Plauen is a town in the Free State of Saxony, east-central Germany. It is the capital town of the district Vogtlandkreis; the town is situated near the border of the Czech Republic. Plauen was founded by Polabian Slavs in the 12th century as "Plawe" and was passed to the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1327; the town was captured by the Archbishop of Magdeburg, Lippold von Bredow, in 1384. In 1466, it was passed to Albertine Saxony and in 1569 to the Electorate of Saxony. Plauen became incorporated into the Kingdom of Saxony in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. In the late-19th century, Plauen became a centre of textile manufacturing, specializing in Chemical lace, called Plauen lace. Around 1910, Plauen, as an industrial'boomtown' of the region, reached its population peak. In the 1930s, Plauen hosted the first chapter of the Nazi Party outside of Bavaria. Plauen's population, has shrunk since the Second World War, it was occupied by American troops on 16 April 1945 but was left to Red Army on 1 July 1945.
From 1945 onwards, Plauen fell into the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, which became the German Democratic Republic. Plauen hosted a large Red Army occupation garrison and, in the last years of the GDR, an officer school of the Border Guards; the first mass demonstration against the communist regime in the GDR began in Plauen on 7 October 1989. The exposé Fast Food Nation gives special mention to Plauen as the first town of the GDR to have a McDonald's restaurant following the collapse of the Berlin Wall. In the district reform of 1 July 2008, Plauen lost its urban district status and was merged into the district Vogtlandkreis. Plauen Oberer Bahnhof lies on the Leipzig–Hof line; the section of this line through Plauen is part of the Saxon-Franconian trunk line running between Nürnberg, Plauen, Zwickau and Dresden. The town had Plauen Unterer station, on the Elster Valley Railway. There is a plan to rename the Oberer station into Plauen Hauptbahnhof. Vogtlandbahn, a regional train company, operates services from Plauen to Hof, Chemnitz, Zwickau and Adorf within Germany and Cheb in the Czech Republic.
At these stations, there are other Vogtlandbahn services to München, Marktredwitz and Leipzig within Germany and Karlovy Vary and Prague in the Czech Republic. A Vogtlandbahn Express Bus service runs between Plauen and Berlin Schönefeld Airport and Zoological Garden; the Plauen Straßenbahn is a tramway that has 6 lines connecting the centre of town, Plauen-Tunnel stop, to the surrounding areas and the Oberer railway station. Embroidery Machine Museum Museum Plauener Spitze Galerie e. O. plauen Old Town Hall Elster Viaduct – second largest brick bridge in the world Friedensbrücke – largest stone arch bridge in the world Johanniskirche Old Elster Viaduct – oldest bridge in Saxony Malzhaus Plauen is home to a University of Applied Sciences with about 300 students and a DIPLOMA Fachhochschule. Heinrich von Plauen, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights Christoph Pezel, theologian Johann von Mayr.. Prussian general Ferdinand Gotthelf Hand, philologist Eduard Friedrich Poeppig, botanist and explorer Gustav Hartenstein, philosopher Charles Beyer, locomotive designer and engineer Emil Kautzsch, theologian Arwed Rossbach, architect in Leipzig Hermann Vogel, illustrator Kurt Helbig, weightlifter Friedrich Hielscher, religious philosopher and resistance fighter against Nazism E.
