................................................................................ 4
......................................................................... 6
A changing land: successes in science and the arts
................................................ 8
Our roots: culture and identity shaped by industry ................................................ 12
Remembrance and education: memorial sites .................................................... 16
Big names: from the worlds of music, painting, theatre, dance and literature ............................ 20
.............................................. 24
Solid foundations: promoting culture at a high level
.............................................. 26
Right amongst it: boosting cultural education
................................................... 30
Stars of the future: internationally renowned training for artists
..................................... 32
.............................................................. 34
Preserving cultural heritage ................................................................. 36
Where the music plays ..................................................................... 38
Theatre pitches in
........................................................................ 42
Museums as knowledge stores
............................................................... 46
A variety of film festivals
.................................................................. 50
Let them dance
.......................................................................... 52
Saxony reads ............................................................................ 54
The old and new Saxon school ............................................................... 58
Strong local presence: the nation’s only model for the cultural scene .................................. 60
Dresden: a cultured sandstone gem on the Elbe
.................................................. 62
Leipzig: a cool hub for creative minds
......................................................... 68
Chemnitz: the city of modernity
............................................................. 74
South-west Saxony: the cradle of instrument-building ............................................. 78
Erzgebirge-Mittelsachsen: a region of mining, organs and castles
.................................... 82
Around Leipzig: Luther, mills, new lakes
....................................................... 86
Along the Elbe: inspiration for artists
......................................................... 90
Eastern Saxony: many cultures in the heart of Europe ............................................. 94
Cover photo:
Break-dancers versus ballet soloists, hip-hop competing against pirouettes: “Floor on Fire – Battle of Styles” is a new form of dance initiated by HELLERAU – European
Centre for the Arts in Dresden. It is based on the principle of a break-dance battle that has been reinterpreted: various dance styles and generations of dancers come
together to put their individual skills to the test. The dancers take turns to trump their opponents’ performances with their own. A panel of judges appoints the winners.
See the dancers from the cover page in action in the film “Floor On Fire – Battle of Styles”:

4 |
The armoury of the Dresden State Art Collections
is the home of art and culture – one of
Germany’s richest cultural landscapes . The quantity and
quality of artistic treasures and cultural institutions,
such as museums, theatres, orchestras and libraries, not
only shape the Saxon people’s external image, but also
their own identity . This Land of Culture brand encom-
passes all that makes Saxony special: A land of music,
a land of literature, a land of painting, and a land of
theatre and film .
Art and culture, world famous museums
with their unique
collections, interesting galleries, opera houses and thea-
tres, and orchestras like the Saxon State Orchestra and
the Leipzig Gewandhaus attract enthusiasts and travel-
lers from all over the world, and make the state a hotspot
for cultural tourism . The high quality of our institutions
and the artists working here also continuously encour-
ages world renowned painters, singers, conductors and
actors to exhibit and perform in Saxony .
As per Goethe’s reminder
above the entrance to the Dres-
den State Theatre – “Old traditions well respected, inno-
vations not rejected” –, the state’s development is not
defined purely by its rich cultural heritage and strong
traditions . A young scene has also established itself
in Saxony, providing an environment which fosters
creations in literature, music, film, dance, theatre and
new media art . Graduates from five Saxon art academies
are constantly expanding this scene, finding rich sources
of inspiration here . Just as the Free State is becoming
aware of its identity of industrial culture, so young
artists and creative minds are discovering places to live
and work in the form of factories which existed dur-
ing and after the industrial revolution . In doing so, they
revive and preserve these structural relics of industrial
development, filling them with new life as art factories .
Saxons are proud of all this.
They visit museums,
theatres, libraries, cinemas and festivals . They are just
as fond of Augustus the Strong’s treasury as they are

| 5
of the rich industrial cultural heritage . Art in Saxony is
also increasingly stimulating discussions . It brings peo-
ple together as they grapple with artists’ work from a
place of tolerance and creativity . Art is a way of life in
Saxony . Artists involve themselves in social discourse .
They cause provocation with their views . But they al-
so take practical action by helping integrate newcomers,
by enlivening the intercultural scene, and by providing
cultural education for people of all ages .
Policymakers consider it their responsibility
to embrace
this vast notion of culture, from tradition and cultural
heritage to modernity and experimentation . They must
protect cultural values and enable them to be questioned
– across all areas of art and culture . This is made possi-
ble through the concerted support of institutions, struc-
tures and projects . And through a number of art prizes .
The vibrant cultural policy in Saxony is expressed
through a culture of cosmopolitanism, plurality and
tolerance .
The state of a society
is also reflected in the way it treats
its minorities . Germany’s national minorities include the
around 60,000 Sorbs . In Saxony, protecting and foster-
ing the language and culture of the Sorbian people is a
constitutional task . Culture also has constitutional status
in Saxony . The state constitution stipulates that culture
in all its diversity must be protected, and that everyone
– artists and interested citizens – be given equal oppor-
tunities to participate in it . This expressly applies not
only to major cities, but also the rural regions, not
only to high-brow cultural institutions, but also to insti-
tutions of popular culture and socioculture . The latter is
particularly important here, for it works across genera-
tions, and preserves or creates services and opportunities
for families, children and the elderly, especially in rural
areas .
For this reason, the annual budget
allocations granted
by the state government to the municipalities as part of
the Saxon Cultural Region Act to support major regional
institutions and projects have currently been increased
by over eight million Euros to 94 7
. million Euros a
year . The act is Germany’s only model for joint financ-
ing, which ensures a strong cultural scene even in the
rural areas where population is declining . Saxony as a
Land of Culture is countering the depopulation of certain
regions by explicitly supporting institutions and projects
in small towns and in the country, and encouraging
mobility for the people there, so that they too have
access to art and culture . By establishing the frame-
work conditions, policymakers are providing a sense of
orientation and enabling future prospects . One particular
area of focus here is the promotion of cultural education
– for children and adolescents, and in the sense of life-
long learning .
Being fostered and developed in this way
, culture ceases
to merely be an attestation of the rich heritage, vibrant
modernity, and therefore high quality of life, in the Free
State . It also becomes a factor which, through reflection,
provocation and presentation, further develops society,
because it is able to provide inspiration and ideas which
would otherwise be lacking . Museums and theatres are
not only increasingly enabling visitors and audiences to
engage in self-reflection, but are also opening up into
places of social discourse .
This brochure seeks to give you an insight into Saxony’s
rich cultural landscape, and showcases Saxony as a Land
of Culture by taking you on a journey to explore its
cultural treasures, traditions and artists .
Dr . Eva-Maria Stange
Saxon State Minister for Higher Education,
Research and the Arts

6 |

The Saxon princes on horseback, with
their characteristic epithets, from “the
Great,” “the Illustrious” and “the Bitten,”
to “the Wise” and “the Magnanimous,”
to “the Strong,” “the Righteous” and
“the Benign” . Followed by figures of
the Saxon military nobility, scholars,
artists and finally the unnamed:
miners, farmers and children .
All are on display on the “Langer Gang” of the Stallhof (stable yard) at Dresden’s
Royal Palace, which, to this day, continues to be a major attraction . It is known as
the Procession of Princes – so not a portrayal of submissive servitude, but rather
of the political situation in Saxony and the commitment to a sense of common-
ality and community as Saxons . It was the dynasty of princes, and later kings, in
particular that took responsibility for cultivating the Saxon identity and associ-
ated itself with both the aristocracy and bourgeoisie . This alliance, which bene-
fited all sides, served as a principle of sorts for the dynasty’s internal policies . A
culture of curiosity, progress and constant modernisation had established itself
in this long densely populated land – an atmosphere which today continues to
define the Free State of Saxony in science, business and culture .
The “Fürstenzug’ (“Path of Princes”) at the “Stallhof” (stable yard) of Dres-
den’s Royal Palace consists of 23,000 Meissen porcelain tiles.
| 7

8 |
A changing land: successes
in science and the arts
Today, villages with German names
can be found right
next to those with Slavic names . And, with their sibilant
sounds, the names of many families, rivers and towns
still attest to the strong Slavic influence at the time .
The economic policy of Otto II, the Rich
of Meissen 1156–1190) encouraged the development
of many small towns, which became the patrons of
education and art right across Saxony, and provided
fertile ground for a diverse popular culture to thrive . This
culture was formed out of Saxony’s various regions, each
with their own unique features . For centuries, the people
of the Vogtland, Lusatia, the Ore Mountains and Lower
Silesia were all able to preserve their independent
cultures and dialects .
The Partition of Leipzig in 1485
marked a major turning
point in Saxony’s history: When the two sons of Fred-
erick II, Elector of Brandenburg, jointly came into pow-
er, they divided the land . Albrecht received the eastern
part, with the future royal city of Dresden, and Ernst
received the west, with Wittenberg . This loss of power
limited Saxony’s role to that of a state with only a me-
dium level of influence . Albrecht and his successors, the
Albertines, ruled Saxony as dukes, electors and kings
from 1485 to 1918 .
Centuries of profitable mining
in the Ore Mountains laid
the foundations for Saxony’s prosperity . The science
associated with this attracted men who are today still
considered among the greats in their field: Ulrich Rülein
von Calw, humanist, doctor, town planner and mayor of
It was during a time of war
that, in 929, King Henry I of
Germany founded the fortress
of Meissen on a rock plateau
overlooking the Elbe River, in
the heart of a region inhabited
by Slavic peoples, attracting
German settlers, Franks, (Lower)
Saxons and even Flemings .
Around 60,000 Sorbs
live in Lusatia today, with around
20,000 Lower Sorbs in the Brandenburg region of Lower Lu-
satia, and 40,000 Upper Sorbs in the Saxon region of Upper
Lusatia . Protecting the promoting Sorbian language and culture
is a constitutional obligation in Saxony . The work to preserve
the culture of the minority native to Lusatia is funded by the
Foundation for the Sorbian People (Stiftung für das sorbische
Volk) and supported at schools, preschools and universities –
through the Institute for Sorbian Studies at Leipzig University
and the Upper Lusatia – Lower Silesia Cultural Region .
News that the Ore Mountains were home to rich silver deposits became known in the
12th century. The “Berggeschrey” was a gold rush of sorts. Today, the Freiberg University
of Mining and Technology draws on the traditions in silver mining and metallurgy to
research geology, material, energy and the environment in the seismic lines.
Over three levels spanning over a total of 3,000 m2, the State
Museum of Archaeology Chemnitz (smac) showcases Saxony’s
development from the times of the first hunters and gatherers
some 300,000 years ago to early industrialisation.

| 9
Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden
Freiberg in circa 1500, mathematician Adam Ries, and
humanist and naturalist Georgius Agricola, who worked
in Chemnitz from 1531 to 1555 . It was around the same
time that painter Lucas Cranach the Elder worked at the
Ernestine court of Wittenberg . For 50 years, until his
death, he remained the court painter of the Ernestine
dynasty, influencing imagery in art for centuries .
In Wittenberg on 31 October 1517
, Martin Luther pub-
lished his 95 theses criticising the abuse of indulgence
– marking the start of the Reformation, which would not
have had the effect it did without the influence of the
Saxon electors . The ideas of the Reformation inspired
developments which endure to this day – in culture,
society and matters of the church . Luther’s translation of
the Bible into German had a significant impact, particu-
larly in relation to the emerging book-printing industry .
As a young man of twenty, Duke Maurice
became head
of the Albertine line in 1541 . Although his rule was on-
ly short, he was able to shape Saxony politically and
culturally for centuries to come . He founded three
famous Saxon princely schools (“Fürstenschulen”) in
Meissen, Pforta and Grimma to educate a state-support-
ing Protestant elite . Middle-class children studied along-
side the sons of the nobility at these schools, and gifted
children of the destitute were also awarded scholarships
by the electors . These included men such as Gotthold
Ephraim Lessing, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Johann
Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Nietzsche .
The culture during Maurice’s rule represented
not only
power, but also wealth and a passion for the arts . It set
a tone that resonated in the Saxon capital until well
into the 19th century . In 1548, he founded the Dresdner
Hofkapelle, an orchestra which has shaped the spirit of
the city and region, and today thrills concert audi-
ences all over the world with the “sounds of Dresden” as
the Dresden State Orchestra .
Augustus, Elector of Saxony
(reign 1553–1586), re-
sponded to the European renaissance and its revolution-
ary effects in science, the arts, philosophy, engineer-
ing, politics and religion by starting to collect virtually
everything containing important information for him
and Saxony . He founded a library today called the Sax-
on State and University Library (SLUB), and established
an art gallery now perpetuated in the museums of the
Dresden State Art Collections (SKD) . With their famous
wares, the SKD have become a major crowd-puller and
sought-after exhibition partner around the world .
Heinrich Schütz began serving John George I
(Elector of
Saxony 1611–1656) in 1617, and at the age of 32 was
appointed head of the Hofkapelle court orchestra in
Dresden . It was here that Schütz, Germany’s first world
renowned composer, worked as “Hofkapellmeister” (mu-
sical director) for almost 40 years .
When Augustus II, Elector of Saxony
(Augustus the Strong)
was crowned King of Poland in 1697, it saw the Alber-
tines rise up the ranks to become one of Europe’s most
supreme princely dynasties . Saxony was experiencing
Saxony, the motherland of the Reformation
, has a wealth
of artistic treasures from the Reformation period . The Old
Masters Picture Gallery at the Dresden State Art Collections
boasts the world’s largest Cranach collection . And since April
2017, visitors to Dresden’s Royal Palace have been able to see
some of the world’s only relics of the 16th/17th-century rulers,
including some magnificent gowns . Torgau, a former centre of
power during the Reformation, is another authentic site .
Founded by Maurice, Elector of Saxony in 1548, the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the oldest historic orchestras in the world.

an economic and cultural resurgence, which is reflected
in Dresden’s baroque buildings and the founding of the
Meissen Porcelain Manufactory in 1710 . Educated Eu-
rope recognised the prestige of the flourishing arts scene
under Augustinian rule, and talent from all corners of
the continent began converging here . While bourgeois
culture was German, courtly culture was international .
Leipzig, meanwhile, was not just the electorate’s
cial metropolis, but also an inspiring centre of science . It
was within the walls of Leipzig University, founded in
1409 and therefore the second oldest in Germany, that
the German Enlightenment took root . With a strong em-
phasis on humanities and social sciences, the university
became a hive of academic and political discourse – a
step indispensable to the Free State’s economic, cultural
and social development .
The works of Johann Sebastian Bach
, a cantor at St
Thomas’ Church for 27 years until his death in 1750,
played a key role in the revival of the German bour-
geoisie music scene in the 18th century . The Gewand-
haus Orchestra, Germany’s oldest civic concert orchestra,
is today one of the great orchestras of the world, and
is closely linked with Leipzig’s reputation as a city of
music: Many major works were first performed by the
orchestra, and the Old Gewandhaus played host to prom-
inent national and international soloists, including
Mozart, Schumann, Wieck, Weber, Paganini, Liszt,
Berlioz, Chopin, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Wagner and
Brahms . Mendelssohn founded Germany’s first academy
of music in the form of Leipzig’s Conservatorium in
1843 . With the city having become one of the largest
printing and publishing hubs in Europe since the Ref-
The mathematics and physics hall at the Dresden State Art Collections: founded
under Augustus II the Strong in 1728, today it still counts as one of the world’s
most prominent museums of historic scientific instruments.
Left: White porcelain was first manufactured in 1708 under the supervision of
Johann Friedrich Böttger. Two years later, the Meissen porcelain manufactory was
established in Meissen’s Albrechtsburg.
Augustus, Elector of Saxony began systemati-
cally building a private library in 1556. The
Saxon State and University Library (SLUB)
in Dresden dates back to this library,
founded in 1556 as an elector’s
library, and is today one of the
largest scientific libraries in
10 |

| 11
ormation, international trade later
also galvanised the world famous
university, and aided Leipzig’s rise
as a media centre .
In 1722, the Dresden city council
decided to build a Church of Our
Lady, or “Frauenkirche” . Augus-
tus the Strong wanted a symbol of
royal power, while the city wanted
to demonstrate its Protestant spirit
to the Catholic court . The baroque
Frauenkirche, completed in 1743,
crowned the city’s skyline for over
200 years . As a monument of faith
cast in stone, and the grandest
domed structure north of the Alps,
it inspired awe amongst architec-
tural experts and laymen alike .
George Bähr’s dome even survived
the bombing of 13 February 1945 .
It collapsed only the next day, when
the pillars fractured in the heat of
the embers . The ruins of the church
were left lying as a moving memo-
rial in the heart of the city until
the early ‘90s, when, on 13 Febru-
ary 1990, Dresden called on the
rest of the world help with a global
campaign to rebuild the Frauen-
kirche . Countless people donated to
the cause, and on 30 October 2005,
the Frauenkirche was consecrated
with great international involve-
ment . While it will continue to bear
witness to the history of its destruc-
tion, it also remains an icon of hope
and reconciliation . A symbol of both
18th and 21st-century bourgeoisie
power and self-confidence, but also
a reminder of the painful history of
Nazi rule and World War II .
The sonorous, interactive Bach Museum
in Leipzig presents the life and works
of Johann Sebastian Bach and his family
over 450 m
of exhibition space.
The Martin Luther monument
in front of Dresden’s Frauenkirche

12 |
Our roots: culture and identity
shaped by industry
The light of baroque splendour, of the impressive, world famous artistic
treasures of the Saxon electors, kings and patrons, today continues to
shine brightly . But this great wealth was based on the toils of thousands
of miners, tradespeople and industrial workers . Saxony as a region of
culture has always been founded on economic prosperity, which is why
the Free State also considers itself a land of culture and industry –
industrial culture is part of Saxon culture and identity .

| 13
The 19th century saw
Saxony transform from a commer-
cial landscape, which had grown solidly since the late
Middle Ages and had been involved in global trade very
early on, into a heartland for European industrialisation .
With its technically and culturally educated population,
its wide range of small and medium-sized businesses,
and its role as a sales market, Saxony has always been
an attractive economic hub drawing entrepreneurs, busi-
nessowners and job-seekers .
The cultivated landscape of the Ore Mountains
, industri-
al landscapes in the river valleys of the Ore Mountain
floodplains, in Lusatia and in the Vogtland region, in-
dustrial towns and cities, and the industrial landscapes
resulting from agriculture and mining – particularly of
brown coal and uranium – are all products of a history
of trade and industry dating back to Reformation times .
Saxony’s unique social character is also reflected in the
proverbial Saxon “Fischelanz” – the ability to adapt,
innovate and co-operate –, along with its positive attitude
and openness to industrial progress .
Numerous historic industrial structures
are the most
visible evidence of the Saxon people’s diligence and hard
work . To this day, townscapes across the state’s regions
and cities are characterised by the often impressive factory
buildings of the 19th and early 20th century – as well
as technical monuments of preindustrial times –, which
serve as part of the regional identity . This heritage of
industrial culture in the Free State of Saxony is pre-
served and expressed through a wide range of muse-
ums, associations and initiatives . As a traditional ex-
port region, Saxony is dependent on global exchange,
free competition and peaceful co-operation . Its historic
developments, its industrial cultural heritage, and the
contributions it has made towards the developments of
the industrial era have seen Saxony become a central
region of European industrial culture .
The prominent issue of industrial culture
, which shapes
every facet of our life and will continue to have a bear-
ing on the future of industry, is the focus of the 4th
Saxon State Exhibition . The aim of the exhibition is to
show how industrial developments have shaped identity,
wealth and coexistence in present-day Saxony . It will
place particular emphasis on open trade and exchanging
The former Knappenrode briquette factory
near Hoyerswerda is today part of the Saxon
Museum of Industry.
The first buildings of the Tuchfabrik Gebrüder Pfau
cloth factory were erected in Crimmitschau in 1885.

14 |
of ideas . The feature exhibit of the State Exhibition
(which will run from 25 April to 1 November 2020 in
Zwickau) will be accompanied by other museums pro-
viding insights into sector-specific aspects of industrial
culture, and serving as authentic stages of industrial
culture . These museums are: The Chemnitz Museum
of Industry (mechanical engineering), the Saxon Rail
Museum (railways and goods transportation), Tuchfabrik
Gebrüder Pfau (Pfau brothers’ textile mill) in Crim-
mitschau (textile industry), the Oelsnitz/Ore Mountains
Mining Museum (coal mining), and the August Horch
Museum in Zwickau (automotive industry) . The Him-
melfahrt Fundgrube mining landscape in Freiberg (ore
mining, resource management) has also been invited to
participate . The feature exhibit will revolve around the
profound technical and social changes industrialisation
has been bringing to the people and their communities
since the early 19th century . It draws on the fundamen-
tal issues of life in an age of modernity and industry,
and on humans’ relationship with nature, technology
and science . The State Exhibition is sponsored by the
Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden .
The Saxon Museum of Industry in Chemnitz
invites visitors to explore 220 years of Saxon industrial
history . It is part of the state-funded Saxon Museum of
Industry association, which is committed to researching
and presenting Saxony’s industrial, economic and social
history as important aspects of the state’s overall histo-
The museum’s historic façade along Zwickauer Strasse in Chemnitz
The Museum of Industry in Chemnitz, a striking, heritage-listed factory
building, showcases genius technical innovations and objects which
revolutionised our everyday life.

| 15
ry and tradition . Along with the Museum of Industry, the
association also includes the Tuchfabrik Gebrüder Pfau
(Pfau brothers’ textile mill) in Crimmitschau, the Ehren-
friedersdorf Tin Mine Mineralogical Museum/display
mine and the Knappenrode Energy Factory . The Muse-
um of Industry is an important stop on the “Saxon Route
of Industrial Culture”, which covers over 50 relics of the
industrial age up to 1945 .
Industrial culture is also manifested
in artefacts, monu-
ments, landscapes and urban architecture, as well as in
knowledge, social conditioning and mentalities . In a bid
to preserve and further develop Saxon industrial culture,
the Saxon State Ministry of Higher Education, Research
and the Arts established the Industrial Culture co-ordi-
nation centre, based at the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates
Sachsen (Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxo-
ny) . The state-wide network of industrial culture is
managed through the latter’s information and communi-
cation platform .
Leipzig has been a printing hub for more than 500 years, and its Museum
of the Printing Arts displays old techniques of the printing trade.
Today, former factory halls are also sought-after as exhibition venues for the cultural and creative industries, such as here in Leipzig’s former cotton spinning workshops.
Saxony’s industrial age
began with textile manufacturing .
The first spinning workshops were established in Chemnitz in
1799, and the Königliche Gewerbschule (Royal Crafts Acad-
emy) was founded in 1836 . By 1837, 490,000 spindles were
operating at 120 Saxon spinning workshops . The production of
textile machinery – initially as replicas of English models – laid
the foundations for Saxony’s prominent mechanical engineer-
ing industry .

