Mittelsachsen at a glance
Covering an area of around 2,116 square kilometres, the district of Mittelsachsen is only slightly smaller than the German state of Saarland and the entire country of Luxembourg. In terms of geography, the district extends from the hills of central Saxony to the Saxon Uplands and the eastern Ore Mountains. At its broadest, the district is approximately 77 kilometres across from west to south-east; its northernmost and far south-eastern tips are approximately 70 kilometres apart. Its highest point is the 837‑metre Kohlberg mountain near Neuhausen.
Germany’s border with the Czech Republic runs through the south-east of the district, where since 1993, the Euroregion Erzgebirge e.V. association has undertaken excellent cross‑border work with our Czech neighbours.
The district comprises 53 municipalities, of which 21 are chartered cities and towns. The most densely populated of these is the university city of Freiberg with around 41,000 residents, followed by Döbeln with around 24,000 and Mittweida with around 15,000.
|Total area||2,116.85 square kilometres (as of 31 December 2017), made up of:|
|- Agricultural land||71 percent|
|- Woodland||17 percent|
|- Residential and transport||11 percent|
|- Water||1 percent|
|Population (as of 31. December 2019)||304,099|
|- of which are chartered cities and towns||21|
|Roads (as of 1. January 2020)|
|- Motorways||98 kilometres|
|- Federal roads||262 kilometres|
|- State roads||643 kilometres|
|- District roads||716 kilometres|
A diverse landscape – perfect for holidays and recreation
The landscape of the district has been shaped by the many rivers that run through it, creating a landscape of gentle, rolling hills, broad floodplains and craggy rockfaces. At 789 metres high, the Schwartenberg is one of the highest and most striking peaks in the eastern Ore Mountains. From the top there are spectacular views across the whole region. In good weather, you can see as far as the Augustusburg castle and Fichtelberg mountain. Another commanding feature of the region’s landscape is the Rochlitzer Berg, 353 metres high and the result of ancient volcanic activity.
Mittelsachsen is a place where you can come face to face with a herd of buffalo, fiery Arabian horses and lively camels, take a dinghy through the Valley of the Castles, forage for natural healing herbs, follow in the footsteps of Gottfried Silbermann or take a mineralogical journey around the world – what more could you want? From a long weekend to a family holiday, we have accommodation to suit everyone at any time of the year, be it a hotel, a B&B, a cosy holiday apartment, a farm or a ranch.
Castles and palaces
The history of the region around Mittweida, Döbeln and Freiberg, which in some cases stretches back more than 1,000 years, has left distinctive marks on its towns and villages. The diverse and delightful landscape, with its castles, palaces, monasteries, churches and historic town centres, captivates tourists from all over the world. There is plenty for everyone to see and do: young or old, culture vulture or history buff. You’ll find a wealth of major tourist attractions and sacred buildings, along with the historical mining sites that evoke the region’s roots.
The Augustusburg and Lichtenwalde castles are just two of the district’s most popular attractions. Due to its location, many see the hunting lodge and summer residence as the crown of the Ore Mountains, standing as it does on the top of a 516 metre high rhyolite hill. And it’s not just its architecture that draws in the crowds. Augustusburg also houses three museums dedicated to motorcycles, coaches and carriages, and game animals and birds. Lichtenwalde castle and park make for beautiful photos and are a stunning backdrop for wedding ceremonies. Dating back to the 18th century, the building houses a wealth of exhibits from foreign cultures, porcelain and lacquerware, furniture and silk embroidery.
Within the walls of Rochlitz castle, you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of stories – of emperors, kings and princes, but also of those who looked after them. The many fascinating exhibits take you back in time, allowing you to experience history up close and try things for yourself. Interactive, intriguing and high-quality exhibitions bring Rochlitz back to life and are a real cultural highlight of the Muldental district. A little off the busy tourist trail, Rochsburg castle is a hidden gem, especially its permanent exhibition “Leute machen Kleider” (Fine Birds Make Fine Feathers) which displays 52 costumes exploring 1,000 years in the development of European fashion. One of Mittelsachsen’s best kept secrets.
It’s not hard to get active here in Mittelsachsen. Our diverse landscape could have been designed for all kinds of sports and leisure activities. In winter, the region attracts skiers and snowboarders, with walkers and cyclists following as the snow melts away. The Mulderadweg cycle path traverses the district, while the ridges of the Ore Mountains provide beautifully‑groomed slopes and cross-country trails for winter sports enthusiasts.
Visitors can explore the area on horseback, on boats on the Kriebstein reservoir, in a canoe or dinghy or even in a hot air balloon. And if you really want to push yourself to the limit, a visit to the tree top adventure at Kriebstein is a must.
