Difference between revisions of "Leipzig"
Revision as of 15:19, 24 August 2006
Leipzig  is the largest city in the German federal state of Saxony, with a population of more or less 500,000. It is the industrial centre of the region and culturally as attractive as Saxony's capital Dresden. It offers interesting sights, shopping possibilities and evening distractions.
First documented in 1015, and endowed with city and market privileges in 1165, the city of Leipzig has fundamentally shaped the history of Saxony and of Germany. Leipzig has always been known as a place of commerce and still has a large trade fair ground.
Leipzig acquired the nickname Kleines Paris ("Little Paris") in the 18th century, when it became a center of a classical literary movement under the leadership of German scholar and writer Johann Christoph Gottsched.
The city is also the home of the Nicolaikirche (Church of St. Nicolai or Nicholas) - the starting point of peaceful demonstrations against the communist regime which led to German Unification.
Leipzig is a transportation hub in Saxony.
Leipzig can easily be reached by car, as it is very well connected with the Autobahn highway system. The nearest Autobahn highways are A14 (North, Northeast), A9 (West) and A38 (South, not yet completed).
The airport of Leipzig-Halle  is the second biggest airport in Eastern Germany after Berlin (Schönefeld) and offers direct connections to Paris, London (Stansted) and tourist destinations around the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Domestic destinations include Frankfurt, Munich, Dresden, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Hamburg.
Old Town Hall
Leipzig's Old Town Hall was built in 1556 in the Renaissance style and remains one of Germany's largest. Located on the pretty main square of the city, it's a good orientation point
The Old City Hall was built 1556 by Hieronymus Lotter on basements of two Patrician houses. It is a beautiful Renaissance style building, 90 metres long with arcades (1906 - 09), six gables and a tower. In the 18th century the tower was enlarged and it got a Baroque spire. Till 1904 the Old City Hall was home of the city administration. Then it became home of the city museum
Most impressive is the huge Banquetting Hall with Renaissance interior (open fireplaces). I was surprised by the many fine works of medieval religious art: altars, paintings, wood-carved sculptures etc. Most of them were saved from churches which were deconstructed in Leipzig's surrounding. Very impressive are the rooms with interior from old Patrician houses. I also liked the treasure chamber (steep and narrow staircase!). Entrance fee is 2.50 Euro
This Renaissance building was erected in just nine month in 1556/57 under the direction of the architect Hieronymus Lotter. The municipal government moved into the New Town Hall in the year 1909. If you have a bit luck you are allowed to visit the cellar of the building. Here you find the chamber of torture and the jail.
Old City Hall: Leipzig's Renaissance City hall. Contains a museum of city history which possesses the original of the only confirmed painting of Bach produced in his lifetime. Also contains interesting information regarding the public executions that previously took place in the market in front of the city hall. The most famous execution was that of Woyzeck later made famous by the Büchner play and the opera of Alban Berg.
The interior of the Old City Hall (built in 1556) was far more interesting of the outside view for me, however charming the latter may be. Inside there's an interesting museum covering the history of Leipzig from the very beginnings (in 12th century) till our days. One of the most touristy places of the whole city.
The Leipzig Zoo is one of the largest and best known in Germany. It has a very long tradition, is currently undergoing a major re-design. Already finished constructions include the new elephants' enclosure, with a swimming pool where you can watch the elephants bathing from under the water level, the monkey house and a open-plan, safari-style Africa landscape.