicalized. The social injustice to the people finally led to peasant revolts, especially in Thuringia, in 1525, at the head of which Thomas Müntzer stood. The last monks were expelled from the city. In 1525 the Reformation was initially completed. Zwickau was the second city in Europe in which the Reformation had taken root. In 1529 the city received a Lutheran church order. After that, Zwickau was predominantly Protestant for many centuries.

In addition to the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Saxony, there are parishes that belong to free churches . These include Evangelical Free Churches ( Baptists ), the Seventh-day Adventist Church , Methodist Churches , the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church and a Moravian Brethren Congregation , as well as a Free Christian Congregation and the Elim Christian Congregation (member of the Bund Freikirchlicher Pentecostal churches ).


In the 19th century, Catholics returned to the city. In 1818 they again founded a parish. It belonged to the Apostolic Vicariate with its seat in Dresden, which had been the responsible administrative district since 1743 in the succession of the diocese of Meissen, which was dissolved during the Reformation. From this administrative district, the Diocese of Meißen emerged (again) in 1921 , since 1980 Diocese of Dresden-Meißen , which today belongs to the Church Province of Berlin ( Archbishopric Berlin ). Zwickau became the seat of a deanery within the diocese of Meißen , to which parishes outside Zwickau also belong. The current dean is Michael Gehrke, pastor in Werdau and Crimmitschau.

There are three Roman Catholic parishes in the city of Zwickau.


Jews had already settled in Zwickau in the 19th century . In 1905, the first prayer room of the Zwickau Jewish community was inaugurated at Bahnhofstrasse 8, which today serves as the community room of the Free Baptist Congregation and in which several details still recall its original function. Later there was still a prayer room for the Orthodox Jewish members at Burgstrasse 10 (today around Alter Steinweg). In the front building were the apartments of poorer Jewish families and a “weekday synagogue ”. From 1938 the Jews were expelled from the city. During the pogrom night on November 9, 1938 , SA men set fire to the Jewish facilities. The tombstones in the Jewish cemetery were desecrated and the funeral hall was destroyed by arson. Among the most famous Zwickau Jews were the owners of the Schocken department store and the head of the Lindenhof Orchestra, Erwin Pollini. Few survivors returned to the city after the war. The city remembers with a plaster mosaic and with a plaque in front of the former Alfred Leuschke School (later George Gymnasium), were deported from where the Zwickau Jews, the persecution of Jews in the Nazi era . Some stumbling blocks also remind of the deportations.

Other religious communities

The New Apostolic Church and the Apostolic Community also exist in Zwickau. In addition, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( Mormons ), the religious community of Jehovah's Witnesses and the Islamic Al Faruq Integrations- und Kulturverein e. V. represented in the city.

Economy and Infrastructure

Economic history

Roots of economic development

Zwickau hard coal was discovered as early as the early Middle Ages. But the city's first great heyday did not begin until 1470, when the silver bursting on the Schneeberg was discovered. The city becomes the electoral customs and financial center. At around the same time, Zwickau was also a center for drapers. Zwick's cloth was widely known in Germany. The Gewandhaus on Hauptmarkt was built during this time. In Zwickau coal district began with the use of the steam engine, a new heyday. The industrial extraction of this natural resource helped the city to grow rapidly at the beginning of the 19th century and other branches of the manufacturing industry settled here.

Start of industrialization

The " Königin-Marien-Hütte ", a company in the coal and steel industry , settled on the outskirts of Zwickau in Cainsdorf .

The Zwickauer Maschinenfabrik was founded in 1842 and converted into a stock corporation in 1872 by the then owners Brod & Stiehler. The “sheet metal processing machines” part of the company in Niederschlema manufactured eccentric, drawing and friction screw presses, shears, punching, folding, bending and straightening machines as well as equipment for paper mills. The company's main products were air compressors, compressed air and centrifugal pumps, steam and hoisting machines for mines, with which the company achieved significant sales at home and abroad.

Heinrich Dietel founded the worsted spinning mill in Wilkau just outside the city gates. Ten years later he expanded to Sosnowice (Poland) and Cossmannsdorf near Dresden. Yarns were produced in all degrees of fineness.

In 1884, Carl Wolf founded Friemann & Wolf , one of the first globally operating companies in Germany, with his patent for gasoline safety lights .


In 1907, Simon and Salman Schocken founded the I. Schocken Söhne Zwickau department store . The department stores of the Schocken brothers rose to become the fourth largest department store group in Germany in 1930.

Automotive industry

Automobiles have been produced in Zwickau without interruption since 1904; the city is the cradle of the Saxon automotive industry. On October 2, 1903, the Saxon-Thuringian Automobile Club (SThAC) was founded here. The initiator and first president was the Zwickau factory owner Paul Fikentscher . Well-known entrepreneurs from the Zwickau district chief were members of the automobile club, including the engineer August Horch , who founded an automobile manufacture in Reichenbach in the Vogtland in 1902 . Because the expansion of his Reichenbach company was disapproved by the local entrepreneurs, he moved his company to Zwickau, where August Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke AG was entered in the commercial register of the Zwickau local court. The Zwickau lawyer Rudolph Stöss won the Herkomer competition in 1906 with a Horch 18/20 PS . This “light cardan car”, a new design by Horch and his companion August Hermann Lange , brought overall victory in what was then the most famous German automobile competition despite its relatively low engine power.

August Horch was the responsible designer and technical manager at Horch & Cie. , however, only held a small share in the company and therefore had no commercial decision-making power. After falling out with the CFO, Horch had to leave the company and founded August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH not far away on July 16, 1909 . Design engineer Lange and a number of employees also moved to August Horch's new company. Zwickau was the only city in the German Reich in which two automobile companies were based. The management of the Horchwerke sued for infringement of the trademark law and Horch had to change the name of his factory to Audi Automobilwerke GmbH Zwickau in 1910 . In 1915, the company was transformed into the stock company Audiwerke AG Zwickau .

