Leipzig Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsThe city of Leipzig, long famed for its trade fairs, lies in the Saxon Lowland at the junction of the Weisse Elster and the Pleisse. Situated as it was on important trade routes, the town developed, after being granted the privilege of holding fairs, into a considerable commercial town, the leading city in Saxony after Dresden. It also became a center of art, culture and learning. Its importance as a center of the book trade is shown by its old-established publishing houses, its major libraries, including the German Library (Deutsche Bücherei) and the German Central Library for the Blind, its International Book Fairs and annual exhibitions of the finest books of the year, its College of Graphic and Book Art and its large printing and publishing houses.
Old Town Hall
The Markt in Leipzig, for many centuries the hub of the city's life, is dominated by the Old Town Hall, a Renaissance building erected by Burgomaster Hieronymus Lotter in 1556 but much altered in later centuries. The tower, with a Baroque crown, is placed asymmetrically over the main entrance. Above the entrance is a roofed balcony for public announcements and proclamations, where the town trumpeters, in traditional costume, emerge at weekends. The colonnades along the front were built in 1907, replacing the wooden shops and booths which formerly stood here.
Museum on History of Leipzig
In the Old Town Hall can be found the Museum on the History of Leipzig, with a collection of pictures and views of the town and a permanent exhibition, "Leipzig Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" (Ratsstube and Festsaal).
On the north side of the Markt in Leipzig is the Old Weigh-House built in 1555 by Burgomaster Lotter, rebuilt in 1963-64 after wartime destruction and recently renovated.
At Markt 8 in Leipzig is Barthels Hof (1523), a typical old warehouse built for the purposes of the Leipzig fair. A passage leads through to the Kleine Fleischergasse, with the Haus zum Kaffeebaum ("At the sign of the Coffee-Tree"; No. 4), originally built about 1500 and occupied from 1694 by a historic inn, which was frequented between 1833 and 1844 by the composer Robert Schumann and his friends and fellow musicians (the "Davidsbündler").
St Thomas's Church
Southwest of the Markt in Leipzig stands the Thomaskirche, home of the world-famed St Thomas's Choir. Originally built around 1212 as the church of an Augustinian house, it was much altered in later centuries. In the 15th C. it was given the form of a Late Gothic hall-church in the style of Upper Saxony. The west front dates from renovation work carried out between 1872 and 1889. Martin Luther preached in the church in 1539, and Johann Sebastian Bach was choirmaster from 1723 to 1750. His remains were brought here in 1950 from St John's Church which was destroyed during the Second World War.
Opposite the St Thomas's Church in Leipzig, at Thomaskirchhof 16, is the Bosehaus, occupied by the Bach Research Institute and Memorial and the Bach Archives.
Behind the Old Town Hall in Leipzig lies a quiet little square, the Naschmarkt, laid out in 1556. On the north side is the Old Commercial Exchange (Alte Handelsbörse), an Early Baroque building by J. G. Starcke (1678-87). It is now used for social events.
Opposite the Naschmarket is the Mädlerpassage, one of the shopping arcades characteristic of Leipzig. All of them (Mädlerpassage, Königshofpassage, Messehofpassage) are linked with one another.
In the Mädlerpassage in Leipzig are steps leading down to Auerbachs Keller, in which Mephistopheles practised his magic arts in Goethe's "Faust". At the head of the steps is a sculpture by M. Molitor (1913) depicting the figures in the cellar scene.Also in the Mädlerpassage is a carillon in Meissen porcelain.
North of the Markt in Leipzig is Sachsenplatz, laid out in 1969 on the site of buildings destroyed during the war. In the center of the square are ornamental fountains (1972) and a ceramic column with scenes from the history of the town (1972).
On the west side of Leipzig's Sachsenplatz (square), in Katharinenstrasse, is a series of Baroque burghers' houses. The finest of them is the Romanushaus, at the corner of the Brühl. Built by J. G. Fuchs in 1701-04 for Burgomaster F. C. Romanus, this is a four-story house with a finely articulated facade. The Fregehaus was also rebuilt by Fuchs in 1706-07 (reconstructed 1986).
