Industrial Heritage in Saxony


Mission Statement

Saxony is the state of industry and heritage in the center of Europe.
Industrial heritage strengthens the sense of homeland and heritage. It furthers civil society and the business location of Saxony. Industrial heritage is integral to our cultural memory. It contributes to cultural education and tourism development.
Industrial heritage is constantly changing. The Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen(Cultural Heritage Foundation of the Free State of Saxony) is actively helping shape this change. It provides information, networks, and supports industrial heritage as a statewide issue on behalf of the government.
Industrial heritage unites.


Year of Industrial Heritage 2020

The Free State of Saxony proclaimed 2020 the Year of Industrial Heritage. Numerous associations, institutions and individuals are involved in this anniversary year. The Jahr der Industriekultur 2020 wordmark logo is available for joint marketing of all industrial cultural projects. The Koordinierungsstelle Sächsische Industriekultur (Saxon Industrial Heritage Liaison Office) is lead managing the themed year for the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen.

As of 2019, the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen’s grant program for industrial cultural projects was raised for two years. Instead of the previous € 150,000 per year, € 300.000 per year were included in the 2019/202 budget. Event formats, programs and awards for 2020 are also geared specifically toward the theme of industrial heritage. Speaking about the preparations for the Year of Industrial Heritage 2020 at the kick-off event in Chemnitz on November 20, 2018, Minister of Arts Dr. Eva-Maria Stange said, “Become active! Only when everybody – Saxon Industrial Heritage buffs, experts and organizers – contributes their ideas will it be possible to bring industrial heritage to life engagingly and vividly with the themed year 2020. We want make our rich industrial history, its influence on the people living in our Free State and the capabilities for our society’s future development accessible to the public“.


Fields of Activity

Since industrial heritage touches on a multitude of fields and issues, it is best imagined from a 360-degree perspective covering numerous fields of activity:

Government and civil society

Travel and tourism

Art and design

Urban planning and built environments

Education and schools

Economy and work

Region and environment

Energy and transportation

Archives and museums

Cultural heritage and historic preservation



Discover Saxon industrial heritage at fascinating locations all over Saxony!


4. 2020 Saxon State Exhibition

Boom: 500 Years of Industrial Heritage in Saxony

The Deutsches Hygiene Museum is the project management agency organizing the Fourth Saxon State Exhibition in Zwickau in 2020, which will be devoted to “Industrial Heritage in Saxony”. It is the highlight of the Year of Industrial Heritage. The state exhibition’s nonpartisan flagship show will be on display at the so-called Audi-Bau, a landmarked assembly plant from the year 1938. This state exhibition is being designed by Thomas Spring, the curator also responsible for the permanent exhibition at the Staatliches Museum für Archäologie in Chemnitz, among others.

Six additional tie-in exhibitions are planned parallel to the flagship exhibition in Zwickau. They will present sectors that typify Saxon industrial history: Industriemuseum in Chemnitz (mechanical engineering), Eisenbahnmuseum Chemnitz-Hilbersdorf (railroads and freight transportation), Tuchfabrik Gebrüder Pfau in Crimmitschau (textile industry), Himmelfahrt Fundgrube Freiberg (ore mining, resource technologies), Bergbaumuseum Oelsnitz/Erzgebirge (coal mining), August Horch Museum in Zwickau (automotive industry).

Hans Hesse: Miners’ Altar, 1520/21, St. Anne’s Church, Annaberg-Buchholz, © Ev.-Luth. Kirchgemeinde Annaberg-Buchholz, Dieter Knoblauch


1. Industrial Heritage Route in Saxony

Saxony’s former importance as an economically prominent industrial region in Germany is being brought to life along the Industrial Heritage Route in Saxony – whether at living museums or still active manufacturing facilities.

More  in German

© DHM, Photo: David Brandt



Discover Saxony’s multifarious industrial architecture! Factories, transportation structures, industrialists’ mansions and workers’ housing shape Saxony’s cultural landscape and provide attractive spaces for new ideas.

More in German

© TU Freiberg, Photo: Dr. Udo Seltmann



The chronological depth of Saxony’s industrial heritage can be experienced first-hand at the numerous engineering heritage sites, museums and show mines.

More in German

© Punctum / Bertram Kober



Marvel at steam trains still in operation or the biggest brick railroad bridge in the world! Saxon industrial heritage is closely related to the history of transportation.

More in German

© Zweckverband, Photo: Michael Lange


ERIH in Saxony

The European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) is a network of Europe’s most important and most attractive industrial cultural heritage sites for tourists.

More in German

© Dachverein Mitteldeutsche Strasse der Braunkohle


Central German Lignite Road

Discover how lignite mining and use have shaped our life since the mid-19th century, what technical achievements were associated with it, and how this has altered our environment.

