The venues of the 2020 Leipzig Bachfest

 

Leipzig Bachfest 2020 will take place at 46 different venues in and around Leipzig. Here you can find information about all of them.

Arnstadt, Bachkirche

© Andreas Praefcke

 

St. Boniface’s Church, which was destroyed in the great fire in the town in 1581, was rebuilt between 1676 and 1683 and named Neue Kirche (New Church). Organ-builder Johann Friedrich Wender built an organ for the church in 1703, which the 18-year-old Johann Sebastian Bach inspected and approved. Bach was also organist here from 1703 to 1707. In 1935, on the 250th anniversary of the musician’s birth, the church was renamed »Johann Sebastian Bach Church«. The simple interior has two-tier galleries and a wooden barrel-vaulted ceiling. On the organ loft on the West side is the Baroque Wender organ of 1703, on which J. S. Bach played (and which was restored true to the original in 1998-99 to old plans by organ-builders Hoffmann of Ostheim/Rhön), and beneath it on another gallery the Romantic Steinmeyer organ of 1913 (restored in 1998-99). For the first time, Johann Sebastian Bach Church now has two organs.

Address
An der Neuen Kirche
99319 Arnstadt
www.thueringen.info/bachkirche-arnstadt
www.kirche-arnstadt.de

Freiberg, Dom St. Marien

 

The four-steepled, Romanesque columned basilica »Unserer Lieben Frauen« (Church of Our Lady) was built in around 1180 in the still young locality of Freiberg, which was developing rapidly thanks to its silver resources. The cathedral of Freiberg has been a Lutheran church since 1537. Pope Sixtus IV elevated the previous, Romanesque church to the rank of cathedral in 1480; the name of St. Mary’s has remained.

The cathedral is world-famous for its portal, called the Golden Gate, its two Silbermann organs, the »Bergmannskanzel« (miner’s pulpit) and »Tulpenkanzel« (tulip pulpit), and the burial chapel of the electors of Saxony, to name just a few examples. Moreover, it is one of the most tradition-steeped centres of sacred music in Saxony and Germany as a whole.

The musical instruments from the burial chapel of Freiberg Cathedral

On the top ledge of the epitaph architecture, 12 metres up, the transition from wall to ceiling is marked by a number of instrument-playing angels. During renovation work, inspections showed that these 30 »built-in« instruments must have been playable 400 years ago or, at least, that they were meant to be played. Their original condition, nearly unchanged until today, makes them a unique sixteenth-century ensemble. The finds have been examined and some of them reconstructed by the Museum for Musical Instruments of the University of Leipzig. In the course of this project, the »Chordae Freybergensis« ensemble was founded to perform on the rebuilt instruments in concerts and for CD recordings.

Silbermann organs

The larger organ is one of the biggest works of Gottfried Silbermann (1683–1753). He built the instrument, with its three manuals, 44 stops and 2,574 pipes, between 1711 and 1714. On the opposite side of the building, there is a second, smaller Silbermann organ, which is just as impressive as its big sister.

 

Address
Schlossplatz 4
06366 Köthen
www.bachstadt-koethen.de
www.koethen-anhalt.de

Freiberg, Silbermann-Haus

© Unukorno

 

The nearly 500-year-old Silbermann House on Schlossplatz in Freiberg,Saxony, was once the home and workshop of Gottfried Silbermann. As the registered headquarters of the Gottfried Silberman Society, today it is a central attraction for organ lovers and culture tourists from all over the world. Here, the unique legacy of the great master comes to life and is turned into a real experience for people of all generations with a modern exhibition on Silbermann organs and projects both varied and numerous.

The house was built in 1601 by the chief mines inspector, Martin Weigelt. Shortly after, it became a regimental headquarters. In 1711, Freiberg town council placed the living quarters and workshop at the disposal of the young organ-builder, Gottfried Silbermann, who was promised free board and lodging while he built the new organ in St. Mary’s Cathedral. From 1716 on, Silbermann rented the house and worked here until the end of his life. After his death, the workshop existed for another 70 years. While Silbermann used the first storey, the ground floor was used into the nineteenth century as a guard-house.

In 1830, the building underwent radical alteration. All that was conserved were the murals and a keystone from 1601. From 1862 onwards, the town’s weights and measures office was located in the house, and from 1872–1883 what was known as the »cathedral school«. The Uhlemann cigar factory moved into the building in around 1900, but was forced to close during the Great Depression of the late 1920s.

After that, the house was used mainly for residential purposes. Shortly before the new millennium, the building was again completely renovated and altered for use by a bank. During this work, even the main entrance on the ground floor was walled up. When the work was completed in 1999, the Gottfried Silbermann Society moved into business premises in the house. In 2017, on the initiative of the Silbermann Society acting on behalf of the town of Freiberg, the walled-up main entrance to the house was reopened and the ground floor altered to house organisations including the new tourist information office.

Address
Schlossplatz 6
09599 Freiberg
www.silbermann.org

Halle, Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Halle

 

George Frideric Handel Hall on Salzgrafenplatz in Halle was the first new congress and concert hall to be built in the former East German states after 1989. Just five minutes’ walk from Handel House, the new Handel Hall, with its 4,300 square meters of floor space, has capacity for 1,550 people in its main auditorium. The interior dimensions are similar to the new Frankfurt opera house; the circle rises very steeply so that even the furthest rows of seats are surprisingly close to the stage. A cleverly designed acoustic system with numerous wooden surfaces provides satisfactory acoustics even in the side areas.

Since October 2000, the large concert organ built by Johannes Klais has enriched the programme of concerts at George Frideric Handel Hall. The organ specification comprises 56 sounding stops, divided into Hauptwerk (15), Oberwerk (14), Schwellwerk (13) and Pedal (14). The console has three manuals, one pedal and six couplers.

 

Address
Salzgrafenplatz 1
06108 Halle (Saale)
www.haendel-halle.de

Halle, Händel-Haus

 

The Händel House in Halle is both a museum about and memorial to Georg Friedrich Händel, as well as an international historical center for everything concerning Händel. The first written record of the house dates back to 1558. Over 100 years later, in 1666, the corner house, known as the house »Am Schlamm«, was owned by Georg Händel, the Duke's valet and chief surgeon. On February 23, 1685, Georg Friedrich Händel was born here. The composer spent his childhood in the house, until he departed for Hamburg in 1703.

 

After WWII, the house was renovated by the City of Halle and in June, 1948, the museum was opened to the public. Since that time, visitors have been able to learn all about Georg Friedrich Händel, as well as the lives and works of other important figures in the music history of the region. A large collection of historical musical instruments is also available for viewing.

 

The Händel House has over 700 instruments and many other materials related to Händel and regional music history. There are sixteen exhibition rooms with information about his life, oeuvre, and the time in which he lived. The new exhibit »Händel: the European«, with its large collection of photographs and letters, was opened on April 14, 2009 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his death. The museum's »treasure room« houses rotating exhibits with valuable items from music history. A nearby building houses an exhibition of a large part of the museum's instrument collection, including antique clavichords, spinets, and harpsichords from the 18th century.

