IntroductionA seven metre bust of Karl Marx on Brückenstrasse is the only thing that gives away that Chemnitz was once an emblem of socialist East Germany. Today the town centre is populated by large, gleaming department stores, as much of the city was re-built following German reunification. But that’s not to say there isn’t any history here; the Red Tower, built in the 12th century, was once part of the city fortress, and the gothic Castle Church was initially a Benedictine monastery, now it houses a museum.
Art nouveau made its mark here in the early 20th century; Villa Eschew, commissioned by a wealthy businessman, was finished in 1903 to great acclaim from the art world, while Kaßberg is a charming residential neighbourhood with some fine examples of the design movement. After taking that in, if you wander over to Kaßberg’s hillside you’ll find some pretty decent beer halls which have existed since the medieval era.