As early as 1360, a town hall on the Leipzig market was first mentioned in a document. The Old Town Hall is made up of several buildings that have grown together over the years and have subsequently been given a uniform facade. The Renaissance town hall that we see today was built in 1556 by Hieronymus Lotter, who was then mayor of the city of Leipzig. The facade was designed by architect Paul Speck. The 41 m high town hall tower with the baroque copper dome was added later. It stands above the passage to the Naschmarkt. This makes the facade of the old town hall asymmetrical. There are 2 gables on one side and 4 gables on the other. This creates proportions that come very close to the "golden ratio".
The ballroom and the council chamber are located in the old town hall. In the past, the treasury, the court and prison cells were also in here. Shops and restaurants can be found behind the arcades on the ground floor. The 93 m long facade of the Leipzig Town Hall occupies almost the entire east side of the square. The Old Town Hall is one of the most famous sights in Leipzig.
The Old Town Hall is accessible via the Leipzig Markt underground train station built in 2013.
The Naschmarkt is a small square behind the old town hall where fruit was previously sold. The old stock exchange stands at the north end of the narrow square. The early baroque merchant exchange is used today as a representative event hall. The Leipzig merchants joined forces in 1678 to set up the representative building. The beautiful building was completed in 1687. Johann Georg Starcke or Christian Richter are suspected as architecs. The figures on the roof and the colored facade with the Leipzig coat of arms are striking. The old stock exchange burned out during the Second World War and was restored until 1962. A monument to Johann Wolfgang Goethe stands in front of the stock exchange. The Frankfurt born poet immortalized the city of Leipzig in his tragedy "Faust".
The St. Thomas Church is not a pearl of architecture, but the church has other qualities. Johann Sebastian Bach worked here and the church is home to the famous St. Thomas choir, which has existed since 1212. The tomb of Bach (1685-1750), who became known worldwide as a composer, is inside the church. The reformer Martin Luther gave a sermon here in 1539.
The Market Church, which became the collegiate church of the Thomas monastery in 1222, was previously located on the site where the St. Thomas Church stands today. This church was replaced in 1496 by the current building. From the outside, the St. Thomas Church looks strangely composed. The main aisle is blocked in the west and east by small stems, which were built neither in the same material nor in the same style. Interesting is only the ribbed vault in the interior and the very steep roof of the Thomaskirche, which is one of the steepest in Germany at 63 °.
The 68 m high church tower combines several epochs, from the base built in 1355 to the top of the tower, which was completed around 1850. The Thomaskirche is a Gothic building with neo-Gothic elements.
In front of the church stands the Johann Sebastian Bach Monument, which attracts numerous visitors from all over the world.
Theodor Kösser build the luxurios shopping arcade for Anton Mädler in 1914. The existing world-famous wine restaurant Auerbachs Keller was skilfully integrated into the new complex. During GDR times the Mädler Passage was used as exhibition hall. Today the Mädler Passage is an exclusive shopping center and one of the most famous sights of Leipzig.
Construction of the evangelical "Nikolai Church" started in 1165. The beginnings were Romanesque, from the 15th century on, the church was built in late Gothic style. In 1989 the "Mondays demonstrations" were launched here, which led to the end of the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
The "KarLi" is the urban heart of the Leipzig. There are countless cafes and restaurants in beautiful houses from the Wilhelminian era. Although much renovation was done, the neighborhood has remained its charm.
The Wollgarnfabrik AG was founded in 1887. Pfeifer & Handel's prestigious West Building was opened in 1897. In 1990 the VEB Buntgarnwerke factory was shut down. Today there are high-quality loft apartments in the beautiful brick buildings. The Buntgarnwerke (colored yarn plants) are among the most beautiful buildings from the industrialization era in Germany. The colored bricks and the location right on the water make the former factory a remarkable ensemble.
Because the exhibition halls in the city center became too small, a new fair ground was built in 1913. In 1965 the famous double-M was installed as a symbol of the Leipzig trade fair. In 1996 the fair moved to the new area in the north of Leipzig and the former exhibition center in the south of the city was transformed into an industrial area. The Leipziger Messe M (Messe = Fair) is a symbol of the city, but lives a rather sad life on Prager Straße.
The "Gohliser Schlösschen" in the Leipzig district of Gohlis-Süd was erected as a summer palace by the merchant Johann Caspar Richter. Due to the "Seven Years War" the palace was not finished until 1780. Since the builder died in 1770, he could not use the building himself. In 1793 the palace was transferred to the city of Leipzig.
The Russian memorial church was erected by the Orthodox community of Leipzig in 1913, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the "Battle of the Nations". There were 130,000 Russians fighting against the army of Napoleon. 22,000 Russian soldiers were killed at the battle. Inside the church there is a 18 m high wall covered with orthodox icons.
Leipzig was evolved at the intersection of two long-distance trade routes. The Via Regia connected Paris with Novgorod and the Via imperii led from Bergen to Rome. At this intersection around 1165 a market place emerged from which the city of Leipzig developed. From 1268 onward, merchants traveling to the Leipzig fair were put under protection. In Germany, only Frankfurt am Main has an older trade fair privilege.
This travel guide will show you the most important sights and tourist attractions of Leipzig. There is a tourist map of Leipzig with all sights at the end of this page.