O. Plauen, cartoonist Paul Wessel, politician Egon Zill, Nazi SS commandant of the concentration camp Flossenburg Werner Hartenstein, war-time commander of U-156, notable for the RMS Laconia incident Walter Ballhause, photographer Johannes Kuhn, Protestant theologian Horst Dohlus, SED functionary Karl Richter, conductor and harpsichordist Hans Otte and pianist Klaus Zink, football player Angelika Bahmann, Olympic champion and world champion in canoe slalom Andrea Stolletz, handball goalkeeper Olaf Schubert and musician Frank Meyer, television presenter Christian Bahmann, world champion in canoe slalom Christin Zenner, swimmer Martin Mutschmann, 1933 Aš, Czech Republic, since 1962 Steyr, since 1970 Hof, since 1987 Siegen, since 1990 Cegléd, since 2005 Pabianice, since 2006 Šiauliai, since 2010 Heilsbronn, Germany Lens, France, 1962–2005 Miller, Michael. Gauleiter Volume 2. California: R James Bender Publishing. ISBN 1-932970-32-0. Plauen travel guide from Wikivoyage Official website
Prince-Bishopric of Augsburg
The Prince-Bishopric of Augsburg was one of the prince-bishoprics of the Holy Roman Empire, belonged to the Swabian Circle. It should not be confused with the larger diocese of Augsburg, over which the prince-bishop exercised only spiritual authority; the city of Augsburg proper, after it gained free imperial status, was a separate entity and constitutionally and politically independent of the prince-bishopric of the same name. The prince-bishopric covered some 2365 km2 and had 100,000 inhabitants at the time it was annexed to Bavaria in the course of the German mediatization; the present city of Augsburg appears in Strabo as a stronghold of the Licatii. Though the beginnings of Christianity within the limits of the present diocese are shrouded in obscurity, its teachings were brought there by soldiers or merchants. According to the acts of the martyrdom of St. Afra, who with her handmaids suffered at the stake for Christ, there existed in Augsburg early in the fourth century a Christian community under Bishop Narcissus.
St. Dionysius, uncle of St. Afra, is mentioned as his Successor. Nothing authentic is known about the history of the Augsburg Church during the centuries succeeding, but it survived the collapse of Roman power in Germany and the turbulence of the great migrations, it is true that two catalogues of the Bishops of Augsburg, dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, mention several bishops of this primitive period, but the first whose record has received indubitable historical corroboration is Saint Wikterp, bishop about 739 or 768. He took part in several synods convened by Saint Boniface in Germany. Under either Saint Wikterp or his successor, about whom little is known, many monasteries were established, e.g. the abbeys of Wessobrunn, Ellwangen and Ottobeuren. At this time the see, hitherto suffragan to the Patriarchate of Aquileia, was placed among the suffragan sees of the newly founded Archdiocese of Mainz. Saint Simpert, hitherto abbot of Murbach, a relative of Charlemagne, renovated many churches and monasteries laid waste in the wars of the Franks and Bavarians, during the incursions of the Avari.
His jurisdiction extended at that time from the Iller eastward over the Lech, north of the Danube to the Alb, south to the spurs of the Alps. Moreover, various estates and villages in the valley of the Danube, in Tyrol, belonged to the diocese. Among the bishops of the following period, a certain number are prominent, either on account of the offices they filled in the Empire, or for their personal qualifications; the See of Augsburg reached the period of its greatest splendor under Saint Ulrich. During the incursion of the Hungarians and the siege of Augsburg, he sustained the courage of the citizens, compelled the Hungarians to withdraw, contributed much to the decisive victory on the Lechfeld, he built churches in honor of Saint Afra and Saint John, founded the monastery of Saint Stephen for Benedictine nuns, undertook three pilgrimages to Rome. The diocese suffered much during the episcopate of his successor, Henry I, for he sided with the foes of Emperor Otto II, remained for several months in prison.
After his liberation he renounced his former views and bequeathed to his church his possessions at Geisenhausen. The diocese attained great splendor under Bishop Bruno, brother of Emperor Henry II. Under Bishop Henry II, the guardian of Henry IV, the diocese secured the right of coinage and was enriched by many donations. During the last years of his episcopate, the quarrel of Emperor Henry IV with the papacy in which Embrico took the imperial side and only temporarily yielded to the papal legate; the struggle continued under his successors. Hermann, Count of Vohburg supported with treachery and cunning his claim to the see he had purchased, violently persecuted the Abbot of St. Afra, expelled him from the city. Only after the conclusion of the Concordat of Worms did Hermann obtain the confirmation of the pope and relief from excommunication; the political disturbances resulting from the dissensions between the popes and the German emperors reacted on the Church of A
Brandenburg is a state of Germany. Brandenburg is located in the northeast of Germany covering an area of 29,478 square kilometres and has a population of 2.5 million residents, the fifth-largest German state by area and tenth-most populous. Potsdam is the state capital and largest city, while other major cities include Brandenburg an der Havel and Frankfurt. Brandenburg surrounds the national capital and city-state of Berlin, which together form the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, the third-largest metropolitan area in Germany. Brandenburg borders the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, the country of Poland. Brandenburg originated in the Northern March in the 900s AD from areas conquered from the Wends, became the Margraviate of Brandenburg, a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire, with Albert the Bear as prince-elector. In the 17th century Brandenburg came under the rule of the House of Hohenzollern, the rulers of Prussia, who established Brandenburg-Prussia to become the core of the Kingdom of Prussia.
