Chemnitz is a city of the modern age: its citizens have always stood out for their entrepreneurial intrepidity, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. The first factories were built here in 1357, when the city received royal permission to bleach fabrics. Modern mechanical engineering also found a home here, in the cradle of the German automotive industry. And modern art plays a major role, with expressionists such as Karl Schmidt-Rottluff having left their mark on the city.

The dust of the industrial age has long been swept away. Every year, culture-lovers can take their pick from some 1,000 varied events in Chemnitz, from opera, the philharmonic orchestra, ballet, theatre and puppet shows to film and music festivals, some even held in industrial wastelands. Chemnitz is currently running a confident campaign to be European Capital of Culture 2025 – with good prospects.

The countryside is never far away in Chemnitz, either, such as the Zeisigwald, Küchwald or the spacious city park. And culture can be found there, too – for example at the “Fuego a la isla” festival or the relaxing green surroundings of the Küchwald open-air theatre.

As it grows colder outdoors in the autumn, Chemnitz’s culture enthusiasts move into the city’s derelict buildings. Every year, the “Begehungen” festival occupies a derelict part of the city, opening it up to the public – sometimes even with step-free access. In September, the RAW industrial heritage festival offers merrymakers the chance to let their hair down at parties and the Science Slam.

What is life like in Chemnitz?

If you like to live well, Chemnitz is the place for you. A period building? With a balcony? A view of the greenery? Within walking distance of the city centre? Or perhaps you’d rather own a home? Chemnitz makes many dreams come true.

Families are especially welcome. In Chemnitz there are 270 independent and municipal day-care centres and childminders for the little ones. They are accompanied by more than 200 Chemnitz sports clubs, mainly for recreational and professional sports.

If you feel a twinge in your joints, Chemnitz and environs boast an extensive, reliable network covering almost every field of healthcare. The Chemnitz Economic Development Corporation has launched the NEUE GESUNDHEIT (“new health”) initiative to continue to attract qualified specialists to the city and region.

Chemnitz is very easy to reach by car: not one, but two motorways pass right by the city. Though not on the high-speed ICE rail route, Chemnitz leads the way in terms of rail travel: the “Chemnitz model” connects the city and the region with a regional metropolitan railway.

What is it like to learn and work in Chemnitz?

Most companies which have settled in Chemnitz are small and medium-sized enterprises; 98 per cent have fewer than 50 employees. The few companies with more than 250 employees include well-known brands such as VW, the traditional Union Werkzeugmaschinen and Hörmann Rawema. Continental and IBM also have branches in Chemnitz, and even international companies such as Niles Simmons from the US and Anchor Lamina from Canada can be found here.

It is the small success stories which are typical of Chemnitz, however: since 1995, more than 7,000 new companies have been established in and around the city. Chemnitz is a city of start-ups; its university is regularly named the "best start-up university” in Saxony. A number of companies working together here on automated driving form Germany's most important cluster in the sector.

Close cooperation with industry, with roughly 50 research and development centres and the University of Technology (TU Chemnitz), regularly generates innovations, mainly in the field of microsystem technology. More than a dozen start-ups from TU Chemnitz and the two Fraunhofer Institutes have already settled at the Smart Systems Campus, where everything is within easy reach and they enjoy the support of renowned international companies.

The roughly 11,000 students at TU Chemnitz can choose from more than 100 courses. Classical training as an engineer? Or a degree in human factors, data science, semiotics or multimodal communication? TU Chemnitz is one of Germany’s ten best universities; another sign of how closely connected teaching and research are with the region’s businesses.

Chemnitz also has an excellent reputation as a highly developed technology location within the automotive and supplier industry and in mechanical engineering and plant construction. In addition, the city has an international reputation as a location for research and development in the field of resource-efficient production and technical textiles.

In the years to come, it will be the healthcare industry that has the greatest need for personnel in Chemnitz. Klinikum Chemnitz, the region’s second largest employer and eastern Germany’s biggest municipal hospital, is just one of many employers in Chemnitz already looking for qualified medical staff.

Photo credits: CWE/Ernesto Uhlmann