In 1910, Audi achieved its first success with the first prize at the Swedish Motor Club's international tour race from June 17 to 24. Audi competed in the International Austrian Alpine Tour with three cars for the first time in 1911 and August Horch received a first prize, the large silver medal and the honorary diploma. The Audi Type C 14/35 PS won the International Austrian Alpine Tour three times in a row from 1912 to 1914. The automobile went down in history as the winner of the Alps . The Zwickau factory team not only received the team award in 1914, but also won the Great Alpine Hiking Award . Audi was thus able to record a success that is rare in the history of automobile racing. In the international reliability run in 1914, there was competition from 33 manufacturers. The competition went over a distance of 3000 kilometers through the Alps with the most difficult routes. Today owns Great Alpine Challenge Trophy , the museum mobile Audi AG in Ingolstadt.

In the Weimar Republic between 1920 and 1932, the new main shareholder and global citizen Moritz Straus developed the Horch company into an elite automobile brand. The era of industrially manufactured eight-cylinder in - line engines began in Zwickau in 1926 : the Horch 12/60 PS (Type 303) was the first German series vehicle with an eight-cylinder engine, followed by the Audi Type R in 1927 . On the Paris Motor Show was 1931 Horch Type 670 with twelve-cylinder - V engine presented and received an award. It was the first German vehicle to have an engine with hydraulic valve lifters .

From 1932 Horch and Audi belonged to Auto Union , but remained independent brands. At Audi from 1931 the DKW “front car” (protected name) with two-stroke engine and the then new front-wheel drive were manufactured. The Horchwerke delivered their 25,000 in 1936. Car with eight-cylinder engine. The brand had a market share of 54 percent for luxury automobiles in the German Empire .

From 1934 to 1940, the Auto Union racing department at the Horch plant developed the Zwickau “Silver Arrows” ( Auto Union “Grand Prix Cars” ), initially by Ferdinand Porsche and later by Robert Eberan von Eberhorst . In 1937, the German racing driver Bernd Rosemeyer was the first in the history of the automobile to break the 400 km / h speed threshold on a public road ( Reichsautobahn Frankfurt-Heidelberg) with an Auto Union type C racing car .

From 1937 onwards, the Horch plant built the medium and heavy standard passenger cars (Horch 901 and Horch 108 types) for the Wehrmacht . From 1940 onwards, all Auto Union plants were increasingly involved in armaments production and, in addition to tank and aircraft engines (→  Mitteldeutsche Motorenwerke ), also manufactured small power generating sets for mobile use. In the last year of the Second World War, the Horch plant was badly hit in air raids on Zwickau.

Trabant monument by Berthold Dietz at the previous location on Georgenplatz (since 2015 at the August Horch Museum )

At the Leipzig spring fair in 1955, the Zwickau automobile manufacturer presented the world's first series-produced passenger car with a plastic body ( AWZ P70 ) to the public. VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau , where the Trabant was manufactured from October 1957 to April 1991 , emerged from the companies VEB Automobilwerk Zwickau (AWZ) (formerly Audi) and VEB Automobilwerk Horch Zwickau . Today, Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH continues the city's automotive traditions. The Golf, Passat, ID.3 models and bodies for the Bentley Continental GT are manufactured in the VW plant in Zwickau . In cooperation with the Transparent Factory , the factory produced the VW Phaeton (final assembly in the factory).

Uranium processing by SDAG Wismut

In 1946 the city was selected by the Soviet occupying forces as a supply base for the SAG Wismut . After the expropriation of the CF Leonhardt & Söhne paper and cardboard factory in Zwickau-Crossen, the uranium ore processing plant "Object 101" started production on this site in 1951 . Up until the political change in 1989, uranium ore was used as the raw material for the Soviet nuclear industry. The ore was delivered in block trains of the Deutsche Reichsbahn via the Crossen industrial railway connection . The contents of the railway wagons were tipped into bunkers. Then it was conveyed on conveyor belts to ball mills , where it was ground and uranium oxide ( yellow cake ) was made from it by alkaline leaching . In the course of the technological process, enormous amounts of rock spoil were heaped up in the north of Zwickau to form a spoil heap that was visible from afar . Their contaminated seepage water polluted the Zwickauer Mulde considerably. The neighboring community of Helmsdorf was located north of Zwickau in a valley basin . The village was demolished; the residents were forcibly relocated. A settling basin was created on the site , to which the liquid process waste was pumped. In Crossen, a total of about 77,000 tons of uranium were produced from 74.7 million tons of ore, which was delivered to the Soviet Union as war reparations .

Established businesses

The city of Zwickau has had a municipal funding guideline since 2008 that grants a grant for every new full-time job created. According to the publication in the labor market report of the Federal Employment Agency, Regional Directorate Saxony, from March 2013, the Zwickau region has the lowest unemployment rate in Saxony for all civilian workers at 9.2%.