Brandenburg became the Province of Brandenburg in 1815, a province within the kingdom and within the Free State of Prussia. Brandenburg was established as a state in 1945 after World War II by the Soviet army administration in Allied-occupied Germany, became part of the German Democratic Republic in 1947. Brandenburg was dissolved in 1952 during administrative reforms and its territory divided into the districts of Potsdam, Frankfurt and Schwerin, but was re-established in 1990 following German reunification, became one of the Federal Republic of Germany's new states. In late medieval and early modern times, Brandenburg was one of seven electoral states of the Holy Roman Empire, along with Prussia, formed the original core of the German Empire, the first unified German state. Governed by the Hohenzollern dynasty from 1415, it contained the future German capital Berlin. After 1618 the Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were combined to form Brandenburg-Prussia, ruled by the same branch of the House of Hohenzollern.
In 1701 the state was elevated as the Kingdom of Prussia. Franconian Nuremberg and Ansbach, Swabian Hohenzollern, the eastern European connections of Berlin, the status of Brandenburg's ruler as prince-elector together were instrumental in the rise of that state. Brandenburg is situated in territory known in antiquity as Magna Germania, which reached to the Vistula river. By the 7th century, Slavic peoples are believed to have settled in the Brandenburg area; the Slavs expanded from the east driven from their homelands in present-day Ukraine and Belarus by the invasions of the Huns and Avars. They relied on river transport; the two principal Slavic groups in the present-day area of Brandenburg were the Hevelli in the west and the Sprevane in the east. Beginning in the early 10th century, Henry the Fowler and his successors conquered territory up to the Oder River. Slavic settlements such as Brenna and Chośebuz came under imperial control through the installation of margraves, their main function was to protect the eastern marches.
In 948 Emperor Otto I established margraves to exert imperial control over the pagan Slavs west of the Oder River. Otto founded the Bishoprics of Havelberg; the Northern March was founded as a northeastern border territory of the Holy Roman Empire. However, a great uprising of Wends drove imperial forces from the territory of present-day Brandenburg in 983; the region returned to the control of Slavic leaders. During the 12th century, the German kings and emperors re-established control over the mixed Slav-inhabited lands of present-day Brandenburg, although some Slavs like the Sorbs in Lusatia adapted to Germanization while retaining their distinctiveness; the Roman Catholic Church brought bishoprics which, with their walled towns, afforded protection from attacks for the townspeople. With the monks and bishops, the history of the town of Brandenburg an der Havel, the first center of the state of Brandenburg, began. In 1134, in the wake of a German crusade against the Wends, the German magnate, Albert the Bear, was granted the Northern March by the Emperor Lothar III.
He formally inherited the town of Brandenburg and the lands of the Hevelli from their last Wendish ruler, Pribislav, in 1150. After crushing a force of Sprevane who occupied the town of Brandenburg in the 1150s, Albert proclaimed himself ruler of the new Margraviate of Brandenburg. Albert, his descendants the Ascanians made considerable progress in conquering, colonizing and cultivating lands as far east as the Oder. Within this region and German residents intermarried. During the 13th century, the Ascanians began acquiring territory east of the Oder known as the Neumark. In 1320, the Brandenburg Ascanian line came to an end, from 1323 up until 1415 Brandenburg was under the control of the Wittelsbachs of Bavaria, followed by the Luxembourg Dynasties. Under the Luxembourgs, the Margrave of Brandenburg gained the status of a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. In the period 1373-1415, Brandenburg was a part of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. In 1415, the Electorate of Brandenburg was granted by Emperor Sigismund to the House of Hohenzollern, which would rule until the end of World War I.