 

The Händel House organ, which dates from 1770, is the foundation's largest and most impressive piece. It was built by Johann Gottlieb Mauer for the Protestant Tegwitz Church in Altenbau. After it became clear that this area would become a site for lignite mining, the organ was dismantled in 1978 and brought to Leipzig. In 1993, the Händel House procured the pieces. The organ was restored from 2001 to 2003 by in-house restoration experts and others, after which point it could once again be played and used for concerts. One can hear it at the annual Händel Festival, as well as at the »Authentischer Klang« (»Authentic Sound«) events held at the Händel House.

 

Address
Große Nikolaistraße 5
06108 Halle (Saale)
www.haendelhaus.de

 

Halle, Wilhelm-Friedemann-Bach-Haus

© Catatine

 

The Wilhelm Friedemann Bach House reopened to the public in 2012 after extensive renovation work. One of the most important Renaissance houses in the city of Halle, the house at Grosse Klausstrasse 12 was formerly the place of residence of Johann Sebastian Bach’s eldest son.

A more recent part of the building, built after Wilhelm Friedemann Bach’s time, houses the remarkable Musikstadt Halle (»Halle, city of music«) exhibition, while in the Renaissance wing, which has been conserved in its original state, a historic »Bohlenstube« (wood-panelled room) dating from 1554 and valuable musical instruments from the mid-sixteenth century can be admired.

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710–1784), the eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, was one of the most important organ virtuosos of his time. But on the shoulders of this doubtlessly musically talented, first-born son lay especially high expectations on the part of his parents, and the shadow of the seemingly overpowering father strongly influenced his life. In Halle, where he spent most of his career, Wilhelm Friedemann occupied the city’s most important musical post, as organist of the Marktkirche and »director musices«. Wilhelm Friedemann lived in Halle from 1746 to 1770. He resided in what is today Wilhelm Friedemann Bach House from at least 1763.

Address
Große Klausstraße 12 (Eingang Hallorenring)
06108 Halle (Saale)
www. haendelhaus.de/de/hfs/wilhelm-friedemann-bach-haus

Köthen, Schloss

 

Köthen Castle is a building complex in the centre of the town of Köthen (Anhalt) which from 1244 to 1847 served as the ducal residence. From 1603, it was the residence of the Anhalt-Köthen line of the Ascanian dynasty.

Today, the buildings are used for musical, historical, modern and cultural purposes. They house the town museums, the town’s archive and the music school, as well as a modern centre for cultural events and conferences. The castle chapel holds the organ built by the Dessau organ-builder, Johann Christoph Zuberbier in 1754/55.

The first floor of the »Ludwigsbau« (»Ludwig Building«) houses the Bach memorial, a reminder of his time as court kapellmeister of Prince Leopold, from 1717 to 1723. This is where he wrote the six Brandenburg Concertos and parts of the Well-Tempered Clavier, for example, as well as several violin concertos and the French and English Suites.

The Ludwigsbau also houses the former throne room (hall of mirrors) renovated in 1822 by Christian Gottfried Bandhauer, which today regularly serves as a concert hall.

 

Address
Schlossplatz 4
06366 Köthen
www.bachstadt-koethen.de
www.koethen-anhalt.de

 

Köthen, St. Jakobskirche

© Ralf Roletschek

 

Regardless of which direction you approach Köthen from, you cannot miss the dual towers of the parish church and former cathedral of St. James. They are the emblem of the town. The late-Gothic hall church, founded in 1400, is today the only remaining mediaeval edifice in Köthen. The church has a neo-Gothic interior dating from 1866–1869. In the South entrance is the oldest artwork in Köthen: the statue of the church’s patron saint, dating from the first half of the twelfth century. The almost perfectly conserved Ladegast organ with its neo-Gothic façade dating from 1872 is famous. The royal crypt of St. James’ Church, with its 40 magnificent coffins, is the burial place of almost the entire royal house of Anhalt-Köthen.

Address
Marktplatz
06366 Köthen

Leipzig, Alte Börse

© Bach-Archiv Leipzig/Brigitte Braun

 

The Old Stock Exchange (Alte Börse) on Naschmarkt is Leipzig’s oldest baroque building. It was constructed by Leipzig merchants in 1678 and was used as a prestigious place of assembly for 200 years. Transactions were concluded, auctions were held and bills of exchange were traded here. One striking feature is its symmetrical design. The centrepiece of its splendidly decorated façade is the coat of arms of the City of Leipzig.

During World War II, the Old Stock Exchange was damaged and lost its stucco ceiling. After the war it was rebuilt. Today the Old Stock Exchange is used for concerts, readings, theatre performances, lectures and conferences as well as private and public functions.

 

Address
Naschmarkt
04109 Leipzig
www.stadtgeschichtliches-museum-leipzig.de


not accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport
City train line 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5X (Markt stop), Tram line 4, 7, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop), 3, 9 (station Thomaskirche), Bus 89 (Markt stop)

Leipzig, Altes Rathaus

 

The Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) in Leipzig is Germany’s oldest Renaissance town hall and was designed by Hieronymus Lotter in 1556; in the periods following, it underwent a number of reconstructions. One such reconstruction included the addition in 1599 of a platform above the town hall tower balcony used by the waits twice a day to perform the tower music. Inside, on the north face of the banqueting hall, there still survived the historical waits’ pew resting on Ionic columns arranged along walls that are covered with original paintings of Saxon sovereigns, Leipzig town councillors, majors and town magistrates. Immediately next to the banqueting hall there is a conference room called »Ratsstube« where Johann Sebastian Bach undersigned his contract as cantor of St. Thomas' and »Director musices«. Besides, this room exhibits one of the two paintings that are acknowledged to be definitely original portraits of Johann Sebastian Bach painted in oils by the Saxon court painter and appointed painter of the Leipzig town council Elias Gottlob Haussmann in 1746.

 

 

Address
Markt 1
04109 Leipzig
www.stadtgeschichtliches-museum-leipzig.de

accessible to wheelchair users
 

Public transport

S-Bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5X (Markt stop), Tram lines 4, 7, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop), 3, 9 (Thomaskirche stop), Bus line 89 (Markt stop)

Leipzig, Bach-Museum mit Sommersaal

© Bach-Archiv Leipzig/Martin Klindtworth

 

The Bose House in St. Thomas Square, Leipzig, used to be the residence of the Bose family, affluent merchants and close friends of the Bachs. Today the building houses the Bach Museum Leipzig. In its twelve thematically structured exhibition rooms the museum gives a detailed account (both in German and English) of the life and works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The permanent exhibition conveys a vivid impression of his music, provides insights into the methods and various fields of Bach research, and displays original Bach manuscripts and other precious items. Interactive features play a significant role: visitors may become actively involved in many facets of the exhibition.

Among the most interesting exhibits is an organ console at which Bach himself played in the year 1743, a double bass that was part of his orchestra, and an iron chest – the only surviving piece of furniture from Bach’s household. A special highlight of the museum is the treasure chamber, in which original Bach manuscripts are on display.

