Chemnitz is the “European Capital of Culture” together with 38 municipalities in Central Saxony, from the Ore Mountains area and the region of Zwickau.

The landscapes around Chemnitz are deeply influenced by 850 years of mining history. The mining of silver, tin, cobalt, iron, kaolin and uranium has shaped the life of the region. All paths, roads and settlements have something to do with it. It is a story with highs and lows that wants to be rediscovered in the 21st century.

As part of the art and sculpture trail PURPLE PATH, the diverse stories of the city of Chemnitz and the surrounding region will be explored with works by more than 70 international and Saxon artists. The PURPLE PATH connects the city of Chemnitz with 38 cities and municipalities through art placed in socially and symbolically significant locations.

In line with the motto of the European Capital of Culture “C the Unseen”, these stories are brought to light and made visible in an impressive way. And not only in the mining tunnels, but also on the surface, a unique cultural heritage unfolded, which was shaped by virtuoso craftsmen and women and is still a global landmark for the region today.

Visitors along the art and sculpture trail PURPLE PATH can expect a fascinating journey through the past, present and future. An exciting mix of works by renowned artists, which create connections in different ways, invites guests and locals to get to know the places and people as well as their stories.

We also want to place our understanding of peaceful coexistence and peaceful interaction with nature at the centre of our activities. Because: the PURPLE PATH stands for togetherness in good neighbourhood, cultural renewal out of respect for tradition, ecological and social sustainability. And it stands for a tolerant culture that warmly welcomes Saxony and Germany, Europe and the world.

In numerous discussion events, workshops, concerts, festivals as well as exhibitions, we reflect our cultural region anew. Together with the newly founded Makerhubs and the region’s universities, we outline new ideas of social cohesion, especially for young people. The diverse activities of regional museums and art houses, UNESCO World Heritage sites, churches and organic farming, memorials to the victims of totalitarian systems and many other institutions spread out like a big starry sky.

the art pieces at a glance:

Sculpture Stack by Tony Cragg in Aue-Bad Schlema


by Tony Cragg
at the Kurpark Aue-Bad Schlema

Petrified Wood Circle

by Richard Long in
the church St. Katharinenkirche Zwickau


by Tanja Rochelmeyer
at the train station in Flöha

The Wild Boars

by Carl Emanuel Wolff
in Ehrenfriedersdorf

Include me out

by Friedrich Kunath at the Buntsockenpark in Thalheim

Color Floating

by Nevin Aladağ over the pond in Austelpark in Zwönitz

One Million – ITEM 3501 / 3502

by Uli Aigner at the old steam brewery Schwartz in Lößnitz

Without Title (ESDA)

by Iskender Yediler on the opposite side of the train station in Lichtenstein/Sa.

Ehrenfriedersdorf, city center // 6. August // from 2 pm

In the 13th century people found tin there, today they present sounds. Ehrenfriedersdorf plays up and invites you to the Musik-Neinerlaa. 25 acts on nine stages and the town centre becomes a large open-air concert hall. An intense event for the mountain town and its guests!

Thalheim/Erzgebirge, Villa Neukirchner // 13. August // 3 pm

The PURPLE PATH will be launched on 13 August 2022 in the town of Thalheim, at a historic location: the Villa Neukirchner.

The internationally renowned sculptor and painter Friedrich Kunath, born in Karl-Marx-Stadt in 1976, will present a seven-part sculpture group entitled “Include me out” in front of the villa built by Thalheim textile manufacturer Bruno Neukirchner around 1890.  Six bronzes, figures of tall spruces hold hands. A little girl seems to feel excluded. Good art in a good place.

The current plan is to welcome the following guests:

  • Nico Dittmann, mayor of the municipality of Thalheim/ Erzgebirge
    State Secretary Prof. Thomas Popp, State Government Commissioner for the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025, Representing the Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer
  • Dagmar Ruscheinsky, Mayor for Education, Social Affairs, Youth, Culture and Sport, Chemnitz
  • Sylvia Schlicke, Tholm Charitable Foundation, Thalheim
  • Alexander Ochs, curator of PURPLE PATH, flagship project of the Capital of Culture programme
  • Stefan Schmidtke, Managing Director Programme, European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH

The presentation will take place as part of the international art festival BEGEHUNGEN 2022 at the Erzgebirgsbad in Thalheim.

A project of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH.

Thalheim/Erzgebirge, Erzgebirgsbad // 13. August // 5 pm

The mayor of Ehrenfriedersdorf, Silke Franzl, and the curator of PURPLE PATH, Alexander Ochs, discuss culture, Europe and the Erzgebirge with citizens and guests from the creative industries, local politics and tourism as part of the Begehungen 22 festival at the Erzgebirgsbad.

