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Only in Leipzig

A city with unmistakable flair

 
 
Leipzig Panorama; Photo: LTM-Bader
This is a place where tradition rubs shoulders with zeitgeist, and where great art can be enjoyed just a few steps away from an exciting world of outdoor activities. With a history going back almost 1,000 years, this Saxon metropolis has earned more than a few claims to fame – as a city of music, of commerce, of heroes, as the site of the Peaceful Revolution, as Little Paris, Athens on the River Pleisse, and the Venice of the North.

Whatever your quest, you won't have to go far to find it in Leipzig. There are cultural events for music connoisseurs and art lovers, a thriving coffee house culture and traditional pubs, shops aplenty in the intricate network of historical passageways and arcades, and a host of highly attractive leisure and recreational activities, not to mention a vibrant and diverse night life.

This city in Saxony has close connections with many famous personalities and creative geniuses, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, Martin Luther, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. Discover Leipzig today, and follow their footsteps. Leipzig: livelier than ever!
 
 

Johann Sebastian Bach

 
 
Bach statue; Photo: LTM-Schmidt
Johann Sebastian Bach worked here as Music Director and Cantor of the St. Thomas Boys Choir from 1723-1750. His grave lies in the place where he once worked: St. Thomas Church. Opposite the church is the Leipzig Bach Archive, which contains the Bach Museum. Every year the whole of Leipzig is taken over by the Leipzig Bach Festival, a huge musical commemoration in honour of the composer.

The Leipzig Gewandhaus

 
 
Leipzig Gewandhaus; Photo: LTM-Schmidt
The Leipzig Gewandhaus concert hall with its world famous orchestra has been a symbol of the city for over 350 years. The Gewandhaus Music Director is the internationally renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly. The Gewandhaus orchestra also performs at the Opera House, and in St. Thomas Church with the St. Thomas Boys Choir, and is regularly on tour around the world.
 
 

St. Thomas Boys Choir

 
 
St. Thomas Boys Choir; Photo: LTM-Brzoska
The St. Thomas Boys Choir grew up out of the priory of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine over 800 years ago, and has maintained a unique reputation both in Germany and throughout the world. The choir owes much to the musical legacy of the most famous Cantor of St. Thomas, J.S. Bach, and can be heard every Friday evening and Saturday afternoon performing cantatas and motets in St. Thomas Church.
 

Spinnerei - "the hottest place on earth"

 
 
Old industrial building on the Spinnerei grounds; photo: LTM-Schmidt
Leipzig’s dynamic art scene enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. Its prime site, Spinnerei, was formerly the largest cotton mill of continental Europe. Since its decommissioning in 1992, the factory has been subject to constant change. Artists have developed the cotton mill into a real cosmos of art. Meanwhile about 100 of them have set up their own studio, along with 11 galleries and the non-profit space Halle 14. Key figure of the so-called “New Leipzig School” is artist Neo Rauch, who was among the pioneers of the Spinnerei's revitalisation.

The Leipzig Opera

 
 
Leipzig Opera; Photo: LTM-Schmidt
The Leipzig Opera actually consists of the Opera, Musical Comedy and the Leipzig Ballet. It is the third-oldest civic musical theatre in Europe, and has an outstanding international reputation based on performances by leading soloists, the Gewandhaus orchestra under Ricardo Chailly, an award-winning choir, and the Leipzig Ballet featuring the enduring choreographic tradition inspired by Uwe Schulz.
 

Moritzbastei

 
 
Moritzbastei at night; Photo: Moritzbastei

The Moritzbastei is a constant in Leipzig’s cultural and nightlife. After it had been destroyed during World War II, the only remaining part of Leipzig’s medieval city fortifications was dug out by students of Leipzig University in the 1970s. Finally, in 1982, a huge student club opened in the restored vaulted cellars. Today the Moritzbastei not only hosts student parties but also concerts, plays and readings. The claim "Europe's largest student club" cannot be proven but has stuck with it until today.

 
 

Goethe and Auerbachs Keller

 
 
Auerbachs Keller; Photo: Archive Auerbachs Keller
Goethe was a student in Leipzig himself from 1765-1768. Auerbachs Keller is a tavern famous throughout the world, not least because of the scene in Faust Part I entitled "Auerbach's Cellar in Leipsic".

The Mendelssohn House

 
 
Mendelssohn House; Photo: LTM-Schmidt
The Leipzig Mendelssohn House is the only surviving residence of the composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, who died in Leipzig in 1847. Today it is a museum and contains a small music room.
 
 

The Peaceful Revolution of 1989

 
 
Festival of Lights, Photo: LTM-Brzoska
Leipzig was the starting point of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989. Thousands of Leipzig residents demonstrated peacefully for freedom and democracy. Significant sites where events took place include St. Nicholas Church, the Augustusplatz, the Promenadenring and the Memorial Museum in the "Round Corner" (Stasi Museum).

Leipzig Zoo

 
 
Gondwanaland; Photo: LTM-Brzoska
The Leipzig Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world. It also has one of the most extensive collections of diverse species, and features "Pongoland", the biggest ape enclosure in the world, the temple of elephants, a unique setting for observing elephants, and an African savannah themed area. In summer 2011 the new "Gondwanaland" tropical rainforest area opened its doors to the public.
 
 

Richard Wagner

 
 
Richard Wagner bust; Photo: LTM-Schmidt
The world famous composer was born in Leipzig in 1813 and has had a strong influence on the city's musical character ever since. The annual Wagner Festival has been held every May since 2006, and in 2013 there will be special celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Unique courtyards and passageways

 
 
Mädler Passage; Photo: LTM-Brzoska
For over 500 years the heart of Leipzig has been characterised by its passageways, interconnecting courtyards and exhibition halls. The mazy heart of the city is the perfect place for a stroll, a paradise for shoppers, an artistic hub and an architectural treasure trove, overflowing with history and tradition.
 
 

The Network of Waterways

 
 
Lake Cospuden; Photo: LTM-Schmidt
One key attraction is the network of waterways for tourists. Unspoiled rivers and watercourses link up the city of Leipzig with its vibrant arts scene to the newly emerging lakes round about. Leipzig New Lakeland can be explored by canoe or rowing boat on eight main trails with a total length of 200 kilometres.

The Battle of the Nations

 
 
Monument to the Battles of the Nations; Photo: LTM-Schmidt
The Battle of the Nations was the decisive battle in the German campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and it was fought on the fields around Leipzig. In 1913, the Monument to the Battle of the Nations and the Russian Memorial Church were inaugurated in commemoration of this historic event.