Special exhibitions, concerts, and a great variety of pedagogical activities complement the museum’s program. A little pleasure garden, the baroque courtyard, and a museum shop invite visitors to relax and explore.

 

Address
Thomaskirchhof 16
04109 Leipzig
www.bachmuseumleipzig.de


accessible to wheelchair users

Public transport
Bus line 89, tram line 9 (Thomaskirche stop)

Leipzig, Bundesverwaltungsgericht

 

In 2002, the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) moved into the building of what was formerly the supreme court of the German Reich at the Simsonplatz. Its construction lasted from 1888 to 1895 and evokes Italian late Renaissance as well as French Baroque styles. It resembles the Berlin Reichstag building which originated in the same period. With regard to both form and function, the interior models itself on its initially intended function as a supreme court. The sculptures and lavish murals found in this building reflect issues such as criminal investigation, judgment, execution and mercy. The interior of the Grand Courtroom is decorated in a particularly magnificent style with allegories and the courts of arms of all of the federal states of that time emblazoned across its walls. Accommodating the supreme court of the German Reich, the building served its initial purpose from 1895 to 1945.

It was heavily damaged during Second World War before it was rehabilitated and became the new home of the Museum of Fine arts (Museum der bildenden Künste) in 1952. It underwent a major rehabilitation from 1998 to 2001.

 

Address
Simsonplatz 1
04107 Leipzig
www.bverwg.de

 

accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport

Tram line 9 (Neues Rathaus stop), 10 and 11 (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz stop), bus line 89 (Neues Rathaus stop)

Leipzig, Evangelisch Reformierte Kirche

 

The Evangelical-reformed Church (Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche) was built in 1896–1899 to the plans of the Leipzig master builder Georg Weidenbach and his associate Richard Tschammer. It was the first historicist religious building in Leipzig to be influenced by the architecture of the Renaissance. On 4 December 1943, it was badly damaged by incendiary bombs. Reconstruction began immediately to a simplified interior design, corresponding to the basic Weidenbach type. With the communion table, pulpit and organ, with which the seating is aligned, arranged one above the other, the interior complies with requirements laid down by the so-called Wiesbaden Programme of 1891 for the design of Evangelical churches. The church obtained a Jehmlich organ in 1968. The last interior and exterior renovations were carried out in 1992–1996, with the result that the church now re-exerts its old influence from its dominant position on the northern city ring.

 

Address
Tröndlinring 7
04105 Leipzig
www.reformiert-leipzig.de


accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport
Tram line 1, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13, 15 (Goerdelerring stop)

Leipzig, forum thomanum

 

forum thomanum is an international education campus based on 800 years of musical tradition at St. Thomas’. »Faith, singing, learning« and cultural exchange are the focus of the teaching in the campus institutions. These comprise St. Thomas’ School, the boarding school of the Thomanerchor choristers, the kindergarten, the primary school and the church, the Lutherkirche. It is planned to create a middle school and a »musicaccademia«. The education campus will one day offer an education to more than 1,200 children and young people aimed at developing musical and linguistic skills and embedded in the Christian system of values, ensuring that many people of all ages are able to benefit from the rich musical tradition at St. Thomas’.


Addresses
Hillerstraße 7, 8
Sebastian-Bach-Straße 3
Ferdinand-Lassalle-Straße 25
04109 Leipzig
www.forum-thomanum.de


accessible to wheelchair users with assistance


Public transport
Tram line 1, 14 (Marschnerstraße stop)

Leipzig, Gewandhaus

 

The Gewandhaus Orchestra owes its name to the place where it first performed, the hall opened in 1781 above the cloth store of the building of the clothmakers’ guild (Gewandhaus) in the historic Neumarkt. Just over a century later, on 11 December 1884, the New Gewandhaus, designed by the architects Martin Gropius and Heinrich Schmieden was officially opened in the »music quarter« of the city, opposite the University Library, earning praise for its outstanding acoustic qualities and the visual appeal of its inspired architecture. On 20 February 1944, it was badly damaged in an air raid and never rebuilt; the burned-out, shored up ruins were eventually demolished in 1968. For 35 years, the Conference Hall at the Zoo served as the base for the Gewandhaus Orchestra until, on 8 October 1981, the (second) New Gewandhaus was inaugurated on Karl-Marx-Platz (now renamed Augustusplatz) after a construction period of four years. In addition to the large hall with seating for almost 2000, the building has a smaller hall seating around 500 which, following renovations at the end of 1997, was named the Mendelssohn Hall.

 

Address
Augustusplatz 8
04109 Leipzig
www.gewandhaus.de


accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport
Tram line 4, 7, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop)

Leipzig, GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst

 

The Grassimuseum is situated close to the city centre of Leipzig at the Johannisplatz (John’s Square). The museum was named after a wealthy Leipzig merchant whose inheritance made the construction of several buildings in Leipzig possible. The museum complex is not only home to the Museum für Völkerkunde (Museum of Ethnography) and the Museum für Musikinstrumente (Museum for musical instruments) but also to the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts). At the end of 2007, after extensive renovations, it reopened its doors with the first of altogether three new permanent exhibitions. Entitled »From Antiquity to Historicism«, this first exhibition, which covers 30 rooms, features the oldest holdings of the collection and takes visitors on a journey through 2,500 years of art history. At the end of January 2010, also the second exhibition, entitled »Asian Art. Impulses for Europe«, opened its doors; the third, »From Art Nouveau to the Present Day«, opened in March, 2012. Other attractions of the museum include changing special exhibitions and the GRASSI FAIR hosted every year on the last weekend of October.

Address
Johannisplatz 5–11
04103 Leipzig
www.grassimuseum.de


accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport
Tram line 4, 7, 12, 15 (Johannisplatz/Grassimuseum stop)

Leipzig, GRASSI Museum für Musikinstrumente

 

The Grassimuseum is situated close to the city centre Leipzig at the John’s square (Johannisplatz). It was named after a wealthy Leipziger merchant whose inheritance made the construction of several buildings in Leipzig possible. The museum complex is not only home to the Museum of Applied Arts and the Museum of Ethnography but also to one of the largest collections of musical instruments in the world. The history of this collection traces back to the work of the Dutchman Paul de Wit (1852–1925) who lived in Leipzig. He opened in 1886 a museum at the Thomaskirchhof 16, today home to the Bach Museum, where he exhibited historical musical instruments and also played them from time to time. In 1905 the collection was sold to paper maker Wilhelm Heyer from Cologne. After his death the collection became with the help of a great donation by music publisher Henri Hinrichsen part of the possession of the Leipzig University and was brought to the north wing of the then newly built GRASSI Museum where the exhibition was ceremoniously opened on May 30th in 1929.

The Second World War caused severe damages to the collection and a considerable number of exhibits as well as the archive and the library became victims of a fire after a bomb raid in December 1943. The evacuated holdings were only partly brought back in good condition as theft and improper storage caused further losses. In the beginning of the 1950s the museum could be reconstructed and step by step be open again for the public. With specifically buying and several donations the museum’s holding was enlarged in the meantime and is today one of the largest in Germany. After a fundamental restoration the museum was reopened in 2006 and is shining now in new splendour. The museum’s »Zimelien Hall« is a room that fits perfectly for chamber concerts and lectures.