The Hohenzollerns established their capital in Berlin, by the economic center of Brandenburg. Brandenburg converted to Protestantism in 1539 in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, did quite we
Markkleeberg is a town in the Leipzig district, in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. It is on the river Pleiße 7 km south of Leipzig; the town now called Markkleeberg has its origins in several towns that have been merged over the years. The center of modern-day Markkleeberg used to be called Oetzsch, it was merged with the smaller outlying district Markkleeberg in 1911 and renamed Oetzsch-Markkleeberg. Oetzsch-Markkleeberg was in turn merged with Gautzsch and the whole town was called "Markkleeberg", although Markkleeberg was the smallest, because it sounded most Germanic at a time of Nazi-led Germanisation; the etymology of Markkleeberg may be'clover hill market town'. The name of Oetzsch has most a Wendish origin. In 1316 it was mentioned in a document as "Euschiz"; the village had the form of a Rundling. In 1813 much of the Battle of Leipzig took place. During 1944-1945, a forced labor camp for women was established in the town a subcamp of the Ravensbrück concentration camp and of Buchenwald.
Among the inmates were a thousand Jewish women from Hungary and 250 French resistance fighters. In early April 1945 the surviving inmates were transferred to the Mauthausen-Gusen camp in Austria. Today, Markkleeberg is thanks to its proximity to Leipzig. Markkleeberg is a well known tourist destination. Cospudener See and Markkleeberger See as well as a lot of parks and Kanupark Markkleeberg are close to the city. Markkleeberg is twinned with: Pierre-Bénite, France Zarensti, Romania Neusäß, Germany Hemmingen, Germany Boville Ernica, Italy
Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, artistic legacy, its influence on high culture, it is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". Tuscany is a popular destination in Italy, the main tourist spots are Florence, Lucca, Versilia and Chianti; the village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited seaside destination in the region, with seaside tourism accounting for 40% of tourist arrivals. Additionally, Lucca, the Chianti region and Val d'Orcia are internationally renowned and popular spots among travellers.
Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence. Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals. Triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north, Marche to the northeast, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast; the comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca' Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna. Tuscany has a western coastline on the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, among, the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of 22,993 square kilometres. Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, with few plains, the region has a relief, dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the region's total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, mountains, a further 25%, or 5,770 square kilometres.
Plains occupy 8.4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the Arno. Many of Tuscany's largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence and Pisa; the climate is mild in the coastal areas, is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer, giving the region a soil-building active freeze-thaw cycle, in part accounting for the region's once having served as a key breadbasket of ancient Rome. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks; the Tuscan area was inhabited by peoples of the so-called Apennine culture in the late second millennium BC who had trading relationships with the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations in the Aegean Sea. Following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before "Orientalization" occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose.
The Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art. The Etruscans lived in the area of Etruria well into prehistory; the civilization grew to fill the area between the Arno and Tiber from the eighth century BCE, reaching its peak during the seventh and sixth centuries B. C. succumbing to the Romans by the first century BCE. Throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, Rome, influenced the civilization to a great extent. One reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, ensured peace.
These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, the construction of many buildings, both public and private. However, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather; the Roman civilization in the West of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, the region fell to barbarians migrating through the Empire from Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Goths was re-conquered by the revived Eastern Roman Empire under the strong Emperor Justinian. In the years following 572, the Lombards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their subsequent Tuscia. Pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena between Rome and France brought wealth and development during the medieval period; the food and shelter required by the
Augsburg is a city in Swabia, Germany. It is a university town and regional seat of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg, it is the third-largest city in Bavaria with a population of 300,000 inhabitants, with 885,000 in its metropolitan area. After Neuss and Trier, Augsburg is Germany's third oldest city, founded in 15 BC by the Romans as Augusta Vindelicorum, named after the Roman emperor Augustus, it was a Free Imperial City from 1276 to 1803 and the home of the patrician Fugger and Welser families that dominated European banking in the 16th century. The city played a leading role in the Reformation as the site of the 1530 Augsburg Confession and 1555 Peace of Augsburg; the Fuggerei, the oldest social housing complex in the world, was founded in 1513 by Jakob Fugger. Augsburg lies on the Singold; the oldest part of the city and the southern quarters are on the northern foothills of a high terrace, which emerged between the steep rim of the hills of Friedberg in the east and the high hills of the west.
