Zwickau tsvĭk´ou [key], city (1994 pop. 107,988), Saxony, E central Germany, on the Mulde River. It is an industrial city and until the late 1970s was the center of a coal mining region. Manufactures include machinery, textiles, and automobile parts. Zwickau was chartered in the early 13th cent., and it was a free imperial city from 1290 to 1323, when it passed to the margraves of Meissen. The city was (1520–23) the center of the Anabaptist movement of Thomas Münzer. It was repeatedly plundered during the Thirty Years War (1618–48). Noteworthy buildings include a basilica (12th–15th cent.), the Church of St. Catherine (14th cent.), and the city hall (15th cent.). Robert Schumann was born (1810) in Zwickau, and the city has a Schumann museum.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: German Political Geography