Address
Johannisplatz 5–11
04103 Leipzig
www.grassimuseum.de


accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport
Tram line 4, 7, 12, 15 (Johannisplatz/Grassimuseum stop)

Leipzig, Haus Leipzig

 

Leipzig House has been a venue for concerts, balls and theatre and cabaret performances since 1946. Opened originally as a bowling alley in 1930, it was severely damaged by air strikes during World War II. In 1946, the Soviet company Intourist GmbH took over the house and converted it into a hotel called Haus Antifa. The former bowling hall was transformed into a dance floor, with capacity for 600 people. In 1953, the hotel became state property and was renamed Haus Leipzig – Leipzig House. From 1961 to 1989, the building housed the »Arthur Becker Central Club of Youth and Athletes«. After various uses following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the renovated Leipzig House opened again in 2014 for events for up to 1,400 people.

 

Address
Elsterstraße 22-24
04109 Leipzig
www.hausleipzig.com

accessible to wheelchair users
 

Public transport
Tram line 1, 2, 8, 14 (Westplatz stop)

Leipzig, Johannapark

© Jean Neef

 

The 11 hectare Johannapark, just nect to the Clara Zetkin Park, is located only a few minutes’ walk away from the city center. The park was created in 1863 by the entrepreneur Wilhelm Theodor Seyfferth and later donated to the city. He dedicated the park to his daughter Johanna, who died in 1858 at the young age of 22 years, for an unhappy love. In this way Seyfferth wanted to perpetuate not only her name, but also the predominant direction of her character »to make others happy«. The park was bequeathed to the city under the condition that nothing should be built in this area, nothing should be changed in the original planting and the connection to the meadows and forests of the flood plain should stay open to the public. Without this vision of urban planning, the economic and subsequent construction boom in the second half of the 19th century probably would have led to a separation between the city centre and the flood plain forest. The Johannapark still forms a cennection between the city centre enclosed by the promenade ring, the Clara Zetkin Park and the flood plain.

 

Address
next to Lutherkirche
Ferdinand-Lassalle-Str. 25
04105 Leipzig

accessible to wheelchair users with assistance
 

Public transport

Tram lines 1, 8, 14 (Westplatz stop)

Leipzig, Kath. Propsteikirche St. Trinitatis

© Bonifatiuswerk

 

You can spot the gleaming Rochlitz porphyry from quite some distance: the new Provost Church deliberately chose for its modern façade an especially tradition-steeped building material that for centuries was widely used in Saxony and Leipzig. Together with the New Town Hall tower, the church tower – which is separated from the church proper in the manner of an Italian campanile – forms a »gateway« into Leipzig’s city centre.

With the construction of Leipzig's third Provost Church, the Catholic Provost congregation has been able to move back into the city centre after 71 years. The winning design by Schulz & Schulz Architekten GmbH gained the judges’ favour with its numerous references to the city of Leipzig. For example, the undercut on the ground floor is inspired by the motif of the Leipzig shopping arcades and provides unobstructed passage from the city centre to the central courtyard.

Although not outwardly visible, the concept of sustainability is nevertheless effectively at work in that the church uses geothermal energy for heating in the winter, and this is returned to the earth in the summer for cooling purposes. In addition, photovoltaic panels are installed on the church roof and church tower to generate electricity from solar energy. The church tower houses a rainwater tank and the collected rainwater is used for the operation of the church, and for the waterfall.

The architectural ambitions are continued in the art, which forms an integral part of the structure. This is evident at three outstanding locations in the church interior: in the liturgical areas, in the church windows and at the Vleugel organ.

Address
Nonnenmühlgasse 2
04107 Leipzig


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
S-Bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5X (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz stop), tram line 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz stop)

Leipzig, Kongresshalle

© Leipziger Messe

 

Since its opening in 1900, the splendid building, which dates back to the Gründerzeit period in the second half of the 19th century (sometimes called the period of Promoterism) has known a chequered history. The façade, restored to its original design, is now a tangible reminder of the time when the exclusive »Assembly House and Social Centre next to the Zoo« was first founded. It is a building that has played an important role in the cultural life of the City of Leipzig from the very beginning. At that time, buildings were constructed in the grand manner – to which the high vaulted ceiling of the Großer Saal still bears witness even today.
Ever since it was built, the Kongresshalle has been the subject of continual restructuring and extension – some of it radical. For much of the time, it was the art nouveau and Art Deco features that dominated the building’s image: the ceiling in the foyer, for instance, was considered as one of the most important examples of art deco in Leipzig. In 1946 the building, which had survived the war with little damage, was modified and became the »Kongreßhalle Leipzig«. The Großer Saal, too, underwent the numerous changes that were required by the various uses to which it was put. Right up until the late 1980s, the venue was the cultural heart of the city as the Gewandhaus Orchestra played here before the new concert hall – the only new one built during the GDR – was opened in 1981.
Thereafter, because of a lack of funds, it fell into significant disrepair. In 2009, the City of Leipzig took the decision to reinvent the building as a modern congress centre. The extensive building works were completed in 2016. Since then, the Kongresshalle is being used as a venue for meetings, congresses and events.

 

Address
Pfaffendorfer Straße 31
04105 Leipzig
www.kongresshalle.de

accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport:
Tram line 12 (Zoo stop)

Leipzig, Krystallpalast Varieté

 

The year of 1882 saw the opening of Leipzig’s first, biggest and presumably most famous variety theatre – the »Crystal Palace« (»Krystallpalast«), a complex composed of glass and iron whose theatre auditorium, conservatory, exhibition hall, restaurants and party rooms accommodated a total of 15,000 people. It was regarded as the largest place of public entertainment found in Germany. What is more, a giant 36 m height circus hall was opened in 1887 which accommodated 3,000 visitors. Apart, the Krystallpalast was the home of Leipzig’s biggest restaurant. More than 1,000 guests were served each night. In one night of bombing in 1943, the whole splendour was reduced to rubble.

54 years later, a new venue opened in the Magazingasse as the first – and to this day only – variety theatre established in the new newly-formed German states. In the 2003/04 night of New Year’s Eve the grand hall was completely gutted which meant another new beginning. The owner seized the opportunity and thoroughly reconstructed the building, eliminating existing defects, and optimising the space capacities and technical facilities.

 

Address
Magazingasse 4
04109 Leipzig
www.krystallpalast.de

accessible to wheelchair users
 

Public transport
Tram lines 4, 7, 12, 15 (Augustusplatz stop), 16 (Roßplatz stop), 2, 8, 9, 10, 11 (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz stop)

Leipzig, Kupfersaal

BF_Orte_Leipzig_Kupfersaal.jpg

 

The Kupfersaal (»Copper Hall«) is part of the former Dresdner Hof trade fair complex and was built in 1912/13 by the architect Alfred Stentzler. The hall is centrally located between Market Square and the University of Leipzig campus on the eponymous narrow street of Kupfergasse.