16 |
Remembrance and education:
memorial sites
On 30 January 1934
, the Free State of Saxony ceased
to exist under constitutional law, after the state gov-
ernment was placed under the control of the Reich . The
“Gleichschaltung der Länder” or nazification/alignment
of all states with the Nazi ideology resulted in Hitler’s
confidant Martin Mutschmann becoming the Reich Gov-
ernor of Saxony . It was under him, one of Nazi Germa-
ny’s most powerful state politicians, that thousands of
Jews were deported en masse in Saxony from October
1938 onwards . On the other hand, Saxony was also a
stronghold of the resistance movement against the
National Socialists . One of Germany’s most active re-
sistance groups, for example, was Leipzig’s Schumann-
Engert-Kresse Group in 1943/44 .
In July 1945, Saxony became
part of the Soviet-occupied
zone, and was given a new constitution . As time went
on, the separate districts of Dresden, Leipzig and Chem-
nitz/Karl-Marx-Stadt were formed . The Monday demon-
strations in Plauen, Dresden and Leipzig began in 1989,
and played a crucial role in ending the Socialist Uni-
ty Party’s regime . The Free State of Saxony was finally
re-established on the Albrechtsburg in Meissen on 3
October 1990, German Unity Day, and its constitution
came into effect on 6 June 1992 .
Various memorials and information centres
across Saxo-
ny document Saxony’s recent history, with victims of the
Nazi dictatorship, Soviet occupation and Socialist Unity
Party’s regime commemorated at authentic remembrance
sites .
“It’s not easy to
describe freedom
to someone who
already has it .”
Erich Loest (1926–2013),
writer and prisoner at Bautzen II
Our society’s culture and internal cohesion
depend large-
ly on which lessons from history people remember and
base their actions on . Examining and addressing the
various crimes committed during the National Social-
ist tyranny, particularly the Holocaust crimes against
humanity, and the crimes and breaches of human rights
witnessed during the communist dictatorship is designed
to provide modern-day guidance in terms of the rule of
The times of intolerance,
bigotry and racism that
began in 1933 saw Saxony’s
positive developments come
to an abrupt halt . Dresden,
Leipzig and Chemnitz all
witnessed the burning of
books in 1933, synagogues
in 1938, and eventually the
cities themselves in 1945 .
In East Germany, crossing frontiers from one artistic medium to another,
from fine arts to sound production, to super-8 film, to performance, to text
and theatre in the 1970s and ‘80s was part of the strategy adopted by the
obstreperous, which counteracted the regulations initiated by the ruling
Socialist Unity Party and artist association. Photo: Cassette cover in the
“Geniale Dilletanten” exhibition at the Dresden State Art Collections.

| 17
law and democratic values . Once the cruel lessons of the
20th century have been accepted, that knowledge of our
history must adopt a permanent place in our collective
memory through remembrance days, memorial sites, and
commemorative foundations .
The memorial sites
at authentic locations across Saxony
play a key role in addressing the Nazi tyranny and com-
munist dictatorship in the Soviet-occupied zone and East
Germany . They largely serve as museums, as they gather,
preserve and research evidence relating to the sites of
political persecution, and impart knowledge through
exhibitions . They also particularly reach out to young
people through lectures, concerts, theatre and other art
projects . The Saxon Memorial Foundation commemorat-
ing the victims of political tyranny was founded on 15
February 1994 .
During the days of the Nazi regime, Soviet occupation
and the GDR (East Germany), political objectors were
incarcerated in inhumane conditions at the Bautzen I
and II prisons . Respect is paid to the different periods of
persecution through three phases of remembrance in one
location .
The building of the Bautzen II “Stasi prison” houses
a memorial to the victims of the two Bautzen prisons,
focusing on the victims of the Soviet occupation and
GDR government .
Dresden’s Münchner Platz memorial is also dedicated
to recalling several layers of history . It revolves around
the victims of the politicised criminal justice system that
used the complex at Münchner Platz during the Nazi
dictatorship, Soviet occupation, and early years of the
GDR . From 1907, when it was opened as the Royal Sax-
on Regional Court, until late 1956, when the East Ger-
man judiciary had its last death sentence carried out, the
building at Münchner Platz was used as a courthouse,
jail and place of execution . More than 1,300 victims
of the judiciary, predominantly Czechoslovakian citi-
zens, were executed there during the Nazi period . The
memorial’s research and education work also extends to
other sites addressing the abuse of judicial power in
Dresden . These included the Dresden Superior Regional
Court on Pillnitzer Strasse, and the affiliated remand jail
II at Mathildenstrasse 59 . The jail, nicknamed “Mathilde“,
was a branch of the main facility adjoining the Dresden
Regional Court at George-Bähr-Strasse 7 .
In 1940 and 1941, the Nazis murdered 13,720 peo-
ple, most of them mentally ill or intellectually disabled,
including many children, at the former Pirna-Sonnen-
stein care facility, an institution previously renowned
for its humanistic traditions . The victims were killed in
a gas chamber as part of “Operation T4”, the Nazis’ medi-
cal murder campaign . More than a thousand prisoners
from Nazi concentration camps died here in the summer
of 1941 . It was not until 1989 that the almost-forgot-
ten mass murders gradually started resurfacing in public
consciousness . In 1991, citizens of Pirna and relatives of
the victims founded the Trustees of the Sonnenstein Me-
morial association (“Kuratorium Gedenkstätte Sonnen-
stein e .V .”) to establish a memorial, which was opened at
the historic site in June 2000 . A remembrance area and
permanent exhibition have been recounting the history
of this place ever since .
The Fort Zinna and Brückenkopf military prisons and
the Reich Military Court, which was moved from Ber-
lin to Torgau in August 1943, saw Torgau become the
Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler “Self-portrait with hand study” pencil drawing on
cardboard (1932). Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler was one of the thousands of people
murdered by the Nazis at the Pirna-Sonnenstein “euthanasia” facility in 1940/41.
Today she is acknowledged as one of the most prominent German artists of the
early 20th century.

18 |
hub of the Wehrmacht penal system during World War II .
After the war, the Soviet secret police (NKWD) estab-
lished Special Camps 8 and 10 at Fort Zinna and the
nearby Seydlitz Barracks . Germans were interned at
Camp No . 8, while German and Soviet citizens who had
been convicted by the Soviet military tribunals were
imprisoned at Camp No . 10 . The East German People’s
Police used Fort Zinna prison as a penal institution from
1950 to 1990, primarily incarcerating political prisoners
here in the 1950s and ‘60s . Juvenile offenders were also
imprisoned in Torgau until 1975 .
The Torgau Documentation and Information Centre
(“DIZ”) was founded in 1991 as an organisation designed
to document the history of the Torgau prisons during the
Nazi era, Soviet occupation and GDR rule . Today, the
DIZ Torgau is part of the Saxon Memorial Foundation
dedicated to commemorating the victims of political
tyranny .
Due to the fact the main prison site – Fort Zinna – is
currently used by the Free State of Saxony as a cor-
rectional facility, the DIZ Torgau and its exhibition are
instead located at Hartenfels Castle . A memorial site
providing spaces for the various phases of remembrance
is situated next to the present-day correctional facility at
Fort Zinna .
The memorial commemorates the victims of the POW
camp located in Zeithain, near Riesa, between 1941
and 1945 . It was established in April 1941, before Nazi
Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union, and from Octo-
ber 1943 onwards started housing Soviet, Italian, Serbi-
an, British, French and Polish prisoners . In total, around
25,000 to 30,000 Soviet prisoners of war and more than
900 prisoners from other countries – including at least
862 Italians – died in Zeithain, primarily from malnutri-
tion and horrific sanitation .
The camp’s victims are buried at four cemeteries around
the former site at Jacobsthal train station . A permanent
exhibition in the document building at Zeithain Memo-
rial Grove and a former barracks facility recounts the
history of this camp, which was the largest of its kind in
Germany . The memorial is intended as a meeting place
for the former POWs’ relatives, and as an international
centre of information and education, especially for
young people .
The Saxon State Ministry for the Arts
also contributes
funding to independent memorials, such as Dresden’s
Bautzner Strasse memorial (a former Stasi remand jail)
and Leipzig’s “Runde Ecke” Museum (the former Sta-
si district administration offices) . The Saxon Memorial
Foundation also uses state and federal funds to support
independent agencies such as the Memorial and Commu-
nity Centre at the former Torgau Closed Youth Deten-
tion Centre, the Archives of the East German Civil Rights
Movement, and other memorial institutions .
The amendment to the Saxon Memorials Act
16/12/2012 enables additional memorials to qualify for
funding . These particularly include the Leipzig Forced
Labour Memorial, the former central East German
execution centre in Leipzig, the former Sachsenburg
Nazi concentration camp, the Torgau Closed Youth
Detention Facility Memorial, the former Hoheneck Wom-
en’s Prison, and the Memorial to the Victims of Euthanasia
in Grossschweidnitz .
The Documentation Bureau
on the History of Resistance
and Repression in the Nazi Period, Soviet Occupation
Zone and the GDR is a Dresden-based historic research
Exhibition at the Silesian Museum in Görlitz
Left: The Zeitgeschichtliches Forum in Leipzig provides insights into the history
of dictatorship and resistance in the Soviet occupation zone and GDR.

| 19
institution run by Saxon Memorials Foundation com-
memorating the victims of political tyranny . Its work
focuses on the history of resistance and repression dur-
ing the Nazi era, World War II and post-war period, the
history of the Soviet occupied zone and the history of
the GDR .
In addition to its memorials, Saxony is also home to
other museums centred on our state’s more recent history .
The Leipzig Historical Forum
features exhibitions, events
and educational services relating to the history of Ger-
many and Europe after World War II . The modern mu-
seum in downtown Leipzig also helps describe the
experiences of people in East and West Germany to
facilitate mutual understanding . The museum is run by
the “Haus der Geschichte” history foundation in Bonn,
which is supported and financed by the federal German
government .
The Silesian Museum in Görlitz
, financed by the German
federal government, Free State of Saxony and City of
Görlitz, focuses on 20th-century Silesian history, paint-
ing a detailed picture of politics, culture and every-
day life during the times of the Weimar Republic and
Nazi dictatorship . Films, sound recordings, photos and
memoirs document the horrors endured by old Silesia:
Nazi tyranny, World War II and the expulsion of the
German people . The museum also focuses on the Polish
settlement of Silesia, and the fates of those expelled in
East and West Germany .
The Bundeswehr Military History Museum
is one of
Europe’s most important history museums . Its exhibitions
revolve around people and the causes of war and
violence . Different perspectives, views and fates are
featured in over 10,000 exhibits recounting numerous
moving stories . The museum is intended as a forum for
examining military history and discussing the role of
war and the military .
The Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden with the “wedge” by architect Daniel Libeskind

20 |
Big names:
from the worlds
of music, painting,
theatre, dance
and literature
Saxony has always enchanted
people, be they artists, poets,
scholars, naturalists, humanists,
entrepreneurs or men and women
simply seeking a better future
there . Some were born in Saxony,
such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte
and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing,
while others, like Arthur Schopen-
hauer, Friedrich Schiller,
Johann Gottfried Herder and
Ludwig Tieck, were immigrants .
In any case, many of Germany’s
great intellectuals have ties with
Saxony, whether through their
origins or residence here .
The names of the Old Masters
who lived and worked in
Saxony over the centuries – in the fields of painting,
music, fine arts, architecture, literature dance and the-
atre – would fill pages . They honed their craft in Sax-
ony, and helped give Saxon art and culture its unique
character – thereby writing key chapters in the history of
German and European culture . The heritage of the “Old
Masters” thus serves as both inspiration and the basis for
constructive debate .
Just as Heinrich Schütz
is rightly called the “father” of
German music, so he is joined by a whole host of other
dazzling names . There would never have been a Caspar
David Friedrich without Johann Alexander Thiele, or
a Johann Christoph Knöffel without Matthäus Daniel
Caspar David Friedrich
came to the region
to capture its beauty on canvas .
Otto Dix
was heavily influ-
enced by Saxony, and the Gunzenhauser Museum in Chemnitz
today houses one of the largest collections of his works . Groups
of artists like the
“Die Brücke”
expressionists, the
Bernhard Heisig
Wolfgang Mattheuer
Werner Tübke
, and the New Leipzig School, which con-
quered the world with its EIGEN + ART gallery, discovered their
creative flair in Saxony and consequently wrote art history .
And artists such as
Georg Baselitz
A. R. Penck
Neo Rauch
, who trade very highly on the mod-
ern-day market, also all have Saxon roots .

Pöppelmann, or a Carl Maria von Weber without Johann
Gottlieb Naumann . And it wasn’t just at the court in
Dresden; special talent also emerged from the state’s
small towns . The roots of many Saxon musicians and
church musicians can be traced back to vicarages in the
Ore Mountains, where musical traditions have long been
avidly cultivated . All this collectively lays the founda-
tions for a broad spectrum of artistic creativity in Saxo-
ny .
Saxon artists
like Max Klinger, Max Beckmann and Karl
Schmidt-Rottluff inspired the classic modernity era in
the same way Gret Palucca managed to add a complete-
ly new chapter to her craft with the new Ausdruckstanz
(“expressionist dance”) . Much of what we know today as
free, contemporary dance originates in Dresden-Hellerau .
Poetry has been flourishing in Saxony
since the ear-
ly modern age, with lively exchanges between painters,
artists, musicians and writers serving as inspiration for
all forms of art . Names like Lessing, Gellert, Goethe and
Schiller are closely interwoven with the Saxon literary
scene . They set standards in just the same way as the
authors of the “Saxon School of Poets” did in
the 20th century . Born in the 1930s and
1940s, and largely influenced by Leipzig’s “Johannes R .
Becher” German Institute for Literature and the lyric
poet Georg Maurer, names like Karl Mickel, Volker
Braun, Sarah and Rainer Kirsch, Heinz Czechowski, Adolf
Endler, Bernd Jentzsch, Wulf Kirsten, Peter
Gosse and Elke Erball became famous .
At the turn of the century
, the
authorities in Dresden tried to
ignore the rising industrialisa-
tion, the tensions in the growing
city, and the call for greater
democracy and social
justice . It was this regal
spirit which triggered
the 1905 revolt by
Dresden’s young ar-
chitecture students,
who had formed
the “Die Brücke”
| 21
Exhibition with works by Gerhard Richter, one of the most prominent artists of
the 20th and 21st centuries, at the Dresden State Art Collections. The Gerhard
Richter Archive here covers some 300 publications on Gerhard Richter, and
around 4,500 other books and catalogues examining his work.
Left: Not far from Leipzig’s Gewandhaus is Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s
(1809–1847) place of birth and last residence. The Mendelssohn House takes
visitors on an exciting journey through the artist’s life and work.
The Erich Kästner
Museum at Dresden’s
Albertplatz presents the
world-famous children’s
writer, poet, journalist
and media figure as an
exemplary author of
the 20th century.

22 |
Industriemuseum Chemnitz
artists’ community . The founding members Fritz Bleyl,
Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-
Rottluff were later joined by Max Pechstein and Emil
Nolde, and together they campaigned against established
artistry and moral hypocrisy as part of their commitment
to freedom of work . Other big names like Robert Sterl,
Oskar Kokoschka and Otto Dix are all inextricably linked
with the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, founded by the
Wettins in 1764 as “Haupt-Kunst-Akademie” .
Despite the new media available
at the turn of the centu-
ry, young Saxon art students stuck with what the Acad-
emy of Fine Arts Leipzig (Hochschule für Grafik und
Buchkunst Leipzig) had always been good at: skilfully
taught painting . In the meantime, they had already made
a name for themselves on the world stage as the “New
Leipzig School”, and were enjoying incredible success in
the major art metropolises . Neo Rauch, Tilo Baumgärtel,
Tim Eitel and David Schnell all learned under Arno Rink,
while Matthias Weischer was influenced by Sighard
Gille . Rink and Gille are former students of the “Leipzig
School” members Bernhard Heisig, Wolfgang Mattheuer
and Werner Tübke .
Many artists born in East Germany
, including world
famous painters such as Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz
and A . R . Penck, ended up leaving the country, deem-
ing it too intellectually limiting and without prospects .
But others who remained, such as Hermann Glöck-
ner, Gerhard Altenbourg, Carl Friedrich Claus, Michael
Morgner, Max Uhlig and Hartwig Ebersbach, were by
no means behind international standards in modern art .
And while the Saxon music scene continues to ruminate
on its “Old Masters”, unheard works of the 20th and 21st
centuries are often also premiered and performed .
Famous teachers and alumni
at Saxony’s music acad-
emies have influenced, and continue to influence, the
international cultural landscape: Wilhelm Backhaus,
Ludwig Güttler, Sebastian Krumbiegel, Tobias Künzel,
Kurt Masur, Ulrich Mühe, Tom Pauls, Max Reger, Rob-
ert Schumann, Sir Arthur Sullivan and Nadja Uhl, along
with founder Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy at the Leipzig
University of Music and Theatre, for example, and names
like Günter “Baby” Sommer, René Pape, Till Brönner,
Annette Jahns, Eckart Haupt and Céline Rudolph at the
Carl Maria von Weber University of Music in Dresden . And
the list goes on: In theatre with names like Corinna Har-
fouch, Rolf Hoppe; and in literature with Thomas Rosen-
löcher, Marcel Beyer, Durs Grünbein, Peter Richter, Fran-
ziska Gerstenberg, and Uwe Tellkamp . Just to name a few .
The “Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Paintings and sculptures” permanent exhibition at the Chemnitz Art Collections at Theaterplatz
Handrij Zejler (1804–1872)
is considered the founder of
modern Sorbian poetry . The Zejler Prize awarded by the Saxon
State Ministry for the Arts in recognition of outstanding work
in acquiring, using and teaching the Sorbian language is named
after him .

| 23
The Zwickau Art Collections at the Max Pechstein Museum are 100 years old. Lucas Cranach, Franz von Lenbach
and Max Liebermann are just a few of the many artists whose work has made its way into the museum’s halls.
Particular focus is placed on the works of native Zwickauer and “Brücke” artist Max Pechstein (1881–1955).
Dance matinée at the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden (University of Dance).
The academy was founded by Gret Palucca in 1925.

Saxony is known for its rich, vibrant
art and cultural scene, attracting
millions of guests and visitors every
year . They go to the museums and
theatres, listen to concerts and operas,
or participate therein themselves:
at the many socio-cultural centres,
in choirs and music ensembles,
and in theatre productions .
Experiencing culture or being culturally active means
being truly alive – with creativity, curiosity and imag-
ination . Culture is important for societies, as it facili-
tates dialogue and interaction . Cultural institutions, art-
ists and socio-cultural centres are open to new, inspiring
cultures, and thus promote genuine understanding . Cul-
ture, in turn, can also be more acute, and itself address
conflicts in the community – serving us as a mirror and
also sparking controversy .
“Montagscafé” at the Small House at Dresden
State Theatre (Staatsschauspiel Dresden), an open
meeting place for Dresdeners and refugees.
24 |

| 25

26 |
Solid foundations:
promoting culture
at a high level
Culture can build bridges, but
itself also needs a foundation .
How can we make art and
culture accessible to as many
people as possible, regardless
of age, social standing or back-
ground? How can we preserve
Saxony’s cultural heritage?
And how can we create a space
for new forms of culture, for
artistic expression and for social
participation in art and culture?
These are all questions cultural
policy needs to address .
A cultural scene encouraging people to stroll around discovering and marvelling. During the “Lange Nacht der Theater”
open theatres night, for example, Dresden’s theatres and ensembles showcase samples of their work on over thirty different stages.

| 27
The Free State of Saxony
, and the Saxon State Ministry
for the Arts in particular, is responsible for a number of
cultural institutions and projects . In keeping with the
principle of subsidiarity (whereby a governmental task
is performed by the lower level/smaller unit wherev-
er possible), particular areas of responsibility fall first to
local governments, then to the cultural regions, the
Saxon Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung Sachsen) and
the Ministry for the Arts .
The clearly structured funding policy
between state funding by the Saxon State Ministry for
Higher Education, Research and the Arts – i .e . the fund-
ing of state institutions and general funding of the arts
and culture –, cultural region funding, local government
cultural funding, and finally funding by the Free State of
Saxony’s Cultural Foundation .
Institutions under the immediate supervision
of the Sax-
on State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the
Arts include the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD), the
Saxon State Opera with the Saxon State Orchestra (Säch-
sische Staatskapelle), the Dresden State Theatre (Staats-
schauspiel Dresden), the Archaeological Heritage Office
with the State Museum of Archaeology Chemnitz (smac),
the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB), and the
German Central Library for the Blind (DZB) in Leipzig .
The Free State of Saxony is additionally the sole share-
holder of Landesbühnen Sachsen GmbH, Staatliche
Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen gGmbH, Au-
gustusburg/Scharfenstein/Lichtenwalde Schlossbetriebe
gGmbH, Festung Königstein gGmbH, and Meissen
Porzellan-Stiftung GmbH .
The 2016 (8th) cultural financing report
filed by the
federal and state bureaus of statistics found that Saxo-
ny has the highest per-capita cultural expenditure of any
German state, excluding city-states . The State Ministry
for Higher Education, Research and the Arts will budget
The Free State of Saxony’s Cultural Foundation
has been responsible for an important area of funding since 2005, when it
was assigned projects involving the general funding of art and culture . It provides support for state-wide, national and international
projects, including competitions, theatre, dance and music festivals, (guest) performances, documentaries, publications, and cultur-
al education measures, and also awards scholarships to freelance artists . The foundation is part of the indirect public administration
under the State Ministry for the Arts .
The Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig) is one of Germany’s oldest art academies, and has around 600 students.
Actions to preserve culture in Saxony can also draw on the independent advice of Saxony’s Cultural Senate (Kultursenat) and the
Saxon Arts Academy
(Sächsische Akademie der Künste) . The role of the latter, as an institution run by the Free State of Saxony, is
to promote art, submit proposals regarding promotion and funding, and preserve the traditions of the Saxon Cultural Region .
Saxon Cultural Senate
addresses fundamental cultural issues, advising and assisting with funding policy in the field of state
and municipal art and culture . The main focus here is on structural issues and issues of principle .

