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Stay Strange: Sleeping in a Retired Cotton Factory | Germany

Hotels in Leipzig - Inside the Meisterzimmer

This post on Meisterzimmer in the Leipzig Spinnerei is in partnership with Leipzig Tourism. I stayed in their flat in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own. 

Leipzig has a rich industrial heritage dating back to the 1840s. You can see this after just a few minutes in Plagwitz, a borough on the West side of town. The 222 acres of land used to be an industrial area, but output came to a complete halt with the fall of East Germany at the end of the 80’s. And rather than leveling the industrial monuments as the city expanded, the buildings have been preserved and restored (and thankfully not in the cringey, gentrification kind of way).

Plagwitz went from being an abandoned area to one of reasons that Leipzig today is so damn cool. What was once a sheet rolling mill is now a restaurant. Old factories are used for student housing and music venues. And the Spinnerei (or as it’s known in German, the “Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei”) – once the largest cotton mill in continental Europe – now holds everything from artist studios, to gallery spaces, to an indie cinema. If you’re lucky, you can even stay at the Spinnerei overnight in Meisterzimmer, the stylish apartments hidden inside.

The Spinnerei in Leipzig

Want to see inside the rooms? Here’s what to expect when you spend the night in Meisterzimmer in der Baumwollspinnerei.

ABOUT MEISTERZIMMER

Meisterzimmer (or “master bedroom”) is the collective name for four rental apartments in the Spinnerei in Leipzig. The story started in 1994 when Manfred Mülhaupt and some other young artists moved into the Spinnerei “to draw, paint, build, spin and be free”. The room now known as Meisterzimmer #1 was lived in (and loved!) until 2008 when Mülhaupt moved away. But rather than giving up the space entirely, he decided to restore the four rooms and rent them so that visitors to Leipzig could have the experience of overnighting in the former factory.

Outside the Spinnerei in LeipzigSLEEP

Each apartment in Meisterzimmer is completely original. Apartment #1 was formerly a ladies’ washroom as evidenced by the 7 washbins still in the room. Apartment #3, on the other hand, features exposed brick walls that pay homage to the years that the Spinnerei operated as a genuine factory. The rooms range in size from 42sqm to 116sqm with room for 3-8 guests. As the owners put it, “our focus is on individual, often homemade interior design. No cooking islands and design classics – but stubborn buildings, industrial repertoire and contemporary art in studios with brick walls and huge windows. We are enthusiastic about interior design that doesn’t look like it.”

And that actually sums the spaces up pretty well! Of course, you’ll have the comforts of double beds, a kitchen, a separated bathroom, and a spacious living area in any room. But you can also expect vintage touches and industrial elements. The decorators are masters of detail and any of the four rooms are pretty beautiful. 

Interior Meisterzimmer at the Leipzig SpinnereiView of the Room at MeisterzimmerInside the Meisterzimmer at the Leipzig SpinnereiValue: A night in the Meisterzimmer apartments costs €90 – €110. Prices are based on group size, length of stay, and whether you’re staying over the weekend. These rooms would be super affordable and fun to stay in for a large group that doesn’t require too much privacy! The rooms are huge for an individual or couple, but even then, the price is a pretty good value. Book a room here.

EXPLORE THE SPINNEREI

At its peak, the Spinnerei had 4,000 employees and 240,000 spindles producing cotton. There were worker’s homes, community gardens, and even a factory kindergarten. But after reunification in the early 90’s, production came to a halt. The building was repurposed for everything from summer academies to tango workshops. In the present day, the Spinnerei is home to more than 100 artist studios and 14 galleries and exhibitions. You can easily spend the day exploring all the halls and studios scattered around the massive property.

The Museum at the Leipzig SpinnereiCotton & Spindles at the Museum for the Leipzig SpinnereiArt Installation at the Leipzig SpinnereiArt Exhibition at the Leipzig SpinnereiArt Installation at the Leipzig SpinnereiKino at the Spinnerei in Leipzig

Don’t miss: The nightly film at the LuRu-Kino, a 60-seat arthouse cinema. The contemporary art collection at Galerie EIGEN + ART. In-house and guest exhibitions at WERKSCHAU. archiv massiv for a museum and gallery side-by-side. Guest contemporary art exhibitions at the Anca Poterașu Gallery.

WHILE YOU’RE IN LEIPZIG

There are more things to do in Leipzig than you might have heard. Of course, there’s no shortage of monuments and old churches (it is Germany, after all), but here are a couple of alternative things that you might consider doing when you visit.

Leipzig City View

Ride “The Green Ring”: Leipzig is a surprisingly green city. You can explore most of it by renting a bike and riding around it on the 65-km cycle path that surrounds the city.

Eat street food: There are tons of great cheap food spots in Leipzig. Go for a late night hot dog at Beard Brothers or sit down for a heaping plate of hummus at AKKO Hummus Bar.

Travel through history: Leipzig has gone through many chapters of history. It’s been a trading hub, a place that inspired classical musicians, an industrial area, and city depressed under the GDR. Go on a historical tour (€10) or simply wander the streets to see the changing architecture and urban statues that will tell you a bit about Leipzig’s history. 

Want more things to do in Leipzig? Check out this post on reasons you’ll want to stay in Leipzig or check out the rest of our posts on Germany.

WANNA SPEND THE NIGHT AT MEISTERZIMMER?

Make your Reservation: Booking.com

E-mail: leipzig@meisterzimmer.de

Phone: + 49 341 2270 4063

Address: Spinnereistraße 7, 04179 Leipzig, Germany

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