On opening, the hall served as a restaurant and concert venue and was known under the name of »Naumann-Bräu«. Later, it was used mainly as a student canteen and by the Free German Youth (FDJ) club, »Kalinin«. It served temporarily as an interim venue, known as the »Lampenladen«, or »lamp store«, for the cabaret Academixer.
After some alteration work, the Kupfersaal was reopened on 9 September 2017 and today serves as a venue for the two associations Livelyrix and the Leipzig Philharmonic. Its varied programme ranges from classical music to live literature sessions and readings right through to comedy and poetry slams. The Kupfersaal has capacity for 560 people.

 

Address
Kupfergasse 2
04109 Leipzig
www.kupfersaal.de


accessible to wheelchair users
 

Public transport
Tram lines 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop) and Tram lines 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz stop)

Leipzig, Leipziger Stadtbibliothek

© Mahmoud Dabdoub

 

Back in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, large quantities of books were donated to Leipzig’s city council resulting in the creation of a library that the burghers of Leipzig were also entitled to use. In 1677, the lawyer Huldreich Gross bequeathed his entire fortune and some 4,000 books to Leipzig city council with instructions to set up a library »for use by the young students of the city«. This »Bibliotheca senatus lipsiensis« (Leipzig Senate Library) opened in 1683 on Universitätsstrasse; a permanent librarian was employed from 1711 onwards and regular opening times were introduced.
Between then and the twentieth century, the library moved numerous times. It suffered huge losses in the bombing raid of 1943, when nearly 200,000 books were burned. After reconstruction and subsequent renaming from “City Library” to “People’s Library”, it was housed in temporary quarters in Barthels Hof until 1984. Only in 1991, after a long search for a new site, was it reopened in the Old Grassi Museum on Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz. This building was constructed in 1894–97 by the Leipzig city planner Hugo Licht and served as a museum until 1927, then as a trade fair building, and until 1990 as the headquarters of the chemical plant and mechanical engineering conglomerate, Chemieanlagenbau- und Montagekombinat Leipzig.
The building underwent complete renovation from 2009–2012 to make it suitable for use as a modern library. Today, with around 1,800 visitors every day of opening, the City Library is a central hub for people of all generations.

 

Address
Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz 10-11
04107 Leipzig
www.stadtbibliothek.leipzig.de
 

accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport
S-Bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5X (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz stop), tram lines 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz stop)

Leipzig, LukullusT

© LukullusT

 

Since 2005, culinary school LukullusT follows its vision – to get its guest to the stove. Nearly any means is used: fresh and high-quality ingredients, regional products and international specialities, passion and attention to detail. Guest experience all this in cooking classes, family parties and events. The culinary journey starts here – in a place where pleasure in food is valued more than nearly anywhere else in Leipzig. Enjoyment and delightful conversations are included as well.

 

Address
Harkortstraße 3
04107 Leipzig
www.lukullust.de


accessible to wheelchair users
 

Public transport
Tram lines 8, 9 (Neues Rathaus stop)

Leipzig, Markt

© Bach-Archiv Leipzig/Gert Mothes

 

The Leipzig market square (Markt Leipzig) is located in the city centre. The city coat of arms is embedded into the mosaic pavement at the centre of the 10.000m² square. The eastern length is framed by the arcades of the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall, 1556), the oldest still existing building on the square. Some of the historic buildings on the north side were rebuilt after World War II, for example the Alte Waage (Old Weigh House). The southern length is framed by historic buildings such as Königshaus (Kings’ House) as well as new and altered buildings, which imitate historic silhouettes.Early on, the market square was the centre of public life, a great share of the goods handled during the fairs were traded here. Before 1500, the market square was also the scene for knights festivals while at the same time being the place of public executions and political demonstrations.Nowadays, city festivals, markets, and fairs take place on the market square, also of course the Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas fair), one of the most traditional of its kind in Germany.

Address
Markt
04109 Leipzig


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
S-Bahn lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5X (Markt stop), Tram lines 4, 7, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop), 3, 9 (Thomaskirche stop), Bus line 89 (Markt stop)

Leipzig, Mendelssohn-Haus

 

The Mendelssohn-Haus (Mendelssohn House) in Leipzig has been preserved as the last and sole private residence of the composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. It is of great historical and cultural importance. Built in 1844, in the style of Late Classicism, the house is an important witness of its time and it preserves much of the original building and information about its most prominent inhabitant who lived with his family on the 1st floor from 1845 on and died here on November 4 in 1847. Today, Mendelssohn’s flat is a museum in honour of this brilliant German composer, virtuoso and conductor who was also a very good painter and active in the field of cultural and educational policy. The visitor can experience this flat as an authentic place where many progressive ideas for the European musical life and the world of thought came from.

 

Address
Goldschmidtstraße 12
04103 Leipzig
www.mendelssohn-stiftung.de

 

accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport
Tram lines 4, 7, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop)

Leipzig, Michaeliskirche

 

The Michaeliskirche (St. Michael’s Church), along with Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church) and Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), forms part of the main north-south axis running through the city centre. The church with its marble alter is therefore not set up to face east, like usual, but instead faces north. It was built between 1901 and 1904 as a successful synthesis of Art Nouveau and German Renaissance elements, the monumental facade with its 72-meter high steeple bearing witness to the prosperity and self-confidence of Leipzig’s bourgeoisie at the turn of the century. The interior is marked by noteworthy wood carvings on the galleries, pews and pulpit, colourful choir windows, and the original, three-manual Sauer organ with 46 stops and an ornately carved Art Nouveau front.

Address
Nordplatz 14
04155 Leipzig
www.michaelis-friedens.de


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
Tram line 12 (Nordplatz stop)

Leipzig, Musikschule »Johann Sebastian Bach«

 

The »Johann Sebastian Bach« School of Music is the second-largest music school in Germany after Hamburg. Offering a large choice of courses in dance and music – on nearly every instrument and in every musical style – it fosters individual musical, dance, artistic and creative skills in children, teenagers and adults. The forerunner of today’s music school was the Volksmusikschule (»People’s Music School«), founded in 1951, and in 1960, with the addition of dance and art, renamed Volkskunsthochschule (»People’s Art University«). In 1985, it was named after Johann Sebastian Bach and since then has maintained an internationally successful youth symphony orchestra. Later, a big band and a brass band were created there. The music school is a public institution run by the City of Leipzig and has partnerships with educational establishments and cultural institutions such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

 

Address
Petersstraße 43
04109 Leipzig
www.musikschule-leipzig.de


accessible to wheelchair users
 

Public transport
Tram lines 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz stop)

Leipzig, Nikolaikirche

Foto: LTM/Andreas Schmidt

 

One of the oldest churches in Leipzig, the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas’ Church) has always been closely connected with the city’s history and the lives of its inhabitants. It may be this special connection which the citizens feel they have with their city and parish church that has engendered the persistent changes the church’s exterior and interior went through. Whatever shape St. Nicholas’ Church took as it was developing from the original Romanesque basilica with its massive twin tower assembly to a Gothic hall church which became extended by another tower before it underwent a classicistic re-design of the interior: the church has always reflected the self-understanding of the citizens.

