Zwickau at a Glance

Zwickau is a small town in Saxony, and it certainly feels small. I walked through “downtown” Zwickau which is very nice, and many people were doing same. There are plenty of cafes and shops in case one were to get tired/hungry/thirsty. Also a brilliantly good Czech restaurant which I recommend. Along the Zwickauer Mudle river there is bike and walking paths that follow the river. The whole city seemed very friendly, even for someone like me, who can’t speak any German. To be honest I asked Barbara if many Americans come to Zwickau, and she laughed replying no. So needless to say I was most likely a celebrity during my time in Zwickau. Which many of the natives got to interact at me during my time at the distillery.

Opera house. Taken by Matt Hamparian

River walk. Taken by Matt Hamparian

Despite the Zwickau being an industrial city, during WWII it was not bombed. The cities around Zwickau were bombed heavily. During a visit inside St. Mary’s Cathedral, Barbara and I were informed that during the war, someone put a white flag at the top of the 285 foot spire. It is not known if that story is true, but still it is strange that Zwickau was undamaged during WWII. An interesting note, Thomas Müntzer was once paster at St. Catharine’s Church.

St. Mary’s. Taken by Matt Hamparian.

Foundation repair at St. Mary’s. Taken by Matt Hamparian.

St. Catharine’s Cathedral. Taken by Matt Hamparian.

Zwickau has long been a hub for industry for Germany. Silver and coal mining established it as an economic hub in Saxony. Importantly the auto industry played a huge role, and still does, in the economy and history of Zwickau. August Horch began making his cars in Zwickau in the early 20th century, Horch. Post WWII, while in the GDR, the automotive plants were converted to make Trabant’s, a large shift from making some of the most iconic German cars of all time. After reunification, Volkswagen took over the old Trabant plant and began once again to make parts for their cars. The August Horch Museum pays tribute to the automotive history of Zwickau, which a wonderful museum.

Horch. Taken by Matt Hamparian.

Road inside museum. Taken by Matt Hamparian

Auto Union. Taken by Matt Hamparian