213 .4 million Euros for culture in 2017, and 216 .2 mil-
lion Euros in 2018 – an increase of around 13 million
Euros compared to previous years . Apart from financ-
ing the major cultural institutions such as the SKD, the
Archaeological Heritage Office with the smac, and the
Saxon State Theatre with the State Opera and Dres-
den State Theatre, the Ministry for the Arts/Free State
also maintain financial holdings in other establishments/
foundations .
These include the Free State of Saxony’s
Cultural Foun-
dation (Kulturstiftung), the Saxon Cultural Senate
(Kultursenat), the Foundation for the Sorbian People
(Stiftung für das Sorbische Volk), the Saxon Memori-
als Foundation(Stiftung Sächsische Gedenkstätten), the
Bach-Archive Leipzig Foundation, the Mendelssohn
Foundation, the Saxon Museum of Industry, the Leipzig
Museum of Contemporary Art, The Silesian Museum in
Görlitz, the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden and
the Saxon Arts Academy . The Ministry also funds pro-
jects aimed at preserving performing arts and music,
and revolving around fine arts, private museums, films,
literature, socioculture and cross-genre art forms . In
other areas, such as construction, the cultural and creative
industries, and integration, culture in Saxony is supported
by additional ministries .
Contemporary art and cultural works
receive funding by
the Free State of Saxony across the board, including in
the field of socioculture, as well as fine and performing
arts, literature, cultural films and cross-genre art forms .
The funding is focused on Saxony-based artists and their
contemporary art projects .
The Ministry for the Arts recognises
outstanding work
and promising talent by awarding prizes, such as:
The Sächsischer Museumspreis (Saxon Museum Prize,
every two years, worth 30,000 Euros – one main prize
and two special prizes); alternating with the “Museum
Volunteer” award
The Free State of Saxony’s Lessing Prize and study
awards for the Lessing Prize (every two years, worth
a total of 24,000 Euros)
Sächsischer Literaturpreis (Saxon Literature Prize,
every two years, worth 5,500 Euros)
Leipziger Buchpreis zur europäischen Verständigung
(Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding, an-
nually, worth 20,000 Euros, in co-operation with the
City of Leipzig)
Sächsischer Industriekulturpreis (Saxon Industrial
Culture Prize, every two years, worth 10,000
Euros, together with the Vereinigung der Sächsischen
Wirtschaft e .V . and the Johann-Andreas-Schubert
Sächsischer Bibliothekspreis (Saxon Library Award,
annually, worth10,000 Euros, in co-operation with
the Landesverband Sachsen im Deutschen
Bibliotheksverband e .V .)
Filmförderpreis (Film prize, annually,
worth 20,000 Euros)
Europäischer Kinderfilmpreis (European Children’s
Film Award, annually, worth 12,500 Euros)
Neisse-Filmpreis (annually, worth 5,000 Euros)
Preis für sorbische Sprache Zejler-Preis
(Zejler Sorbian Language Prize, every two years,
worth 5,000 Euros)
Sächsischer Tanzpreis (Saxon Dance Prize, every
two years, worth 10,000 Euros, sponsored by
Sparkassen-Versicherung Sachsen)
The national “Jugend musiziert” competi-
tion motivates young musicians to put on
unique artistic performances, enriching
both guests and participants alike. It has
become a fine tradition of the Saxon State
Ministry for the Arts, together with the
Saxon Music Council (Sächsischer Musikrat)
to honour the final winners with a concert
at the end of the competition.
28 |

| 29
Förderpreis für Computer- und technikbasierte Kunst
(Award for computer-based and technology-based art,
every two years, worth 10,000 Euros)
Förderpreis für Kunst und Demografie
(Art and demography award, every two years, worth
10,000 Euros, in co-operation with the Landesverband
Soziokultur Sachsen e .V ., and donated by the
Johanna und Fritz Buch Gedächtnis-Stiftung
(Johanna and Fritz Buch Memorial Foundation)
Sächsischer Preis für Kulturelle Bildung
(Saxon Award for Cultural Education, every two
years, worth 8,500 Euros, in co-operation with
the Landesverband Soziokultur Sachsen e .V .)
Sächsischer Verlagspreis (ab 2018, worth 10,000
Euro, in co-operation with State Ministry for
Economic Affairs, Labour and Transportation and
Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels,
Landesverband Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thüringen)
If nothing else, the state of a society is measured
the way it treats its minorities . Germany’s national
minorities include around 60,000 Sorbs, whose rights are
established and protected in the Brandenburg and Saxon
constitutions . The Stiftung für das sorbische Volk (Foun-
dation for the Sorbian People) plays a valuable role in
preserving, developing, supporting and promoting Sorb-
ian language, culture and traditions . Continuing to sup-
port the foundation is a matter of importance for the
Free State of Saxony, as this financial aid is the only
way to ensure the aforementioned good work can keep
going . In the Third Agreement governing the joint
financing of the Foundation for the Sorbian People
between the federal government, Free State of Saxo-
ny and the State of Brandenburg, 9 .3 million Euros are
provided by the federal government, 6 .2 million by the
Free State of Saxony, and 3 .1 million by Brandenburg .
On this basis, the foundation receives 18 .6 million Euros
in total funding every year .
Along with the state and municipal sponsorship
and fund-
ing of culture, other important elements include civic
involvement and volunteer work . These range from
recreational musical/artistic work, membership of spon-
sor associations, voluntary support and the volunteer
service, to gifting and donating private cultural assets to
museums, to classic patronage and private cultural spon-
soring . Without private foundations, and the personal
commitment of the many volunteers, Saxony’s cultural
scene would be much poorer, and in some cases non-
existent . The churches and religious communities also
act as important links in preserving Saxon culture .
Around 87,000 architects, art dealers, composers, musicians, au-
thors, stage performers, journalists, broadcasters, publishers and
game developers work
in Saxony’s cultural and creative
Many young artists and cultural professionals need
help with communications, looking for offices, or networking
with others if they are freelance or set up a small business . With
2 .5 million Euros in state-government start-up financing and
“help for self-help”, Saxony’s cultural and creative industry
is creating a central hub, supported by the Landesverband der
Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft Sachsen e .V .
Left: Presenting the “Museum voluntary work” award
More and more accessibility at a growing number of museums.
This means barrier-free wheelchair access, tours in simple language,
and services for the blind, visually impaired or hearing impaired –
such as here at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden.

30 |
Right amongst it:
boosting cultural
Culture for everyone,
everywhere – that means
facilitating easy, unobstructed
access to culture for everyone,
whether in urban or rural areas .
It also means ensuring people
of all ages in rural regions have
the same opportunities to
participate in, contribute to
and help shape Saxony’s rich
cultural scene .
A task requiring great patience
, and which constantly
poses new challenges . Many stakeholders have already
dedicated themselves to the issue, with art and cultur-
al associations, local governments, the Cultural Regions’
networking centres, artists themselves, schools, the
employment agency, the youth welfare office, museums,
theatres, music schools and others all providing cultural
education .
Every year, the State Ministry for the Arts provides
cultural-education projects and structures with around
one million Euros in funding . This helps finance network-
ing centres in several Cultural Regions, which put schools,
artists and cultural institutions in contact with one
another . There are also other projects, such as the
Co-ordination Centre for Schools and Theatre (KOST)
jointly financed with the Ministry for Education and
Culture, which supports theatre projects at schools and
organises student theatre get-togethers in the Free State
of Saxony . The Ministry for the Arts additionally funds
transport projects enabling art-loving children and cul-
tural institutions to come together in rural regions .
25 music schools also receive
over five million Euros
a year in funding as part of the Verband deutscher
Musikschulen (German music schools association) . The
statewide “Jedem Kind ein Instrument” (“an instru-
ment for every child”) project sponsored by the Verband
deutscher Musikschulen – Landesverband Sachsen e . V .
is another component of the cultural-education policy . It
sees more than 50 primary schools, predominantly from
rural areas, co-operate with municipal music schools .
A statewide concept is designed to highlight
education at schools, promote cultural and intercultural
competence, boost cultural education services (especially
outside urban centres), and develop a digital platform for
presenting services and funding options . It also involves
a transport concept for rural schools, facilitating access
to the cultural education services .
Socioculture, which can maintain or create services
families, children and the elderly, transcends genera-
tions, especially in rural areas . As the most vibrant and
diverse form of culture, socioculture is given particular
importance here . On the one hand, it coexists at an equal
level along with all other sectors, and on the other, it
performs an interdisciplinary function . It is not classic
theatre, classic fine arts or classic literature; it is always
a mixture of everything, with different forms of expres-
sion and appeal for various generations .
The Landesverband Soziokultur Sachsen e.V. is the umbrella association
for over 50 socio-cultural establishments and initiatives across Saxony.

| 31
Culture is for everyone
, which means not leaving out
those with any kind of impairment . This includes
people with disabilities – both as staff members and as
visitors and cultural institutions . Accessibility means
giving everyone the chance to enjoy and use all areas
of life without restriction . Saxony’s cultural institutions
are endeavouring to expand their accessibility services,
including structural accessibility, tours in plain lan-
guage, and services for the blind, visually impaired or
hearing-impaired . As part of the Saxon state govern-
ment’s action plan to implement the UN Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a decision has
been made to promote and support accessible educa-
tional services at government-run museums and thea-
tres . Measures to enable accessibility at private museums
and other cultural institutions are being aided through a
separate “Inclusion” directive . One million Euros in
funding has been provided annually since June 2017
to improve opportunities for people with disabilities to
participate and be involved . The aim is to for it to no
longer be a case of integrating specific cases, but rather
ensuring all conditions cater to the needs of all people,
with or without disabilities or impairments, right from
the outset – as required by the UN Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities .
Theatre can inspire. “Get up! Stand up!,” the first project to be run by the Dresden State Theatre, which involves an entire school group up on stage, has once again proven this.
Tours are also available in simple language
at the State Museum of Archaeology Chemnitz (smac).

Stars of the future:
internationally renowned
training for artists
Saxony offers unique artistic
education in many areas, with
five prestigious universities of
fine arts training young artists
from all over the world .
Palucca University of Dance Dresden
builds on its over-
85-year tradition, offering the highest level of interdisci-
plinary dance training . The university’s philosophy is to
enable creative learning in which all students, whether
they be training to become dancers, dance teachers or
choreographers, are encouraged to find, learn and develop
their own artistic expression .
With a history spanning more than 250 years
, the Dres-
den Academy of Fine Arts is one of Europe’s oldest fine
arts training schools . It was found-
ed as the “Haupt-Kunst-Akade-
mie” in 1764, having previously existed as a “Zeichen-
und Malerschule” (“drawing and painting school”) since
1680 . It provides a wide range of practical artistic work-
shops, including “graphic design workshops”, “sculptor
workshops”, an “open media laboratory” and the “video
studio”, and also offers additional, subject-specific facil-
ities for the individual courses .
University of Music Carl Maria von Weber Dresden
, one
of the oldest institutions of its kind in Germany, has
more than 600 students from all over the world . The ser-
vices offered at the university and adjoining Landesgym-
nasium music school mean this Dresden institution has
one of Germany’s most innovative educational concepts .
With a new concert hall, the Kleiner Saal and many
external venues, the university is the region’s largest
concert organiser . Over 400 events are held every year –
from children’s concerts to operas, workshops to master-
classes, competitions to jazz concerts .
Leipzig also boasts top international class
at the Uni-
versity of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bart-
holdy” Leipzig . The Leipzig Conservatory of Music was
opened on 2 April 1843 at the instigation of then-Ge-
wandhauskapellmeister Mendelssohn Bartholdy and
At the Carl Maria von Weber
University of Music Dresden
32 |

| 33
other art-minded citizens, making it the first tertiary
institution for musicians in what is today Germany .
Holding 700 events, the university has one of the busiest
yearly calendars, with symphony concerts, operas, organ
concerts, jazz events, theatre productions and competi-
tions all integral parts of the Leipzig cultural scene .
Founded by Elector Frederick Christian of Saxony
as the
“Zeichnungs-, Mahlerey- und Architectur-Akademie”
(“academy of drawing, painting and architecture”), along
with the Dresdener Akademie and a drawing school at
the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, the Academy of Fine
Arts Leipzig (HGB) is one of the oldest universities of fine
arts in Europe . Its excellently equipped workshops for
woodcarving, artistic offset printing, lithographs, etch-
ing, screenprinting, letterpress, bookbinding and hand
setting, coupled with the audiovisual laboratory and
3D laboratory, ensure the university caters perfectly to
both innovation and tradition . Its Institut für Buchkunst
(Institute of Book Arts) produces elaborate, unusual
publications which regularly receive awards in national
and international competitions .
The German Institute for Literature
(DLL) at Leipzig
University offers outstanding university education for
writers in the German-speaking world . Alumni of the in-
stitute who later made a name for themselves as writers
include: Ralph Giordano, Kerstin Hensel, Sarah Kirsch,
Rainer Kirsch, Angela Krauss, Erich Loest, Dieter Mucke,
Andreas Reimann, Gerti Tetzner, Fred Wanderand other
aforementioned artists from the “Saxon School of Poets”
(“Sächsische Dichterschule”) .
The University of Applied Sciences Leipzig
continues the
city’s long tradition of training librarians, booksellers
and museologists, establishing a prominent position with
its rare, book-related courses . Students of the Universi-
ty of Applied Sciences Zwickau can study wood design,
fashion design and textile art/design at the Applied Arts
faculty in Schneeberg, while future musical instrument
builders learn their trade in Markneukirchen . The Uni-
versity of Applied Sciences Dresden, meanwhile, runs
a product design course . The wide range of options on
offer at Saxony’s state-run universities are joined by
other private or church-run institutions, such as the
Dresden College of Church Music, operated by the Evan-
gelical-Lutheran Church of Saxony in Dresden .
It’s about exchange, new perspectives, lively interactions and
opportunities: Many of the
who have fled to Ger-
many are also young people who were studying art or graphic
design in their home countries, but were unable to complete
their studies . The HGB’s Academy for Transcultural Exchange
– started as the only project of its kind in Germany – enables
them to continue their studies after taking an aptitude test .
Theatre painting course at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts
Right: Palucca University of Dance Dresden with
the piece “Aufforderung zum Tanz” (“Call to dance”)

34 |

Saxony is inextricably linked
with a great wealth of music,
theatre, museums, film, dance,
literature and fine arts . The
state’s cultural scene, with its
rich cultural heritage but also
the courage to embrace innova-
tion, makes the region highly
liveable, unique and attractive,
creates identity, and provides
grounding and guidance . It is
for this reason that protecting,
maintaining and promoting art
and culture is a constitutional
task in the Free State .
The DOK Leipzig, founded in 1955, is the world’s oldest
documentary film festival. The DOK Neuland programme
is part of the festival’s official selection. It presents the
latest developments in interactive work.
| 35

36 |
Preserving cultural heritage
Visitors and locals alike are
attracted by the well preserved
or restored old town centres,
historic buildings, archaeological
monuments, cultural tourism
trails, palaces, castles and gardens,
as well as modern architecture .
The most important museums
are housed in highly
prestigious buildings, monuments, in their own right .
Well over 300 million Euros have been invested in
rebuilding Dresden’s Royal Palace alone since the 1990s .
With Augustusburg Palace, Pillnitz Palace, the histor-
ic centres of Meissen, Torgau and Bautzen, Wilhelmin-
ian districts such as Chemnitz’s Kassberg, and numer-
ous monuments, the list of Saxon architecture is a long
one .“Staatliche Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen
gemeinnützige GmbH” markets, manages and presents
nineteen of the most interesting cultural monuments .
The “Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau”
landscape park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is
a particular focus of conservation efforts . It is an excel-
lent example of European landscaping, and the largest
English-style park in Central Europe . The Erzgebirge Ore
Mountain region, meanwhile, is a tentative candidate for
the UNESCO list .
The intangible cultural heritage represents
a lively every-
day culture passed down from generation to genera-
tion . This includes dance, theatre, music, oral traditions,
natural medicine and craftsmanship – all of which con-
stitute knowledge and skills which give people a sense of
belonging and identity . Germany has been part of
the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the
Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2013 . The co-operative
idea has been part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of
Humanity since the end of 2016, and the national
application for admission was formulated in Rhine-
land-Palatinate and Saxony . Saxony boasts additional
entries in the national register of intangible heritage,
including choral music in Germany’s amateur choirs,
customs and festivals of the Lusatian Sorbs, the char-
burner trade and tar distilling, Vogtland musical instru-
ment building in Markneukirchen and surrounds, Saxon
boys’ choirs, as well as miners’ parades and processions .
It also has its own state register .
Three Leipzig sites
are recognised as part of the “Iron
Curtain” European Cultural Heritage in the form of St
Nicholas’ Church, the Leipziger Ring (main street circle
around the old town), and the “Museum in der Runden
Ecke” (“Museum in the Round Corner”) . In late 2016, the
expert committee of the Kultusministerkonferenz (Stand-
The “Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau”, with two thirds located in Poland and one third in Germany

ing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cul-
tural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of
Germany) also approved the City of Leipzig’s application
for the European Cultural Heritage Seal, and forward-
ed the “Leipzig’s Musical Heritage Sites” application (the
only one received in Germany) to the European Commis-
sion for a final decision .
The Saxon State and University Library
(SLUB) in Dresden
houses several world renowned manuscripts . The Doc-
umentary Heritage is a register kept as part of UNES-
CO’s Memory of the World programme to preserve the
documentary heritage of humanity . It covers precious
manuscripts, scores, books, pictorial documents and
audiovisual files representing the collective memory of
humanity in the various countries . The World Docu-
mentary Heritage at the SLUB includes a personal man-
uscript by Martin Luther, which he used for his first
lecture on the psalms as a newly qualified professor of
theology at Wittenberg University from 1513 to 1515 .
The “Corvinas” archived at the SLUB are also classified as
World Documentary Heritage . Matthias Corvinus, King of
Hungary, owned one of the largest and most distin-
guished book collections of the Renaissance . In 2005,
UNESCO declared the 216 Corvinas preserved from 52
public and private collections around the world as World
Documentary Heritage .
Included in the national
list of intangible cultural
heritage: Vogtland musical
instrument building
in Markneukirchen and
It is hard to believe that the Royal Palace was only rebuilt a few years ago. It burnt almost completely to the ground during the air raids on Dresden
in February 1945 – only one section of the Historic Green Vault and cellars remained intact. Photo: The large courtyard of Dresden’s Royal Palace.
| 37

38 |

| 39
Where the music plays
Saxony is synonymous with prominent
figures of music history . Composers like
Schütz, Bach, Weber, Schumann,
Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Wagner all
worked in Dresden and Leipzig . And even
today, Saxony continues to be a region
envied for its cultural and particularly
musical wealth . The wide range and high
concentration of top musical services
range from amateur music cultivated at
schools and music academies, in choirs,
young bands, almost every church
community, affiliated with other establish-
ments and theatres, to educational institu-
tions like Saxony’s universities of music,
to the freelance scene, to world renowned
professional ensembles .
Saxony has the highest concentration
of theatres and
orchestras of any German state . Between Plauen and
Görlitz sixteen theatres can be found, ten of which are
more than 100 years old, while the Saxon State Opera in
Dresden and Leipzig Opera are both more than 300 years
old . Among Saxony’s most distinguished orchestras are
the Saxon State Orchestra (Sächsische Staatskapelle),
the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Dresden
Leipzig’s Gewandhausorchester is one
of the world’s leading ensembles.

