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Autoland Sachsen



A journey into the past

It’s a bit noisy, but the machines are all running smoothly at the August Horch Museum. When the fully operational, belt-driven machines start up, visitors are instantly transported back in time. They experience more than 100 years of car production up close on their tour of the Zwickau-based museum of automobile history. This interactive museum with its carefully constructed exhibits sparks visitors’ interest in all things automotive, celebrates design and illustrates the tremendous impact the car has had on our past and present. The museum is named after August Horch, an automotive pioneer and the founder of Audi, whose visionary influence is still felt today.

His small villa on the site is part of the complex, as is the reconstruction of Horch’s office, which seems very modest compared with the executive suites of today. It is these little details that make the museum special and give it a very personal touch. Its great past is revealed as soon as you open the office door.

From Trabi to racing car

Immaculately restored vintage cars, some of which are worth millions, stand in a genuine old petrol station, in front of a luxury hotel, in the middle of an Alpine landscape or – in the case of the Trabi – surrounded by the lakes and forests of the East German countryside. The combination of reconstructed scenes, demonstrations, enticing exhibits, films and interactive elements makes visiting the museum a very special experience which can easily take a whole day. The museum also critically examines the darker side of its history, including wartime production, the switch to armaments manufacturing and the use of forced labour.

A large extension was added to the museum six months ago, with Trabant manufacturing being brought to life once again in the original factory buildings. Here, visitors can also find out why the waiting time for the highly coveted Trabant, nicknamed “the plastic bomber”, was so long in the GDR.

The new space also accommodates a cinema lounge with genuine grandstand seating for the audience. The racing triumphs of the legendary Silver Arrow from the 1920s and 1930s can be experienced in a multimedia presentation.

Inventiveness, Saxon engineering expertise, attention to detail, design at the highest level – visitors can see it all in this exceptional museum with its superb exhibits. The attractive complex of old buildings, which were still used for production as recently as 1990, and elegant, modern new spaces offers an authentic and fascinating insight into the history of car making in the heart of Saxony.