The largest resident companies in Zwickau are:

  • Adient Autositze GmbH & Co. KG
  • AES GmbH, Auto-Entwicklungsring Sachsen
  • Autovision GmbH, Zwickau location - 100 percent VW subsidiary, service provider for the automotive industry
  • Cray Valley Kunstharze GmbH, manufacture of alkyd resins and plastic dispersions
  • FES GmbH, Vehicle Development Saxony
  • Research and Transfer Center e. V. at the West Saxon University
  • Förster & Borries , print and media service provider
  • GAZ - Equipment and Accumulator Factory Zwickau GmbH
  • GKN Deutschland GmbH , Mosel plant (cardan shaft plant)
  • Grammer System GmbH , supplier, seats for the automotive industry
  • Heinrich-Braun-Klinikum Zwickau , academic teaching hospital of the University of Leipzig
  • Hoppecke Batteries GmbH & Co. KG (formerly VEB mine lamp and accumulator works Zwickau)
  • HQM Sachsenring GmbH as a module and system supplier for the automotive industry
  • ILKAZELLisolation technology GmbH, specialized in freezer and clean room systems as well as insulation technology
  • Johnson Controls Sachsen-Batteries GmbH & Co. KG
  • Mauritius Brauerei Zwickau GmbH, private brewery
  • Radsystem GmbH, headquarters in Zwickau-Mosel, founded in 1992, supplier of complete bikes (13-18 ″)
  • Sachsentrans Spedition & Logistik GmbH, logistics service provider, a company of the Association of Automotive Suppliers (AMZ)
  • Sasit Industrietechnik GmbH; Manufacturer of transport systems and special machines for the automotive industry and manufacture of car batteries
  • Schwarz Pharma GmbH, manufacturer of pharmaceutical products
  • Siebenwurst toolmaking, punching and forming tools for 3D molded parts
  • Snop Automotive Zwickau GmbH
  • Tenneco Zwickau GmbH, subsidiary of Tenneco Inc.
  • Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH, with a daily production capacity of 1200 vehicles in the Zwickau-Mosel vehicle plant
  • Weck + Poller, logistics services for the automotive industry
  • Westermann Druck Zwickau GmbH
  • Wienerberger GmbH, Zwickau plant, brick factory from clay blocks


Road traffic

The B 93 from the direction of junction 62 (Meerane / Zwickau-Nord) with a view of the Volkswagen factory and the Zwickau urban area

The federal highways B 93 , B 173 and B 175 cross in Zwickau .

From the south you can get to the city center via junctions 10 (Zwickau-West) and 11 (Zwickau-Ost) of the federal motorway A 72 (Hof - Chemnitz) , which can be reached in a few minutes via the newly developed routes of the B 173 and B 93.

From the north, leave at junction 62 (Meerane / Zwickau-Nord) , the A 4 (Dresden - Erfurt) . From this direction the city can be reached via the B93. After leaving the A 4, the B-93 junction to the Volkswagen factory in Zwickau immediately follows . The B-93 cross connection running through the city of Zwickau between junction 62 of the A 4 (Meerane) and 11 of the A 72 (Zwickau-Ost) is an expressway .

Rail transport

The Dresden – Werdau railway runs through Zwickau . This is part of the Sachsen-Franken-Magistrale from Dresden to Nuremberg. The Leipzig – Hof railway , into which the Dresden – Werdau railway joins, runs not far . The connection to the Western Ore Mountains is the railway line that runs from Zwickau Central Station via Wilkau-Haßlau and Aue to Schwarzenberg / Erzgeb. leads. The route to Falkenstein in the nearby Vogtland also begins at the main train station . Zwickau has been part of the Central German S-Bahn network since the Leipzig City Tunnel opened on December 15, 2013 : The S5X line runs every 60 minutes from Zwickau Hbf via Altenburg and Leipzig Hbf (underground platform) to Leipzig / Halle Airport . Zwickau is also served every two hours by the S5 Zwickau Hbf – Altenburg– Halle Hbf .

line Train run Cycle (min.)
S 5 Zwickau Hbf - Werdau - Altenburg - Leipzig Hbf (deep) - Leipzig / Halle Airport - Halle (Saale) Hbf
  • 120 Zwickau - Altenburg
  • 60 Altenburg - Halle (Saale) Hbf
S 5X Zwickau Hbf - Werdau - Altenburg - Leipzig Hbf (deep) - Leipzig / Halle Airport
  • 60 Zwickau - Leipzig / Halle Airport

The Zwickau model is a pilot project to link trams and railways: special diesel- powered tram-trains of the Vogtlandbahn run on the Zwickau – Zwickau-Zentrum line between the town hall and the center of the city on a three- rail track together with the meter-gauge Zwickau tram .

In Zwickau there were the Zwickau – Crossen – Mosel industrial railways , the Bürgererschachtbahn , the Brückenbergschachtbahn , the von Arnimsche Kohlenbahn and the Reinsdorfer Industriebahn . The latter is now used by the Vogtlandbahn to the town hall, where it merges into the tram network. Today's end point is in the city center at the post mile column . This means that the Vogtland winter sports areas around Klingenthal and Schöneck as well as Kraslice near Karlsbad in the neighboring Czech Republic can be reached directly by train.

line course length Stations Start of operations
RB 1 Zwickau center - Zwickau (Sachs) Hbf - Lengenfeld - Auerbach - Falkenstein (- Zwotental - Klingenthal - Kraslice) 73 km 23 Zwickau Hbf - Klingenthal: November 23, 1997
Zwickau center - Zwickau Hbf: May 28, 1999
Klingenthal - Kraslice : May 28, 2000
RB 2 Zwickau center - Zwickau (Sachs) Hbf (- Werdau) - Reichenbach ob Bf - Plauen (Vogtl) ob Bf (- Weischlitz - Adorf - Cheb) 96 km 20th Zwickau Hbf - Plauen (Vogtl) above train station: October 13, 1996
Plauen (Vogtl) above train station - Hof Hbf: May 28, 2000
VX Plauen (Vogtl) ob Bf - Zwickau (Sachs) Hbf - Chemnitz Hbf - Riesa - Berlin Schönefeld Airport - Berlin Hbf - Berlin Zoological Garden 326 km 14th on March 1, 2015; set

Air traffic

In the west of the city is the Zwickau airfield . Leipzig-Altenburg Airport is accessible via the B 93, 35 kilometers north of Zwickau .

