Look out for art - socialist and other sculptures
Chemnitz appears to be a rather boring city on first sight. However, if you walk through it with your eyes open, you'll find sculptures of some interest in many places.
First, there's the Karl Marx monument - the city's most prominent sight, built in 1971 by Lew Kerbel. It shows Marx's head and is just massive!
Other socialist sculptures can be found some hundred meters up the road (Brückenstraße) on the same roadside like the monument. Next to Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is another one of this kind: several people working together to achieve their goal. Another Marx monument is in Park der Opfer des Faschismus (or Park der OdF, as Chemnitzers like to abbreviate it). Hidden in a shadowy corner, he greets the public with Engels on his side. Thälmann waits for them in Schlosspark...
If you walk back into town, you should stroll around the pedestrian zones in the centre. There are many smaller pieces of art, some of which seem to be just leftovers of bigger projects. A rather kitschy, but likeable one are the Penguins located at the rear end of the Mittelstandsmeile (Innere Klosterstraße). They were erected a few years ago as an artist discovered that the city of Chemnitz has more or less the same shape like Antarctica!
A very nice group of sculptures is found in Schlosspark: The four times of the day (not the year, as it is often falsely believed!) are reflected in the mimics and composure of a group of statues. These are the originals - copies of them are found in Dresden!
Chemnitz - a city in transition
"Home away from home"
Chemnitz was my home for the last 9 years - I used to work there. It's a city of some 240,000 inhabitants located at the north rim of the German Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains). Chemnitz belongs to the German bundesland (i.e. state) of Saxony - prepare for the most awful dialect of German that you've ever heard! ;-)
As I've come to like this place and am even adapting some features of the dialect, I've written my thesis about tourism brochures promoting Chemnitz. Furthermore, I was also responsible for international exchange during my work - and I hope I convinced quite some people to come to Chemnitz!
"The unknown future"
Basically an industrial city, moulded by long times of machine and tool production, Chemnitz faces new tasks in these years. Today, most of the factories don't exist anymore and Chemnitz focuses on other things. There's a university of roughly 10,000 students, a lively city centre that has changed its looks completely in the last five years, pieces of art at every corner and much more.
"What to do"
Chemnitz is not the most beautiful place in the world, but it's well worth a short visit.
Interesting sights: The giant Karl Marx head called Nischl, the Kassberg (a large area of late 19th century houses), Villa Esche (an art nouveau building), the Museum of Industry, the newly opened Museum Gunzenhauser, the Petrified Forest (290 million years old!!!), the newly built city centre with several good shopping opportunities, several nice parks, the vicinity (Chemnitz is often called "The gate to the Ore Mountains")... and a lot more! Best to come yourself and discover this place!