Portrait of Meerane
Isn't that the home of the famous "steep wall", feared by many a cyclist and fan of bicycle racing? On hearing the name Meerane many people think of this well-known street. But there is much more to the city than that. The town has a long and interesting history and famous sons and daughters. There are many sights - old and new - waiting to be discovered. A lively collection of voluntary associations, concentrating on sports and music, offers a wide range of leisure activities. Meerane sports people play in the top leagues and the musicians perform everywhere. There are even four carnival orchestras in Meerane now. Every year thousands of visitors come to the "Meeraner Straßenfasching", the largest carnival parade in the region.
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Meerane is centrally positioned in the Leipzig - Chemnitz - Zwickau economic triangle where the motorway A4 and the federal highway B93 intersect. It was once part of a textile producing region including the cities of Crimmitschau and Glauchau and has always been important for the automotive industry. In recent years Meerane has become a modern, competitive and efficient economic location, boasting traditional and modern companies. There are approximately 17,000 inhabitants in Meerane today. Six kindergartens look after the youngest residents. There are 3 primary schools, two secondary "middle schools", the "Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi" European Grammar School and a vocational sixth form college. A branch of the local music school is open to all musical children and young people and there are 2 private music schools. Meerane also hosts a branch of the Zwickau Euro-Schule.
The activity centre "Freizeitzentrum am Annapark", the youth club/café in Oststraße, the "Beverly Hills" youth club and the "Open House" youth club in the cellar of the church parish rooms are popular meeting places for young "Meeraners". The town museum in the Old Town Hall on the market square offers an insight into Meerane's history and information about the traditional weaving skills which created the "Meerane tartan".
Historic hand-operated and mechanical weaving machines remind the visitor of the long tradition of the textile industry in the city. The collections in the museum were originally given to the town by the commercial association of Meerane, which was founded in 1863. There are always interesting temporary exhibitions alongside the permanent exhibits. The annual Christmas exhibition is the most popular of these temporary shows.
In 2009 a new exhibition, dedicated to the famous Meerane composer Werner Bochmann, was opened in the restored culture centre "Kultur-Kaufhaus"at the market square. Many exhibits from the composer's estate serve to remind visitors of his life and works.
The town and children's library, which moved into a modern building in 2007, is also located near the market square and is a meeting place for many Meeraners who are interested in literature. The library opened as early as 1860 with 300 books. Today around 31,500 different resources can be used, ranging from books and magazines to games and educational software. Readings and book presentations at the library enrich the cultural life of the city.
Many organisations make life in our town enjoyable for the inhabitants. A network of attractive shops satisfies all needs and there are also many varied restaurants, cafés and cosy bars which offer visitors an interesting or relaxing hour or two.
Social institutions, advice centres and nursing homes are also present in Meerane. Urban planners always endeavour to take the needs of elderly Meeraners into consideration. Churches of various confessions define the religious life of the town. The health system is of a high standard and includes GPs, a medical centre and nursing homes for the elderly.
The gallery ART IN is a good address for art fans. The art association of Meerane organises many exhibitions featuring important artists, chamber music and drama in the gallery, which is located on the market square. The civic hall, which was built as a Bauhaus-style gymnasium in 1928, is an ideal events venue. Many rooms, including the Werner-Bochmann room with seating for over 750 persons, are available for concerts, congresses, presentations, music, theatre and workshops.