When it comes to musical activities, St. Nicholas’ Church has always been affiliated to its neighbouring church St. Thomas’ Church (Thomaskirche) from time immemorial. While St. Nicholas’ Church is regarded as Leipzig’s main parish church, it never employed an own choirmaster and organist. Instead, it was the choirmaster of the Thomasschule – and, during his Leipzig period between 1723 and 1750, Johann Sebastian Bach, too – who was responsible for the church music performed in the two main churches St. Nicholas und St. Thomas, as well as in the New St. Matthew’s Church (Neue Kirche St. Matthäi) and St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche).

 

Please find a seating plan here.

 

There are many columns in St. Nicholas’s Church.

 

BF_Orte_Leipzig, Nikolaikirche_Saeulen.JPG


Address
Nikolaikirchhof
04109 Leipzig
www.nikolaikirche.de


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
5 bis 10 Min. zu Fuß vom Hauptbahnhof

Leipzig, Opera

 

The city’s history of opera is one of the oldest in Europe. The first opera run in Leipzig – and, after Venedig and Hamburg, the third public opera house existing worldwide – was established in 1693. Throughout the three centuries that followed, this opera saw a large number of first performances and premières closely connected with the work of famous composers and conductors. Leipzig’s first building fitting the needs of an opera was erected in 1766; after its reconstruction in 1817, it became the city’s first dedicated theatre. Since 1840, the Gewandhaus Orchestra has played all performances given in the opera, ensuring to this day a level of musical performance that is second to none. The Neues Theater (new theatre) opened on the Augustusplatz in 1868. Its focus is on the regular performance of the works of Richard Wagner. Famous conductors until 1890 were Artur Seidl, Arthur Nikisch and Gustav Mahler. This bulding was destroyed during the war in 1943. In 1960 the Neue Leipziger Opernhaus on the Augustusplatz was opened – the only new opera building in the GDR.

 

 

Address
Augustusplatz 12
04109 Leipzig
www.oper-leipzig.de

accessible to wheelchair users

Public transport
tram lines 4, 7, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop)

Leipzig, Paul-Gerhardt-Kirche

© Lumu

 

In what today is Connewitz’s busy centre there has stood, for nearly 500 hundred years, a stone column with an image of Christ on the side facing the city of Leipzig. The »Connewitz Cross« was once located just a stone’s throw from the old village of Connewitz and only gradually »shifted« to the centre of the hamlet as it spread northwards. In immediate proximity to it is Paul Gerhardt Church. Designed by architect Julius Zeissig, its architecture is based on German Renaissance forms. The groundbreaking took place on April 4, 1898, and two years later, on April 1, 1900, it was consecrated.

Standing on an artificially elevated plot, the church is oriented East-West. The defining characteristic of the exterior of this hall church is the charming contrast between the architectural elements in reddish Rochlitz porphyr and the light-coloured, painted walls. The 60m-high tower stands at the eastern end, with the main portal in a narrow porch.

 

Address
Selneckerstraße 5
04277 Leipzig
www.connewitz-loessnig.de

 

accessible to wheelchair users with assistance
 

Public transport
Tram lines 9, 10, 11 (Connewitzer Kreuz stop)

Leipzig, Paulinum – Aula and University Church St. Paul’s

© LTM

 

The Paulinerkirche was a church on the Augustusplatz in Leipzig, named after the »Pauliner«, its original Dominican friars. It was built in 1231 as the Klosterkirche St. Pauli for the Dominican monastery in Leipzig. From the foundation of the University of Leipzig in 1409, it served as the university church. After the Protestant Reformation it was donated to the university and was inaugurated in 1545 by Martin Luther as the Universitätskirche St. Pauli (University Church of St Paul), later also called Unikirche. Johann Sebastian Bach was director of music for »festal« (holiday) services in 1723−25.
The church survived the war practically unscathed but was dynamited in 1968 during the communist regime of East Germany. After the reunification of Germany, it was decided to build a new university church on the site in the shape of the former church. A new building, the Paulinum (formally: »Aula und Universitätskirche St. Pauli«, i. e. »Assembly Hall and University Church St. Paul«), was built on the site according to plans by architekt Erik van Egeraat.

 

Address
Augustusplatz 10
04109 Leipzig
www.campus-augustusplatz.de/paulinum

accessible to wheelchair users

 

Public transport
Tram lines 4, 7, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop)

Leipzig, Peterskirche

The Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church), built 1882–1885, represents an outstanding neo-Gothic structure in Saxony, and one of the most excellent symbols of the historicism found throughout the German-speaking area. In terms of enclosed space, it is Leipzig’s biggest church with the tallest tower found in the city (88 meters) that dominates the skyline of the southern suburb of Leipzig. A hall church, the Peterskirche follows German tradition, but it also refers to the Gothic style typical in French cathedrals. Its exterior and interior design, structural completion and the role it plays within the urbanistic picture turn it intoit a complex artwork of outstanding importance.

Address
Schletterstraße 5
04107 Leipzig
www.peterskirche-leipzig.de


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
Tram lines 10, 11 (Hohe Straße stop)

Leipzig, PROMENADEN Hauptbahnhof (main station)

 

After the German Reunification, the Deutsche Bahn AG (German national railway company) resolved to maintain the striking façade of the Leipzig main station, the largest terminal train station in Europe, and to renovate the building so that it would serve as a point of public interest even beyond the city bounds. A group of private investors from the Deutsche Bank AG and the ECE Group refurbished it, following standards for the renovation of historical buildings while adding some modern elements. Since then, the imposing 300 meter-wide entrance hall has shone in renewed brilliance. The basement and ground levels of the entrance hall, as well as the 250 meter platform were made into a shopping and service center on three floors with direct access to the Leipzig pedestrian Nikolaistrasse area. In only two years, 1.6 million cubic meters of space have been renovated, at a total cost of 250 million Euros.

The Promenades have received numerous national and international awards for representing an exemplary pilot project for the revitalization of historic main stations. Following the renovation of the Promenades, which were first opened in 1997, the shopping quarter in the Leipzig city center was expanded by 30,000 square meters housing nearly 140 businesses. Each day, the Promenades are used by 70,000 people from all over Germany.