Thalheim/Erzgebirge, Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche // 14. August // 9:30 am

With Prayers + Angels, the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 is developing its own programme for Christian, Jewish, Islamic and other faith communities, centred on the format The European Mountain Sermon(speech). The Protestant Church Thalheim invites you to the service and was able to win Dr. Ellen Ueberschär, the long-time general secretary of the Protestant Church Congress and director of the Stephanus Foundation, Berlin as a preacher.

Aue-Bad Schlema, Kurpark Bad Schlema // 3. September // 4 pm

With Tony Cragg, a globally active artist is moving into the sculpture course of the PURPLE PATH. Born in Liverpool in 1949, he was invited very early on to major exhibitions such as documenta 7 and 8 as well as the Biennale di Venezia, the Bienal de São Paulo and the Biennale of Sydney. From 2009 – 2013, Tony Cragg was rector of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He is also no stranger to Chemnitz, where the art collections presented a major solo exhibition of the artist in 2001. The shape of the almost four-metre-high bronze Stack, created in 2019, could also be reminiscent of the depiction of thrown-up earth on the central panel of the Annaberg mountain altar. This work of art, commissioned by miners at the beginning of the 16th century from the Nuremberg painter Hans Hesse, represents a major initiative for the conceptual design of the PURPLE PATH. In the Bad Schlema spa park, Tony Cragg’s sculpture is located in the direct vicinity of the former Wismut Shaft 7.0, from which uranium was mined for the Soviet Union at a depth of up to 278 metres from 1947. The entire former spa park was destroyed by this and other neighbouring shafts. It was not until the end of the 1990s that the shafts were filled in and a green meadow sown over them. The miners’ brass band Aue-Bad Schlema e.V. will play at the opening.

A project of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH.

Chemnitz, Stadtkirche St. Jakobi // 11. September // 11 am

The churches located on Saxony’s Way of St. James also connect through art on the PURPLE PATH. The Chemnitz Stadtkirche St. Jakobi will be the first to present a work by the British artist Richard Long, born in 1945. In 1972 and 1982, Long was a representative of land art at the world’s most important exhibition, the documenta in Kassel. Winner of the Turner Prize London and the Aachen Art Prize, Long presented his first work, A Line Made by Walking, in 1967. He trod a path in a meadow with his feet and declared it art. Since then, the artist has devoted his work to nature and often to saving it. The circular work Petrified Wood Circle (2000) consists of cedar and redwood fossilised millions of years ago.
The circular work Petrified Wood Circle (2000) is made of cedar and redwood fossilised millions of years ago and is placed in front of the late Gothic winged altar in the choir of the church. From here, the pilgrimage route leads to the European Capital of Culture 2000, Santiago de Compostela, where Richard Long created the artwork Camino – Hands at the end of the Way of St. James.

Hochschule Mittweida, Museum depot and open space // 16 + 17. September // each 11 am

The Jewish sow at the Wittenberg church or isolated works of art at the Kassel documenta fifteen … in culture, too, we experience indifferent as well as dark attitudes and aggressive positions in our society that seemed to have been overcome long ago. Anti-Semitism and racism are experiencing a renaissance of unexpected proportions in Germany as well. It is all the more surprising that in recent years many young Jews of the so-called grandchild generation have settled in Germany and especially in Berlin.
have settled in Berlin. At the invitation of the Israeli photo artist Benyamin Reich, who lives in Berlin, they are now meeting in Mittweida and, together with the Mittweida historian Dr Jürgen Nitsche, are discussing the contents of their exhibition “The Third Generation. This time the suitcase stays here”, which is to take place in Mittweida in 2025.
Accompanied by a Shabbat celebration open to the public and a dance performance, they circle cultural, spiritual and political questions about their lives in Germany. In addition to Benyamin Reich, around thirty Jewish guests, including the artist Roey Victoria Heifetz, the writers and essayists Dory Manor and Moshe Sakal, the rabbi and author Netanel Olhoeft, the historian and FAZ author Simon Strauß as well as the dancer Shai Ottolenghi and the musician Ronen Shifron will take part.

All events are open to the public; the organisers are the city of Mittweida and Kulturhauptstadt Europas Chemnitz 2025 GmbH.