40 |
Philharmonic Orchestra . A further nine independent
orchestras exist across the Free State .
The Saxon State Opera in Dresden
, known as the Sem-
peroper, is one of the world’s most famous opera hou-
ses . It is committed to Dresden’s great opera tradi-
tions, which also include contemporary musical theatre .
In keeping with its international prominence and cul-
tural mandate, the State Opera works with artists of
national and international acclaim . It is home to the
Saxon State Orchestra (Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden),
one of the world’s oldest and most historic orchestras,
having been conducted by Heinrich Schütz, Johann Adolf
Hasse, Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner . Many
composers wrote pieces premiered by or dedicated to
the Staatskapelle . “Like the glitter of old gold” was how
Herbert von Karajan described the sound of the Saxon State
Orchestra in the joint recording of the “Meistersing-
er” in 1972, thereby characterising yet another of the
orchestra’s unique traits . Over the centuries, the
orchestra has managed to preserve its own tonal identi-
ty, which distinguishes it from other leading orchestras .
The Leipzig Opera
boasts a history spanning more than
300 years, joining the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Dresden’s Semperoper provides a grand setting for opera, orchestra, ballet and youth
scene performances. It has also become a symbol of the city, and is synonymous
worldwide with prominent opera productions.
It is the task of the
Saxon Music Council
Musikrat) to preserve the state’s music traditions and support
contemporary music . As Saxony’s largest cultural umbrella or-
ganisation, its members currently cover 49 state associations
and institutions, including the Saxon branch of the Deutsche
Orchestervereinigung e .V .

and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra as international-
ly renowned highlights . Saxony is home to countless
(church) choirs, musician communities and lay ensem-
bles .
The Elbland Philharmonic Orchestra
monie) is a large, top-class ensemble capable of form-
ing various sub-ensembles and music genres, and which
travels across Saxony playing outstanding music . Based
on a co-operative agreement, the Elblandphilharmo-
nie also serves as the orchestra of the Landesbühnen
Sachsen GmbH, reaching audiences at musical theatre
productions at its headquarters in Radebeul, as well as at
the unique Rathen Open Air Stage (Felsenbühne Rathen) .
Since the 13th century
, Saxony has been produ-
cing boys’ choirs whose primary aim is to add a musical
element to liturgy: Leipzig’s St Thomas’ Church has the
Thomanerchor (founded in 1212), Dresden’s Kreuzkirche
(Church of the Holy Cross) has the Kreuzchor (first do-
cumented in 1300), and in 1548, the Schlosskapelle in
Dresden had the Hofkapelle (“court orchestra”) with boys’
voices, which, in 1709, became the present-day Dresdner
Kapellknaben boys’ choir . Liturgical singing continues
to play a key role for today’s choirs; the Kreuzchor ves-
pers and services at Dresden Cathedral (Hofkirche) with
the Kapellknaben attract tens of thousands of listeners
every year, as do the motet and oratorio performances
and church services by the Thomaner in Leipzig . Reli-
gious concerts ensure the choirs remain an integral part
of their cities’ musical scene, and numerous invitations
to perform abroad have also allowed them to establish
an international reputation .
With around 60 music festivals held annually
, an
extremely diverse, youthful scene has established
itself in Saxony . The vibrant cultural programme
features around 950 events at 370 venues every year .
Leipzig’s Bachfest, the Dresden Music Festival (Musik-
festspiele) and the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig are all
internationally renowned music festivals . A number of
other festivals have also taken root in Saxony’s cultur-
al landscape following repeated success . These include
the Mittelsächsischer Kultursommer, the Moritzburg
Festival, the Lausitzer Musiksommer, the International
Shostakovich Festival in Gohrisch, the Musikfest Erz-
gebirge, and the Silbermann Festival, though jazz,
Dixieland and pop also all have a tradition in Saxony .
The many initiatives
are joined by competent sponsors
such as the Saxon Music Council, which co-ordinates,
provides advanced training, and showcases young mu-
sical talent with the “Jugend musiziert” competition . Or
the “Mitteldeutsche Barockmusik”, an institution which
uses funds from the federal government and three state
governments of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia
to preserve the great tradition of baroque music in these
states in all kinds of formats and the most diverse of
locations . As such, thousands of visitors from all over
Europe and beyond enjoy the annual Heinrich Schütz
Musikfest, whose main venue is in Dresden .
St Thomas’ Church was founded as a late-Gothic monastery church in 1212 and has become known around the world
as the home of the Thomanerchor boys’ choir. The tradition and performance of sacred music by Saxon boys’ choirs has
now been included in the UNESCO nationwide list of intangible cultural heritage.
The originally eleven-member Dresden brass band “Banda Comunale,”
which has expanded to include several refugee musicians from all over
the world as “Banda Internationale,” makes “Heimatmusik,” fusing traditional
and contemporary music from all the artists’ homelands. Banda Internationale
has received a number of awards.
| 41

42 |
Theatre pitches in
The ideal theatre, in all its facets,
is a unique place of culture and
experimentation, a political and
social platform, a scene of both
art and dialogue, a place enabling
lively discussion of contemporary
issues – a broadening of horizons!
With 80 venues in the public sector alone
and almost
30,000 seats – according to the 2014/15 statistics of the
Deutscher Bühnenverein –, Saxony has a particularly
rich theatre scene . It is characterised by two outstand-
ing state theatres and a plethora of different municipal
establishments . These, along with private and amateur
theatres, make for a diverse cultural landscape . Saxony’s
theatres cover all genres – from operettas to cabaret to
puppet shows and plays in local dialects . It also includes
bilingual Sorbian theatre performances .
Sponsored by the Free State of Saxony
, the Saxon State
Theatre’s famous Saxon State Opera, with the Saxon
State Orchestra (Sächsische Staatskapelle), and the Dres-
den State Theatre (Staatsschauspiel Dresden) boast a
world-class repertoire . Both establishments are beacons
of Saxon theatre . The Semperoper is an internationally
acclaimed opera house . With its four focus areas – op-
era, ballet, concerts and the youth scene – it is commit-
ted to Dresden’s great opera tradition, which has always
Modern and passionate theatre at the Dresden State Theatre: pictured here is the acclaimed production of “Hamlet” with Christian Friedel.

| 43
also included contemporary musical theatre . The ballet,
with its dance company renowned well beyond Germa-
ny’s borders, performs a broad repertoire ranging from
classical to contemporary dance, while the Saxon State
Orchestra – also affectionately known as the Wunder-
harfe – is similarly an integral part of this scene, de-
dicated to ensuring a top level of concert performances .
The opera and ballet companies of major establishments
like the Semperoper are characterised by their interna-
tional element – in addition to nationwide audiences, the
artists themselves come from all over the world .
The Dresden State Theatre
(Staatsschauspiel Dres-
den) is one of Germany’ leading and now multi-award
winning theatres . Over a century ago, the township of
Dresden financed the construction of a theatre by taking
out a theatre loan . Today, the Staatsschauspiel is a per-
manent fixture in the city’s cultural life, committed to
Germany’s theatre traditions and promoting contempo-
rary theatre . The Schauspielhaus at the Zwinger, which
was opened in 1913 and then reopened in 1948 after
being destroyed during the war, is joined by the Kleines
Haus in Dresden’s Neustadt district as popular venue .
While the Staatsschauspiel would do guest performances
in cities like Berlin, Vienna, Copenhagen and Wrocław,
other theatres would bring their productions to Dresden,
facilitating exchange and interaction on many levels, in-
cluding with festivals and the “Lange Nacht der Theater”
open theatres night .
A few years ago
, the Dresden State Theatre opened a
theatre for lay performers in the form of the Bürgerbühne
(“citizens’ theatre”) – an opportunity seized by Dresdeners
Leipzig’s “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” University of Music
and Theatre guarantees
top training in theatre and drama
while a new competence centre at Leipzig University has been
broadening the work of its Dramatics Institute, particularly to
include practical components, since 2016 . The “Centre of Com-
petence for Theatre” co-operates with regional and national the-
atres, promoting practice-oriented research with partners within
and outside of the university .
Semperoper Dresden

44 |
seeking to participate and interact . The focus is on
people who otherwise would never have been heard . The
new actors bring their friends and families along, creat-
ing an entirely new circle of people who would perhaps
never have otherwise gone to the theatre . The Montags-
café at the Kleines Haus has become a place where
Dresdeners and refugees come together .
Passionate performances
can be found at more than
just the theatres of the state capital, which also in-
clude the Societaetstheater founded in 1776 . The Leipzig
Opera, which enjoys an outstanding reputation with the
opera house, Musikalische Komödie theatre and Leip-
zig Ballet; the Schauspiel Leipzig theatre, with its special
options for people with disabilities; the internation-
ally acclaimed Theater Chemnitz, with opera, plays
and the Robert Schumann Philharmonic Orchestra; the
Mittelsächsisches Theater with the Theater Freiberg, Theater
Döbeln and Seebühne Kriebstein; and the Annaberg-
Buchholz Eduard-von-Winterstein-Theater with the
Erzgebirgische Philharmonie Aue orchestra are deep rooted
in the cities, just as Plauen and Zwickau have equally
close ties with musical theatre, ballet and plays .
The Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theatre
has made culture an
international affair in Zittau and Görlitz . J-O-Ś, an
international initiative founded in 2013 by theatres
from Jelenia Góra, Liberec and Zittau – named after
the three striking peaks in the tri-border area: Ještěd-
Oybin-Śnieżka –, celebrates its annual highlight here
with the “3LänderSpiel” festival .
The Landesbühnen Sachsen
– Saxony’s traveling reper-
tory theater, which has been run by a theatre compa-
ny as a successful multidisciplinary theatre since 2012,
is housed at the Radebeul headquarters and Rathen Open
Air Stage, but also stages performances in rural areas . It
is Germany’s second largest travelling theatre, enriching
the regional theatre scene with its rural involvement .
The history of Saxony’s theatre scene is closely linked with names like
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Friederike Caroline
. In his writings, Kamenz-born Enlightenment philosopher Lessing advocated the notion that German theatre should move
away from the French model, and played a key role in developing civic German theatre . Friederike Caroline Neuber, born in Reichen-
bach/Vogtland, founded the Neuber’sche Komödiantengesellschaft in the 18th century, and soon after one of Germany’s first estab-
lished theatres in Leipzig .
Based in Radebeul but travelling the country: the Landesbühnen Sachsen theatre. Photo: the Landesbühnen Sachsen theatre’s dance company

Not only are the types of shows
performed at Saxony’s
venues very different, audiences can also choose from
a Renaissance building in Zwickau, to the neo-baroque
State Theatre in Dresden, to the open-air stages in Rath-
en and the Greifenstein rock stages in the Ore Moun-
tains . Street theatre is also an integral part of Saxony’s
cultural scene . One of the most historic student thea-
tres – die bühne – is based at the Technische Universi-
tät Dresden . Late 2016 saw the Junge Generation theatre,
with its three divisions (tjg . schauspiel, tjg . puppentheat-
er and tjg . Theaterakademie), move to a new location at
Dresden’s Kraftwerk Mitte . With over 600 performan-
ces a year, it is one of Germany’s largest children’s and
youth theatre . The Kraftwerk Mitte is also the new home
of the Dresden State Operetta, which, with its predeces-
sors, boasts a 235-year-old tradition as a public musical
theatre .
With the Landesverband Sachsen
state association as a
member of the Deutscher Bühnenverein, which organis-
es the Sächsisches Puppentheatertreffen (Saxon puppet
theatre gathering), the Sächsisches Theatertreffen (Sax-
on theatre gathering) and theatre teacher gatherings, as
well as the Landesverband Freie Theater Sachsen e .V .
and Landesverband Amateurtheater Sachsen e .V ., Saxony
has plenty of ambassadors in this field . The Landes-
büro Darstellende Künste Sachsene V
.. operates as a main
service and liaison centre .
Puppet shows have a 500-year tradition in Saxony. A vibrant puppet-show scene continues to exist today, such as here at Chemnitz Theatre.
Every year in May, the J-O-Ś Trinational Theatre Festival transforms
Zittau’s Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theatre into an international stage.
| 45

46 |
Museums as knowledge stores
A vast variety of museums across
Saxony provides visitors with
more information on art, culture
and history . Countless representa-
tional, visual and written art
objects and collection pieces
showcased at museums and
libraries are a boundless fountain
of knowledge – and serve as
important evidence of social
developments .
Museums are places focused on the past
, but also help
people understand their present-day society . They are
places of interaction, discussion and education, extra-
curricular centres of learning, and places of research .
There are government-run museums like the Dresden
State Art Collections and the State Museum of Archaeol-
ogy in Chemnitz, but also over 400 museums run by dif-
ferent patrons – including prominent establishments
such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig, the
Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz (Art Collections)
The “Lipsiusbau” art hall, run by the Dresden State Art Collections, has seen Dresden regain an impressive venue for art exhibitions.
Visitors are offered an informative, varied programme through a number of special exhibitions. The hall’s main purpose, though,
remains to serve as a place for contemporary art.
The quality pieces in the Dresden
Sculptures Collection range from classic
antiquity to Renaissance, baroque and
expressionist art, to 21st-century art.

| 47
and the Militärhistorische Museum der Bundeswehr in
Dresden (Military History Museum) –, all of which invite
visitors to remember, admire and learn . The Saxon State
Office for Museum Affairs (Sächsische Landesstelle für
Museumswesen) acts as the central point for contact for
all queries relating to collecting, preserving, researching,
documenting, exhibiting and teaching .
The Dresden State Art Collections
(SKD), with their 12
museums and other institutions, are among the world’s
oldest and most distinguished museum alliances . They
resulted from the 16th-centry collections of Saxony’s
electors, particularly the art chamber established at Dres-
den’s Royal Palace . The SKD have intensely boosted their
international reputation over the last few years by grad-
ually incorporating the collections into the rebuilt Resi-
dential Palace, by radically restoring and redesigning
the Albertinum, through numerous prestigious special
exhibitions within Germany and abroad, and through a
recent scientific overhaul .
The Art Library
(Kunstbibliothek), Art Fund (Kunstfonds)
and Gerhard Richter Archive also form part of the alli-
ance . The SKD staff engage with their colleagues all over
the world; much of their everyday work revolves around
international co-operations and exhibition projects .
The art collections enjoy a worldwide presence through
major exhibitions . Recent years have seen their art treas-
ures displayed in cities like Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow,
Kiev, Versailles, London, Madrid and Rome .
The State Museum of Archaeology Chemnitz
(smac), as
part of the Saxon State Office for Archaeology, has been
housed at Chemnitz’s former Schocken department store
since 2014 . With over 6,000 exhibits, the permanent
exhibition presents around 300,000 years of Saxon state
history over an area of 3,000 square metres – from the
early Neanderthals to industrialisation . The museum en-
ables Saxony to permanently showcase its archaeologi-
cal treasures . Using smart, modern, multimedia features,
it presents unique insights into the formation and settle-
ment of the region today known as Saxony .
Natural history has a long tradition in Saxony.
Natural History Collections, for example, date back to
the electors’ art and nature chamber, in which Saxony’s
rulers collected natural objects from as early as the 16th
century . The Dresden Natural History Collections and
Egidio Marzona
is considered one of the world’s most promi-
nent collectors of 20th-century art and design . So it is very for-
tunate for Saxony that he has chosen to donate his avant-garde
archive to the SKD . The collection is estimated to be worth 120
million Euros, and is showcased at Dresden’s Blockhaus .
Founded in 1912, the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum is unique among European museums. In addition to the “Abenteuer Mensch” (“Human Adventure”)
permanent popular-science exhibition with the Glass Woman and “Unsere fünf Sinne” (“Our five senses”) interactive children’s museum, visitors can
experience special, elaborately presented exhibitions discussing the latest cultural, scientific and social issues.

the Museum of Natural History Görlitz have belonged to
the Senckenberg Nature Research Society (Senckenberg
Gesellschaft für Naturforschung), and therefore also to
the Leibniz Association (Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz), since 2009 . In doing so, they
have been committed to researching biodiversity .
In 1911, the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum
Dresden saw
Dresden Odol mouthwash manufacturer Karl August
Lingner establish an institution which remains the world’s
only one of its kind to this day . As a modern science
museum, it brings the biological, social and cultural
dimensions of humans to life, explaining them in a clear,
simple manner for a wide audience . In a nutshell, the
museum’s central question is one asked of us all: How
do we want to live? The exciting exhibitions address
current and historic issues from the realms of science,
society, art and culture . In addition, the museum also
organises a wide range of tours and educational options
for all generations .
The Chemnitz Museum of Industry
– part of the Saxon
Museum of Industry association funded by the Free State
government – showcases exhibits from 220 years of Sax-
on industrial history, from mining and the textile indus-
try, to mechanical and automotive engineering, to the
social consequences of industrialisation . The silver strip
The State Museum of Archaeology in Chemnitz
48 |
Along with collecting, preserving, presenting
educating, research is another area of museum
work . Museums are not only centres of the arts
and humanities; they are also forums of exchange
between humanities and natural sciences .
The Dresden State Art Collections (SKD)
have for
centuries been an institution of intense research
and for which international scientific exchange
has played a major role . In 2008, they started the
Daphne Project, a project focused on researching,
recording and creating inventories for the approx .
1 .2 million objects owned by the SKD . For the first
time ever, it enables the origins of all entries since
1933 to be systematically researched . The Saxon
state government provided an additional 20 mil-
lion Euros for Daphne between 2008 and 2016 .
Like the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden,
the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB),
the Military History Museum, and the research
facilities, the SKD are a partner of the Dresden-
concept (Dresden Research and Education Synergies
for the Development of Excellence and Novelty)
network run by the TU Dresden .
The Saxon State Archaeological Heritage Office
with the Chemnitz State Museum of Archaeology
similarly has decades of interdisciplinary research
and presentation work behind it . Both are respon-
sible for researching prehistoric and early archae-
ology in Saxony based on national and interna-
tional co-operative research projects, and present-
ing the results as part of scientific exhibitions,
publications, symposia and workshops .
16 Fraunhofer institutes, the SKD and the SLUB
have been co-operating on various research
projects to preserve and restore valuable Saxon
cultural assets since 2015 . The Fraunhofer Society
has been conducting research to preserve cultur-
al heritage for over 25 years . In 2008, it founded
a “Cultural Heritage Research Alliance” with the
Leibniz Association and the Stiftung Preussischer
Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Founda-
tion) . Right from the outset, it has also worked
closely with the SKD and SLUB on projects such
as the reconstruction of the Green Vault and the
restoration and preservation of historic records .

| 49
running along the entire hall serves as an aesthetic high-
light, featuring a selection of prominent Saxon products
and inventions . It’s astonishing to see everything that
has come out of Saxony, and what new developments
the state has to offer .
The Silesian Museum in Görlitz
presents Silesian histo-
ry and a modern exhibition design . Görlitz’s elaborately
restored Schönhof is one of Germany’s oldest Renais-
sance buildings, and houses the permanent exhibition .
Over an area of 2,000 square metres, visitors are able to
learn about Silesia’s history and culture – both in terms
of their regional traditions and European relations .
Large state exhibitions on cultural themes
typical of the
region are held sporadically in Saxony . These exhibi-
tions are designed as prominent cultural events impart-
ing Saxon history, identity and cultural values through-
out the summer months . St Marienstern monastery in
Panschwitz-Kuckau, Torgau and Görlitz have also hosted
state exhibitions in the past . The 4th Saxon state exhibi-
tion on the topic of industrial culture will be heading to
Zwickau and other sites in western Saxony in 2020 .
Saxony also has many other exciting museums
to offer its
visitors . The West Lusatian Museum (Museum der West-
lausitz) in Kamenz, the Chemnitz Museum of Natural
History (Museum für Naturkunde Chemnitz), the Bautzen
Museum, the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Gras-
si Museum of Applied Art) in Leipzig and the Deutsches
Hygiene-Museum Dresden have all been particularly rec-
ognised in recent years, having been awarded the Saxon
Museum Prize by the State Ministry for the Arts .
Saxony’s universities
are also home to museums and
collections . The treasury of the SLUB’s Book Museum,
for example, displays precious items such as a Maya
manuscript, incunables and other unique manuscripts .
The foundations for Leipzig’s Museum of Fine Arts were laid in 1858, when members of the Leipzig Art Association went through
with their idea of establishing a museum with a civic trust. Today, contemporary works and spatial installations are presented on
the terraces, in the courtyards and in the stairways, bringing art and architecture to life in a unique way.

50 |
A variety of film festivals
Saxony is a heartland of the film industry – and not just as the setting
for cinema and TV productions in Görlitz, a .k .a . “Görliwood” . Apart from
a wide range of cinemas supported through the State Ministry for Arts’
Saxon cinema digitisation programme, Saxony is also home to Germany’s
highest concentration of renowned film festivals .
The Saxon festival season
kicks off with the KURZSUECH-
TIG Leipzig Short-Film Festival . Later in the year is the
Filmfest Dresden, one of Europe’s best short-film events,
which also became wheelchair-accessible for the first
time in 2017 . And after that is the Neisse Film Fes-
tival with venues in Poland, the Czech Republic and
Upper Lusatia . In autumn, guests are invited to Chemnitz
for the SCHLINGEL international children’s film festival,
and to Leipzig for one of Europe’s richest documentary
film festivals: The DOK Leipzig Festival for Documen-
tary and Animated Film, sponsored by the State Minis-
try for the Arts . Films set cultural standards here, but
also encourage dialogue within society – both in relation
to historic and current issues . The Ministry for the Arts
has thus significantly increased film funding for these
festivals and other institutions like the AG Kurzfilm short
A variety of film festivals not to be found anywhere else in Germany have emerged in Saxony. Pictured here is the opening of DOK Leipzig.

film association, AG Animationsfilm animated film
association, the German Institute for Animated Film,
and the Saxon State Film Association in recent years .
The Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education
Research and the Arts specialises in cultural film spon-
soring, while Mitteldeutsche Medienförderungs-GmbH
(MDM) in Leipzig takes charge of economic film spon-
soring . This is supported by the Free States of Saxo-
ny and Thuringia, the State of Saxony-Anhalt,
Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, and Zweites Deutsches Fern-
sehen .
According to a survey, around 47,600 hours
of film
and video – corresponding to approx . 32,000
motion pictures – and sound files totalling
some 48,000 hours are stored in the archives
of governmental and non-governmental
establishments, production companies and
TV broadcasters in the Free State of Saxo-
ny . They contain records of key historic move-
ments from the last 150 years, and constitute
essential, unique evidence of the
past, proving very valuable for his-
toric memories . Audiovisual her-
itage is a key part of the cultural
heritage intended to be protected
in Saxony through a special pro-
gramme . A model project has
seen Sorbian films digitised,
restored and archived .
The historic centre of Görlitz is often used as a backdrop for international film productions.
international film
festival for
children and
young audiences.
It has been held in
Chemnitz every year
since 1996 in the
week before the Saxon
autumn holidays, and
provides an overview of
the latest international
productions in children’s
and adolescent films.
| 51

The Hellerau Festival Theatre – built in 1911
as a rhythmics training centre – is today home to
HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts in Dresden.
Following the theatre’s turbulent history, the 1990s
saw the site revived through art. HELLERAU is now
one of Germany’s and Europe’s largest interdisciplin-
ary centres of the contemporary arts. Contemporary
dance, new music, theatre, performance, fine arts and
new media are all to be found here – including the
Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company, which splits its
time equally between Dresden and Frankfurt.
52 |

| 53
Let them dance
Saxony is not just the cradle of
modern expressive dance; it today
also has an active, diverse dance
scene which continues to expand
its network and grow .
The ballet at Dresden’s Semperoper
– an ensemble whose
history dates back to 1825, when Carl Maria von Weber
established a permanent ballet ensemble at the Hoftheat-
er – boasts a vast repertoire of classical ballet . Its dance
and ballet work today also includes fascinating cho-
reographies, e .g . by Mats Ek, David Dawson and William
Forsythe, and continues to make it one of the world’s
largest ballet ensembles . Stage dancing is also embraced
creatively and vibrantly at many other venues across the
Free State – such as the Theater Chemnitz, the Leipzig
Opera, the Dresden State Operetta and the Landesbühnen
Sachsen – Saxony’s traveling repertory theaterin Rade-
Dance teaching plays a special role in Saxony.
In Hel-
lerau, on the outskirts of Dresden, a centre for mod-
ern dance which gained worldwide fame was formed in
approximately 1900 . Emile Jaques-Dalcroze taught
dancers rhythmic gymnastics here . The focus was not
on studied dances, but rather on improvisation and body
control . It was in Hellerau that Jacques-Dalcroze trained
dancers who went on to become world renowned . After
he fled during World War I, his students, like Mary Wig-
man and her student Gret Palucca, continued to develop
his dance theories and methods . Gret Palucca indeed
founded the Palucca School in 1925 . To this day, the
Palucca University of Dance in Dresden remains a highly
unique institution for training young dancers . Contem-
porary dance, classical dance and improvisation are all
taught in equal measure .
Expressive dance has always been rooted
in Saxony:
The European Centre for the Arts in Hellerau is a long-
established player on the international dance scene, and
international dance ensembles regularly, like the Tanz-
theater Derevo and Heike Hennig & Co, regularly put
on guest performances in the Free State . Saxon dancing
traditions are also perpetuated through independent
projects such as those at Dresden’s Societaetstheater or
the Kellertheater (“basement theatre”) at Leipzig Opera .
Leipzig is also home to the International Choreography
Centre, which serves as an independent training centre
and dance archive which organises presentations,
conferences and a festival . Another famous event is
the Internationale Tanzwoche Dresden, which presents
the latest developments from dance theatre and perfor-
mance .
The 10,000-Euro
PRIZE” was first awarded in 2015 . It is presented every
two years to recognise Saxon artists who transcend
boundaries, combine classical and modern dance, inspire
the old and young, and help shape Saxony as a land of
dance . Ursula Cain (1927–2011), after whom the prize is
named, was trained as a dancer and teacher at the Mary
Wigman School and the Conservatory’s Dance Academy .
The Chemnitz Theatre ballet was awarded the Saxon Dance Prize in 2017 for the “Gesichter der Grossstadt” (“Faces of the big city”) production.