Bicycle traffic, hiking and pilgrimage routes

There is a connection to the Mulderadweg and the Silberstraße cycle path . The Luther Trail Saxony , the JakobswegVia Imperii ” and the Saxon Jakobsweg lead through Zwickau .


Tatra tram train in front of Zwickau main station

The Zwickau tram has been running on its first line since 1894, and more were opened in the following years. Between 1938 and 1977 the tram was supplemented by the Zwickau trolleybus . Today's public transport is operated by the Städtische Verkehrsbetriebe Zwickau GmbH with four trams , thirteen omnibuses and two night bus routes (on Sat, Sun and public holidays) . The tram was last extended in December 2005 by a 4.3 kilometer long new line to the southwestern district of Neuplanitz . The tram network thus reached its greatest expansion at 19.6 km. City tours can be carried out with two historic trams from the first quarter of the 20th century or the Gotha type from the 1950s.

The region disclosing regional bus lines are mostly from regional transport Westsachsen operated.

The city belongs to the tariff area of ​​the Verkehrsverbund Mittelachsen , of which the city and district of Zwickau are also members.


The Paradise Bridge over the Mulde in Zwickau

There are a total of 145 bridges in the city to cross roads, paths and watercourses. The most important bridges lead over the Zwickauer Mulde; including (with year of inauguration):

  • Cainsdorfer Bridge (1932)
  • Eckersbacher Bridge (1955, until 1993 Ethel and Julius Rosenberg Bridge )
  • Glück-auf-Brücke (1979, with 174 m the longest bridge, until 1993 Adolf-Hennecke-Brücke )
  • Mauritius Bridge (1994, inside accessible for maintenance work)
  • New beer bridge (1992, only trams and pedestrians)
  • Paradiesbrücke (1900, only pedestrians and cyclists)
  • Pölbitzer Bridge (2006)
  • Röhrensteg (1535, only pedestrians)
  • Schedewitz Bridge (1958)


Radio, television, internet

  • The radio station Radio Zwickau is located in Zwickau and can be received regionally on the VHF frequency 96.2 MHz.
  • TV Westsachsen , formerly TeleVision Zwickau , is a regional television broadcaster based in the “Alte Münze” building on Zwickau's main market. The television station went on air on April 13, 2004. He took over from Zwickau-TV , which was founded in Reinsdorf near Zwickau. A full program with different thematic contributions and also teletext is broadcast. The magazine program “TAGaktuell” received an award from the Saxon State Media Authority. The program can be received vertically via cable (analogue and digital) and via DVB-T channel 47.
  • The “ Saxon Training and Testing Channels” (SAEK) are also located in Zwickau .
  • In Zwickau , Pÿur operates Internet access via TV cable (formerly known as EWT multimedia or Tele Columbus ).


  • The Zwickauer Pulsschlag is the official gazette of the city of Zwickau which appears twice a month.
  • The Free Press , originally a Zwickau newspaper, appeared in Chemnitz since 1963 with a Zwickau regional supplement for the entire Karl-Marx-Stadt district . The regional daily newspaper with the highest circulation in the GDR with over 650,000 copies sold during the GDR era is still one of the strongest regional newspapers in Germany with over a quarter of a million copies sold.
  • From February 17, 1990, Sachsenpost from Frankenpost- Verlag from Hof came onto the market in Zwickau , later renamed Zwickauer Tageblatt and taken off the market in 1996 for economic reasons.
  • The Blick advertising paper appears on Wednesdays and Saturdays .
  • KOMPASS , the regional lifestyle and city ​​magazine , has been published since February 1, 2007 and provides monthly information, among other things, on current affairs and cultural events.

Healthcare and healthcare


  • Vocational school centers:
    • BSZ für Wirtschaft Zwickau (vocational school, vocational school, business high school)
    • BSZ for technology "August Horch" Zwickau (vocational school, vocational school, technical school, technical college [also part-time])
    • BSZ for construction and surface technology Zwickau (vocational school)
    • BSZ for Business and Health (vocational school, vocational school)
    • IFBE Zwickau (medical vocational school, technical college)
  • Gymnasiums:
Former building of the Zwickau Council School Library around 1880
Was first mentioned in a document in 1498, making it the oldest public library in Saxony. It has a stock of around 160,000 volumes, 90,000 of which are from the time before 1850, 40 percent of which are purely unique. The library also has a large collection of baroque literature .
Founded in 1947, it is a music school of national importance. There are lessons on all important instruments, plus a wide range of early musical education. Making music together in numerous orchestras and ensembles is common practice. A well-known talent is the violinist Elin Kolev , who was born in 1996 and made his debut at New York's Carnegie Hall on April 27, 2009 as the winner of the Ibla Foundation Prize.
  • Library:
Founded in 1923, it has a wide range of educational, recreational and entertainment media (140,000 media); its departments are divided into the adult library, a phonotheque and the children's library.
The WHZ solar system in front of the Agricola building
Existed until 2008 and was merged with the Chemnitz and Zwickauer Land adult education centers to form the Zwickau adult education center of the Zwickau district as part of the district reform from January 1, 2009.
  • Volkswagen Bildungsinstitut GmbH:
There are offers for training in metalworking, joining technology, service and control device diagnostics, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and in foreign languages.
The roots of the University of Applied Sciences go back to the Zwickau Latin School founded in 1290, the Zwickau Mountain School founded in 1862 , the later mining engineering school, and the engineering school for mechanical and electrical engineering founded in 1897 .
The DPFA Hochschule Sachsen has been a private university since 2012 with a focus on social and health sciences. At present (as of November 2013) pedagogy of childhood can be studied.

Former garrison

Zwickau was from the time of the German Empire until the end of the GDR garrison town for the Saxon army (the 9th Royal Saxon Infantry Regiment No. 133 ), Armed Forces and National People's Army .