Please register with Daniel Dost at

Annaberg-Buchholz, Waldschlösschen Park // 17. September // 3 – 10 pm

Many ask the question about the participation of Saxon artist:ns in PURPLE PATH and certainly the workshop “der Annaberger Impulse!” initiated by Buchholz artist Jörg Seifert provides a first answer. Nine sculptors from Annaberg-Buchholz, Aue-Bad Schlema, Augustusburg, Glauchau, Kürbitz, Oederan and Streckewald meet for ten days in the forest and create works of art, carving, hewing and sawing sculptures out of wood. The resulting pieces of art will be presented at a large citizens’ and children’s festival on 17 September in the Waldschlösschenpark and later integrated into the sculpture trail at the PURPLE PATH. The festival will feature jazz musicians Alfons Weber & Friends and Alexander Krohn and his band Britannia Theatre from Berlin.

An event organised by Kunstkeller Annaberg e.V. and the co-organisers Große Kreisstadt Annaberg-Buchholz, Pro Buchholz, Freiwillige Feuerwehr Buchholz, Kirchgemeinde, Anna + Sascha e.V. and Kulturhauptstadt Europas Chemnitz 2025 GmbH.

Lößnitz, church St. Georg // 18. September // 3 pm

In the 19th century, slate was mined in Lößnitz; roofs shining black in the sun bear witness to this, as do weathered tombstones made of slate in the cemetery behind the Hospital Church of St. George in Lößnitz. The church is to be transformed into an art church by 2025 and will house the expansive work Universe in a Pearl by the then 81-year-old artist Rebecca Horn. The first steps towards this goal are the partial dismantling of the pews, the signing of a charter and the creation and dedication of a plaque on the intangible UNESCO World Heritage Cemetery Culture. Hannes Langbein will deliver an artistic sermon during a church service. Langbein is a pastor, director of the St. Matthäus Foundation Berlin, art commissioner of the EKBO and president of the Society for Contemporary Art and Church artheon.

Flöha, train station // 23. September // 5 pm

The citizens of Flöha said, “Only foreigners will come to the village” and rejected the construction of a railway station. Nevertheless, work began in 1862, and in 1866 it was put into service with the start of the Zschopau railway. In the 1990s, the station building was closed and thus increasingly left to decay. In preparation for the European Capital of Culture 2025, the station is being renovated and developed into a place of art.
A first step has been taken: with the support of DB Deutsche Bahn and the municipality of Flöha, the Berlin-based artist Tanja Rochelmeyer created two murals, each a good 100 metres long, in the subway and the stairways to the railway tracks.
the railway tracks. 38 coloured panels represent 38 communities on the PURPLE PATH. The motifs repeat rhythmically. The artist gave her work the title “Glance”, translated into German this means: to cast a fleeting glance. Perhaps a glimpse from the window of a moving train?

Burgstädt, Wettinhain // 3. October // 11 – 18 Uhr

Burgstädt is home to makers like Peggy and Patrick Walter, who discovered their love of chocolate beans in the Caribbean country of Belize on a world tour by bicycle. Or people like the Portuguese-German couple Diana and João Grincho. While the Walters source the raw materials for their handmade chocolate Choco Del Sol from agricultural cooperatives in southern Belize, João Grincho, who comes from near Lisbon, produces delicious pasta according to ancient Portuguese recipes. Perhaps it is citizens like these who encouraged the city of Burgstädt to call itself a city that enjoys as part of the European Capital of Culture 2025. Now Burgstädt is inviting visitors to the first big epicurean festival around the Taurastein Tower, one of the town’s landmarks. In 2025, the tower will play an important role as an archive for artists from Burgstädt. Creative people who we see as the soul of a town. And that is why the Berlin-based conceptual artist Via Lewandowsky will already be installing a model of his light sculpture Seele, which is planned for 2025.

Neukirchen/Erzgebirge, Makerhub NETZ-Werk // 5. October// 10 am

After a long and intensive search process, eight locations for the Makerhubs from the Capital of Culture flagship programme Makers, Business & Arts were announced in June 2022. They will be located in Augustusburg, Etzdorf, Limbach-Oberfrohna, Lößnitz, Mittweida, Schneeberg, Zwönitz and in a vacant car dealership in Neukirchen. This is the second Makers Day, organised by Kreatives Sachsen e.V.. Jacob Strobel, professor of wood design at the AKS University of Applied Sciences in Schneeberg, wrote about the first one: “People walk towards the historic Auerhammer manor house with umbrellas over their heads and seats under their arms. Behind them a bus full of rapid prototyping technology and a tent organised at short notice. Inside, to be seen and heard, stories about outer space, exhibits from a European design exhibition, the success story of a nationwide touring Maker Bus and tangible and poignant, (hyper-)regional folk art. How does that – which sounds crazy – go together? Very well. Because these people have something in common: The spirit of making, which probably inspires a Hutzenabend just as much as it does a Makers Day.”