54 |
Saxony reads
What would the world be without
literature? There are many different
books which come into people’s
lives just at the right time . By
teaching us something about our-
selves through language, in-depth,
thorough studies of reality, and an
open, contemplative view, literature
has the ability to leap out of book
pages and into real life . Be it during
the times of Johann Wolfgang
Goethe, Erich Kästner, Victor
Klemperer or the present day .
Literature in Saxony enjoys a great tradition
, and even a
considerable number of today’s generation of prominent
German authors come from Saxony . Some no longer live
in their region of origin, while others chose to live here
later in life . Either way, this part of the world has influ-
enced their literature . Saxony’s literature scene continues
to be rich and varied . Writers, translators, booksellers,
town chroniclers, librarians, associations, festivals and
museums are all associated with literature . The Leipzig
Book Fair, with the “Leipzig reads” reading festival, and
the Meissen Literature Festival, which has become Ger-
many’s largest free-entry open-air reading festival, are
just two examples of this state’s passion for reading . The
German Institute for Literature (DLL) at Leipzig Universi-
ty provides top-class training for budding authors .
Literary figures have a strong, valued ally in the form
of the over-20-year-old Saxon Literature Council (Sächs-
ischer Literaturrat) . It organises projects of Saxony-wide
importance, such as the “Landnahme” reading series,
the successful “Literaturforum Bibliothek” in co-opera-
tion with the Saxon Library Association, and the Saxon
Literature Prize, organised by the Literature Council
along with the State Ministry for the Arts .
The Free State of Saxony promotes literature
and lan-
guage with the aim of preserving and encouraging
independent literary work and public literary life in
across the state . The Sächsischer Literaturrat e .V . receives
institutional funding . Another focus area of literature
promotion is the individual sponsorship of, in particular,
talented young writers and literary translators . Interdis-
ciplinary scholarships are also awarded in co-operation
with the federal government’s culture and media repre-
sentative for study opportunities abroad .
Every two years since 1993
, the Free State of Saxony
has been awarding the Lessing Prize to recognise figures
whose works perpetuate the Lessing-inspired intellectual
traditions, and who have made outstanding contribu-
tions to German-language literature or theatre . Recipi-
ents include Kurt Drawert, Carolin Emcke, Volker Lösch,
Monika Maron, Kito Lorenc and Ruth Klüger . The prize
consists of two study awards .
The Leipzig Book Prize
for European Understanding is
awarded by a board of trustees from the Free State of
Saxony, City of Leipzig, the Börsenverein des Deutschen
Buchhandels (German book trade association) and Leip-
ziger Messe GmbH, with the Ministry for the Arts and
the City of Leipzig donating the prize money . The
Ministry for the Arts also awards the biennial Art Minister’s
Saxony is incidentally home to
Germany’s oldest public li-
: It was established in Grossenhain in 1828 with 132
books . Karl Benjamin Preusker (1786–1871) is considered the
founder of Germany’s first civic library .
Relaxed reading time at the Saxon State and University Library (SLUB) in Dresden
Right: Leipzig Book Fair

| 55

56 |
Literature Prize to a younger author with particular
ties to Saxony . Well known recipients include Franzis-
ka Gerstenberg, Jan Kuhlbrodt, Andreas Altmann, Jens
Wonneberger, Undine Materni and Thomas Böhme .
The publishing industry in Saxony
suffered a lot after
German reunification, with many companies having to
refocus and secure a new place on the fiercely com-
petitive market . Today, many publishing houses have
managed to establish themselves, and young publishers
have successfully found niches .
publishes Sorbian and German-lan-
guage books, magazines and newspapers on Sorbian is-
sues .
Small, private, often award-winning bookshops
passionately and creatively held their ground or emerged
as new businesses . Many of them are the cultural centres
of their towns .
Leading the way for Saxony’s scientific libraries
is the
Saxon State and University Library (SLUB) . The Techni-
sche Universität, along with other universities, also has
outstanding libraries . The Leipzig University Library, for
example, was named “2017 Library of the Year” . The Ger-
man Central Library for the Blind (DZB), meanwhile, is
an establishment unique to Saxony, enabling thousands
of DAISY audio books to be loaned through Saxony’s li-
braries . DAISY is the name of a worldwide standard for
navigable, accessible multimedia documents .
Public libraries receive around 27 million Euros
a year
in subsidies from Saxony’s Cultural Regions, whose
work the Free State substantially co-finances through
the Saxon Cultural Regions Act . The State Libraries Of-
fice (Landesfachstelle für Bibliotheken) in Chemnitz al-
are today the most frequently visited cultural estab-
lishments . With over 450 public and 43 scientific libraries, Sax-
ony’s library scene is particularly diverse .
The Bibliotheca Albertina is the central establishment of the Leipzig University Library.

so provides ongoing professional support . The Saxon
State Ministry for the Arts puts 50,000 Euros in funding
towards readings by Saxon authors and translators at the
state’s libraries in the form of the Literaturforum Biblio-
thek .
The 10,000-Euro Saxon Library Prize
awarded by the
Saxon State Ministry for the Arts in co-operation with
the Landesverband Sachsen im Deutschen Bibliotheks-
verband e .V . recognises outstanding, user-oriented
library work and inspiring concepts for handling the
challenges of demographic change .
The Free State of Saxony provides
additional funding
to digitise stockfrom scientific and public libraries, and
of important records from other cultural and scientific
institutions . The aim is to facilitate the broadest possi-
ble online access to information and objects relating to
the state’s cultural and scientific traditions for the pur-
poses of teaching and research, and for a wide audience .
The SLUB co-ordinates this state digitisation programme,
runs a leading centre for mass digitisation in the form
of the Dresden Digitisation Centre (Dresdner Digitali-
sierungszentrum), and is a member of the Deutsche
Digitale Bibliothek (“German Digital Library”) compe-
tence network .
Extensive governmental and private cultural assets
stored at the Saxon State Archives, a division of the
Saxon State Ministry of the Interior, as well as in mu-
nicipal archives . At local archives, there is thus a close
overlap in the tasks performed by archives, libraries and
museums .
The German Central Library for the Blind (DZB) provides the blind and visually impaired with a wide
variety of information and literature. It’s more than just a library. The DZB produces braille and audio books,
magazines, reliefs, notes and much more, and makes these available for free hire or sale.
| 57

58 |
The old and new Saxon school
Sculpture . Painting . Drawing or graphic design – the great
traditions of fine art endure to this day in Saxony . And not just
at the Dresden State Art Collections; the works of painters, sculptors,
graphic designers, photographers, applied artists and representatives
of new genres can also be enjoyed at art museums, galleries and
studios . Artists present themselves at symposia, art fairs and festivals,
as well as so-called “Off rooms” . Many of them are part of the Landes-
verband Bildende Kunst Sachsen e .V . state fine arts association,
art clubs or associations for design and applied art .
The paintings collection at the Chemnitz Art Collections, comprising some 1400 pieces, ranges from late-18th-century art to the present.

| 59
When it comes to funding and promotion
, the main focus
is on developing new artistic forms of expression, sus-
tainably presenting contemporary art and culture, and
cultivating young artists . The Kulturstiftung (Cultural
Foundation) uses state funding to sponsor study-abroad
stints for artists in Columbus (Ohio), Rome, Olevano
Romano, Paris, Venice and other cities, award scholar-
ships, and support projects . The State Art Trust run by
the Dresden State Art Collections, meanwhile, purchases
works by visual artists .
The Dresden Academy of Fine Arts
and Leipzig Academy
of Fine Arts are both highly regarded establishments for
visual artists in Saxony . Students here are looked after
by professors and teachers of international acclaim, who
have produced artworks of note .
At a state level, the Ministry for the Arts
provides fund-
ing for the Landesverband Bildende Kunst Sachsen e . V .
Institutional funding is also granted to the Leipzig Muse-
um of Contemporary Art, whose benefactors include the
City of Leipzig, the Förderkreis der Galerie für Zeitgenös-
sische Kunst e V
.. (the museum’s funding group) and the
Free State of Saxony .
Saxony traditionally feels particularly
committed to pub-
lic art, and even the Saxon state government has facil-
itated a number of fascinating artworks here in recent
years . The Free State of Saxony has set itself the duty
of awarding contracts to artists for Percent for Art on
suitable structures being built on its orders . This pro-
motes contemporary visual art, and adds design features
to Saxony’s cities and municipalities . There are also dis-
cussions as to how the art work can be preserved and
made visible in Saxony during artists’ lives and even
after their deaths . Part of the solution may be a data-
base which the artists fill with their work throughout
their lifetimes, or which successors fill with the artists’
work later on – this initiative is currently being devel-
oped in co-operation with artists, and with funding from
the Free State . Efforts are also being made to design a
site to protect artists’ estates .
The Free State of Saxony
purchases important works by
Saxon artists every year . This serves to promote young artists
and recognise older artists, as well as enhance existing collec-
tions . The collection run by the State Art Trust is one of the
most distinguished collections of post-1945 Saxon art . It cov-
ers more than 30,000 works of all genres of fine art, includ-
ing painting, sculpture, graphic design, photography, arts and
crafts, conceptual art, video art, installation art and public art .
Since 1992, contemporary, Saxony-related visual art of all gen-
res has been continuously added to the collection through the
state government’s annual purchases . The Free State of Saxony
has so far invested around 3 .2 million Euros in total .
The Leipzig Gallery of Contemporary Art (GfZK) is an exhibition facility for contemporary art and
a museum for post-1945 art. The GfZK supports and arranges national and international artist slots.

60 |
Strong local presence:
the nation’s only model
for the cultural scene
Saxony is the only German state to
have created a transparent, democratic
instrument ensuring the collective financ-
ing of regionally prominent cultural
institutions in the form of the Kulturraum-
gesetz (Cultural Regions Act) . It has proven
its worth throughout its 20-year history .
The Cultural Regions
have a duty to support cultural
institutions, including music schools, and regionally im-
portant initiatives . Decisions to fund cultural institutions
and projects are made locally within the municipalities .
The state provides the municipalities with cultural fund-
ing of currently 94 .7 million Euros a year (amounts for
2017 and 2018); in 2014, it was 86 .7 million Euros . This
has enabled Saxony to maintain and support an exten-
sive range of regionally prominent cultural establish-
ments .
Saxony is divided into eight Cultural Regions:
The three
self-governing cities of Chemnitz, Dresden and Leip-
zig each form their own urban cultural region . They
are joined by five rural cultural regions, each consist-
ing of two districts . These make their own independent
decisions regarding the funding of cultural institutions
and projects . To do this, every cultural region develops
separate directives and assessment criteria for cultural
funding, in consultation with experts and political deci-
sion-makers . Joint cultural financing between the local
rural territorial authorities and the Free State is guaran-
teed through governmental sharing of cultural burdens
and a cultural cost allowance raised by the municipal-
ities themselves . Coupled with the Free State’s budget
appropriation at a ratio of at least 2:1, the districts
are able to independently establish cost allocation for
cultural expenses . The local municipalities help finance
regionally prominent institutions and initiatives based
on how many institutions and initiatives are situated
within the respective municipality .
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| 61
The cultural sovereignty of the German states means respon-
sibility for issues relating to art and culture lies with each
individual state . As such, each state takes
of its own
cultural scene and values .
Page 94
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Page 62

62 |
a cultured sandstone
gem on the Elbe
Life on the river . The Elbe
River has carved out a vast
valley here . Around 1,000 hectares
of green space line its banks .
Vineyards near the city and castles
on the hillsides, sprawling meadows
and flood plains – all creating
a unique atmosphere and
quality of life .
Ever since the first steamboat
sailed down the Elbe
in 1837, passenger steamers from the world’s oldest
paddle-wheel fleet, the Sächsische Dampfschifffahrts-
gesellschaft, have been part of the Elbe landscape . Elec-
tor Frederick Augustus I, known as Augustus the Strong
(reigned 1694–1733), was inspired by a grand tour of
Italy to develop the Elbe as a Canal Grande, providing
access to palaces and castles based on the Venetian model .
The legendary elector made Dresden’s historic centre his
royal residence, with majestic buildings like the palace,
Hofkirche, Zwinger and Japanese Palace – all facing the
river . Later additions included the Semperoper, Brühl’s
Terrace, the Albertinum museum, the Academy of Fine
Arts, and the Ständehaus parliamentary building . Each
of these buildings is a landmark in itself . The fun-lov-
ing, art-minded regent’s festive culture extended from
Übigau Palace in the west to Pillnitz Palace in the east .
For centuries, Saxony’s electors and kings
precious and curious objects from the worlds of art, sci-
ence and technology . In 1650, Elector Augustus, un-
der whose reign Dresden rose to prosperity, established
the Kunstkammer, the cornerstone of Dresden’s first art
collection, which by the 17th century had grown to
become one of the most famous sights in Europe .
The type and number of pieces
collected grew so quickly
that specialised museums were being founded as early as

| 63
The skyline of Dresden’s historic old town, with the Academy of Fine Arts, the Frauenkirche, the Ständehaus, palace, cathedral and Semperoper
The Dresden Royal Palace complex is today home to the New and Old Green Vault and Turkish Chamber.

64 |
the 18th century . These collections today make Dresden
one of Europe’s richest museum cities . The best known
museum of the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD) is
undoubtedly the Old Masters Picture Gallery, whose most
famous exhibit is Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” . This gal-
lery is one of 12 SKD museums . The various museums
are spread over seven magnificent buildings, which are
each worth a visit in their own right . In the heart of
Dresden’s historic centre is the Royal Palace . The former
seat of the Albertine line of the Wettin dynasty houses
the Green Vault, the Coin Cabinet, the Cabinet of Prints,
Drawings and Photographs, the Armoury and the Turk-
ish Chamber . The latter features a unique collection of
Ottoman art . A 160-sq-m Oriental oasis of gold and silk
gives an idea of Augustus the Strong’s passion for Otto-
man culture .
As a museum of modern art
, the Albertinum, which houses
the New Masters Gallery and the Sculpture Collection,
also draws the crowds . After extensive renovations and
modifications, its vast glassed-in storage areas permit
insights into the museum and its once hidden collection .
The redesign of the museum was prompted by the hun-
dred-year flood of the Elbe and its tributaries in 2002 .
What began as a disaster, damaging the store rooms in
the basement of the historic building, proved to be an
opportunity, with more than 40 contemporary artists
auctioning off their famed works three months lat-
er . The over 3 .4 million Euros in proceeds were used to
kick-start the Albertinum’s full restoration – creating a
special, flood-proof museum building unique the world
over . The Lipsius Building with its striking glass dome
(nicknamed the “lemon juicer” by Dresdeners) is another
attraction for many architecture and art enthusiasts . It
also houses the Kunstakademie, one of the three build-
ings of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts .
Other SKD museums are located at the Zwinger
, including
The Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Porcelain Collection
and the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical In-
struments; at the Japanese Palace, with the Ethnograph-
ical Museum; at the Jägerhof with the Saxon Folk Art
Museum and Puppet Theatre Collection; and at Pillnitz
Palace with the Museum of Decorative Arts . Egidio Mar-
zona’s 20th-century Avant-garde Archive has belonged
to the SKD since late 2016 . This donation by the Ger-
man-Italian art collector has been given its own museum
in the historic Blockhaus located on the Elbe . The
association of museums similarly includes the public Art
Library at the Royal Palace, the Art Trust, with a col-
lection of all genres of fine art, and the Gerhard Richter
Archive in the Albertinum .
April 2017 saw the completely renovated Kulturpalast at Dresden’s Altmarkt open its doors.

| 65
The Saxon State Library
is another establishment found-
ed by Elector Augustus of Saxony in 1556 . It was opened
to the public as early as the end of the 18th century .
The collections on Saxon regional studies, art, music and
stenography are all internationally acclaimed . In 1996,
the university library of TU Dresden merged with the
Saxon State Library to form the Saxon State and Univer-
sity Library (SLUB), which today leads the way in digit-
ising cultural assets in Germany . The manuscript collec-
tion and musical collection are also world renowned .
Over 40 museums across Dresden
open their doors to
visitors . The Bundeswehr Military History Museum, which
was reopened in 2011 following extensive renovations
led by Daniel Libeskind, showcases military history as a
cultural history of force and violence over an area span-
ning almost 20,000 square metres . Founded at the initia-
tive of Odol mouthwash manufacturer Karl August Ling-
ner, the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden, with its
special exhibitions on health education, art presentation
and political discussion, attracts attention well beyond
Saxony’s borders . The Technical Collections are equal-
ly worth admiring . It was here that major companies of
the photo and film industry were once based . Today, the
former production areas contain fascinating exhibitions
on German and predominantly Saxon industrial and
engineering history . Along with the Technical Collections,
the ten museums run by the City of Dresden also include
the Dresden City Art Gallery situated in the Landhaus,
not far from the Frauenkirche . The permanent exhibition
presents a foray through 20th and 21st-century Dresden
art, and is enhanced by several special exhibits .
Dresden loves music.
The Saxon State Orchestra (Säch-
sische Staatskapelle), founded in 1548 by Elector Mau-
rice of Saxony as the Dresdner Musikalische Kapelle,
is Europe’s oldest orchestra, and the official ensemble
of the Semperoper . Its directors have included Schütz,
Hasse, Weber and Wagner . Wagner celebrated numerous
triumphs as director of the (first) Semperoper, before
having to flee the city – like Gottfried Semper – after
the failed revolution of May 1848 . The Dresden Philhar-
monic Orchestra is a familiar name to all music lovers
Over its 40-year history, the Dresden Music Festival has now become
a major attraction for concert audiences and artists from all over the world –
pictured here is a concert at Dresden’s Frauenkirche.
The Movie Nights by the Elbe provide open-air concerts and cinema in a spectacular setting.

around the world . The Dresden Kreuzchor boys’ choir,
meanwhile, can look back on a history spanning more
than eight hundred years . Of the 28 Kreuzkirche cantors
since the Reformation, no one influenced the choir more
than Rudolf Mauersberger, who worked there for over
40 years . He revived it after World War II, preserved its
Christian identity through two dictatorships, and led the
choir to its present, internationally acclaimed status .
The University of Music Carl Maria von Weber
is a prominent hub for opera and orchestra musicians,
and future pros of jazz, rock, pop and new music . The
Dresden College of Church Music (Evangelische Hoch-
schule für Kirchenmusik) is another respected training
institution for musicians, just as the major churches like
the Frauenkirche, Kreuzkirche and Cathedral serve as
venues for top-class concerts . The city and its sur-
rounds resonate with the most diverse of sounds
right throughout the year thanks to a number
of orchestras, choirs and ensembles, and a
wide range of concerts and music festi-
vals . Since April 2017, these have al-
so been hosted in the renovated,
newly reopened and heritage-listed Kulturpalast, whose
showpiece, the highly acclaimed Konzertsaal concert
hall, regularly sees performances by the Dresden Phil-
harmonic Orchestra . The Kulturpalast is also home to the
Central Municipal Library, and a venue of the Herkules-
keule cabaret .
Dresden has a centuries-old tradition
of glittering parties
and festivities . The Saxon princes of old had their tour-
naments, hunts and pageants accompanied by music,
song and dance . The Dresden Carnival was legendary .
And a varied, vibrant festival culture has been preserved
to this day . It includes Germany’s oldest Christmas
market, the Striezelmarkt, founded in 1434 . Even
today, Dresdeners know how to party . Every year, tens of
thousands of visitors flock to the Elbhangfest, an art and
civic festival held along the Elbe between Dresden’s
Loschwitz and Pillnitz districts . The Dresdner Stadt-
fest, meanwhile, takes place over an entire week-
end every August in the historic centre to
celebrate the city’s birthday, and district
festivals such as those in Pieschen,
Laubegast, Hechtviertel and Gor-
An electronic music performance at CYNETART, international festival for computerised art
Hellerau Festival Theatre
66 |

| 67
bitz, and the Bunte Republik Neustadt (BRN) festival,
make for a festive vibe all summer long .
The Dresden Music Festival
– which has now become one
of the city’s formative cultural institutions – has been
attracting visitors to Dresden every May and June for
forty years . The vision of its director, Jan Vogler, is to
spread the festival’s reputation worldwide, and “establish
Dresden in the top league of the world’s festival cities .”
Every May, 400,000 Dixieland
fans transform Dresden
into the European capital of Dixieland jazz . Large con-
certs featuring bands from all over the world at the Kul-
turpalast, the Junge Garde open-air stage and the Alter
Schlachthof ensure the reputation of Dresden’s Dixieland
Festival, founded in 1971, is trumpeted far and wide .
The Hellerau European Centre for the Arts
, formerly the
Dresden Centre for Contemporary Music, builds on its
founders’ original idea of being an intellectual and artis-
tic hub for contemporary art and related discourse across
all disciplines . The Hellerau Festival Theatre is one
of more than 30 private theatres in the city, which, in
addition to symbolic landmarks like the Semperoper, also
include a range of comedy, cabaret, open-air and puppet
theatre, Europe’s only fairytale theatre, the Theaterkahn
on the Elbe, and the Kammerspiel . The former Kraftwerk
Mitte Dresden, an industrial monument from the 19th
century, which has housed the State Operetta and Jun-
ge Generation theatre since late 2016, is a new cultural
and creative hub . The establishment of the Bürgerbüh-
ne (“citizens’ theatre”) and controversial productions has
seen the Dresden State Theatre (Staatsschauspiel Dres-
den) become an essential place of social debate; con-
temporary art also manages to pave its way through the
theatre scene of a city which consciously preserves its
precious traditions and cultural treasures .
The backdrop of this art and cultural metropolis
recently served as the stage for movements opposing the
city’s and state’s democratic European spirit of tolerance .
Since early 2015, the “Initiative weltoffenes Dresden”, a
union of Dresden cultural institutions, has been holding
events to set the course for an open society, tolerance
and solidarity, and countering fear-mongering and popu-
lism .
Kraftwerk Mitte