As well as the museums in the castles and palaces, the region is home to a number of other unique exhibitions. Such as the open air museum with historical farmhouses in Schwarzbach, Terra Mineralia in Freiberg and the Gellert Museum in Hainichen. Other popular attractions include the horse-drawn tram museum in Döbeln, the weaving museum in Oederan, and the historical rectories museum in Mittweida.
We even have a Guinness World Record holder in the form of the Giant Boot of Leisnig. Its leg is 4.9 metres high, and its sole is 2.2 metres long, with the 16-spur rowel alone being 55 centimetres in diameter. And if you want to feel like a giant, you can visit the oldest model village in the world, the Klein-Erzgebirge in Oederan. Look down over some of our castles and palaces from the top of the tower and mind your step as you walk over some of our historic buildings.
The Mittelsächsisches Theater holds performances in both Döbeln and Freiberg. The latter is the oldest city-owned theatre in the world, founded in the 18th century. In summer, the ensemble also performs in the unique setting of the floating stage at Kriebstein. Another important fixture of the cultural life of the region is the Mittelsächsischer Kultursommer, an annual summer festival that runs from June to September with around 40 different events, ranging from small concerts in local churches to parties to bigger, one-of-a-kind shows.
The Mittelsächsische Kultur gGmbH charity is a constant presence across the district, running institutions such as the music school and the adult education centre.
Historic settlement march
The district’s historic settlement march is a unique way to truly experience history. Launched in 1994, the event is the only one of its kind in Germany.
The traditional march is held every year in the countryside around the Striegis river valleys. With wagons pulled by horses, around 150 settlers and children, along with donkey carriages, goats, dogs and other animals, form a baggage train that travels around 25 kilometres from camp to camp over the course of eight days, whatever the weather.
Mining in the Ore Mountains
All over the district, you’ll find relics of our centuries-old mining industry, which has played a pivotal role in shaping the region’s culture and history. If you’re the adventurous type, we recommend a trip to Saxony’s oldest and most important silver mine, and world’s only training mine, the “Reiche Zeche” (Rich Mine) in Freiberg. We are very proud of our mining heritage here, celebrating the traditions of the miners’ feast and Mettenschicht – the last shift before Christmas – in the silver mines, and of course, the highlight that is the annual miners’ parade.
The district has even more to offer ...
Of course, the district has plenty more to see and do – a rich heritage of monuments, like the historic town centres and their town halls, lovingly and faithfully restored half-timbered buildings, residences and imposing bridges, vast, well-cared for parks full of unusual trees and viewing towers, and lovingly, faithfully recreated workshops where you can learn more about our traditional crafts and customs.
For more information, please contact Mittelsachsen’s tourism associations.
The district of Mittelsachsen has long-standing partnerships with the districts of Calw in Baden-Württemberg, Starnberg in Upper Bavaria and Gliwice in Poland.
We first began our partnership with Calw back in 1990, when our region was still split into the districts of Brand-Erbisdorf and Freiberg. The two partnership agreements were signed on the first anniversary of Germany’s reunification on 3 October 1991. Since then, our districts have remained in close contact with visits to both sides and meetings at various events between representatives from our councils and administrations. Calw was a great source of support and assistance in the aftermath of the floods here in 2002 and 2013. The “Calwer Brücke” bridge in Kleinbobritzsch commemorates this.
Even before Poland joined the European Union in 2003, Mittelsachsen (Central Saxony) was pursuing links with a Polish district that had only existed since 1999. Meetings were held in both Freiberg and Pyskowice in late autumn 2003, and the partnership agreement was finally signed at Augustusburg castle on 23 August 2004, the 10th anniversary of the creation of the district of Freiberg. The partnership has been extended and deepened since then as a result of a wide range of events. The two districts stood shoulder-to-shoulder during the floods of 2010 in Poland and 2013 in Germany. And alongside constructive cooperation between the districts’ councillors and administrations, individual schools have been working together on joint projects.
Our partnership with Starnberg has its roots in our relationship with the then district of Hainichen in the early nineties. Even today, without any formal agreement, our young people and athletes meet every year at the districts’ relay running events. Since Saxony’s functional reforms, these close ties have enabled us to hold meetings between our municipalities and foster our relationship.
Mittelsachsen’s economy is built around a large number of companies, predominately in the technical manufacturing industry, and creative service providers in a wide range of fields.
The district’s location in the heart of Saxony, its good infrastructure links with the national transport network, and its more than 80 industrial estates have made it a particularly i attractive region for investors.
A close-knit network of educational and scientific research institutions, especially at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology and Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, transfer knowledge to the region’s up-and-coming economics experts, engineers, specialists and managers.
Regional products act as ambassadors and advertising for the region. From modern style to traditional design and craft techniques to innovative processes and creative product design – Mittelsachsen is a rich source of inspiration.