The barracks buildings, which are still extensively preserved and renovated, are located on Werführung Strasse between Paracelsus Clinic Zwickau and Kopernikusstrasse.

sport and freetime

Swimming pool of the Johannisbad

Culture and sights

Main market Zwickau, v. l. To right: Gewandhaus, City Hall, St. Marien Cathedral, on the right with the dormer windows the former Löwen pharmacy and the herb vault (built around 1480)

Historical buildings

  • St. Marien Cathedral ( Evangelical Lutheran Church ): Goes back to the St. Marien parish church, begun in 1206, the nave was rebuilt using older parts between 1505 and 1537; valuable interior from the 15th to 17th centuries
  • Priest houses , Domhof 5–8: Four buildings with steep Gothic gables, which are among the oldest residential buildings in Germany; unique in Saxony; Ceiling beams in house 7 from 1264; 1521 first mentioned in the council minutes; stand southwest in front of St. Mary's Cathedral; since May 2003 Museum of City History
  • Gallery at the Domhof : built in 1876 by the Zwickauer Kunstverein; is almost opposite the priests' houses at the cathedral courtyard and shows changing art exhibitions
  • Robert-Schumann-Haus Zwickau : Birthplace of the Romantic composer, built around 1450 on the property at Hauptmarkt 5; 1956faithfully restoredon the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Robert Schumann's death
  • Gewandhaus: Central landmark of the city, built 1522–1525 in the late Gothic style, with Renaissance building elements and a stepped gable . Former trading house of the cloth makers (the Zwick cloth was famous), it has served as the city ​​theater since 1823
  • Dünnebierhaus : In the center on Katharinenstrasse from 1480, renovation 1980
  • Osterstein Castle : built as an electoral palace complex between 1587 and 1590; Renovation 2006–2008
  • Herbal vault (1470) and Löwen-Apotheke (1484): The two buildings Hauptmarkt 17 and 18 opposite the town hall are former medieval pharmacies and are among the oldest buildings in Germany used for this purpose.
  • Town hall on the main market : central landmark of the city from 1404; In 1403 the old town hall was completely destroyed in the great city fire. The reconstruction was carried out with striking elements such as the large coat of arms, the red seal, the battlements and the corner towers.
  • Grünhainer Chapel : Former farm yard of the Cistercian monastery Grünhain from 1240 to 1536; It then served as a city school, grammar school and the council school library . Today the monastery courtyard with restaurant and auditorium of the university still exists .
  • Kornhaus : The granary was built around 1480 by the Zwickau patrician Martin Römer and is one of the largest and oldest secular buildings of its kind in Germany. The building was extensively renovated in 2014 and has served as the city library ever since.
  • Pestalozzi School : A building complex built between 1924 and 1929 in the style of New Building with a horizontally emphasized clinkerbrickfacade
  • Powder Tower : With a preserved piece of wall, it belongs to the former city fortifications from the Middle Ages.
  • St. Katharinen Church : Built 1403–1470, Thomas Müntzer preached here during the Reformation
  • Boat : The clergyman and notary Heinrich von Grumbach had the boat built in 1485 at Klostergasse 12. It had been in the possession of Seiler families since 1600 and was therefore given the corresponding guild mark on the narrow facade. In 1967/68 the building was demolished and reconstructed with the original structure.
  • Old gasometer : built in 1853, today a socio-cultural center
  • Johannisbad : historic brick building; From 1869, Samuel Schlobig had the bathhouse and treatment facilities built on the banks of the Mulde; he donated this outstanding complex to his city of Zwickau.
  • Nordvorstadt : Large district with buildings of historicism , art nouveau , reform style and the new objectivity
  • Swan pond with parks : built 1473–1477; With the permission of the council, Martin Römer and Hans Federangel, who became rich through the Schneeberger silver, had the large pond built (from around 1860 under the name Schwanenteich ). Martin Römer donated 800 guilders to purchase the property and 4000 guilders for the earthworks. After its completion, the pond was 550 meters long and 300 meters wide. In 1504 the pond became completely municipal property. At the end of the 19th century there was a fountain in the swan pond at the level of the swan castle. On the occasion of Zwickau's 850th anniversary in 1968, a new fountain was handed over and put into operation. Underwater pumps are attached to a floating nozzle frame made of stainless steel, which enable the meter-high fountain in the middle and the framing smaller water jets.
  • Paradiesbrücke : It crosses the Zwickauer Mulde directly towards the city center and was completed in 1900. At that time, an old covered wooden bridge from the middle of the 17th century had to give way. The Paradiesbrücke is a riveted iron framework construction and was manufactured by the Königin-Marien-Hütte in Cainsdorf . It has been a technical cultural monument since 1980. It was extensively renovated in 2002 after it almost fell victim to the floods of the August floods. Since the Adolf-Hennecke-Brücke (today Glück-Auf-Brücke) was put into operation, the Paradiesbrücke has only served as a pedestrian bridge.
  • Röhrensteg : The oldest surviving Saxon wooden bridge (16th century) leads at the Erlenbad over the Zwickauer Mulde. Drinking water from the Reinsdorfer Grund was fed into the town's wells via wooden pipes - hence the name.
  • Muldenwarte : viewing pavilion at the entrance of the Knappengrund on the Zwickauer Mulde; good view to the west over the city
  • Saxon Post Distance Column: Replica of the former Obertor on Innere Schneeberger Straße, not far from the Kornmarkt (made of Elbe sandstone with four-sided marble coat of arms)
  • District Court of Zwickau : The building built in the historicism style in1876 ​​on the Platz der Deutschen Einheit is also the seat of theZwickau public prosecutor's office .
  • “Neue Welt” concert and ballroom with park: the largest terrace hall in Saxony, built in 1903 in the heyday of Art Nouveau ; the park fell into disrepair after 1976, so that today only a part is preserved

Water features

There are currently a total of 18 public water features, but not all of them are operated. The high maintenance and maintenance costs are partly borne by sponsors.