St Nicholas's Church
Southeast of Sachsenplatz in Leipzig, between Nikolaistrasse and Ritterstrasse, stands the Nikolaikirche, with a striking tower (75 m/245ft high). Originally built in the 12th C., it was considerably altered in various styles in later centuries. The neo-classical interior is of impressive effect, with galleries and altarpieces by A. F. Oeser.
New Town Hall
At the southwest corner of Leipzig's old town stands the New Town Hall, a monumental building in the style of the German Late Renaissance (by H. Licht, 1899-1905). It occupies the site of the 13th century Pleissenburg, which was pulled down in 1897-98. The stump of a tower from the old castle is incorporated in the central tower (115 m/377ft high) of the new building.
Museum of Art
Southwest of the New Town Hall in southwestern Leipzig is the domed building once occupied by the old Supreme Court (Reichsgericht; 1888-95), now the Museum of Art, with pictures by German, Italian and Dutch masters from the 15th C. onwards. Of particular interest are the collections of historical material and sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Trade Fair Grounds and Battle of the Nations Monument
In Strasse des 18 Oktober (Deutscher Platz) in Leipzig can be found the German Library (by O. Pusch, 1914-16), set up with the object of collecting all books and publications in German. It also houses the German Museum of Books and Writing.
In Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse in Leipzig is the Russian Church (the Memorial Church of St Alexius; by W. A. Pokrowski, 1912-13), with a gilded onion dome. It was built to commemorate the 22,000 Russians who fell in the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813.
Trade Fair Grounds
Battle of the Nations Monument
The Battle of the Nations Monument (by B. Schmitz and C. Thieme, 1898-1913) in Leipzig is an imposing structure in the monumental style favored at the turn of the century. It was built on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of the Nations. There is a viewing platform at a height of 91 m/299ft.
In Leipzig's northern district of Gohlis, in Menckestrasse, is the Gohliser Schlösschen, a mansion built by F. Seltendorff in 1755-56 for C. Richter, a Leipzig councilor. In the Great Hall is a ceiling painting, "The Life of Psyche", by A. F. Oeser (1779).A little way north, at Menckestrasse 42, can be seen the last surviving cottage from the old village of Gohlis. The composer Schiller lived in this little house in 1785 and composed his "Ode to Joy" here.
The Mendelssohn House in Leipzig is the only authenticly preserved residence of the composer. The house, originally built in 1844, has undergone restoration based on the original plans and now contains many original artifacts and personal objects. Further information about the composer is revealed in written documents contained in the house.
Museum in Round Corner
Museum in Round Corner features photos and documents in the entrance hall recalling the history of the building, which was erected in 1911-1913 as the headquarters of a fire insurance company. The Stasi was a military organisation until 1986 when it was abolished, after a peaceful revolution.
Saxon Pharmacy Museum
Housed in the former central pharmacy, visitors can experience the history of pharmacies and the pharmacy of Saxonia. Displays include stories of personalities such as Heinrich Linck, pharmacy devices such as Pillenvergolder and ergot mill, as well as drugs and herb books.
The Wundt Institute, named after the psychologist Wilhelm Wundt, contains a room commemorating his life and work. An anteroom with photographs is generally open to the public as the main memorial room is locked and open only by prior arrangements.
Historical Tram Station
Located in Leipzig's district of Moeckern is a living museum, Historical Tram Station, with a collection of trams. Along with historical cars is a large number of components, aggregates and accessories. A model tram is also displayed.
The Museum of Musical Instruments in Leipzig first opened in 1929. Musical instruments from the Middle Ages to the 20th C. are on display. There is a hands-on sounds laboratory and extensive archives.
Address: Johannisplatz 5 - 11, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
Opening hours: 10am-6pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24)
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €8.00, Adult €4.00, Concession or reduced rate €2.00, Child 6 & under FREE
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Museum of Automation
The Museum of Automation began in 1996 with a collection for the history of the automatic control engineering. Exhibits include mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical automation.
The Renaissance styled school of St Nicholas houses the Antique Museum. In the collection are numerous examples of early Greek, Etruscan and Roman pieces.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig features exhibits including permanent and temporary collections of contemporary art.
Map of Leipzig Attractions