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| 69
Leipzig: a cool hub
for creative minds
No one knows exactly how long the Leipzig Fair
has been
going on – in any case, the tradition dates well back .
In 1687, one of Europe’s first trading exchanges opened
at the Naschmarkt, and the Leipzig Book Fair eclipsed
its Frankfurt-base rival . Printed sheet music from Breit-
kopf, the world’s oldest music publisher, was exported
as far as America . And in the early 18th century, Bach
became a cantor at St Thomas’ Church, spending half
his life here . Leipzig was the birthplace of Germany’s
first printed newspaper, the site of Gellert’s lectures on
German poetry, and the place where literary figure
Johann Christoph Gottsched laid the foundations of Ger-
man drama . With its university, founded in 1409, as its
intellectual centre, the city on the Pleisse attracted the
likes of Wieland, Klopstock, Lessing and Goethe .
In the 19th century
, Leipzig became a city of publishers
and manufacturers . The early days of industrialisation in
the Leipzig area date from around 1830 . Germany’s first
long-distance railway line, connecting Leipzig and Dres-
den, opened in 1839, and as other lines followed, Leip-
zig soon emerged as a rail transport hub . This enabled it
to secure its role as a German and international trading
centre for many decades, setting the scene for the in-
dustrial boom . The General German Workers’ Association
(Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein), which would
later spawn the Social Democratic Party, held its found-
ing assembly in 1863 .
Leipzig is a city of music
; this is evident at every turn .
In its centre, school pupils lug their instruments to the
municipal music school, while in the music quarter, stu-
dents from the “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Universi-
ty of Music and Theatre can be heard practising through
the open windows . In addition to regular concerts at the
university, Gewandhaus, churches and many other loca-
tions, various music festivals have also been established,
and street musicians have become part of the townscape .
Together with the Battle of Leipzig in 1813
, music is the
great connector weaving the city into the tapestry of
European history . The lives of musicians such as Bach,
Mendelssohn, Schumann, Mahler and Wagner are all
closely linked with Leipzig’s history . What is more, all
of the great composers of the 19th and early 20th centu-
ries studied, composed, played or lectured here at some
point . And it’s no wonder: Leipzig was home to Germa-
ny’s first conservatory – founded by Felix Mendelssohn .
The Gewandhaus and Opera were major venues, joining
the likes of music publishers and piano builders . Leipzig
has a uniquely high concentration of composers’ houses,
“You are certainly right .
I have the greatest respect for
my Leipzig . It is a little Paris,
and it educates its people .”
Such was the homage by
Goethe, the great scholar,
to one of the oldest university
cities . Leipzig’s new cultural
life is driven by an age-old
vitality . And the city continues
to preserve a civic spirit
of independence .
Left: A concert by the
Bach monument
Following the acoustic
guide system at the Leipzig’s

and a number of classical music venues . Since May 2012,
the five-kilometre Leipzig Music Trail has connected 23
such locations across the city . Audio stations along the
trail teach walkers about the city’s musical history and
music in general .
The city continues to ring out to this day.
Anyone ar-
riving at the central train station will be met by the first
musical landmarks: The bell towers of St Thomas and St
Nicholas, the churches where Bach worked during his
27 years in the city . This period is brought to life at the
Bach Museum in the courtyard of St Thomas’s Church
and at the annual International Bach Festival, one
of the city’s most prominent cultural events . In recent
years, the Bach Archive Foundation, with its museum,
research institute and library, has joined forces with the
Bach Museum to establish Leipzig as an internationally
recognised centre for all things Bach . Even today, the St
Thomas’ choir performs Bach’s motets and cantatas at St
Thomas’s Church . The boys’ choir helped transform Leip-
zig into a leading stronghold of Protestant church music .
In addition to the St Thomas’ choir, ensembles such as
the Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum and the Capel-
la Fidicinia also help keep these traditions alive .
Leipzig’s international reputation
as a city of music ties
in closely with the work of the Gewandhaus Orchestra .
When Leipzig’s merchants established a concert associa-
tion, whose first concert took place in 1743, they ended
up founding Germany’s oldest civic symphony orchestra .
This was later called the “Gewandhaus Orchestra” –
a name which it has maintained to this day . The Men-
delssohn Festival, commemorating the former Gewand-
hausdirector Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847),
is a particular highlight on Leipzig’s musical calendar .
The high standard of this city’s great orchestra, with its
Leipzig Opera House
The Grassi Ethnolographical Museum in Leipzig showcases varied perspectives and global connections with an impressive collection
of objects from every continent. It allows visitors to learn more about life, beliefs and trade in the world’s various cultures and societies.
70 |

| 71
top-class musicians who give the ensemble its unique
sound, is also evident from the conductors who have led
it . Even in recent times, these have been nothing short of
world class – first with Kurt Masur, followed by Herbert
Blomstedt and Ricardo Chailly, and now Andris Nelsons .
They all also draw on pieces by Albert Lortzing
, Robert
Schumannand Clara Schumann, nee Wieck, who lived
and worked in the city . The Leipzig Opera was founded
as early as 1693, and it has been associated with famed
composers and musicians including Georg Philipp Tele-
mann and E .T .A . Hoffmann . A relief plaque in the foy-
er of the Schauspielhaus theatre commemorates the
actress and influential theatre director Caroline Neu-
ber, who performed with her troupe at the Grosser Blum-
berg theatre on Leipzig’s Brühl street . The city’s Young
World Theatre is the oldest youth and children’s theatre
in the German-speaking countries . The MDR Symphony
Orchestra, which puts on acclaimed concerts both in
Germany and abroad with the MDR Radio Choir, has
close ties with the city and radio .
The Mendelssohn House
is home to the Felix Mendels-
sohn Bartholdy Foundation, a worldwide institution
aimed at maintaining and spreading the legacy of Felix
Mendelssohn Bartholdy . It runs the museum at the origi-
nally preserved home where Mendelssohn lived and died
– an authentic location with a high degree of musical
expertise and an international reach .
Since 1991, “Leipzig reads”
, the unique reading festival
accompanying the annual Leipzig Book Fair, has been
dotting the town and exhibition centre with over 2,000
events over four days, making it one of Leipzig’s trade-
marks . “Leipzig reads”, Europe’s largest reading festival,
draws on the interest generated by the Leipzig Book Fair,
which welcomes around 200,000 visitors every year . In
recent times, the fair has also helped the city’s publish-
ing scene re-emerge . Following World War II, many Ger-
man publishers moved their headquarters to West Ger-
many, with very few returning to their hometown even
after reunification . But the city’s strong, independent art
scene is helping new publishing houses form and thrive .
Leipzig is an open-minded city
which attracts many peo-
ple . Those who today find Berlin too big and commercial
can move from the river Spree to the Pleisse, where they
will discover a compact cultural biotope . This is facilitat-
ed in part by long-established cultural institutions like
the Museum of Fine Arts, whose spectacular but con-
troversial new building ensures the paintings, sculpture
collection and graphic arts collection can once again be
housed separately in the heart of the city . The museum
was founded in 1858 by Leipzig’s merchants, publish-
ers, traders and bankers . Since then, numerous collectors
have followed their example, donating to the museum .
The Altes Rathaus
(Old Town Hall), one of the city’s
finest buildings, now houses the museum of local his-
tory (Stadtgeschichtliches Museum), whose association
also includes the Monument to the Battle of Leipzig
(Monument to the Battle of the Nations) . The extensively
renovated Grassi Museum is home to the Ethnographi-
Augustusplatz in Leipzig with the Gewandhaus Leipzig;
to the right, the 142.5-metre City-Hochhaus
Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts

72 |
cal Museum, which belongs to the Dresden State Art
Collections, one of the world’s most distinguished eth-
nography collections . It also includes the Museum of
Applied Arts and Leipzig University’s Museum of
Musical Instruments .
The works exhibited
at the Galerie für Zeitgenös-
sische Kunst, GfZK (Museum of Contemporary
Art), opened as a laboratory of contemporary
art in 1998, range from paintings, graph-
ic art, photography, collages and sculp-
tures to installations, video and
media art . Innovative ideas and
formats, coupled with intensive
work in the field of cultural educa-
tion, are the GfZK’s trademarks .
The German Museum of Books
Writing (Deutsches Buch- und Schrift-
museum) in Leipzig is the oldest museum
of its kind in the world . Founded in 1884,
it collects, preserves and uncovers valuable
records of the book, writing and paper culture .
The fourth extension of the German National
Library in Leipzig marked the start of a new era
for the German Museum of Books and Writing .
Climate-controlled warehouses, expanded work-
spaces and large public areas provide the perfect condi-
tions for preserving stock .
Leipzig’s Zeitgeschichtliches Forum
(“Historical Fo-
rum”) revisits the history of political repression,
oppression and resistance and the Peaceful Revo-
lution in the context of a divided Germany and
everyday life under the communist dictator-
ship . It also addresses the reunification pro-
cess .
The Museum of the Printing Arts
(Museum für
Druckkunst) is devoted to preserving a signif-
icant piece of industrial culture . By combin-
ing a production workshop and a museum,
it allows visitors to experience 500 years
of printing history up close . Modern
developments in this trade are apparent
in west Leipzig, considered to be Saxony’s
largest creative centre . After the factories and
industrial plants traditionally based there ceased
production, artists, craftspeople and cultural
A figure from the “Triadic Ballet” developed by Bauhaus
teacher Oskar Schlemmer. At the euro-scene Leipzig,
a festival of contemporary European theatre and dance
In recent years, the Young Spectator’s Theatre, founded in 1946 as Germany’s first professional theatre for children and adolescents,
has become one of the most reputable German-language children’s theatres, and enjoys a Germany-wide and international presence
through a number of guest-performance and festival invitations.

| 73
professionals gradually started coming to use the waste
land, saving it from disrepair .
As such, the former Baumwollspinnerei
(cotton mill) in
Leipzig’s west has become an important platform for
many artists and galleries . A century ago, it was the
scene of spools dancing over giant spinning machines .
Nowadays the brick buildings are serving as bases for
young artists, agencies, architects and tradespeople .
Along with the mill, the Tapetenwerk (wallpaper factory)
and Westwerk (west works) have also long been attract-
ing visitors to their galleries and open workshops . Many
fine artists from the “New Leipzig School”, who are in
high demand among enthusiasts and collectors on the
international art market, also work in west Leipzig . Re-
nowned artists such as Rauch, Baumgärtel, Baumgartner,
Eitel, Triegel and others all have their studies based here,
alongside young, promising talent . Painting has a long
tradition in Leipzig, and it largely owes its good reputa-
tion to the Academy of Fine Arts .
Leipzig is a vibrant, pulsating city
which enjoys serv-
ing as the stage for unique interest groups . For example
every spring, when the city teems with ten thousand peo-
ple clad in black, presenting their unusual wardrobes and
celebrating the music of over a hundred bands . When
the Wave Gothic Meeting (a music and cultural festival)
hits town, Leipzig goes black and nobody minds . The
DOK Leipzig, Leipzig’s International Festival for Docu-
mentary and Animated Film, meanwhile, screens over
300 films from around 50 countries every year . It is Ger-
many’s largest and Europe’s second largest festival for
artistic documentary films . The euro-scene festival is the
only festival for contemporary theatre and modern dance
to be held in Germany’s new eastern states, and is one of
the most important avant-garde festivals between West-
ern and Eastern Europe .
The LOFFT is a production centre
and venue for inde-
pendent performing arts in Leipzig, showcasing plays,
dance and drama . Its focus is on establishing contact
between the Leipzig scene and national and internation-
al developments . This appears to be the most important
objective, or at least a side effect, of all Leipzig activ-
ities in art and culture – connecting with the world . It
welcomes students, artists, researchers and other special-
ists, who enjoy professional prospects and a high stand-
ard of living in the city, and who choose to settle here
with their families . This makes Leipzig one of Germany’s
most dynamic metropolises, due in no small part to art
and culture at all levels .
Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse with the “die naTo” e. V.
socio-cultural centre, which also houses a cinema.
The former cotton spinning workshop opens its doors
for a tour through a dozen galleries twice a year.

74 |
Chemnitz: the city of modernity
CHEMNITZ, around 850 years old and located in the heart
of Saxony, reinvented itself with this slogan . Shaped by industry,
and deeply marked as a socialist model city by the almighty
call for “Workers of the world, unite!” at the Karl Marx Monument,
Chemnitz was faced with a radical change in 1990 .
The city in western Saxony
used this as an opportunity to
redefine itself . Today, it is not only a modern technolog-
ical hub, but also a place of culture . This is symbolised
by the buildings in the new city centre, which reflect
the work of architects such as Hans Kollhoff, Helmut
Jahn and Christoph Ingenhoven . Coexisting alongside
modern architecture are gems like Villa Esche and the
Wilhelminian buildings in the Kassberg district . Classic
modernity, Bauhaus, Art Nouveau – it can all be found
in Chemnitz . The first new synagogue to be built in east-
ern Germany – along with Berlin – sent more than just
an architectural signal .
Chemnitz is a city of museums:
The famous semicircular
department store building on Brückenstrasse – designed
by prominent architect Erich Mendelsohn in 1927 and
opened three years later – houses the State Museum of
Archaeology Chemnitz (smac), which, as part of the Sax-
on State Archaeological Heritage Office, has presented a
permanent exhibition and temporary special exhibitions
since 2014 . Three hundred thousand years of human his-
tory are brought to life here .
The Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz
(Chemnitz Art Collec-
tions) are among the leading art museums in Germany,
featuring, for example, the second largest collection of
paintings by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, the Chemnitz-born
expressionist painter and co-founder of the “Brücke”
artists’ group . The Henry van de Velde Museum at Villa
Esche and the Schlossbergmuseum as a museum of local
The centre of Chemnitz is mainly characterized by modern constructions.

Exhibition area at the Chemnitz
Museum of Industry
| 75

76 |
history operate under the umbrella of the Kunstsamm-
lungen . 2007 saw the opening of the Gunzenhauser
Museum, which includes a permanent exhibition on clas-
sic modern art and the art of the late 20th century with
artists such as Edvard Munch, Otto Dix, Erich Heckel and
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff .
DAStietz, the cultural centre
housed in a former depart-
ment store, combines an adult learning centre, municipal
library, the museum of natural history (with its unique
“Sterzeleanum”, a collection of petrified tree trunks), and
the New Saxon Gallery, the city’s collection of post-1945
Saxon art . Once a temple of consumerism, the Tietz is
today an unparalleled centre for culture, education and
cross-generational interaction .
The German Games Museum
(Deutsches SPIELEmuseum
Chemnitz), the only museum of its kind in Germany, col-
lects historic, contemporary and interactive games, while
the Saxon Railway Museum gives visitors the opportuni-
ty to see over 40 locomotives, as well as the largest origi-
nally preserved functional rail facility site .
Or how about the Museum of Industry
, where a perma-
nent exhibition displays more than two hundred years of
industrial history . One of the exhibition’s highlights is a
silver strip running through the entire hall, featuring a
selection of prominent Saxon products and inventions .
As part of the 4th Saxon State Exhibition, the Museum
of Industry, as the “Machinery Stage”, will showcase the
change in Saxon mechanical engineering from English
master spinner and mechanical engineer Evan Evans to
Industry 4 .0 .
A city reinventing itself.
These developments have helped
Chemnitz connect with the early 20th-century growth
phase in industry, the arts and architecture – a time
when textiles and machine tool building led to “Work,
Prosperity and Beauty”, as Max Klinger portrayed it in
his 1918 mural for the City Councillors’ Room (Stadtver-
The heritage-listed smac museum building was designed by famous architect Erich Mendelsohn
and opened as a Schocken department store on 15 May 1930.

New synagogue
ordnetensaal) . The automotive industry followed soon
after . In the 14th century, Chemnitz, having been grant-
ed a bleaching privilege by the Margrave of Meissen,
became a centre for Upper Saxony’s linen weaving
industry, and later also textile production . Georgius Ag-
ricola (1494–1555), one of Saxony’s most prominent
humanists, lived in the city from 1531 to 1555, served as
mayor, and wrote his chief work on mining, entitled “De
re metallica”, here .
The first spinning mill in Chemnitz
was built in 1799; a
decade and a half later, thousands of spindles were in
operation across Saxony . The original English machin-
ery was supplanted with Saxon designs, and the spin-
ning mills were superseded by mechanical engineering
plants which naturally used Ore-Mountain iron which
was smelted with coal from Zwickau . Chemnitz grew to
become a German Manchester .
And the culture developed
along with it . The New City
Theatre (Neues Stadttheater) officially opened for perfor-
mances on 1 September 1909, and over the years which
followed, a prominent figure in the form of Richard Tau-
ber, made Chemnitz’ theatres the talk of Saxony . Today,
the Theater Chemnitz operates across five genres – op-
era, ballet, philharmonic orchestras, plays and puppet-
ry . Theaterplatz, with the opera house, König Albert Mu-
seum and St Peter’s Church (Petrikirche), is one of the
city’s first architectural complexes .
Every year during the autumn holidays
, Chemnitz goes
international with the “Schlingel” youth and children’s
film festival sponsored by the State Ministry for the Arts
– a permanent fixture on Chemnitz’s events calendar
since 1996 . Thousands of young visitors are given the
opportunity to see over 150 films from around 50 coun-
tries . Eleven judging panels award 16 prizes, including
the 12,500-Euro European Children’s Film Prize, spon-
sored by the Saxon State Ministry for the Arts .
Many other cultural highlights
further enrich
life in this city, such as intercultural weeks,
a Jewish cultural festival, and the Sax-
on Mozart Festival, which has estab-
lished a solid reputation as one of the most distinguished
classical music festivals in the Dresden-Leipzig-Chemnitz
metropolitan region of the Saxony . The Chemnitzer
Filmwerkstatt association brings film to life for any-
one wanting to independently produce motion pictures,
focusing particularly on intercultural interaction and
European exchange . Associations such as Kraftwerk e .V .,
meanwhile, have now become an integral part of Chemnitz
with their sociocultural services for people of all ages .
| 77
DAStietz, cultural centre

Felsenlandschaft, Sächsische Schweiz
South-west Saxony:
the cradle of instrument-building
The air is full of the sounds of
violins in Markneukirchen . Uprooted
by religious conflicts, luthiers from
Bohemia settled in the White Elster
Valley in the 17th century, and
founded the first guild for their craft
in 1677 . In doing so, they laid the
foundations for musical instrument
building in the Vogtland region .
The people of Markneukirchen are
proud of this tradition, which has
endured for 350 years, and in 2014
was included on the list of intangible
cultural heritage in Germany .
The “Vogtland music nook”
is one of the world’s centres of
instrument building . Everything you can toot, twang, beat
and strike is all made here . The Luthiers’ Monument in
front of the Paulus Schlössel, Markneukirchen’s musical
instruments museum, commemorates the great tradition
of instrument building . And the place where masterful
hands crafted precious instruments is also the scene of
music-making . Young instrumentalists from all over
the world meet every year at music competitions in the
Vogtland . The Klingenthal International Accordion Com-
petition and the Markneukirchen International Instru-
mental Competition also draw on the unique atmosphere
created by the instrument-building tradition .
The Vogtland Philharmonic Orchestra
of Greiz/Reichen-
bach considers itself the “region’s musical ambassador”,
connecting the Free States of Saxony and Thuringia mu-
sically through its concerts . The orchestra also co-oper-
ates with the Chursächsische Philharmonie of Bad Elster/
Bad Brambach .
The cultural and festival city of Bad Elster
primarily owes
its long history of theatre to water . The volcanic mineral
springs made Bad Elster and Bad Brambach popular spa
destinations in the late 19th century . Guests came not
only for the healing properties of the springs, but also
for the music and theatre . With its concerts at the King
Albert Theatre, Royal Bath House and Bad Elster out-
door theatre, the Chursächsische Philharmonic Orchestra
today builds on this tradition, with the State Spas of
The Zwickau Art Collections at the Max Pechstein Museum are 100 years old. Founded
as the König Albert Museum in 1914, they provide insights into various eras of art history.
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| 79
Saxony once again allowing patrons to “have a right
royal time” at the Chursächsisches Festival .
Plauen is the largest city and cultural centre
of the Vogt-
land region . Theater Plauen-Zwickau gGmbH, as a multi-
disciplinary theatre, not only immerses audiences in
the world of theatre at its historic main buildings; it
also takes them to many other places across the Cultural
Region and beyond .
Plauen is the place.
Particularly for lace, its unique spe-
ciality . During its heyday, this craft earned the city a
Grand Prix at the 1900 World Fair in Paris, and therefore
world fame . To this day, Plauen lace can be found on
the catwalks of the fashion industry, and as decorative
accessories on tables and windows . The Lace Museum
and Embroidery Machine Museum present the close ties
between Plauen lace and the city’s developments .
Following large-scale renovations
, Plauen’s Vogtland Mu-
seum is an architectural gem . The complex is one of the
best examples of well preserved early classicist civic archi-
tecture in central Germany . The museum also includes
the Hermann Vogel House in Krebes, and the e .o .plauen
Gallery . Better known under his pseudonym “e .o .plauen”
– honouring his hometown –, the gifted illustrator and
cartoonist Erich Ohser made a name for himself world-
wide, most notably with his father-son stories .
But Plauen is also the place
to be when it comes to folk
music, with a panel of judges and the audience at the
Folkherbst festival presenting Germany’s only European
folk music award, the Iron Everstein, ever year at Plau-
en’s Malt House . One of Plauen’s oldest buildings, the
Malt House has been a sociocultural centre since 1989
and thus a veritable cultural hub . Rock, jazz, blues and
folk concerts, revues and cabaret share the stage here
with an exhibition gallery and fine arts events .
The convent
, Central Germany’s only preserved building
of the Teutonic Order, a display mine and aerial defence
museum, the lovingly preserved Weberhäuser in the old-
est district of Plauen, and the Weisbach House, a former
calico printing plant and Germany’s oldest baroque fac-
tory, which will soon serve as a history museum for
Plauen lace, are other attractions to be found in the city .
The Neuberin house and museum
in Reichenbach are
named after Caroline Neuber, who founded her own
theatre troupe in 1725 and became famous right across
Europe . The house belongs to the district-run Vogtland
Kultur GmbH, which also includes a small but interest-
ing sociocultural establishment – the Göltzschtalgalerie
Whether it is musical theatre, drama, ballet or concerts, the Plauen-Zwickau Theatre
presents a varied repertoire which also includes many theatre-pedagogy services.
Musical instruments have been manufactured in the region
around Markneukirchen for around 350 years.