More  in German

© Musicon Valley, Photo: Bertram Boelkow


Musical Instrument Making

Musical instrument making reveals the close ties between the cultural land of Saxony and its industrial heritage. The longstanding musical tradition throughout the state with its trans-regionally important centers of Leipzig and Dresden made Saxony a center of musical instrument making.

More in German

© PUNCTUM / Bertram Kober


Spinning Mills in Saxony

Saxon spinning mills were some of the first modern factories in continental Europe. They are important architectural vestiges of the period of early industrialization in Saxony and one of this region’s original contributions to the development of factory architecture.

Morein German

© Basaltwerk Baruth


Prosperous Saxony

Commercial use of Saxony’s geological diversity shaped industrial heritage, too. Engineering heritage sites, museums and show facilities impart the history of mining in a special way, emphasizing kaolin, limestone and hard rock production.

More  in German

© Esche-Museum



You can experience every facet of the textile industry between Zittau and Plauen: From damask, ribbon and cloth weaving up through embroidery, museums, engineering heritage sites and architectural heritage impart knowledge and histories from this sector that was once so important for Saxony.

More in German

© Punctum / Bertram Kober


Cigarette Industry

Discover an unfamiliar side of Dresden. The state capital was considered Germany’s “cigarette capital” in the early 20th century. Joseph Huppmann founded Germany’s first cigarette factory here in 1862.

More in German

© PUNCTUM / Bertram Kober


Future Space in Industrial Architecture

The action network “Future Space in Industrial Architecture” refocuses urban planning’s attention on Saxon industrial heritage. The stated aim is to find solutions to repurpose industrial cultural heritage, which are tailored to local circumstances.

More in German




The Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen funds groundbreaking projects in the widest variety of fields. The Koordinierungsstelle Sächsische Industriekultur networks and provides information, assists with project development, and provides advice on funding opportunities. Take advantage of our advising services and schedule a meeting with us at the Kulturstiftung. What is more, we will help you find collaborative partners suited for implementing your ideas and we will find contacts for you:

  • network partners,
  • public funding bodies (cultural areas, municipalities, federal ministries, EU programs),
  • tertiary sector institutions (foundations, associations, nonprofit organizations), and
  • Saxon businesses.

Contact us! infonoSpam@kdfs.de


KdFS Grants

The Kulturstiftung funds trans-regionally important projects of outstanding merit with a clear content profile, especially projects that bring life to industrial heritage and related locations in new formats in an exemplary way and with an eye to the future. Projects and networking actions with sustainable impacts in the different fields of activity of industrial heritage are eligible for support.

Any natural or legal person domiciled or based in Free State of Saxony is eligible to receive funding. The Kulturstiftung’s board of directors makes the funding decisions.

Grants are especially awarded to projects that

  • develop model discovery and sustainable educational programs,
  • appropriately prepare and impart knowledge about industrial heritage,
  • effectively network parties from different fields of activity, boost volunteerism, and bring in new target audiences,
  • reveal new perspectives by exploring industrial heritage artistically,
  • open new windows on industrial heritage, thus opening them to current debates, future issues and related fields,
  • bring life to industrial cultural buildings in an exemplary way, and
  • draw trans-regional, national and international attention to Saxon industrial heritage.

The deadline for applications for grants for projects, which are normally to be completed in the first half of the following year, is September 1.

The deadline for projects, which are to be implemented in the second half of the year, is March 1 of that year.

Applications must be postmarked by the deadline.

Projects are co-funded by taxes based on the budget passed by the members of the Saxon Landtag.

Note: An online form has been used to submit applications since 2018.

To the application form (in German)

Click here for more information/files and information on application submission.

Should you unexpectedly experience problems completing or submitting the online form, you may alternatively send us your grant application as a PDF document (as a file by email or a printout by mail). You can download the necessary files in German here: Project grant application form, information on PDF applications,PDF application checklist, Data privacy consent form


Review Committee

Prof. Dr. Helmuth Albrecht, Chair of the History of Technology and Industrial Archaeology, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg,

Dr. Oliver Brehm, Director, Sächsisches Industriemuseum Chemnitz

Gudula Kienemund, CEO, Leipziger Kulturpaten


Additional Funding

Projects on Saxony’s industrial heritage frequently address integrative issues and combine different fields of activity from civil society to the experience or new forms of work up through heritage preservation. Thinking laterally and combining funding opportunities can pay off for your project, too.
We will assist you with your search for suitable partners and additional sources of funding. We provide an overview of different primary funding databases and collections of links on specific topics in the following submenus. These can be used as a starting point and are intended to facilitate searches for funding for your project. We also introduce select grant programs that include the field of industrial heritage.

Grant programs link - (in German)

Year of Industrial Heritage flyer