  • Fountain on the swan pond
  • Fountain of Friendship on Schumannplatz
  • Schwanenbrunnen on Humboldtstrasse
  • Beer brewer fountain by Joachim Harbort in Katharinenstrasse (built in 1984)
  • Cloth makers' fountain by Berthold Dietz in Katharinenstrasse (built in 1984)
  • Marktweiberbrunnen by Volker Beier in Katharinenstrasse (built in 1984)
  • Mill wheel on the Kornmarkt (built in 1998)
  • Children's fountain on the main market in front of the Gewandhaus (built in 1968)
  • Drinking fountain in the main market
  • Water-light game on the main market, built in 2018 for 160,000 euros (nine bubble jets whose falling water is illuminated by a fifty-meter-long curved LED light line after dark )
  • Flamingo fountain on Neuberinplatz
  • Domhof fountain
  • Cupid Fountain in the "New World" Park (formerly Schwanenbrunnen; built in 1903)
  • Water garden at the medical center in Niederplanitz
  • Fischbrunnen on the Outer Zwickauer Strasse
  • Water feature in the small park at the fire department in Schlunzig
  • Forum fountain in Eckersbach
  • Handle pump on the Fritscheplatz in Marienthal

In the past, there was also the so-called Art Fountain I on the north wall of the square and Art Fountain II in the shopping area (built in 1988, dismantled in 2014/15), created by Heinrich Gebhardt (* ) in the area of ​​the Eckersbacher E5 Forum and Albert-Funk-Straße. 1944). The stainless steel steles of the two art fountains, which are reminiscent of stylized flagpoles and pennant spots, were put up again on Makarenkostraße and directly in front of the Zwickau stadium , which was built in 2015/2016 .

The Kelchbrunnen , built in the early 1980s in a green area on Dortmunder Strasse in Neuplanitz, was demolished in 2020 due to structural and technical defects.

Porcelain carillon

In 1962 , the director of the “Zwickauer Sanitas bodyshop KG”, Walter Becher, donated a porcelain carillon made of Meissen porcelain , which was installed in a separate tower next to the swan castle. It consists of 25 bells. In 1973 it was dismantled and stored in the municipal museum. From 2000 to 2008 the bells were hung on the town hall. The carillon has been on Schumannplatz since 2015.

Destroyed landmarks

The swan castle
  • Labor Memorial : Demolished in 1943 . The bronze statue of a miner with a pickaxe in his right hand, created by the Dresden sculptor Hermann Alfred Raddatz , had stood on the main station forecourt since 1938 and was melted down in 1943.
  • Bismarck memorial : probably demolished in 1943 . The 5.60 meter high monument by Josef Drischler consisted of a 2.80 meter high bronze figure on a granite base and was inaugurated on April 1, 1898. It was located on what was then Kaiser-Wilhelm-Platz (today Schumannplatz) with a view towards Neumarkt. It was probably melted down in 1943 and the metal was used for the armaments industry.
  • Bismarckian column : demolished in 1964 . The first German Chancellor and founder of the Reich, Otto von Bismarck, was an honorary citizen of Zwickau . In his honor, a twelve-meter high tower with a fire bowl was inaugurated on the Windberg opposite the Windberghaus in September 1900. Because of the memory of the founding of the empire, the building was removed by order of the SED district leadership.
  • Lindenhof : demolished in 2003 . The variety theater was opened on October 7, 1893, after the Second World War rebuilt with considerable efforts.
  • Swan Castle: demolished in 1993 . It was one of the most famous Zwickau landmarks that was built in 1836 and the original construction of which is said to go back to a design by Zwickau's honorary citizen and architect Emil Gutwasser. In 1861 and 1886 the structure was slightly modified and in 1903 a column colonnade was added. Color lithographic postcards with the view of the castle at the Schwanenteich achieved a high circulation. During the GDR era , the imposing building was used as the Wilhelm Pieck pioneer house. After the fall of the Wall it was no longer maintained and fell into disrepair. Finally the Zwickau city administration decided to demolish the dilapidated building.
  • Stalin pavilion : demolished in 1986 . It was a two-story, walk-through rotunda with a pointed roof that rose like an obelisk and carried a red star. The pavilion was located on what was then Karl-Marx-Platz (today Schumannplatz), was occasionally used for exhibitions and was replaced in 1986 by the Fountain of Friendship by Erika Matthes and Joachim Harbort .
  • Old customs house: demolished in 2004 . It housed both the Royal Saxon Main Tax Office and the Main Customs Office . The state monument authority and the city monument authority initially obtained a demolition stop. There was no building permit under monument protection law. Finally, the building regulation office had given permission to build a commercial facility here in the style of the old building. The new building fits architecturally into the overall ensemble at the entrance of the Innere Plauenschen Straße. The corner tower with the symbolic three-face and parts of the old building fabric were reused.

Famous artist

Robert Schumann monument by Johannes Hartmann

Zwickau was 1810, the internationally known son of the city, the composer of the romantic , Robert Schumann , born. The house where he was born, the Robert-Schumann-Haus in Zwickau , is located in the center on the main market at the corner of Münzstraße. Schumann's father, August Schumann , had a publishing house with an affiliated book trade and was the first German paperback publisher. The Robert Schumann House is a museum that houses the world's largest inventory of earlier paperback books as well as the largest collection from the estate of the composer and his wife Clara. A portrait relief based on a design by Ernst Rietschel from Dresden is attached to the main market side of the Schumann House. This motif was used on the occasion of the composer's 200th birthday on the silver 10 euro coin issued by the Hamburg Mint in 2010, the rim of which is embossed with the quote: "TÖNE ARE HÖHERE WORTE" from the diary of eighteen-year-old Schumann .