Nicolaikirche in Auerbach – and the Vogtländisches
Freilichtmuseum Landwüst, an open-air museum which
transports visitors back through time to the days of their
great-grandmothers . The “Museum unter Tage” – the
Grube Tannenberg display mine by the Schneckenstein,
which, together with the Vogtland Minerals Centre and
the Topasfelsen (topaz rocks), forms “Topaswelt” – simi-
larly belongs to Vogtland Kultur GmbH .
Adorf Museum
surprises visitors with Germany’s larg-
est mother-of-pearl collection . Between 1719 and 1879,
22,000 pearls were found in the Vogtland region . As the
industry grew, the river became more polluted, and pearl
fishing ended here in 1927 . The museum includes the
“Mini Vogtland” display, which entices patrons to see the
region’s attractions in person in their “true size”, and the
Botanical Garden .
The birthplace of Sigmund Jähn
, Germany’s first astro-
naut, presents the nation’s only space exhibition, span-
ning almost 900 square metres and featuring 1,000 ex-
hibits, including the MIR training module . The muse-
ums perched high at Voigtsberg Castle in Oelsnitz are
visible from afar . Among them is the Carpet Museum,
with an exhibition on the history of carpet . The inner
bailey houses the “Illusorium” – a permanent exhibition on
illustration art .
But culture in the Vogtland
is not just sponsored by gov-
ernment institutions; countless associations also strive
to represent the established and preserved traditions
of the local region . Held every two years, the “Tag der
Vogtländer” is an impressive example of this . The
region’s largest cultural festival sees around 2,000 par-
ticipants celebrate “their” day with a large procession
and varied “Vogtland afternoon” programme .
Zwickau is a city both of automotive tradition
and cul-
ture . From as early as the Reformation days, Zwickau’s
strong bourgeoisie helped it achieve wealth and pros-
perity, and the magnificent façades of bourgeois homes
from six centuries continue to attest to this day at the
Hauptmarkt . Visitors can learn more about the city’s
history at the priests’ houses, which not only serve as
monuments to Germany’s oldest preserved residential
buildings, but have also housed the Museum of Local
and Cultural History since 2003 . Directly opposite is the
Galerie am Domhof, which was a Latin school during the
Middle Ages, and today, in its neo-classicist building, is
centred around contemporary art .
The Hauptmarkt is all about music.
The Gewandhaus –
once a clothiers’ guild hall – has been the main thea-
tre venue since 1823, and the centre of multidisciplinary
performance, with musical theatre, plays and ballet . The
puppet theatre – whose history spans more than 60 years
– has been part of Zwickau’s Kultour Z . as an independ-
ent cultural establishment since the 2016/17 season .
Robert Schumann was born in Zwickau
in 1810 . The
Robert Schumann House features a permanent exhibi-
tion on the life and works of Schumann and his wife, the
The Chursächsische Philharmonie orchestra
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| 81
pianist Clara, nee Wieck . It is also home to the world’s
largest Schumann collection, with more than 4,000 of
the couple’s original manuscripts, and a concert hall . The
concert hall serves as the centre of the annual Schumann
Festival, whose tradition dates back to 1847 . Every year,
artists of national and international acclaim flock to the
city to perpetuate Schumann’s musical legacy . Every four
years, Zwickau hosts the International Robert Schumann
Competition for Piano and Voice, while young pianists
showcase their talents at the Little Schumann Competi-
tion run by the Robert Schumann Conservatory .
The Saxionade, the Glauchau Jazz-Open-Air
, and the
Swinging Saxonia international swing festival add
another dimension to the region’s musical scene . The
programme at the Alter Gasometer e .V . sociocultur-
al centre has a modern focus, with events ranging from
comedy, cabaret and cinema, to pub quizzes and poetry
slams, to jazz and rock concerts .
In Zwickau’s Nordvorstadt
district, we encounter another
of the city’s famous sons: Max Pechstein . A special ex-
hibition area is dedicated to the prominent expressionist
and painter of the “Die Brücke” group here . The Zwickau
Art Collections are nicknamed the Max Pechstein Muse-
um . And the city’s art prize, named after him, also serves
as a “bridge” (German: “Brücke”) to the active tradition
of promoting contemporary art . The Max Pechstein Prize
is an international art award for painting, graphic de-
sign, sculpture and artistic projects .
The “August Horch Automobile Museum”
opened its new
exhibition in the renovated buildings of the former Audi
factory in 2004, paying tribute to automotive engineer-
ing, which became an important industry in the region
in the early 20th century . Today, a Horch, Phaeton and
Trabant all stand side by side here . In 2020, Zwickau will
be the main venue of the 4th Saxon State Exhibition on
industrial culture, with the leading exhibition planned to
be held in the Audi Building at Audistrasse 9 .
The Daetz Centrum
opened at Lichtenstein Palace in 2001
as the world’s first centre for international wood sculp-
ture . The museum, which includes a training and meet-
ing centre for artists and craftspeople, showcases over
600 exhibits from five continents .
With well over 8,000 exhibits
, the Natural History Cabi-
net at the Waldenburg Museum is one of the oldest natu-
ral history collections in Germany .
The Blankenhaim Castle
Agricultural and Open-Air
Museum near Crimmitschau is the only one of its kind
in Germany, presenting Central Germany’s rural culture,
technology, everyday life and work over an eleven-hec-
tare site .
The August Horch Museum at the former Zwickau Audi factory presents the history of the West Saxon automotive industry, which is more than a century old.
Robert Schumann House in Zwickau

82 |
a region of mining, organs and castles
The year 1168 changed the course of history for Saxony .
It was the year silver was found here . Margrave Otto II of
Meissen responded by summoning experienced miners from
the Harz Mountains to the “Free Mountain” . Their settlement
marked the beginnings of Freiberg, which immediately received
a town charter and, during the High Middle Ages, remained
the largest city in the Margravate of Meissen . As such, Margrave
Otto laid the foundations for the successful mining industry,
which would assure the region’s prosperity for centuries .
In the 19th century, a statue was erected to him at Freiberg’s
market square . The pedestal also bears his old Saxon epithet,
“der Reiche”: Otto the Rich .

The Church of St Mary
, with its Romanesque Golden
Door (built around 1230), and Freiberg Cathedral, with
its tulip pulpit (built around 1508), are the stony wit-
nesses of an age of might and splendour . Today, they are
also cultural monuments of European acclaim . The dis-
play mines around Freiberg offer underground tours of
the silver mines, where Saxony’s wealth was once hewn
from the rock . It was in these dark, narrow shafts that
Saxony’s economic, political and cultural greatness took
root . Mine after mine was dug over the decades, and
city after city was built off the back of miners in the
area later to be known as the Erzgebirge (Ore Moun-
tains) . The margrave, as the supreme mining authority,
granted miners mining rights in exchange for payment
of a tenth of the yield .
The cities that flourished from mining and trade
competed with one another in the arts: As Elector Mau-
rice founded the “Hofcantorey” at his court in Dresden
in 1548, towns like Döbeln appointed “town pipers”,
who later became the municipal orchestra . The royal
stables similarly became the Comödiensaal auditorium . The
citizens of Freiberg made their theatre a municipal in-
stitution in the late 18th century . And even at the turn
of the century, the Erzgebirge region alone boasted no
less than five symphony orchestras . This served as a
solid foundation for further building – and establishing
theatres: In 1993, the Döbeln and Freiberg municipal
theatres merged to form the Mittelsächsische Theater
Philharmonie gGmbH, whose programme of events spans
the entire Cultural Region . The Saxon theatre scene
was further enriched in 2007 with the opening of the
250-sq-m Seebühne (“lake stage”) at Kriebstein reservoir .
Saxony, and the Eastern Ore Mountains in particular
, is
a Mecca for organ enthusiasts from all over the world .
The organs built by Gottfried Silbermann, who was born
in the Ore Mountain town of Kleinbobritzsch in 1683,
are known for their exceptional tonal beauty and crafts-
manship . Mozart himself labelled them exceedingly
superb instruments . Despite devastating wars and fires,
31 of the original 46 organs have been preserved . The
most famous can be heard at Freiberg Cathedral, and
many smaller ones are located in the surrounding
villages, such as Frankenstein, Oederan and Grosshart-
mannsdorf . Every two years, Saxony’s great master
organ-builder is honoured with the Gottfried Silbermann
Festival in Freiberg, which includes the International
Gottfried Silbermann Competition .
The miners’ guild
gave rise to a special sense of identity .
Very few other trades would start each day’s work with
a prayer and song . The miners’ rituals and disposition
towards religious culture were in turn reflected in the
Erzgebirge’s hall churches and their iconography . The
The Silbermann organ in Freiberg’s cathedral
View of Johanngeorgenstadt in the Ore Mountains
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84 |
miners’ unions continue to preserve the mining tradi-
tions to this day, with grand processions, parades and
festivals in the region’s mining towns .
The great “Berggeschrey”
, the term denoting the rapid
spread of news about the discovery of rich ore depos-
its in the 15th century, also had a lasting effect on sci-
ence . Among the specialists who flocked to Annaberg for
mining was Adam Ries, who arrived in 1523 . For years,
he worked as a mine accountant and the director of the
renowned accounting school in Annaberg-Buchholz,
which he had founded to teach arithmetic to “the com-
mon man” . The school building today houses the Adam
Ries Museum . The quality of his arithmetic books earned
him lasting recognition long after his death in 1559 . The
original manuscript of his book “Coss”, an algebra text-
book containing more than 500 pages, is today stored at
the Erzgebirge Museum in Annaberg-Buchholz .
After the ore deposits became depleted
and mining
declined in the 17th century, miners turned to textile
production, wood products and toy manufacturing for
their livelihoods . The woodwork reflected old mining
philosophies and the miners’ yearning for light . The an-
gel, as a protector and light-bearer on the dark, treacher-
ous road into the mountain, became a symbol of the de-
vout Erzgebirge miners .
The Erzgebirge region
has one of the highest concen-
trations of museums in Germany . Mining equipment
above and below ground, display mines, mining educa-
tion trails and technical museums, such as the Oelsnitz/
Erzgebirge Mining Museum, demonstrate the hard work,
courage and inventiveness of the local residents . Their
skills are showcased at the Freiberg City and Mining
Museum, the Seiffen Toy Museum, and the Annaberg-
Buchholz Erzgebirge Museum .
The artmontan cultural festival
is devoted to artistic
and musical experimentation, new compositions and
stage productions set in mining and industrial locations .
Space, atmosphere and acoustics combine with the art-
ists’ willingness to experiment, creating an extraordinary
explosion of sound and colour .
The Erzgebirgische Theater und Orchester gGmbH
is not
just for the people of Annaberg – it consists of the Edu-
ard von Winterstein Theatre in Annaberg-Buchholz and
the Erzgebirge Symphony Orchestra in Aue, and serves
as a cultural hub . The influence and aura of the theatre
troupe and orchestra stretches from Aue to Olbernhau,
Ehrenfriedersdorf tin mine

| 85
from Stollberg to Marienberg, and as far as the granite
cliffs of the Greifensteine, the popular natural open-air
stage .
While the Aue Erzgebirgsensemble
and Erzgebirge Youth
Cultural Festival are especially dedicated to preserving
local traditions, the Kammerweg literary prize, the work
of the Schwarzenberg Castle cultural centre, and the
children’s and youth theatre of the Stollberg Theatre Edu-
cation Centre present a dynamic cultural scene where
contemporary work plays a major role .
Established in 2010
, the Erzgebirge Music Festival op-
erates under the motto of “High art, deep roots”, and
is one of the region’s newest cultural institutions .
Alternating each year with the Gottfried
Silbermann Festival, these two co-op-
erating festivals help enrich the
region . National and internation-
al musicians, famous conductors
and world renowned choirs come
together at the Erzgebirge Music
Festival every two years to sound
a triad of landscape, architec-
ture and music in Saxony’s finest
churches, such as those in Ma-
rienberg, Zschopau, Schneeberg,
Lössnitz, Freiberg, Annaberg and
Schwarzenberg .
The Mittelsachsen region
in central
Saxony bears traces of a glittering
past . Picturesque castles and palaces attest to turbulent
histories, and thick walls tell of rulers, battles, hunting
and a love of the forest . Today, Gothic defence fortifi-
cations, rounded Renaissance gables and manicured
baroque gardens all set the stage for a vibrant cultur-
al scene: Rochlitz Castle overlooking the Muldental val-
ley, the mighty Kriebstein Castle perched atop a rocky
outcrop above the wilderness of the Zschopau river,
Lichtenwalde Castle, Rochsburg Castle, and Augus-
tusburg Palace and hunting lodge, the crowning
glory of the Erzgebirge region, overlooking the
hilly landscape .
The cultural stakeholders
in Mittelsachsen
build on more than just the region’s his-
toric treasures . They have created their
own cultural highlights, including a
cultural festival which has now become
one of the most diverse and distinguished
in Saxony . Mittelsachsen lives and breathes
culture every year from June to September .
The festival motto of “Enjoy landscapes,
experience culture” rings out loud and
clear at castles, squares, churches, mon-
asteries, parks and palaces – on land and
on the water . Every year, more than 250,000
guests attend the over 50 events in Mittel-
sachsen’s cities and municipalities, with
thousands of volunteers helping ensure this
great cultural festival is a success .
Minerals, precious stones and meteorites from all over the world can be viewed at the terra mineralia at Freudenstein Castle in Freiberg.

86 |
Around Leipzig:
Luther, mills,
new lakes
In May 1532, horse dealer Hans
Kohlhase from Cölln on the Spree
River pleaded his case against
Günter von Zaschwitz at the castle
of Bad Düben, a town in the Saxon
heath . The horse dealer claimed that
the aristocrat von Zaschwitz had
stolen two horses from him at
Wellaune on the River Mulde .
In his fight for justice, the once
peaceful Kohlhase became a rebel .
Portrait of Martin Luther from the workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1532
Nimbschen Monastery became famous through Martin Luther’s wife,
Katharina von Bora. She lived here as a nun from 1509 to 1523.
She managed to escape in 1523 with Martin Luther’s help.

The contemporary of Martin Luther
was executed in Ber-
lin in 1540 . Heinrich von Kleist paid a literary tribute to
him in his novella “Michael Kohlhaas” . Frescoes in the
tower of Düben Castle provide reminders of the “fighter
for justice” to this day .
“Wittenberg is the mother of the Reformation
; Tor-
gau its nurse .” There is a certain truth to this saying .
Martin Luther paid over forty visits to Torgau . The
town’s middle class, which had prospered through the
brewing and textile trades, had welcomed the Reforma-
tion . Under the protection of the dukes and electors of
Saxony, Luther was able to advance his church reform
in the province . This development led to a schism, and
the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 recognised two Christian
confessions . The close ties between faith and power in
Saxony are symbolised by the chapel at Torgau’s Harten-
fels Castle, consecrated by Martin Luther on 5 October
1544 as the first Protestant church building . Hartenfels
Castle and the laneways of the historic town centre have
maintained the feel of the former Renaissance royal seat
of the Ernestine Electors of Saxony . In 2017 the cham-
bers of the last Ernestine Elector John Frederick I (“the
Magnanimous”) at Hartenfels Castle were opened as a
permanent exhibition .
Only ruins remain
from the Marienthron Cistercian
convent, built in Nimbschen, near Grimma, in the 13th
century . It was here that Katharina von Bora, who later
became Martin Luther’s wife, lived until – according to
legend – a merchant by the name of Koppe smuggled
the noblewoman and eight other renegade nuns out of
the convent to Torgau in empty herring barrels during
the Easter of 1523 . The restored Katharina Luther Stube,
Germany’s only memorial site dedicated to the reform-
er’s wife, reopened to the public in 2017 .
With its castles and palaces
, the area along the Mulde
River is part of the scenic “Valley of the Castles” which
extends as far as Düben Heath . A place many would
presume to only consist of 19th-century industrial land-
scapes in fact presents traces of Saxony’s past through
historic town centres, palaces and parks .
Contained behind old walls
are today numerous initia-
tives contributing to a dynamic cultural scene . Colditz
Castle, for example, has become a cultural centre of na-
tional importance . It houses the Saxon State Music
Academy (Landesmusikakademie Sachsen), which was
extensively renovated by the state government and com-
menced operations in 2010, serving as a musical home
for amateur musicians of all age groups, independent
Hartenfels Castle in Torgau: a prominent royal castle, fort complex and milestone
in church and architectural history. Today home to a variety of exhibitions.
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88 |
project ensembles, school ensembles and the Saxon
State Youth Ensembles . The “hands-on” Frohburg Castle
Museum focuses its educational work and cultural of-
ferings on children, providing insights into schooling
at the turn of the century through an “historic class” .
A variety of initiatives ensures a wide range of art and
culture across the region, such as the KuHstall sociocul-
tural centre in Grosspösna, the Torgau Cultural Action
Project (KAP) and its Kulturbastion centre, the E-Werk
sociocultural centre in Oschatz, and the cultural scene in
Grimma . The Prösitz Artists’ Manor is particularly com-
mitted to fostering young female artists with children .
With well over 100 concerts a year
, the Leipzig Sympho-
ny Orchestra has a major influence over the music scene
in the Greater Leipzig Cultural Region, playing with local
amateur ensembles and internationally renowned artists .
Its youth development programme also gives young mu-
sicians the opportunity to prove themselves in concerts,
and an intense co-operation has been maintained with
the “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” University of Music
and Theatre in Leipzig for many years . Founded in 1963,
the orchestra and its ambitious, attractive programmes
delight audiences both in the Greater Leipzig Region and
as part of guest performances elsewhere in Germany and
abroad .
A unique cultural landscape
known as “Leipziger Neu-
seenland” (“new lakes district”) is emerging south of
Leipzig . Ever since the closure of most of the open-pit
mines after 1990, the pits have been filling with water .
Open-cast lignite (brown coal) mining covered an area of
up to 250 square kilometres, swallowing up 80 villages .
The new Kulkwitzer, Cospudener, Markkleeberger, Schla-
ditzer See and Grosser Goitzschsee lakes have given rise
to an attractive recreational and leisure landscape .
Northern Saxony is mill country.
A 25-km cycle path
through the Mulde Valley alone passes by more than
20 picturesque mill sites . Owners and millers invite
cyclists to visit the professionally and painstakingly
Mill landscape in northern Saxony

| 89
restored post mills, tower mills and paltrok mills, and
discover interesting facts and curiosities, such as mills
that were used as lookout towers during the Seven Years’
War, Saxony’s tallest mill, and mills which have been
relocated or which have been owned by the same fami-
ly for five generations . To mark German Mills Day, held
every year on Whit Monday, northern Saxony show-
cases these important witnesses of energy production and
usage from centuries past amid a rich programme of
exhibitions, farmers’ markets, and concerts .
Whether it is following in the footsteps of Ringelnatz like here
at Wurzen Museum or at writing and letters workshop: cultural education
receives particular support through funding from the cultural region.
The Leipzig Symphony Orchestra

Along the Elbe: inspiration for artists
Sächsische Schweiz, or Saxon Switzerland – a place of gorges and ravines,
shady beech forests, steep craggy cliffs, plateaus, and the Elbe Valley nestled
in between . Over the course of millennia, the water from the Elbe and its
tributaries has carved this bizarre rock landscape out of the sandstone,
making it a paradise for hikers and climbers . In 1990, this unique natural
landscape with its diverse flora and fauna acquired the status of “national
park” . The Saxon State Foundation for Nature and the Environment operates
one of Germany’s most modern conservation information centres in the
form of the Nationalparkhaus in Bad Schandau .
Since the 18th century
, painters, writers and composers
have never failed to be inspired by the Elbe Sand-
stone Mountains . Romanticist artists found this area to
contain everything they needed for their idealised land-
scapes: Rock arches and abysses, waterfalls and medie-
val castles, moonlight and mist rising from the gorges .
Caspar David Friedrich, Ludwig Richter and Carl Frie-
drich Carusall came and painted here . Since then, it has
been a tradition of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts for
students to hike up the Elbe into Saxon Switzerland to
study nature . That is perhaps why pictures inspired by
this region grace the works of nearly every artist associ-
ated with Saxon landscapes .
This is where Carl Maria von Weber
wrote his opera
“Der Freischütz” (“The Marksman”) . No theatre could
provide a better setting for the „wolf’s gorge scene” than
one of Europe’s most beautiful natural amphitheatres,
the Rathen Open Air Stage – best accessed from Dresden
by steamboat on the Elbe, followed by a fifteen-minute
walk up the Amselgrund . The “Sandstone and Music”
festival also draws its inspiration and name from its Elbe
Sandstone Mountains backdrop .
From the Elbe Valley
to the crests of the Eastern
Erzgebirge, castles and palaces attest to Saxony’s colour-
ful history . Some were built as fortresses, such as Stolpen
The rock landscape of Saxon Switzerland
90 |

