Discover History: Chemnitzer Tor / Moritzhof
The trade road to the Erzgebirge
The road from the settlement of Altchemnitz (Old Chemnitz) was an important trade route from the upper Erzgebirge.
It met the city fortifications at Chemnitzer Tor gate and led to the timber market along Chemnitzer Gasse.
The Chemnitzer Tor tower in its current form dates back to 1521. This cannot be conclusively proven, since the city‘s expense ledgers from those years are missing. One special feature of the tower was a brush-shaped symbol which adorned the ridge turret. There have long been speculations that it may have acted as a lightning rod, but this seems unlikely.
Although the buildings of the city prison were rebuilt on both sides of the gate in 1811, this did not prevent the decay of the city fortifications. The tower and the gate were eventually demolished in 1856.
The Old Post Office
In 1833, when the premises on Neumarkt became too small for Chemnitz’s growing postal service, it initially moved into two houses on Chemnitzer Gasse. Subsequently, the main post office building was built on top of the filled-in moat near the former Chemnitzer Tor gate in 1859. The adjacent thoroughfare accordingly became known as “Poststraße” from 1860 onwards.
To start with, 66 officials processed around 1,370 letters a day. However, rising levels of postal correspondence following the proclamation of the German empire meant that substantial extension was required to the existing building. It was built on the site of the former Drei Schwanen inn on Lange Straße, and is the only part of the complex still standing today. Its name has survived as the title of the office building on Bahnhofstraße.
With the reorganisation of the Chemnitz city administration, the foundation stone for a modern, 200 million DM administrative building was laid next to the bus turning circle at the former Chemnitzer Tor in 1996. The Moritzhof building, situated between Moritzstraße and Bahnhofstraße, has served as a public administration centre since 1997, housing municipal offices and the main administration of the Chemnitz Sparkasse bank.