Explore the Historical Side of Leipzig
Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
Leipzig book fair
[ source: Wikipedia]
Leipzig is historical as it was the first town in Germany to win the right from the Emperor to hold a trade fair, way back in 1497 and it grew over the years to become a cosmopolitan and commercial city and is one of the most important cities of Germany. Leipzig (Leipzig vacation rentals | Leipzig travel guide) lies to the north west of Dresden (Dresden vacation rentals | Dresden travel guide) and can be reached by road or by train. With a population of over 560000 inhabitants, Leipzig is over 2 hours from Berlin (Berlin vacation rentals | Berlin travel guide), just an hour away by train and over 3 hours from Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) on Main. It was the largest trading town and has a tradition as a trade fair city. The Leipzig Fair organized in the city is in fact the oldest trade fair in the world and at times is referred to as the "Mother of all Fairs" and was undoubtedly the most famous trade fair town of Germany until the Second World War (WWII). After the Second World War, and after the reunification, it was Frankfurt which gained prominence as the city for the Trade Fairs. Leipzig has the biggest train station in Germany as it was a trade fair town. The train station has 26 platforms and about 140 shops and restaurants and it is one of the most beautiful and cleanest train stations in Germany. In fact the largest shopping mall is in the Leipzig Main Station which is the largest terminus in Europe and a visit to the railway station is a must as part of your visit to Leipzig.
Besides its historical charms, Leipzig is a city known for its automobiles, industries and technology. The Porsche Cayenne is produced here and also the 3 Series of the BMW. Global players like DHL, Amazon, Siemens have their headquarters in Leipzig. Leipzig is a city with a long historical tradition of classical music with well known names such as Bach, Mendelssohn and Wagner. Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy led the Gewandhaus Orchestra to international fame and Robert Schumann, the famous composer and influential music critic studied in Leipzig University. Leipzig has the second oldest University after Heidelberg (Heidelberg vacation rentals | Heidelberg travel guide) and over 50000 students come every year to study in Leipzig. Interestingly, the Berlin Wall came down because of Leipzig as it was in the walls of the St. Nicholas Church, there was a non-violent protest movement that took place in 1989 that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.
A walking tour of the city following the traces of some of the well known musicians, the churches of St. Thomas and St. Nicholas and the tomb of Bach. The Nikolaikirche, or the St. Nicholas Church is the oldest church in Leipzig, dating back to 1165 and refurbished in the 18th Century. The date of 9th October 1989 has a great significance as it was on this date and year that lead to the break down of the German Democratic Republic and reunification of Germany. The peaceful demonstration by over 70,000 people took place after peaceful Monday demonstrations were held in this church. The ceiling and columns of the church are very impressive and the columns look like palm trees. Closeby we also had the opportunity to see the tomb of Johann Sebastian Bach.
For lovers of coffee, a visit to the Zum Arabischen Coffee Baum is a must, where you can have some coffee and then go upstairs to see the coffee museum. The Coffee Baum is one of the oldest coffee houses in Germany and amongst their guests were Wagner, Schumann and other famous personalities. There are fine cafes also along the Grimmaische Street where we were heading next for lunch to a very historical place - the Auerbachs Keller (or Auerbach's Cellar in English), a remarkable restaurant in the most beautiful shopping arcade, the Madler Passage. The restaurant was made immortal by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who was a student of Leipzig University, in his famous "Fausthus" novel where Mephisto rides on a wine barrel that is accessible to the visitors of the restaurant even today. The historical rooms in the Auerbachs Keller are illuminated by almost a 1000 light bulbs and approximately 75000 litres of beer are consumed in the cellar every year. The Auerbachs Keller ranks amongst the top 10 most well known restaurants that one must visit across the world.
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