Fifteen kilometers northeast of Chemnitz is the town of Hainichen, a place where you might not have wanted to come a little more than seventy-five years ago.
That’s because Hainichen was the site of the Hainichen Concentration Camp. The camp wasn’t open very long, opening in April 1933, closing in June 1933 with its inmates being sent to the Flossenbürg, Sachsenburg, and Colditz Castle Concentration Camps.
Yes, I know it’s a dark piece of Hainichen’s history. But, today you’ll find Hainichen a vibrant small town with intellectual museums to see and beautiful valleys to explore.
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If you’re so inclined though, Colditz Castle isn’t that far away. Originally built in the 11th century, it was used as a workhouse, a POW camp, and a mental hospital throughout the centuries. It’s now a museum and you can get to see some of the escape tunnels.
Within Hainichen itself, you’re always welcome at the Tuchmacherhaus, a Clothier Museum in a half-timbered house. Oh, you clothes horses out there will appreciate this.
And you readers out there will no doubt love the Gellert Museum a.k.a. Literature Museum. Who cares if the sonnets, poems, and novels are written in German. No matter what language they’re written in, they always tell what’s in the soul of the writer. Don’t you think?
Afterwards a trip over to the City Park and Game Reserve is always a good idea (well, I think so anyway). Then go see the appealing Evangelical Trinitatis-Kirche. It’s always a surprise to find out there’s so much beautiful artwork to be found in old churches. They sure do tell what’s in the soul of the painter. ;-)
Don’t wear yourself out yet. You still have swimming to do (in either the indoor or outdoor pool) and biking along a couple of cycling tracks. Then you’ll see that I am right about Hainichen in terms of a town within tranquilizing valleys.