This huge industrial building complex in Zwickauer Strasse in Chemnitz-Schönau was once the main building of the Wanderer-Werke. Wanderer was founded in Chemnitz in 1885 and and developed into a leading German manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles, cars, delivery vans, machine tools and office machines. In 1894, an area of 19,000 m² was acquired in Schönau and in 1912, according to plans by architect Erich Basarke, the above complex was built in the style of reform architecture. It became the main location for motorcycle production, which Wanderer operated until 1930.
The name “Wanderer” is derived from the English “Rover”, by which the company founders Winklhofer and Jaenicke referred to the bicycles of the Englishman John Kemp Starley. In 1932, the car division of Wanderer-Werke was merged into Auto Union, symbolising one of the four rings (in addition to Horch, DKW and Audi) in the logo of today’s Audi AG (Ingolstadt).
The Wanderer Werke were expropriated after World War II and integrated into the GDR’s state-owned enterprises (Volkseigene Betriebe – VEB). Today the industrial monument Wanderer-Werke is empty and awaits new use. For more information on the Wanderer Werke in english you can visit its Wikipedia page.
This panoramic view of the Wanderer-Werke Chemnitz is a contribution to the Saxon Year of Industrial Culture 2020.