Leipzig Spinnerei: from cotton mill to arts centre
The Leipzig Spinnerei is a former cotton mill (Baumwollspinnerei) in the western industrial suburb of Plagwitz. The massive site at an area of 10 hectares (over 1 million square feet) with rows of factory buildings began operation in 1884 and eventually became the largest cotton mill in Europe with thousands working and living on-site. After the site ceased to produce spools of cotton thread shortly after reunification, artists took advantage of the cheap empty space, and transformed the area into studios, galleries, and exhibition halls. Much has been written about the impact and examples of art and space on Leipzig as the “new Berlin” as well as the “New Leipzig School.” The site as art and culture space opened its doors in 2005.
A trip with the S-Bahn (S1 train) lasts about 15 minutes from Leipzig Hauptbahnhof (central station) to Leipzig Plagwitz station. From there, it’s a short walk on foot to the Spinnerei entrance at Spinnereistrasse 7. Click on the arrow-window icon at the upper-left corner of the map below for more.
• ASPN Gallery
• Die Versorger
• Galerie Eigen+Art
• Galerie Kleindienst
• Halle 14
• Luru Kino
• Spinnerei Galleries
• Leipzig video segment, from DW Check-in
• Leipzig Tourismus/Travel
• Leipzig as alternative Europe, The Guardian
The title is a minor play on the motto of the converted cotton mill: “Leipzig Spinnerei: from cotton to culture.” Thanks to the Baumwollspinnerei and Michael Ludwig (Press/Tours) for an informative and guided visit, and to Leipzig Tourismus and Marketing and InterCityHotel Leipzig for their support and hospitality. I made the photos above on 3 December 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-8hE.
3 Responses to “Leipzig Spinnerei: from cotton mill to arts centre”
Wonderful that it is still existing. My hometown Neumünster was back in the days one of the biggest textile industry cities in Germany and was also called “the Manchester of Germany”, however these days only few ruins still exist and one whole factory which is used now by gyms, shops and clubs. Another huge factoy right in the city center was torn town a couple of years ago to make space for a new shopping mall…this town surely knows how to destroy its history
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Hi, Timo. It’s fantastic that most/all of the complex has remained; sometimes it’s a matter of great timing, especially by people who know there’s opportunity (that doesn’t necessarily involve commodification). What’s interesting to me is the conversation about “new Berlin” (or rather, “new Leipzig”), and whether the arts and culture scene can help carry a city into something better and something different, apart from the Hauptstadt. When I visited in 2014, I learned (and I’m not surprised that) Leipzigers are very aware of their special place and this being a special time. Thanks for your reading and for your comment!
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