An event organised by Kreatives Sachsen e.V., Josephine Hage, and the Friends of the European Cultural Region Chemnitz 2025 e.V., Bernd Birkigt, and the municipality of Neukirchen/Erzgeb, Mayor Sascha Thamm. Please register with Bernd Birkigt: or here.

Stollberg, Bürgergarten // 6. October // 7 pm

Talking between the chairs is the title of a series of talks initiated by Pastor Holger Bartsch, in which different people with different, often contrary attitudes talk about experiences from their time in the GDR that have been kept secret until today. The former Hoheneck women’s prison is not only a reminder of forced adoption, torture and human trafficking. Hoheneck Castle with its presence in the landscape is symptomatic of the traces that fear and intimidation left among people during the GDR era. What does it do to a society, to its togetherness, to its trust, when it experiences denunciation from within its midst and in its midst. When it itself becomes an instrument of intimidation. What consequences does the experience that anyone could be a denunciator have in families and in the larger society? Looking at biographical sections of former political prisoners could make us more sensitive and attentive to the consequences of intimidation among all of us. Holger Bartsch talks to two inmates of Hoheneck prison: the religious educator Eva-Maria Cramer and the artist Gabriele Stötzer. Hoheneck Prison is located on the PURPLE PATH and as a place of cultural intervention will address the past in a variety of ways and transform its impact into today.

A cooperation between the Hoheneck Memorial and the Lutheran Church. Please register with Holger Bartsch:

Neukirchen/Erzgebirge, Makerhub NETZ-Werk // 8. October //

Mayor Sascha Thamm invites to the NETZ-Werk.

Amtsberg, Sport- und Freizeithalle Weißbach // 12. October // 9:30 – 12:30 am

Chemnitz and its region are on their way to becoming the European Capital of Culture 2025. 38 municipalities have joined it, forming a great weight in the balance between Chemnitz and the region. The pace as well as the intensity of the process still varies greatly in the individual cities and municipalities. 26 months before the official opening of the Capital of Culture, we ask ourselves the question: Are we still standing or are we already going? Invited are employees from the administrations of all municipalities and other active participants in the PURPLE PATH.

An event organised by the municipality of Amtsberg, the Friends of the European Cultural Region Chemnitz 2025 e.V. and the PURPLE PATH team. By invitation only. If you are interested, please write to Alexander Ochs:

Amtsberg, Sport- und Freizeithalle Weißbach // 12. October // 9:30 – 12:30 am

Chemnitz and its region are on their way to becoming the European Capital of Culture 2025. 38 municipalities have joined it, forming a great weight in the balance between Chemnitz and the region. The pace as well as the intensity of the process still varies greatly in the individual cities and municipalities. 26 months before the official opening of the Capital of Culture, we ask ourselves the question: Are we still standing or are we already going? Invited are employees from the administrations of all municipalities and other active participants in the PURPLE PATH.

An event organised by the municipality of Amtsberg, the Friends of the European Cultural Region Chemnitz 2025 e.V. and the PURPLE PATH team. By invitation only. If you are interested, please write to Alexander Ochs:

Limbach-Oberfrohna, Esche-Museum // 22. October // 3 pm

Niederwiesa, Historische Schauweberei Braunsdorf // 23. October // 3 pm

Anja Schwörer lives in Berlin and develops works of art from and with textiles. In a workshop, she will present different ideas for the design of shapes and surfaces for flags. Together, the participants of the workshop will develop different patterns from different fabrics, the background of which could be the colours of the coats of arms of the municipalities involved in the PURPLE PATH. At the centre of the initiative is the idea of recycling,
that is, to use already used materials. Later, the idea is to find holders for the flags made of materials that have been used as much as possible, in order to comment on, embellish and decorate the city backdrop of all the participating municipalities at the PURPLE PATH.
embellish and decorate. In this way, the United Flags create identity and coherence for the Cultural Region 2025.

The Esche Museum in Limbach-Oberfrohnhn invite you to the first workshops with Anja Schwörer.
Limbach-Oberfrohna and the Museum Schauweberei Braunsdorf, Niederwiesa invite you to the first workshops with Anja Schwörer.

An event organised by the museums and Chemnitz Kulturhauptstadt Europas Chemnitz 2025 GmbH.

Please register with Dr. Barbara Wiegand-Stempel: for the Esche Museum or
Andrea Weigel: for the Museum Historische Schauweberei Braunsdorf/Niederwiesa.