Castle and the mighty bastion atop the Königstein over-
looking the bend in the Elbe opposite Lilienstein . Some
were the strongholds of robber barons, such as Hohn-
stein, and some were the family homes of Saxon nobility,
such as Kuckuckstein and Weesenstein palaces on the
slopes of the Müglitz Valley . Today, most of the castles
and palaces serve as museums, their thick walls protect-
ing the historic witnesses of a turbulent past .
The Eastern Erzgebirge Museum
housed in the Lauenstein
Renaissance palace in the narrow Müglitz Valley pre-
sents various exhibitions on regional history, nature and
folklore, as well as a permanent exhibition on the life
and work of Georg Bähr, the famous architect of Dres-
den’s Frauenkirche . He was born in Fürstenwalde, near
Lauenstein, in 1666, and spent his childhood here . A
German-Czech artists’ symposium is held at Lauenstein
Palace every year .
As a tribute to Wagner’s stay in Graupa
, near Pirna, in the
summer of 1846, memorial rooms were set up in the for-
mer “Schäfersches Gut” manor, now the Lohengrinhaus,
in the early 20th century . The extensively renovated
Richard-Wagner-Stätten in Graupa today invite visitors
to explore the artist’s life and works .
The Botanical Collections
are part of the recent history
of Pirna-Zuschendorf Palace . The Museum of Artifi-
Germany’s oldest castle: the Albrechtsburg in Meissen; pictured here is the largest room, the Grosse Hofstube
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92 |
cial Flowers in Sebnitz and the Chairmaking Museum in
Rabenau, meanwhile, reflect the regional specialities of
the smaller towns . The Dippoldiswalde Municipal and
District Tanning Museum, housed in a faithfully recon-
structed 18th-century tanners’ house, shows visitors how
hides were made into leather . A special gallery at the
museum has collected over 1,800 works with themes and
landscapes by the most prominent artists of the eastern
Erzgebirge .
It has only been in recent years
that archaeologists have
found 12th-century silver mines in Dippoldiswalde . The
unique climatic conditions in the hidden tunnels have
enabled countless artefacts to survive over centuries –
now revealing how miners worked in the narrow tunnels
800 years ago . Researchers at the Archaeological Herit-
age Office in Dresden have been measuring the uncov-
ered fragments using a 3D scanner, and the resulting im-
ages can be put together on the computer like pieces of
a puzzle, reconstructing the work equipment of yore by
virtual means .
The Altenberg Mining Museum
contains extensive
evidence of the mining industry which began in the
Eastern Erzgebirge in 1440, including an ore washer and
a display tunnel .
Over the centuries
, winegrowing on the slopes of Saxo-
ny’s “sunroom”, the Greater Meissen Region, devel-
oped into a major industry, influencing both the culture
and appearance of the villages and cities along the Elbe
Valley . Sandstone wells, half-timbered houses that have
begun to tilt over the centuries and have now been
painstakingly restored, seating alcoves in Renaissance
doorways and vine-covered pergolas in secluded court-
yards, crowned by the spires of the cathedral – the thou-
sand-year-old city of Meissen captured by the painter
Ludwig Richter can today be experienced in just the
same way . Europe’s first porcelain started being made at
the present-day Albrechtsburg Castle in 1710, and made
the city’s name famous the world over . Since 1863, it has
been produced at the Meissen State Porcelain Manufac-
tory in the Triebischtal district, where a display work-
shop allows visitors to watch the crafting process in
person . The Meissen Municipal Museum and Theatre,
Meissen District Music School, the Kunstverein Meissen
e .V . arts association, the Hafenstrasse e . V . sociocultural
centre and many other associations today contribute to
Meissen’s vibrant cultural scene .
Whether by bike or steamer
– there are few more
delightful ways to discover the Elbe Valley . Downstream
from Meissen is Riesa, the former “Steel City” which
has become a modern centre of business, sport and
culture, and which is fast earning a reputation through-
out Saxony and beyond with sporting highlights at the
newly built SACHSENarena . The Elbland Philharmo-
nie Sachsen GmbH is a beacon of the cultural scene,
bringing a diverse musical programme to venues as far
away as Sächsische Schweiz and the Eastern Erzgebirge .
Upstream from Meissen via historic paddle steamer is
Radebeul, with its eye-catching spectacular wineries,
magnificent aristocratic manors and stylish villas . It all
makes for a picturesque townscape, with the Wettinhöhe,
water tower, Friedensburg Castle, Minckwitz winery, Bis-
marck Tower and the Spitzhaus, perched atop a straight
staircase of 365 steps and 52 landings leading up from
the valley .
The Elbe sparkles in the valley,
while grapes ripen on the hillside .
Over 800 years ago, monks began
planting vines on the sunny slopes
overlooking the Elbe . Today, the
vineyards between the Elbe wine-
growing villages, from Diesbar-
Seusslitz upstream to Pillnitz,
are among the most northerly
situated in Europe .
The colourful stones of old vineyard terrace walls store
the sun’s heat . The soft green tones of rolling vineyard
hills . A rhapsody of hues and wine . A southern land-
Natural theatre with a unique backdrop: The Rathen Open Air Stage

| 93
scape . It was here that a young Gerhart Hauptmann
discovered paradise in the “Eden of Hohenhaus” . It was
here that Karl May, the “adventurer in spirit” found a
place to dream and write . His home, the sprawling Vil-
la Shatterhand, is today the Karl May Museum . Right
alongside it in the garden is the Villa Bärenfett (“bear
grease”) log cabin, housing an American Indian muse-
um . It was also here in Radebeul that naturopath Frie-
drich Eduard Bilz realised his ideas for reform, building
Germany’s first wave pool and his natural-healing sana-
toria, which attracted guests from all over the world .
Today, Radebeul is home to the Landesbühnen Sachsen
Germany’s second largest travelling theatre company . In
addition to its most spectacular venue, the Rathen Open
Air Stage in Saxon Switzerland, the ensemble also plays
in many other cities, including Meissen, Grossenhain,
Bad Elster and even as far as Saxony-Anhalt .
Saxon State Winery Schloss Wackerbarth
produces still
and sparkling wines here in a baroque setting . The Wine-
growing Museum in Hoflössnitz Castle, once a vineyard
estate of the Saxon Electors, showcases the history of the
winemaking industry in the Elbe Valley through a varie-
ty of exhibits .
Steam, smoke, bells and whistles
waft down into the
Lössnitz Valley from the hillside vineyards . The Lössnitz-
dackel, one of Germany’s last narrow-gauge railways,
snakes its way along the banks of the Lössnitz River and
up towards Moritzburg . Moritzburg Castle, named after
its builder, Duke Maurice, and converted into an elegant
hunting lodge and pleasure palace by Elector Augustus
the Strong in 1723, lies in the middle of the Moritzburg
Wetlands . Horses continue to be bred at the former roy-
al stables right next-door . Lovers of high-class chamber
music, meanwhile, visit Moritzburg every August for the
Moritzburg Festival, where world famous soloists and
young musicians from all over the world perform in the
unique setting of Moritzburg’s castle and church .
Käthe Kollwitz
, one of Germany’s most prominent
20th-century graphic designers and sculptors, spent the
last year of her life in Moritzburg from the summer of
1944 . The house where she died, overlooking the castle
and moat, today contains the Käthe Kollwitz Memori-
al, featuring a small collection of her graphic art, which
provides insights into her over 50 years of artistic work,
and promotes contemporary art through events and
exhibitions .
The summertime Moritzburg Festival now has a tradition spanning 25 years; pictured here (centre) is Jan Vogler, co-founder, artistic director and cellist

94 |
Eastern Saxony: many cultures
in the heart of Europe
The cities of Bautzen
, Görlitz, Kamenz, Lubán (Poland),
Löbau and Zittau joined forces in 1346 as a six-city Up-
per Lusatian alliance . The aim was to collectively protect
trade routes and increase power . Strategically located on
major long-distance trade routes, such as the Via Regia
from Frankfurt am Main through Silesia to Krakow, the
Upper Lusatian trading cities were rich and traditionally
interwoven with Saxony’s economy . The “Via Regia”, the
European Cultural Route, and the “Via Sacra” both pass
through the region .
Life in Bautzen
has for centuries been defined by interac-
tions between Germans and Sorbs, and the largest Sorbian
cultural institutions are still based here today . Folk art in
song, dance, poetry and fine arts, along with language
and the church, makes a valuable contribution towards
preserving the Sorbs’ cultural identity . The Sorbs’ folk
culture also includes customs such as the “Osterreiten”
Easter horse processions and “Vogelhochzeit” .
The Foundation for the Sorbian People
, a joint initiative
run by the German federal government and the states
of Brandenburg and Saxony, helps preserve, develop,
promote and spread the Sorbian language, culture and
traditions as an expression of the Sorbian people’s iden-
tity . One of its main focuses is on supporting Sorbian
institutions such as the Domowina-Verlag, the Sorbis-
ches Institut, the Sorbian Museum, Sorbian theatre and
The medieval towers and bastions
of BAUTZEN, the old capital of Up-
per Lusatia, rise up prominently on
a granite plateau above the river
Spree, which snakes its way through
the valley . The fortifications, some
of which are very well preserved,
attest to the city’s former importance
as a border fortress and political
centre, while the religious and civic
buildings reflect its economic power .
Together with the federal government, the states of Saxony and
Brandenburg share responsibility for the
Foundation for the
Sorbian People
, whose task is to preserve, develop, promote
and spread the Sorbian language, culture and traditions .
View of Bautzen’s historic centre from the Protschenberg

| 95
the Domowina – Bund Lausitzer Sorben e .V . For example,
it sponsors competitions to promote young musicians
and literary talent and a children’s theatre festival, is a
buyer and publisher of Sorbian-language sound record-
ings and sheet music or videos .
The German-Sorbian Volkstheater
ludowe dźiwadło
– is the only bilingual theatre in Ger-
many, performing its productions in both German and
Sorbian . The Bautzener Theatersommer open-air theatre
event has become a magnet for audiences not only in
Bautzen but across all of Upper Lusatia .
The Sorbian National Ensemble
– Serbski ludowy
an- sambl – in Bautzen preserves and promotes Sorbian
cultural traditions through ballet, a choir and orchestra .
Its programme includes dance theatre and musical
fairytales for children, along with choir performances
and concerts . The members of the ensemble also consid-
er themselves as cultural ambassadors in a united Eu-
rope . Every year, the Sorbian National Ensemble puts on
a number of guest performances in Germany and abroad .
Bautzen is also home to the “House of Sorbs”
and the
Domowina – Bund Lausitzer Sorben e . V . The latter
represents the interests of the Sorbian people in public
life, and its aims include preserving and developing the
Sorbian language, culture and traditions, and promoting
tolerance and understanding between the Germans and
Sorbs .
publishing house in Bautzen – Ludowe
nakładnistwo Domowina – publishes books, newspapers
and magazines in Upper Sorbian, Lower Sorbian and
German . The WITAJ Language Centre, an independent
department of the Domowina founded in 2001, devel-
ops activities which help preserve the Sorbian language
and encourage its widespread use . This includes ensuring
Sorbian children learn and speak their native language
to a high level, and that the Sorbian language is taught
actively and authentically at kindergartens and schools .
Performance at the Deutsch-Sorbisches Volkstheater in Bautzen
“Osterreiten” Easter horse processions are a religious ritual in Upper Lusatia.

96 |
The Sorbian Institute
– Serbski institut – based in
Bautzen with a branch office in Cottbus researches the
past and present of the Sorbian language, history and
culture in Upper and Lower Lusatia .
The Sorbian Museum
– Serbski muzej – in Bautzen, with
its exhibition in the salt house of Ortenburg Castle,
provides an overview of Sorbian history from its begin-
nings to the present, Sorbian culture and lifestyle, the
developments in the Sorbian language and literature,
and Sorbian fine art .
The Sorbian Artists’ Association
, founded in 1990, brings
together almost 100 writers, composers, actors, dancers,
musicians and painters .
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
, the great poet of the Enlight-
enment, whose “Nathan der Weise” and “Emilia Galotti”
wrote literary and theatrical history, was born in 1729 in
the small town of Kamenz, on the outskirts of Upper Lu-
satia, not far from Bautzen . The Lessing Museum docu-
ments his life and work – and every two years, it hosts
the Kamenz Lessing Festival, during whose opening
ceremony the Free State of Saxony awards the Lessing
Prize . Tourist attractions in Kamenz include the West
Lusatian Museum (Museum der Westlausitz), which has
been awarded the Saxon Museum Prize, as well as the
restored St Anne’s monastery church and religious muse-
um (Klosterkirche und Sakralmuseum St . Annen) .
was for many years home to the writer
Brigitte Reimann . Between 1960 and 1968, she wrote
works in Hoyerswerda which saw her make a name
for herself . A sculpture here, the “memorial to Brigitte
Reimann”, today commemorates the maladjusted writer .
This is one of many aspects of cultural life in Hoyers-
werda for which the city owes its thanks to the work
of the Hoyerswerdaer Kunstverein e . V . art association,
renowned well beyond the town’s borders .
The Zuse ComputerMuseum
in the centre of Hoyerswerda
invites visitors to explore the digital world and retrace
the successful history of the computer . Konrad Zuse not
only completed his schooling in Hoyerswerda; he also
invented the first computer .
The Hoyerswerda district of Schwarzkollm
around the Krabat folk tale . During the annual Krabat
Festival, productions centred around this Sorbian mythi-
cal figure are performed at the impressive Mühlen-
hof venue . The KRABAT mill is a highlight for tourists .
It was here that a replica of the “Black Mill” was built,
having become known as the main setting of the Krabat
folk tale, particularly through the book “The Black Mill”
by Jurij
the novel “Krabat” by Otfried Preuss-
ler .
Löbau is home to the extraordinary Villa Schminke
, built
around 1930 according to the plans of famous Bauhaus
architect, Hans Scharoun .
The Upper Lusatia-Lower Silesia Cultural Region
is not
only defined by the bilingualism between the Germans
and Sorbs, but also by the tri-country border area be-
tween Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic . As such,
the twin city of Görlitz-Zgorzelec, shared by Germany
and Poland, is considered a Eurocity .
Through its work at the junction of Europe
, the Silesian
Museum in Görlitz helps build a European bridge over
the Neisse . It organises exhibitions with German and
Polish partners for audiences on both sides of the bor-
der, brings scientific and human contacts together, and
discusses Silesia’s past and future . The Silesian Music
Festival revived the 19th century tradition of musical
exchange between the regions, and is held every second
year, alternating with the Lausitzer Musiksommer
The Via Sacra
runs through the tri-country border area of Zit-
tau, transporting visitors along old trade routes, and inviting
them to stop at 16 sites boasting unique cultural monuments in
the Neisse Euroregion, which feature prominently in religious
and art history . In the German and Lower Silesian section, parts
of the route are identical to the historic Via Regia and Camino
de Santiago . For example, it passes by the Evangelische Brüder-
Unität Herrnhut church, the Zittau altar cloths, the Oybin Cas-
tle and Monastery open-air museum, the Cunewalde Protestant
village church, the St Marienthal Cistercian Abbey near Ostritz,
and the St Marienstern Cistercian Abbey .
The Sorbian Institute in Bautzen has set itself the task of examining
the language, history and culture of the Sorbian people.

| 97
(Lusatian music festival) . This cross-border classical
music festival is dedicated to cultivating regional mu-
sic based on Sorbian, Central German and European
traditions . Students from the music schools in the Neisse
Euroregion also enjoy lively interactions with other na-
tionalities and cultures by playing alongside one another
in the “Europera Youth Orchestra” .
Europe is music
– This was the motto followed by the
Meetingpoint Music Messiaen e . V . cultural associa-
tion as it built a youth cultural centre on the historic
site of the former StaLag VIII A prison camp in Görlitz .
Olivier Messiaen spent around nine months of this crea-
tive life as a prisoner at the camp, composing one of his
most prominent works here: “The Quartet for the End of
Time”, which was first performed to fellow prisoners at
the camp in 1941 . Olivier Messiaen celebrated his 100th
birthday in 2008 . Ever since then – inspired by this
visionary composer –, young people and artists from
all over Europe have been coming together at the Mee-
tingpoint Music Messiaen for composition competitions,
week-long school study retreats, instrument workshops
and musical performances .
Sociocultural centres
such as the Steinhaus in Bautzen, the
Kulturfabrik Hoyerswerda, and the “Hillersche Villa” in Zit-
tau and Grosshennersdorf have become integral parts of Up-
per Lusatia’s cultural scene thanks to their diverse, multi-gen-
erational offerings . Anyone wanting to discover art in Upper
Lusatia can also take the “Kunstbus” (“art bus”), a temporary
mode of local transport which doubles as an event space . On
selected weekends throughout the year, it seeks to bring art
and cultural professionals in Upper Lusatia together, and make
them accessible to art enthusiasts . Performances and live mu-
sic onboard between stops make for an artistic and entertain-
ing ride .
View across the Neisse border river to Görlitz’s historic centre with St Peter’s Church

98 |
The region’s theatre
was named after Silesian-born
Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Gerhart Hauptmann .
Both of the Görlitz and Zittau locations of the Gerhart
Hauptmann Theatre host performances by the New Lu-
satian Philharmonic Orchestra, plays, musical theatre,
dance and concerts .
The 3rd Via Regia Saxon State Exhibition
, held in Gör-
litz in 2011, also saw the restoration of the Kaisertrutz
Castle . The “Modern Art Gallery” was opened on the
third floor of the Kaisertrutz in 2015 . The Görlitz
Cultural History Museum is housed in three heritage-listed
buildings – the Kaisertrutz, the Reichenbach Tower and
the Baroque House at Neissstrasse 30 .
North of Görlitz
, the Neisse River flows through the
Prince Pückler landscape park in Bad Muskau . Its crea-
tor, Prince Hermann of Pückler-Muskau (1785–1871),
drew his inspiration from the idyllic valley landscape,
and started building a vast garden here in 1815 . Span-
ning around 598 hectares in area, two thirds of the park
is today situated in Poland . Pedestrian bridges have
connected both sections since 2004 .
The old royal Bohemian city of Zittau
is distinguished by
a rich cultural heritage and exquisite architecture, rang-
ing from Early Gothic to High Baroque to Karl Friedrich
Schinkel’s classicist masterpiece, St John’s Church . The
city’s greatest treasures are the Zittau Lenten altar cloths,
which serve as examples of religious art in Upper Lusa-
tia . The Zentrum für Oberlausitzer Heimatpflege (centre
for Upper Lusatian history), meanwhile, is dedicated to
preserving dialects and regional traditions of the diverse
Upper Lusatian folk culture .
When Saxon Count Ludwig Nikolaus of Zinzendorf
Moravian religious refugees to settle on his land in
Upper Lusatia in 1722, he could never have known he
was laying the foundations for a worldwide success
story . Five years later, the “Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine”
(“Brethren’s Congregation from Herrnhut”), today known
as the Moravian Church, was founded here . It is close-
ly affiliated with worldwide missionary work, the col-
lection of precious ethnographical treasures from distant
lands, economic development for agricultural regions on
all continents during the 19th century, and the popular
Herrnhut Christmas stars and the “Die Losungen” books
of daily Bible verses .
The Great Zittau Alter Cloth from 1472 is a religious artistic
treasure whose importance extends well beyond Germany’s borders.
The “Via Thea” international street theatre festival in Görlitz’s historic centre

Photo credits:
Page 1:
Lisa Börnert
Page 4:
SKD/David Prinzer
Page 5:
SMWK/Martin Förster
Page 6:
David Nuglisch
Page 8:
Stephan Floss; smac/Michael Jungblut
Page 9:
Matthias Creutziger
Page 10: Stephan Floss; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Page 11: Andreas Schmidt, Leipzig; Christoph Münch
Page 12: David Nuglisch
Page 13: Michael Lange
Page 14: Dietmar Träupmann/Industriemuseum Chemnitz;
Hannelore Zschocke
Page 15: Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig; Andreas Schmidt, Leipzig
Page 16: Eric Tschernow
Page 17: Stiftung Sächsische Gedenkstätten/Gedenkstätte Pirna-Sonnenstein
Page 18: Stiftung Haus der Geschichte/Christoph Petras;
Schlesisches Museum Görlitz
Page 19: Sven Döring/Agentur Focus
Page 20: Andreas Schmidt, Leipzig
Page 21: David Pinzer (SKD); Frank Exß
Page 22: PUNCTUM/Bertram Kober
Page 23: Stadtverwaltung Zwickau;
Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden/Ian Whalen
Page 25: Daniel Koch
Page 26: Daniel Koch
Page 27: Stephan Floss
Page 28: Steffen Giersch
Page 29: Blende auf – Fotostudio
Page 30: Swen Reichhold
Page 31: David Baltzer; smac/Jutta Boehme
Page 32: Stephan Floss
Page 33: Stephan Floss; Ian Whalen
Page 34: DOK Leipzig/Henrike Schneider
Page 36: Schlösserland Sachsen/Dittrich
Page 37: Danny Otto; SKD
Page 38: Gert Mothes
Page 40: Klaus Gigga
Page 41: Banda Internationale; Dirk Brzoska
Page 42: Matthias Horn
Page 43: Klaus Gigga
Page 44: Hagen König
Page 45: Roman Dobes; Dieter Wuschanski
Page 46: Oliver Killig; David Prinzer
Page 47: Oliver Killig; DHMD
Page 48: Jutta Böhme/SMAC
Page 49: Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig
Page 50: DOK/Susann Jehnichen
Page 51: Stadtverwaltung Görlitz; Stephan Floss
Page 52: High Breed/Paolo Porto
Page 53: Dieter Wuschanski
Page 54: SLUB Dresden/Henrik Ahlers
Page 55: Andreas Schmidt, Leipzig
Page 56: Stephan Floss
Page 57: DZB
Page 58: Stephan Floss
Page 59: Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst/Sebastian Schröder
Page 62: David Nuglisch
Page 63: Oliver Killig
Page 64: Christoph Münch
Page 65: Sven Döring/Agentur Focus; Stephan Floss
Page 66: Miguel Angel Regalado; Stephan Floss
Page 67: Michael Schmidt
Page 68: Dirk Brzoska
Page 69: Andreas Schmidt, Leipzig
Page 70: Andreas Schmidt, Leipzig
Page 71: Jens Gerber (Gewandhaus);
Museum der bildenden Künste/Anselm Kiefer
Page 72: Tom Schulze/Theater der Jungen Welt;
Euroscene Wilfried Hösl, München
Page 73: Stephan Floss, Andreas Schmidt, Leipzig
Page 74: Stephan Floss
Page 75: Dirk Hanus
Page 76: smac/László Farkas
Page 77: Stephan Floss
Page 78: Stadtverwaltung Zwickau/Gregor Lorenz
Page 79: Theater Plauen Zwickau/Peter Awtukowitsch;
Stadtverwaltung Markneukirchen
Page 80: Stadtverwaltung Zwickau/Gregor Lorenz;
Stadtverwaltung Zwickau/Helge Gerischer
Page 81: Danny Otto
Page 82: Stephan Floss
Page 83: Stephan Floss
Page 84: Michael Lange
Page 85: Stephan Floss
Page 86: SKD, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister/Hans-Peter Klut; TMGS
Page 87: Dirk Brzoska
Page 88: Verein Mühlenregion Nordsachsen e . V .
Page 89: Schweizerhaus Pücher e . V .; LSO gGmbH Andreas Döhring
Page 90: Stephan Floss
Page 91: Frank Hoehler,
Page 92: Martin Krok/Montage: Martin Reißmann
Page 93: Oliver Killig
Page 94: Peter Wilhelm
Page 95: Theater Bautzen, Gabriele Suschke; Archiv TMGS/Rainer Weisflog
Page 96: André Wucht
Page 97: Moritz Kertzscher; Kunstinitiative »Im Friese« e . V .
Page 98: Rene Pech; Stadtverwaltung Görlitz/Reiner Weisflog
www .kulturland .sachsen .de
www .sorben .sachsen .de

Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (SMWK)
Wigardstrasse 17, 01097 Dresden
www smwk
..sachsen de
Press Relations SMWK, Oktober 2017;
using texts from earlier editions by Annette Therese Jäger;
English translation: in-translations
blaurock markenkommunikation, Dresden
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