The largest city in Saxony, Leipzig has earned a reputation of being an important centre for culture and business in Germany. Goethe called Leipzig “a little Paris” when he came to study law at its university. The city has a long and well-known history, including the Battle of the Nations in 1813 and mass demonstrations against the former East German regime which contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Things to see and do
Dwarfing Napoleon: Monument to the Battle of the Nations
Dedicated to the Battle of the Nations from 1813, the gigantic “Völkerschlachtdenkmal” offers a spectacular view across Leipzig and its surroundings. It stands 91 metres tall right in the centre of the former battle field, where Napoleon’s army was defeated by the allied armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden. The monument is one of the tallest in Europe and widely regarded as a superior example of Wilhelmine architecture.
Trailing Goethe and Faust: Auerbachs Keller
Located in the Mädler Passage, the restaurant Auerbachs Keller has attracted visitors since 1530. It reached world fame after Johann Wolfgang Goethe featured it in his masterpiece “Faust”. When he was a student, the German poet was a regular here. Two bronze figures of Mephisto and Faust outside the restaurant bear witness to the scene.
Leipzig Gewandhaus is the city’s main concert hall and seat of the famed orchestra by the same name. With a history dating back to 1781, it is the oldest civic symphony orchestra in the world. Gewandhaus stages 250 classical concerts each season and almost 700 events per year, attracting half a million visitors. The building also hosts models of the three historic Gewandhaus buildings of 1781, 1884 and 1981. The venue is also used for conferences, congresses and music education.
Explore “Hypezig”: Plagwitz and East Leipzig
In recent years, Leipzig has developed a thriving art scene, fetching it the nick names “new Berlin” or “Hypezig”. Former industrial spaces offer a blank canvas for artists and musicians to unfold. Stroll through Plagwitz to explore Leipzig’s underground art scene or head to Leipzig’s edgy East to best catch the spirit of it.
For many, Leipzig’s Südvorstadt (literally: southern suburb) is a very popular area for going out, thanks to its many bars, cafés and restaurants along the Karl-Liebknecht-Straße, informally known as “Karli”. Little alternative boutiques invite for a leisurely stroll through the street. Südvorstadt is close to parks, the city centre, the university of Leipzig and boasts beautiful old buildings, which make it a very popular neighbourhood.
British-German Town Twinnings
Town twinnings between British and German cities play an important role in promoting cultural exchange. Leipzig has been twinned with Birmingham in the West Midlands since 1992.