Address
Willy-Brandt-Platz
04109 Leipzig
www.promenaden-hauptbahnhof-leipzig.de


accessible to wheelchair users

Leipzig, Salles de Pologne

The Hôtel de Pologne is located in the heart of Leipzig's city center. Into the 19th century, three buildings stood on the spot, including the hotels »Zum Goldenen Adler« (»The Golden Eagle«) and »Zum Birnbaum« (»The Pear Tree«), where Martin Luther stayed in 1519. In 1819, C. A. Pausch purchased all of the buildings. To commemorate a visit by the king of Poland Stanisław I. Leszcyński, Pausch named his new property »Hôtel de Pologne«. In 1846, the buildings were destroyed in a fire. One year later, the construction of the new building began which would become the  largest hotel in Leipzig at the time, with 130 rooms on five floors, a courtyard, and an impressive outdoor marble staircase, started . In 1892 and 1893, the famous Leipzig architect Arwed Roßbach was commissioned to carve an elaborate Florentine Renaissance style relief for the façade. The hotel was used both as a place in which to spent the night and as a location for festivities and balls, which were held in the large (250 square meters), festive Baroque Revival ballroom. This room was completed in 1893 following a design by Ludwig Heim, and had space for 1,500 guests. During World War One, the building was converted into a hospital, and in 1917 all hotel business was abandoned. Only the ballroom remained open to the public, where festivities and culinary events were still hosted. In the years that followed, during the Weimar Republic, the building was used as a convention center, and from the early 1950s until after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it housed the offices of the Leipzig department of conventions and fairs, which converted the ballroom into a blue-tiled industrial kitchen. In 2008, the Leipzig development company Stadtbau A.G. carried out an exhaustive historic renovation and restoration of the building in order to recreate the its interior and exterior as they had been in 1893. Since 2010, the Grand Ballroom, the Green Room, and the Lodge Hall, as well as two foyers and other smaller rooms have been available for use as event space.

Address
Hainstraße 16/18
04109 Leipzig


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
Tram lines 1, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13, 15 (Goerdelerring stop)

Leipzig, Schumann-Haus

 

The Schumann-Haus (Schumann House) is located in a wonderful, classicistic building. Robert and Clara Schumann moved into one of its apartments after their wedding in September 1840. Today, the bel étage, where the famous couple lived during the first four years of their marriage, accommodates a museum. The other rooms of the building are used by the Clara Schumann school, a private elementary school.In the house in Leipzig’s Inselstraße, Robert Schumann composed the »Spring Symphony«, which established his fame as a world-renowned composer. He also wrote numerous articles for »Neue Zeitschrift für Musik«, a music journal he had founded in 1834. Sharing a life with her husband, Clara Schumann, who had already made a name for herself as a pianist performing under her maiden name Clara Wieck, was inspired to develop new thematic interests and perfect her art. Also during this period, the couple’s two daughters, Marie and Elise, were born in the Inselstraße house.The Schumann-Saal, where today numerous concerts are held, is restored to its original beauty. Here the Schumanns welcomed many famous composers and intellectuals of their time, among them Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelsohn Bartholdy, Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, and Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish fairytale writer.

Address
Inselstraße 18
04103 Leipzig
www.schumann-verein.de


not accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
Tram lines 4, 7, 12, 15 (Johannisplatz stop) and Tram lines 1, 8, 13 (Hofmeisterstraße stop)

Leipzig, Thomaskirche

© Bach-Archiv Leipzig

 

The discovery of silver in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) at the end of the 15th century brought great economic prosperity to Leipzig. The city’s churches were renovated and expanded over the next 40 years as a result. The Romanesque nave of the previous Thomaskirche (St. Thomas' Church), whose foundations probably dated back to 1160, was hence demolished in 1482 and a new Late Gothic hall church was erected, which was consecrated in 1496 and still stands today. With the exception of the steeple, which took on its final form in 1702, nothing of the St. Thomas Church’s architecture has changed since then.

The most severe alterations to the interior decoration of the church resulted from the renovations of 1884–89, during which the entire Baroque-era decor, from the period when Johann Sebastian Bach was active at St. Thomas' Church, was removed. Since then the interior of the church has been neo-Gothic in style. The first thorough restoration of St. Thomas Church in over 100 years was made possible following the reunification of the two German states. This was largely completed by the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death on July 28, 2000. The construction of the new Bach organ was also part of this project.

Please find a seating plan here.

Address
Thomaskirchhof
04109 Leipzig
www.thomaskirche.org


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
Tram line 9, bus 89 line (Thomaskirche stop)

Leipzig, Thomaskirche, Gemeindesaal

The parish hall of St. Thomas’ Church is in Matthew House (Matthäihaus), which was built in 1903 to plans by architects Weidenbach and Tschammer. It was named after St. Matthew’s Church, which was destroyed in World War Two. The church was founded in 1230 as the church of the »Zum Heiligen Geist« (Holy Spirit) Franciscan monastery. After the Reformation it served as a warehouse and was only re-consecrated in 1699, when it was named »Neukirche« (New Church). The congregation of St. Matthew’s was formed as recently as 1876, when the »Neukirche« was made a parish church and renamed St. Matthew’s.

During his time as Thomaskantor (1723–1750), Johann Sebastian Bach was also responsible for music in the »Neukirche«. It was there that Choir III of St. Thomas’ School sang simpler motets and chorales, conducted by the third prefect, without any independent instrumental parts. From 1704 onwards, the »collegium musicum« founded by Georg Philipp Telemann and led by Bach from 1729 to 1749 performed in the »Neukirche« on high feast days and during the three days of trade fairs.

The church was destroyed by an air raid on 4 December 1943. A final service was held in the ruins on 1 August 1948, after which the church was demolished. Around 1953, extensive archaeological excavations were carried out, following which new buildings for the Ministry of State Security district administration were built on the site of the monastery and church. Since December 1998, the St. Matthew’s Church memorial in Matthäikirchhof by the Leipzig artist Matthias Klemm has acted as a reminder of the former church.

Address
Dittrichring 12
04109 Leipzig
www.thomaskirche.org
 

accessible to wheelchair users
 

Public transport
Tram line 9, bus line 89 (Thomaskirche stop)

Leipzig, Zeitgeschichtliches Forum

 

The exhibitions and events at the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig (Forum of Contemporary History) are an attraction for visitors from the region and beyond. The Forum belongs to the House of History Foundation in Bonn hosting a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of the separation and reunification of Germany and to dictatorship and resistance in former Eastern Germany. About 3,200 objects and various audio-visual presentations are on display on 2,000 square metres of floor space. With temporary exhibitions and a number of other events, the house is a lively forum of dealing with the past and the present.

The information centre provides more details on the different exhibitions. It offers a reference and media library with a wide selection of books, newspapers, magazines and audio-visual material.

Admission to the Forum of Contemporary History Leipzig is free.

Address
Grimmaische Straße 6
04109 Leipzig
www.hdg.de


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport
Tram line 4, 7, 15, 16 (Augustusplatz stop), bus line89 (Reichsstraße stop)

Leipzig, Zoo

© Zoo Leipzig

 

The Zoo Leipzig was founded in 1878 by a restaurateur, it today looks back upon one of the longest traditions throughout Germany. Ernst Pinkert’s initial intention was to exhibit exotic animals to attract visitors, and he was very successful with this. But the core business was to fade into the background soon, and it took just 20 years for the private zoo to become a public company.
140 years after its foundation, the »Zoo der Zukunft« (»zoo pointing to the future«) keeps up with the most recent developments. Since 1999, it has undergone a complete reconstruction producing more and more adventure worlds offering natural environments to rare. In 2011, the giant tropical hall »Gondwana-Land« opened, in 2016 »Kiwara-Kopje« and in 2017 the high-mountain landscape »Himalaya«, and in 2018 a »South America« world.

