• Leipzig – the New Berlin?

    by  • December 7, 2014 • Architecture, Art, City Breaks, Food & Drink, Leipzig

    Some claim that Leipzig is a more exciting city than the German capital


    When the Wall came down 25 years ago Leipzig was a very poor city and in some places it was literally falling to pieces. Today, after decades of renovation work, Leipzig is considered by many to be Germany’s latest cultural hot spot and in many ways a more exciting city than Berlin.  The people of Leipzig can enjoy the city’s success story and its thriving creative scene, green spaces and high quality of living. Leipzig has much to offer lovers of culture, art and architecture yet it is very much the poor relation in terms of UK visitor numbers compared with other German cities.

    The Museum of Fine Arts has just celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special festival. Since 2004 visitors to the museum have explored works of art from the Late Middle Ages to the present day. To mark the anniversary a ceiling fresco by local artist Ben Willikens entitled “Leipziger Firmament” (Heavens of Leipzig) has been inaugurated in the main hall.

    Leipzig has an international reputation as a city of music. The Gewandhaus Orchestra is based in the concert hall on Augustusplatz. Its history began with the “Grosse Concert” (“Great Concert”) of 1743. J. S. Bach is buried in the church of St Thomas, where he was choirmaster and there is a Bach museum opposite, with original scores and other items linked to the life of the composer.

    The writer Goethe studied here in the 18th century and mentions the Auerbachs Keller, Leipzig’s second oldest restaurant (it dates back to the 15th century) as the first place Faust is taken to by Mephistopheles. The restaurant today serves up robust Saxony cuisine including dishes such as venison in cream sauce.

    For those interested in recent history, the Memorial Museum in the Round Corner is startling. Based at the former Stasi headquarters , you can view the secret police’s tools – cameras, bugging equipment, uniforms and informer lists.

    Leipzig Central Station is well worth a visit. The vast arched roof, with its ribcage of girders and massive arches is quite overwhelming

    The streets of Leipzig are full of plenty of enticing bars and restaurants. For a beer with a difference try Leipziger Gose, one of the rarest beer styles in Europe, an unfiltered wheat beer only produced in and around the city.

    Whatever you are interested in, you’re sure to find it in Leipzig.