Jahnsdorf, Sportgaststätte Leukersdorf // 28. October // 7 pm

Claudia Lappöhn, “excellent maker” and passionate cook, has been researching the food of the Ore Mountains for many years. She shares with the European Capital of Culture 2025 the view that good food has never been “national” and has always emerged from many influences of international migrants. She wants to prove this with her four-evening gourmet journey.

Book your table for the first literary-gourmet evening: 0371 – 220 733

Ehrenfriedersdorf, Museum in der Zinngrube // 1. November 2022 – 30. May 2023

The town of Ehrenfriedersdorf and the tin mining district around the Sauberg have served as a motif for a whole series of artists in the course of its 800-year history. The exhibition “The Ehrenfriedersdorf Mining District in the Mirror of Art” focuses on the artistic examination of the various facets of mining. Its focus reflects the question of how historical, biographical and emotional ties and connections are reflected in the works of the artists presented.

Chemnitz, tramway museum // 3. November // 4 pm

As early as the 16th century, the figure of the miner, made of pewter, served as a candlestick in the churches of the Erzgebirge. In the middle of the 19th century, Christmas became a festival of lights and a female angel was placed at the miner’s side. Since then, the couple has been part of the basic cultural and spiritual equipment of the Erzgebirge and beyond. Admittedly, some of the sculptures produced today have degenerated into soulless designer market items, devaluing both the history and the value of the couple. The Berlin-based sculptor Christina Doll, an artist with great-grandfatherly roots in Freiberg, takes a new approach to the subject. Her angel bears the features of someone with Downs Syndrome.
her miner follows a figurative idea by Lucas Cranach as well as a photograph of a Wismut miner from the collection of Haus Aktivist in Bad Schlema.

Please register with Holger Bartsch: or Alexander Ochs:

Ehrenfriedersdorf, Sauberg // 5. November // 3 pm

The sculptor Carl Emanuel Wolff, born in Essen in 1957, is a child of the Ruhr region. He studied with Gotthard Graubner at the Kunstakadamie Düsseldorf, represented Germany at the Bienal de São Paulo as early as 1986 and was exhibited in numerous museums such as the Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg. The first group of his wild boars cast in bronze was created for the Lehmbruck Museum. Part of the founding myth of mining in Ehrenfriedersdorf is the story of the wild boars that rubbed against a rock, revealing tin. The story gave the name to the site of the later tin mine.
Sauberg, and it is here – in front of the museum – that the works of art find their place.

A project of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH.

Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Hotel Drei Schwanen // 9. November // 9 am

We will soon find fifty museums and galleries, large and small, municipal and state, private and privately initiated, in Chemnitz and the other municipalities on the PURPLE PATH. What are they doing, what are they planning for the year 2025 and the years until then? Where do they have common themes and how do they network under the umbrella of the European Capital of Culture 2025? How do they make themselves fit for Europe and how does the Capital of Culture help to carry the good reputation of Saxon museums all over the world? With Maria Palm, Director of the Hohenstein-Ernstthal Textile and Racing Museum, Dr Barbara Wiegand-Stempel, Esche Museum, Limbach-Oberfrohna, Andrea Weigel, Historische Schauweberei Braunsdorf/Niederwiesa, Dr Jens Beutmann, Curator for “Mining” at the smac – State Museum for Archaeology Chemnitz, Claudia Großer, Curator for “Mining” at the smac – Staatliches Museum für
Archaeology Chemnitz, Claudia Großkopp, Director of the Chemnitz Tramway Museum and many others.

An event organised by the City of Hohenstein-Ernstthal, the Hohenstein-Ernstthal Textile and Racing Museum and the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH.

By invitation only. If you are interested, please write to Alexander Ochs:

Schwarzenberg, Besucherbergwerk Zinnkammer Pöhla // 9. Dezember // 7 pm

In 2021, the Association of Capital of Culture Supporters in the Region founded its “Excellent Doers” programme. “Excellent Doers” are people from the region who are known for doing something special and particularly well.
particularly well. This can be a toy maker, a fashion designer, a craftsman, an engineer, an artist or the director of a museum. Excellent makers are cooks, restaurateurs, ecologists, hoteliers, hydrogen specialists,
design professors or inventors of exhibition spaces. They all come from the region, they all celebrate Christmas together underground.

A Christmas evening organised by the town of Schwarzenberg and the Friends of the European Cultural Region Chemnitz 2025.

By invitation only. If you are interested, please write to Bernd Birkigt:

Photo on the homepage and of the art pieces 1, 3, 4 & 5: Ernesto Uhlmann / art piece 2: Torree Photography / art piece 6 & 7: Daniela Schleich / art piece 8: Johannes Richter