Address
Pfaffendorfer Straße 29
04105 Leipzig
www.zoo-leipzig.de


accessible to wheelchair users


Public transport:
Tram line 12 (Zoo stop)

Pölsfeld, St. Moritz Church

 

The first historical record of the Protestant church of St. Mauritius (St. Moritz) dates back to 1539. From 1777 to 1779, the increasing dilapidation of the old building resulted in the construction of a new church. The church of St. Mauritius in Pölsfeld, a district of the town of Allstedt in Anhalt, still contains four stops from the original organ constructed in 1696. No less a person than Zacharias Hildebrandt rebuilt the organ in 1728 using the 4 stops, and it was extended in 1773 by organ-builder Thiele. After further alterations to the organ, the last repairs were carried out in 1983.

 

Address
St. Moritz-Kirche
Schulgasse 39-40, 06528 Pölsfeld
www.kirchenkreis-eisleben-soemmerda.de

Rötha, St. Georgenkirche

 

The town church of Rötha is dedicated to St. George and was built around 1140 as a Romanesque pier basilica. Parts of the outer walls, the nave piers and the westwork are still in original condition. The dilapidated Romanesque choir was pulled down in 1510 and replaced by a late Gothic choir. Precious paintings from this time were discovered during renovation work in 1970. The wooden ceiling in the nave, which guarantees for the excellent acoustic in the church, the vestibule doors and the pews go back to renovation in 1896/97.
The first organ for Georgenkirche church was built in 1614 by Josias Ibach from Grimma. It was repaired several times, but in the end it turned out not to be playable anymore. The contract for a new organ was signed in 1718 between patron Christian August Freiherr von Friesen auf Rötha and organ builder Gottfried Silbermann, who already had quite a reputation at that time. The instrument was examined by Johann Kuhnau, Bach’s predecessor in the office of Thomaskantor in Leipzig and by the Altenburg court organist Gottfried Ernst Bestel and consecrated in 1721. The instrument is played in numerous concerts and services until today.

 

Address
Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Platz
04571 Rötha
www.kirche-um-borna.de

Rötha, Marienkirche

 

The Marienkirche church in Rötha has never been finished. Today we can only see the choir of what was planned to become an unusually large pilgrimage church with two towers. Construction began in 1510 at the place where a shepherd was said to have had a Marian apparition eight years earlier. In 1520, however, the plan had to be abandoned, supposedly for financial reasons and the unfinished building was closed by a wall.
In contrast to the late Gothic building, the interior decoration of the church is in Baroque style. The pulpit, the font, the patron’s bay, the galleries and the pews date back to the time around 1720, but unfortunately they are in rather bad condition. In 1718, his building contract for the Rötha town church organ included that Silbermann had to transfer the old instrument to Marienkirche church for board and lodge and put in up there. However, the instrument was found in such poor condition that the planned restoration would have had rather little effect. So Freiherr von Friesen and Gottfried Silbermann signed a new contract in 1721 for the installation of a new organ in Marienkirche church. It was finished in 1722.
In 1942, the organ was taken out for storage, since the Marienkirche was in very bad condition. During the Bachfest in 1950, the organ was exhibited in the hall of the Old Town Hall in Leipzig and after that at the Bachausstellung (Bach exhibition) in Berlin. It was only in 1960 when the organ could be relocated to its original position after the church roof had been repaired.

 

Address
Marienstraße
04571 Rötha
www.kirche-um-borna.de

Sangerhausen, Jacobikirche

 

The town of Sangerhausen, south of the Harz region, was first mentioned in the 9th century in a register at the Hersfeld Abbey. In the course of a town expansion in the 13th century the new market square was designed and in 1271 the Market Church is mentioned for the first time. It was a predecessor of today’s St. James’ Church which was built from 1457 on. In the process, the previous Romanesque church was gradually built back and replaced with a Gothic hall church.

The nave was completed in 1472, the choir with its rich reticulated vaulting was finished in 1510. The tower, which was completed in 1542, became the town’s landmark and is called »der schiefe Jacob« (leaning James), because it was probably built on the unstable ground of the town moat.

The organ of St. James’ by Zacharias Hildebrandt was dedicated in 1728. The pupil of Gottfried Silbermann had lost a legal dispute before the »Most Honorable and Highest Court of His Royal Majesty« in Dresden and was now prohibited from building organs in the territory of Saxony. The organ builder Gottfried Silbermann held this privilege exclusively.

Sangerhausen, however, belonged to the territory of the Saxe-Weißenfels duchy.

It can safely be assumed that Johann Sebastian Bach – knowing about Hildebrandt’s difficult situation and the hopeless fight with Silbermann – had recommended Hildebrandt’s services to the House of Saxe-Weißenfels. Bach, who also held the title of »conductor to the ducal court of Saxe-Weißenfels«, was a friend of Hildebrandt’s and greatly appreciated his instruments. He found everything in the young organ builder’s instruments to his expectations: richness in sound and colours as well as gravity.

In the course of time, the Hildebrandt organ was repeatedly repaired and in the 19th century several stops were added according to the current taste. In 1971 the church’s roof timbering had caught fire and the instrument suffered severe fire water damage. It was in unplayable condition until restoration was started in 1976. The organ was restored by the organ builder company Eule and was completed in 1978. Ever since then the valuable instrument fulfills its role in service once more.

 

Address
Alte Promenade 23
06526 Sangerhausen
www.jacobigemeinde-sangerhausen.de

Störmthal, Kreuzkirche

 

In 1675, the small village of Störmthal south-east of Leipzig, which was first mentioned in records in 1306, began to flourish under the reign of Statz Friedrich von Fullen (1638–1703), who occupied the influential post of electoral war counsellor at the court in Dresden. The nobleman built a castle in Störmthal and saw to it that the village became an independent parish in 1690.

From that time, it is only known that the church of Störmthal, built on the remains of a Romanesque construction, had to be repaired and extended repeatedly. According to a bill book from1722, the church with its pulpit, altar and organ was considered too small, too old and not up to the requirements of the parish. Therefore, the old building behind the altar was pulled down and extended. Supposedly the choir, the patron’s bay and the bigger part of the northern church wall were rebuilt whereas the southern wall extending from the steeple to the altar steps is still a part of the late Gothic predecessor church building. The chancel altar, the font, the gallery and the pews harmonise in their Baroque interior decoration.

The organ by Zacharias Hildebrandt (1688–1757), a disciple of Silbermann, fits in nicely. It was examined by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1723, who considered it a sound piece of work. Bach also inaugurated the instrument with his cantata »Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest« (BWV 194), performed in two parts before and after the sermon. In summer 2008, after six months of work, the organ was restored to its original condition by the organ builder company Eule (Bautzen).

 

Address
Dorfstraße 44
04463 Großpösna, Ortsteil Störmthal
www.kirchenquartett.de

Halle, Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Halle

 

Address
Salzgrafenplatz 1
06108 Halle (Saale)
www.haendel-halle.de

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