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Federal Land: Saxony
Leipzig officially obtained the city status in 1165 granted by Margrave Otto of Meissen. In 1507, Emperor Maximilian I accorded a privilege to the city to hold the fairs. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Leipzig became an economic centre of the country, the capital of book publishing and a centre of the musical life of Germany.
Called “a small Paris” in Goethe’s “Faust”, Leipzig has been a city of fairs for over 800 years. The concept of universal fairs has recently been changed by the concept of the specialised ones.
Leipzig has always been a centre of publishing industry. The International Book Fair annually held here in March together with the International Book Fair in Frankfurt-am-Main promotes establishing contacts with Eastern Europe.
Leipzig is also a large scientific centre. A University was founded here in 1409. It educated such famous students as Goethe, Lessing, Klopstock. Johann Sebastian Bach served as a bandmaster of the University in 1723-1750.
Leipzig enjoys a very favourable location almost in the very heart of Germany. It takes only an hour and a half to get to Dresden, the capital of Saxony and a city-museum. Situated between Leipzig and Dresden is the famous “porcelain” city of Meissen. To the west of Leipzig, is a marvellous park Dessau Woerlitz included on the UNESCO World Heritage list; Weimar - the city of Goethe and Schiller; and medieval Erfurt - the capital of Türingen.
Sights of Leipzig
The Centre of Leipzig is the Market Place, one side of which is occupied by magnificent Old City Hall. The building which was constructed in the middle of 15th century is now a museum and a concert hall. The City Administration moved to the New City Hall which is located a bit farther from the city centre. If you are looking for a real Leipzig antiquity, visit the Old City Hall. It has beautiful conference halls with antique furniture, sooty fireplaces, tiles and portraits of the City Aldermen. Every Sunday the trumpet players tootle the city anthem from the balcony of the Old City Hall.
The Old City Hall and the Market Place are surrounded by commercial buildings, old and modern ones, or sometimes a mixture of the two. These are the fair warehouses, the Old Stock Exchange (17th century). The first Leipzig coffee house is still working in one of the former warehouses (Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum, since 1694). In the basement of the other warehouse the oldest Leipzig groggery is housed. It’s very famous among the Leipzig students and was immortalised by Goethe in his “Faust”, the Auerbach’s groggery (Auerbachs Keller). Right above it is an expensive Maedler-Passage with fashionable butiques.
The Church of St. Thomas built in the early Gothic style in the 13th century occupies the other side of the Market Place. Very beautiful both inside and outside, the church attracts the tourists by the fact that Johann Sebastian Bach worked there as a chanter and organ-player for 27 years. His monument stands in front of the church, and close to it there is Bach’s museum.
Speaking of the Leipzig churches, worth mentioning is the oldest church in the city, the St. Nicolas Church. The church was rebuilt many times and now represents a good combination of the elements of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism styles.
Next to St. Nicolas Church, is Augustusplatz that can be called the Square of Arts. The square is surrounded on its three sides by the Leipzig University, Leipzig Philharmonic Hall - Neues Gewandhaus (Gewandhaus — «the fair building», that’s the building where the Leipzig orchestra originally performed), and the Leipzig Opera House. The massive building Moritzbastei adjoins the Leipzig Philharmonic Hall, the former tower of the city fortress is now a popular night club.
But Leipzig is not just its centre. The most famous monument in Leipzig is located not in its centre, but in the south of the city – the enormous Battle of the Nations Monument officially opened in 1913. It is devoted to the hundred year anniversary of the famous battle of Austria, Prussia and Russia with troops of Napoleon. 130 000 soldiers fell in that battle. The monument is 91 meters high. There is an observation site on the top of it with a beautiful view overlooking the city.
Next to the Battle of Nations Monument there is an Old Exhibition Complex built in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1996, the New Exhibition Complex was officially opened in the north-end of Leipzig, whereas the old complex is still waiting for proposals for its “retargeting”...
The famous Leipzig Zoo, the Schiller House-Museum and Gohliser Schloesschen country palace presently serving as a renovated concert hall are located in the western part of Leipzig.
|© The project was developed by the State Non-profit Fund «Industrial Subcontracting Center of the Republic of Tatarstan» by request of the Ministry of Trade and Foreign-Economic cooperation of the Republic of Tatarstan — 2006|