In the south extends the Lechfeld, an outwash plain of the post ice age between the rivers Lech and Wertach, where rare primeval landscapes were preserved. The Augsburg city forest and the Lech valley heaths today rank among the most species-rich middle European habitats. On Augsburg borders the nature park Augsburg Western Woods - a large forestland; the city itself is heavily greened. As a result, in 1997 Augsburg was the first German city to win the Europe-wide contest Entente Florale for Europe's greenest and most livable city. Augsburg is surrounded by the counties Landkreis Augsburg in the west and Aichach-Friedberg in the east; the Suburb are Friedberg, Königsbrunn, Neusäß, Diedorf Neighbouring municipalities:Rehling, Kissing, Merching, Gessertshausen The city was founded in 15 BC by Drusus and Tiberius as Augusta Vindelicorum, on the orders of their stepfather Emperor Augustus. The name means "Augusta of the Vindelici"; this garrison camp soon became the capital of the Roman province of Raetia.
Early development was due to a 400-year affiliation with the Roman Empire because of its excellent military and geographic position at the convergence of the Alpine rivers Lech and Wertach, with direct access to most important Alpine passes. Thus, Augsburg was the intersection of many important European east-west and north-south connections, which evolved as major trade routes of the Middle Ages. Around 120 AD Augsburg became the capital of the Roman province Raetia. Augsburg was sacked by the Huns in the 5th century AD, by Charlemagne in the 8th century, by Welf of Bavaria in the 11th century, but arose each time to greater prosperity. Augsburg was granted the status of a Free Imperial City on March 9, 1276 and from until 1803, it was independent of its former overlord, the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg. Frictions between the city-state and the prince-bishops were to remain frequent however after Augsburg became Protestant and curtailed the rights and freedoms of Catholics. With its strategic location at an intersection of trade routes to Italy, the Free Imperial City became a major trading center.
Augsburg produced large quantities of woven goods and textiles. Augsburg became the base of two banking families that rose to great prominence, the Fuggers and the Welsers; the Fugger family donated the Fuggerei part of the city devoted to housing for needy citizens in 1516, which remains in use today. In 1530, the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Augsburg. Following the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, after which the rights of religious minorities in imperial cities were to be protected, a mixed Catholic–Protestant city council presided over a majority Protestant population. Religious peace in the city was maintained despite increasing Confessional tensions until the Thirty Years' War. In 1629, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution, which restored the legal situation of 1552 and again curtailed the rights of the Protestant citizens; the inequality of the Edict of Restitution was rescinded when in April 1632, the Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus captured Augsburg without resistance.
In 1634, the Swedish army was routed at nearby Nördlingen. By October 1634, Catholic troops had surrounded Augsburg; the Swedish garrison refused to surrender and a siege ensued through the winter of 1634/35 and thousands died from hunger and disease. According to J. N. Hays, "In the period of the Swedish occupation and the Imperial siege the population of the city was reduced from about 70,000 to about 16,000, with typhus and plague playing major roles." In 1686, Emperor Leopold I formed the League of Augsburg, termed by the English as the "Grand Alliance" after England joined in 1689: a European coalition, consisting of Austria, Brandenburg, the Holy Roman Empire, the Palatinate of the Rhine, Savoy, Spain and the United Provinces. It was formed to defend the Palatinate from France; this organization fought against France in the Nine Years War. Augsburg's peak boom years occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries thanks to the bank and metal businesses of the merchant families Fugger and Welser, who held a local near total monopoly on their respective industries.
Augsburg's wealth attracted artists seeking patrons and became a creative centre for famous painters and musicia
Zwickau is a town in Saxony and the capital of the Zwickau district. It is situated in a valley at the foot of the Erzgebirge mountains, it is part of Central Germany and geographically linked to the urban areas of Leipzig-Halle and Chemnitz, the town has 100,000 inhabitants. From 1834 until 1952 Zwickau was the seat of the government of the south-western region of Saxony. Zwickau is the centre of the Saxon automotive industry, with a tradition over one hundred years old, including car makers Horch, Auto Union and Volkswagen; the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau trains automotive engineers. The valley of the 166-kilometre long Zwickauer Mulde river stretches from the Vogtland to Colditz Castle at the other end; the Silver Road, Saxony's longest tourist route, connects Dresden with Zwickau. Zwickau can be reached by car via the nearby Autobahns A4 and A72, the main railway station, via a public airfield which takes light aircraft and by bike along river Zwickauer Mulde on the so called Mulderadweg.
