Chemnitz – Tradition and Future

Research and Future

The Technical University (TU) of Chemnitz is home to more than 11,000 students from 90 countries. Today, the TU Chemnitz stands for outstanding research. Within the core competencies “Materials and Smart Systems”, “Resource-efficient Production and Lightweight Structures” and “Humans and Technology”, solutions for the challenges of tomorrow are developed. The main focus in economic and social development is the creation of value, which in turn is influenced by major trends such as globalization, demographic change and the availability of resources. The TU Chemnitz’s profile is characterized by a unique constellation of competencies across eight faculties. Thanks to this constellation, Chemnitz is emerging as an internationally visible research hub for future value creation processes and sustainable growth for the future.

To bring the Sustainable Textile School to life two Professorships consorted: The Professorship Textile Technologies and the professorship Corporate Environmental Management. Each of which contributes with its unique competences in research.

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University of Technology - Photo: TU Chemnitz / Jürgen Lösel
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Tradition and history

Moritz Voigt & Kaiser, about 1910

The textile industry has a long tradition in the Chemnitz region. Industrialization on the European mainland began in Chemnitz. The first mechanical spinning mills were built there. These quickly became the pacesetters of a whole industry. The weavers followed. Thus names such as spinning mills Haubold, Schwalbe, Seyfert and the weaving machine builders Schönherr and Hartmann quickly gained world renown. The machine tool manufacturers such as Zimmermann, Union, Reinecker and Esche followed.

Many well known major corporations originated from local firms as Schubert & Salzer (now Rieter AG), Continental typewriters, Pfauter machine tools (today: Gleason-Pfauter) and Audi AG. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Chemnitz was not only the richest city in Germany but also the leading region in Europe for textile production, textile machine construction, machine tool manufacturing and automotive production.

Many of these companies were destroyed or withdrawn by socialism or by Treuhand after 1990. Nonetheless, the spirit of this period is still present in Chemnitz, the textile capital of Europe.

The founder of sustainability Hans Carl von Carlowitz (1645 – 1714) comes from Rabenstein, a district of Chemnitz. This is why two things, that belong together in the first place, are finally united. Based on these historical unique roots, the Sustainable Textile School will be founded in 2017. It is a logical consequence of Chemnitz’ history that will in future radiate out into the world.

Chemnitz – the city of social justice

Chemnitz has always been a place to fight for better working and living conditions. In Chemnitz, Ernestine Minna Simon was the first woman who became a courageous strike leader to improve the working and living conditions of factory workers at the Chemnitzer Aktienspinnerei. Read more at Frauenorte Sachsen (german)

What to do in Chemnitz

There are a couple important sights you should visit during your stay in Chemnitz.

First of all, there is the Karl Marx Monument in Brückenstraße, a 13 m tall stylized head of Karl Marx – the city’s former namesake. Locals call it “Nischel” which is a Saxon dialect word for head. Behind the monument you will find a phrase from the Communist Manifesto: Workers of the world, unite! The Karl Marx Monument is the second largest bust in the world. Fun fact: Karl Marx did not pay a visit to the city once.

If you want to go for a walk you should explore the Kaßberg neighbourhood that is located west from the city centre. It is one of the largest Gründerzeit and Art Noveau neighbourhoods in Germany. Especially the two buildings on Barbarossatraße 48 and 50 with their majolica facades are worth a close look. Furthermore, several small and cosy cafés and shops settled there. At the foot of the Kaßberg lie historical vaulted cellars, where locally brewed beer had been stored.

A very special sight is the petrified forest in Chemnitz. It is one of very few in existence and probably one of the oldest natural monuments. Its creation dates back about 291 million years due to an eruption of the Zeisigwald volcano. Most of the trunks are exhibited in the Museum of Natural History in the Chemnitz department store Kulturkaufhaus Tietz, some trunks can be seen in the public courtyard of the Tietz.

We wish you a pleasant stay in Chemnitz.