Zwickau is home to two expressionist painters: Fritz Bleyl (1880–1966), architect and painter, was one of the founders of the Dresden artists' association “ Die Brücke ” in 1905 . The painter and graphic artist Max Pechstein (1881–1955) soon became a member of the artists' association. For the National Socialists, these pictures were “degenerate art”. In 1947 the city made Max Pechstein an honorary citizen and donated the Max Pechstein Prize in his honor .

Cultural institutions

  • Outdoor stage
  • Gewandhaus : built in 1525, it has been a municipal theater since 1823 as a theater on the Gewandhaus with 400 seats in the parquet and tier. The building does not have the typical theatrical design; it has no stage tower. The house includes: painting room, rehearsal stage extension and a workshop building. It is a three-part theater (ballet, musical theater and drama). The Zwickau Theater is operated in cooperation with the Plauen Theater under the name Theater Plauen-Zwickau .
  • Johannisbad
  • Concert and ball house "New World"
  • Puppet Theater : The puppet theater was once located in the old library building on the Dr.-Friedrichs-Ring, named after the former Saxon Prime Minister Rudolf Friedrichs , until it moved to a new building directly behind the Gewandhaus in 1987. Until 2016 it was part of the Plauen-Zwickau theater .
  • Zwickau town hall
  • Filmpalast Astoria Zwickau

Museums and collections

The August Horch Museum
  • August-Horch-Museum , the automobile museum in August-Horch-Straße is an anchor point in the European Route of Industrial Culture (ERIH)
  • Galerie am Domhof (formerly the exhibition hall of the Zwickauer Kunstverein ), today serves not only for lectures but also for contemporary art activities in the fields of painting, graphics and music.
  • Art collections Zwickau , former King Albert Museum at today's Platz der Völkerfreundschaft , extensive permanent exhibition of paintings, including works by the Brücke painter Max Pechstein, who was born in Zwickau,as well as a regional geoscientific collection, which was donated to the city of Zwickau in 1868 of the Zwickau mountain factor Ernst Julius Richter goes back
  • Houses of priests, exhibition on the city history at the cathedral courtyard opposite the city ​​church St. Marien .
  • Ratsschulbibliothek Zwickau , one of the oldest public academic libraries in Germany, which was first mentioned in 1498. It has valuable old holdings with early prints and manuscripts as well as an OPAC .
  • Robert-Schumann-Haus Zwickau , museum with the world's largest collection owned by the Schumann and Wieck families.
  • Zwickau City Archives, houses archives from a period of over 500 years of city history, including valuable historical documents; it has its own library and is the editor of the Cygnea series on regional history .
  • On the site of the former pioneer camp on the Windberg, an association for “ Living History ” has built the western town Wild East-Town , which also has a museum character.


Memorial for the victims of fascism at the Schwanenteich
  • The Colombstein in the Pöhlau district has been a reminder since 1863 of the liquidation of a military supply transport for French troops in 1813.
  • War memorial from 1922 in Schwanenteichpark in honor of the soldiers of the 9th Royal Saxon Infantry Regiment No. 133 stationed in Zwickau who fell in World War I.
  • Commemorative plaque with a Star of David from 1993 by the sculptor Jo Harbort , set in the footpath in front of the house at Katharinenstrasse 13 , commemorates the prayer room of the Jewish community.
  • Memorial plaque on the former police headquarters, Georgenplatz 1 , commemorates the 68 Polish Jews from the city who were interned there during the Poland campaign in 1938 and then deported.
  • VVN memorial from 1948 at the Schwanenteich in the city park commemorates 325 victims of fascism in the city and the district, many of whom are buried there.

Music and art associations

  • The Zwickau youth wind orchestra emerged from a school orchestra founded in 1962. The orchestra includes various ensembles, including a children's orchestra and a school orchestra. The musicians regularly take part in musical competitions in the region.
  • The men's choir Liederkranz 1843 Zwickau eV was founded in 1843; In 2019 he received the Golden Diploma at the International Johannes Brahms Choir Festival in Wernigerode .
  • The Schwanenschloß children's and youth choir Zwickau , which consists of different choirs (preschool choir, small children's choir, children's choir and youth choir) , can look back on 50 years of history.
  • The Kunstverein Zwickau , which existed from 1864 to 1938, was re-established in 1991 and is located in the gallery at the Domhof. This also includes the funding studio for painting and graphics .
  • The Friends of Current Art association was founded in 1998 and attracted national attention with its exhibitions.

Regular events

  • International Robert Schumann Competition for piano and voice, four-year cycle, June
  • International Robert Schumann Choir Competition, every four years
  • Zwickau Music Days (Schumann Festival), annually in June
  • "Young Lion" band competition of the Alter Gasometer Association and FAB Crimmitschau e. V.
  • Zwickau city festival, annually in August
  • Sachsen-Classic Zwickau - Dresden, competition for historic vehicles, annually in August
  • AvD Saxony Rally. Run to the German Rally Championship (DRM) and other smaller rally series


sons and daughters of the town

Well-known people who were born in Zwickau include: a. the Saxon merchant, mine owner and governor of Zwickau Martin Römer , the late Gothic sculptor Peter Breuer , the composer Robert Schumann , the artist Max Pechstein and the actor Gert Fröbe .