The region around Zwickau was settled by Slavs as early as the 7th century AD. The name Zwickau is a Germanization of the Sorbian toponym Šwikawa, which derives from Svarozič, the Slavic Sun and fire god. In the 10th century, German settlers began arriving and the native Slavs were Christianized. A trading place known as terretorio Zcwickaw was mentioned in 1118; the settlement received a town charter in 1212, hosted Franciscans and Cistercians during the 13th century. Zwickau was a free imperial city from 1290–1323, but was subsequently granted to the Margraviate of Meissen. Although regional mining began in 1316, extensive mining increased with the discovery of silver in the Schneeberg in 1470; because of the silver ore deposits in the Erzgebirge, Zwickau developed in the 15th and 16th centuries and grew to be an important economic and cultural centre of Saxony. Its nine churches include the Gothic church of St. Mary, with a spire 285 ft. high and a bell weighing 51 tons. The church contains an altar with wood carvings, eight paintings by Michael Wohlgemuth and a pietà in carved and painted wood by Peter Breuer.
The late Gothic church of St. Catharine has an altar piece ascribed to Lucas Cranach the elder, is remembered because Thomas Müntzer was once pastor there; the town hall was rebuilt many times since. The municipal archives include documents dating back to the 13th century. Early printed books from the Middle Ages, historical documents and books are kept in the Town Archives, in the School Library founded by scholars and by the town clerk Stephan Roth during the Reformation.in In 1520 Martin Luther dedicated his treatise "On the Freedom of the Christian Man" to his friend Hermann Muehlpfort, the Lord Mayor of Zwickau. The Anabaptist movement of 1525 began at Zwickau under the inspiration of the "Zwickau prophets". After Wittenberg, it became the first city in Europe to join the Lutheran Reformation; the late Gothic was built in 1522 -- 24 and is now converted into a theatre. The city was damaged during the Thirty Years' War; the old city of Zwickau, perched on a hill, is surrounded by heights with extensive forests and a municipal park.
Near the town are the Hartenstein area, for example, with Stein and Wolfsbrunn castles and the Prinzenhöhle cav, as well as the Auersberg peak and the winter sports areas around Johanngeorgenstadt and the Vogtland. In the Old Town the Cathedral and the Gewandhaus originate in the 16th century and when Schneeberg silver was traded. In the 19th century the city's economy was driven by industrial coal mining and by automobile manufacturing. On 17 April 1945, US troops entered the city, they handed Zwickau to the Soviet Red Army. Between 1944 and 2003, the city had a population of over 100,000. A major employer is Volkswagen which assembles its Golf and Phaeton models in the Zwickau-Mosel vehicle plant. Coal mining is mentioned as early as 1348. However, mining on an industrial scale first started in the early 19th century; the coal mines of Zwickau and the neighbouring Oelsnitz-Lugau coalfield contributed to the industrialisation of the region and the town. In 1885 Carl Wolf invented an improved gas-detecting safety mining-lamp.
He held the first world patent for it. Together with his business partner Friemann he founded the "Wolf" factory. Coal mining ceased in 1978. About 230 million tonnes had been mined to a depth of over 1,000 metres. In 1992 Zwickau's last coke oven plant was closed. Many industrial branches developed in the town in the wake of the coal mining industry: mining equipment and steel works, machinery in addition to chemical, paper, dyestuffs, wire goods, tinware and curtains. There were steam saw-mills and glass polishing works, iron-foundries, breweries. In 1904 the Horch automobile plant was founded, followed by the Audi factory in 1909. In 1932 both brands retained their independent trademarks; the Auto Union racing cars, developed by Ferdinand Porsche and Robert Eberan von Eberhorst, driven by Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck, Tazio Nuvolari, Ernst von Delius, became well known all over the world. During World War II, the Nazi government operated a satellite camp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp in Zwickau, sited near the Horch Auto Union plant.
The Nazi administration built a hard labour prison camp at Osterstein Castle