Dinner at Spinnerei is what I see listed on my itinerary for the second night of a conference I’m attending in Leipzig, Germany. Beforehand, life is a little out of control, so I don’t even spend one minute checking it out on Google. That’s just as well so I have no preconceived expectations.
Spinnerei isn’t a restaurant after all. Spinnerei appears to be short for Baumwollspinnerei AKA the Leipzig Cotton Mill.
The Leipzig Cotton Mill, founded in 1884, became the largest cotton mill in all of continental Europe. The area around the mill became a city within a city – a vast industrial area consisting of over 20 factories with onsite tenement housing, schooling and recreational areas – though I can’t imagine they were too grand. At its peak in 1907, 4000 workers were employed. By 1993, a few years after Germany’s reunification, the last of the thread production was stopped.
What came next was a complete about turn. Instead of voiceless factory workers – people with strong, independent voices like painters, photographers, sculptors, fashion designers, cratftsmen and other creative types moved into the space.
You can take a two hour tour of Spinnerei during the day – and that would give you a much richer understanding of the history and its’ development as a center for cutting edge art. There are more traditional restaurants somewhere on the property – I just didn’t see them. Nonetheless, a visit to Spinnerei, in particular the artist’s studios, proved to be a great way to mingle with both artists and bloggers – and to have one’s eyes opened to the past and the future. It’s also possible to buy art at one of the three exhibitions held throughout the year
Our time at Spinnerei was a blend of drinking, eating and visiting the studios of a few of the artists. The artists come from all over the world for a period of months to immerse themselves in the Spinnerei community.
Here’s a look at what we saw over drinks and dinner.
Have you ever visited Leipzig’s old cotton mill??