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fieryfox Leipzig - A travel report by Farizan
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Leipzig,  Germany - flag Germany -  Sachsen
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fieryfox's travel reports

Leipzig - A Centre of Culture Resurrected

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Page: 1 2


Prior to the re-uninification of Germany in 1989, Leipzig was a vital centre of industry and commerce (in the GDR times). It has always been a historical city and the epicentre of liberation movements.

After years of crippling industrial pollution and urban neglect, the town's new struggle is for its own resurrection as a centre of culture. Its symphony orchestra at the Neues Gewandhaus remains one of Europe's best. A few monuments remind us that Leipzig is where Johann Sebastian Bach led the St Thomas church choir and where Goethe studied at the university.



City Scenes
City Scenes


The new and modern Leipzig has gone for size. It's main train station, the Hauptbahnhof has 26 platforms and is probably the biggest railway station in Europe. I left Dresden by the morning train and arrived in Liepzig in after an hour. From the station, I could see skyscraper business hotels and the much famed university tower. I am told that there are many old Relics in the city. Armed with a map of the city I went hunting.


Favourite spots:
On the Way to the Markt
On the Way to the Markt



On the Markt, the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) is a long gabled Renaissance Building with an elegant lantern tower. It houses a museum of local history. Behind it, on the charming little Naschmarkt square, is the handsome 17th-century baroque Handelsbörse (Commercial Exchange).

Also on the square is a 1903 statue of Goethe as a young student. In nearby Mädler-passage, one of the city's characteristic shopping galleries, is the celebrated old Auerbachs Keller, the tavern where Goethe set a famous confrontation of Faust and Mephistopheles.

Their statues flank the entrance, and painted in its vaulted rooms are scenes from the master's great drama. Grimmaische Strasse leads to the west to the 15th-century Gothic Thomaskirche, home of the renowned Thomaner Choir which Bach directed from 1723 to 1756. Here anyone would be inspired to buy the wonderful masterpieces of Bach. Recitals are held here each weekend.


What's really great:
A picture with my favourite Composer
A picture with my favourite Composer


A Bach monument stands on the south side, and a modern bronze plaque marks the composer's tomb inside the church. Being an ardent fan of his masterpieces, I did not miss a picture with my favourite composer. Nikolaikirche, an unassuming Romanesque-Gothic church with a bright neoclassical interior, but famous since the autumn of 1989. It was the crescendo of its Monday meetings, originally convened to fight pollution and the dangers of nuclear war, that led to the downfall of the former Communist government.


Sights:
Völkerschlachtdenkmal, monument of the Battle of the Nations against Napoleon
Völkerschlachtdenkmal, monument of the Battle of the Nations against Napoleon



Take a look at the Völkerschlachtdenkmal, monument of the Battle of the Nations against Napoleon. It was consecrated on the battle's centenary, 1913, and its ponderous style is in the same tradition as the nationalistic Germania and Deutsches Eck monuments in the Rhineland. Upon entering the building, I felt an eerie feeling, looking at the dim lit arches and monument in the centre.

There are three levels in the Völkerschlachtdenkmal and visitors can choose as to whether the would like to take the stairs or the elevator. The staircase was narrow and is definately not recommended for anyone that is claustrophobic. At the top, there is a spectacular view of Liepzig. Well worth the climb!


Other recommendations:
Liepzig from Völkerschlachtdenkmal
Liepzig from Völkerschlachtdenkmal



In the old law courts building just south of the centre, the art museum (Museum der Bildenden Künste) has works by many renowned artists , from the 19th and 20th centuries.

So close to Leipzig, it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins, Halle to the north-west has a deserved reputation for being grimly industrial. The centre has many fine old buildings, spared from destruction in World War II only to suffer from the unrestricted pollution of the decades that followed - those Dark Black Stains that appear on the surface of walls of old buildings are a result of years of pollution.

Here Handel, another renowned classical composer was born. The central market square is worth a visit.


Published on Thursday August 19th, 2004


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Mon, Jan 17 2005 - 03:14 PM rating by davidx

A really good report

Mon, Sep 13 2004 - 09:12 AM rating by sanne_downunder

thanks for this great report of leipzig, i really enjoyed reading it.

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