In Saxony, old customs and traditions meet joie de vivre, a pioneering spirit and inventiveness. The region is not only the place of origin of a series of ingenious inventions that still shape our lives today. Many people also preserve long-standing traditions and carefully merge them with our modern life. See for yourself – and discover this special part of Saxony's soul!
The art of lace in Plauen
In the 19th century, the ladies of the Vogtland region developed a special love for the art of embroidery and in 1900, lace from the small town of Plauen even won the coveted Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris. Since then, there has been a busy lace making industry in Plauen, which, to this day, has remained the heart of the German embroidery industry, now also employing innovation technologies: In technical embroidery, for example, sensors are applied, and hoses are processed to make products for medical or automotive engineering.
Tip: When in Plauen, visity Germany's only lace museum!
World famous cars made in Saxony
Saxony has written automotive history and is still doing so today. More than 100 years ago, August Horch, the pioneer of modern luxury cars, founded the world-famous Audi car brand in Zwickau. A bit of trivia: The company name was inspired by his family name “Horch” which coincidentally is in German also a form of the verb “horchen” (to listen) which, in turn, is "Audi" in Latin. Legendary cars such as the "Silver Arrow" Grand Prix racing car and the Trabant were built in Zwickau, and automobile manufacturing is still a thing in Zwickau today. Audi's parent company Volkswagen has established its designated centre of excellence for e-mobility in the Saxon town where, since 2019, the all-electric I.D. cars have been produced.
Tip: Explore the August Horch Museum in Zwickau with its unique cars and driving simulators!
Discover Sorbian culture in Saxony
The Sorbs, a Slavic-speaking ethnic minority, are descendants of Slavic tribes who lived north of the Carpathian Mountains in Central and Eastern Europe. More than 1,000 years ago, they settled in Saxony’s Upper Lusatia, bringing with them a whole range of unique traditions. You don’t have to understand their language to be enchanted by Sorbian festivals and customs with curious names such as “bird wedding”, a carnival called “Zapust” or the famous Easter riding in Bautzen. Elaborately designed traditional costumes are also part of today's Sorbian life. Since 2014, this has been included in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage.
Tip: Dive into the colourful world of the Sorbian people at the Sorbian Museum in Bautzen!
The bra comes from… Saxony!
Forget about the corset, it’s all about freedom of movement: In 1899, one Christine Hardt started an underwear revolution in Dresden when she registered the first German patent for a "woman's bodice as a breast support". With her adjustable model made of knotted handkerchiefs and braces, she is considered one of the inventors of the bra. Her forerunner of the modern bra displaced the tight corset – to the delight of many women.
Mouthwash made in Dresden
This is the story of three Dresden locals, two ground-breaking inventions and a great victory for oral hygiene: In 1892, the chemist Richard Seifert invented mouthwash, and his friend Karl August Lingner started marketing the formula as "Odol". Apart from tooth powder, mouthwash was the only oral care option at that time. However, in 1907, Dresden pharmacist Ottomar Heinsius von Mayenburg came up with the ingenious idea for "Chlorodont", the world's first toothpaste. He successfully promoted his invention with advertisements, posters and signs and soon the novel toothpaste was literally on everyone's lips.
Tip: Visit the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden and learn all kinds of interesting details about personal care.
Dresden’s coffee revolutionary
In the past, coffee was brewed by hand with hot water which led to coffee grounds being stuck between teeth and a bitter aftertaste. Thank god for Melitta Benz who, back in 1908, did not want to put up with that. Using a hammer and nails, the Dresden local pierced the bottom of a brass pot and placed blotting paper from her sons' exercise books on top. She placed the pot on a jug – and the first coffee filter was born. The inventive lady then went on to have the term Filtertüte (filter bag) protected, founded her company Melitta and the rest is history, as they say…
Tip: Check out the coffee museum in Ebersbach-Neugersdorf with its adjacent coffee roastery where you can sample different varieties!