Personalities associated with the city

The city knows the names of many important personalities who were not born in Zwickau, but who lived and worked here and who decisively shaped them through their genius loci . Some of them have even been honored as honorary citizens of the city or have made the name of the city of Zwickau known far beyond its borders through their work. Among them are the later protagonist of the German Peasant War in Zwickau, Thomas Müntzer , the father of the mineralogy Georgius Agricola , the protagonist of the March Revolution of 1848 Robert Blum , the honorary and lord mayor of the city Lothar Streit and the founder of the Zwickau automobile construction August Horch . Salman Schocken acquired the daily Haaretz in Tel Aviv in 1937 , which is still considered liberal today. Mention should also be made of the painter Tatjana Lietz , who was appointed honorary citizen in 1998, and the cabaret artist Bernd-Lutz Lange , whose books about his childhood tell of his pride in his city of Zwickau.

Honorary citizen

Honorary citizens are appointed for life by the Zwickau city council. This honorary award can be given to people who have particularly promoted the development and reputation of the city through their outstanding work.

The city currently has five honorary citizens: Jürgen Croy received this honor in 1976, Carl Horst Hahn in 1998 , and Ferdinand Piëch in 1999 . In 2002 the award went to Erwin Killat and in 2003 this honor went to Rainer Eichhorn . As far as is known, this award was presented to Friedrich Christian von Liebenau for the first time in 1832 . 46 other distinguished honorary citizens have since passed away.

See also


  • Christian Adler: Zwickau - The city guide. Temptation, reading, local compass. Chemnitz 2017; ISBN 978-3-944509-48-8 .
  • Helmut Bräuer : Against the advice. The Zwickau conflict 1516/17. Leipziger Universitätsverlag GmbH, Leipzig 1999, ISBN 3-933240-60-3 .
  • Ewald Dost: Zwickau cultural images from eight centuries. Zwickau Mayor's Office, Zwickau 1939.
  • Jürgen Härdler, Rainer Hertting-Thomasius: Buildings in Zwickau: an architectural style primer with an introduction to the history of urban construction. Förster and Borries, Zwickau 2000, ISBN 3-00-006206-8 .
  • Jürgen Härdler, Wolfgang Göhler, Winni Kettner: Personalities & treasures of the city of Zwickau. Zschiesche, Wilkau-Haßlau 2002, ISBN 3-9808512-0-6 .
  • Emil Herzog: Chronicle of the district town of Zwickau. Zwickau 1845.
  • Hauke ​​Kenzler: Archaeological research on the grain market in Zwickau. Ceramic chronology - history of the square - history of the city (= publications of the State Office for Archeology. Vol. 32). State Office for Archeology with State Museum for Prehistory, Dresden 2001, ISBN 3-910008-29-1 . Zugl .: Hamburg, Univ. , Diss., 1999.
  • Michael Löffler, Norbert Peschke : Chronicle of the city of Zwickau. Förster and Borries, Zwickau 1993, ISBN 3-929354-07-1 .
  • Günter Meier: Tour through old Zwickau. Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2001, ISBN 3-86134-573-0 .
  • Günter Meier: History of the city of Zwickau. Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2002, ISBN 3-8313-1238-9 .
  • Norbert Peschke: Zwickau: tell old pictures. Sutton, Erfurt 1997, ISBN 3-89702-012-2 .
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Zwickau. Editor: Rolf Sieber. Edited by the Evangelical Lutheran parishes of the city of Zwickau on the occasion of the 875th anniversary of the city of Zwickau, 1993.
  • Ute Schmidt, Steffi Haupt: Zwickau - the way it was. Droste, Düsseldorf 1992, ISBN 3-7700-0981-9 .
  • Zwickau City Archives: Treasures of the Zwickau City Archives from eight centuries. Zschiesche GmbH, Wilkau-Haßlau, Zwickau 2008, ISBN 978-3-9812185-2-7 .
  • City museums Zwickau (ed.): City history, building history: Priest houses Zwickau. Municipal museums Zwickau, Zwickau 2003, ISBN 3-933282-16-0 .
  • Klaus Tippmann: Zwickau around the turn of the century. Geiger-Verlag, Horb am Neckar 1992, ISBN 3-89264-624-4 .
  • Lorenz Wilhelm: Descriptio Urbis Cycneae. This is a real and authentic description of the ancient city of Zwickaw. Göpner, Zwickau 1633 ( digitized).

Web links

Wikisource: Zwickau  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Zwickau  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Zwickau  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Zwickau  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Population of the Free State of Saxony by municipalities on December 31, 2019  ( help on this ).
  2. Deutschlandradio Kultur: The city's official label.
  3. " CPCE Secretary General Bishop Dr. Michael Bünker presented the title award certificate to the mayor of Zwickau, Dr. Pia Findeiß . Zwickau is thus the 'Reformation City of Europe'. ” Awarding of the title to Zwickau, April 21, 2016 . In:, April 22, 2016, accessed on May 4, 2016. For the reasoning from the historical role in the Reformation, see the article A hot patch in the beginning of the Reformation. In:, accessed on May 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon (1885–1890).
  5. Free State of Saxony - Natural Regions and Natural Areas ( Memento from February 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 879 kB).
  6. ^ Emil Herzog: History of the Zwickau hard coal industry. Pp. 2-3.
  7. ^ The Zwickau hard coal deposit (= mining in Saxony. Volume 15). Published by the Free State of Saxony. Saxon State Office for Agriculture, Environment and Geology. 12/2008 (PDF; 10.2 MB), accessed on November 23, 2015.
  8. Ordinance of the district-free city of Zwickau on the establishment of the geological natural monument (# 5) "coal outcrop (carbon black seam)" on the bank of the Mulden at the Cainsdorfer bridge from January 27, 2000.
  9. Norbert Peschke: Tax exemption helps with reconstruction . In: Free Press . August 8, 2018, p. 10 .
  10. ^ Structure of the urban area, public minutes of the decision of June 30, 2011, BV / 141/2011 ( Memento of January 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 35 kB), accessed on July 10, 2011.
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