New heights thanks to coal mining
After a long period of little change, the economy experienced a new upswing in the 19th century with the industrial revolution.
The core areas of the industrial boom, the metalworking and metallurgical industry, owes its upsurge to an important locational advantage of the region: The coal deposits.
Although coal had been mined in the Zwickau area for centuries - first mentioned in 1348 - the exploitation of the deposits on a large scale was only possible with the introduction of the steam engine in 1826. Now it was possible to penetrate into deeper layers. Later, shafts were driven down up to one thousand metres.
Companies were now founded in quick succession, such as machine factories, foundries, wire and rope factories.
The "Königin-Marien-Hütte" in Cainsdorf near Zwickau, then the largest and most modern steelworks in Saxony, supplied the steel not only for the Zwickau "Paradise Bridge", but also for Dresden's "Blue Wonder" and many other steel bridges in Europe.
But a large number of spinning and weaving mills, which continued the tradition of cloth makers, companies in the ceramic and glass industry as well as chemical factories were also among the results of this period.
Zwickau developed into a location for large-scale industrial production.