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|Bundesland: Freistaat Sachsen||Saxony|
|kreisfreie Stadt: Leipzig|
Leipzig is situated at an altitude of 113 m at the confluence of the rivers Pleiße and Parthe into the Weiße Elster. With a population of about 503,200 (2006) Leipzig is the most populous and, according to area (298 km²), second-largest city of Saxony. Together with Halle (Saale) it forms the urban agglomeration Halle-Leipzig and is also part of the metropolitan region Sachsendreieck (Leipzig, Chemnitz and Zwickau, Dresden). The city of Leipzig is administered as a district in its own right and has a population of about 532,000 (2011).
A Slavic settlement was founded at this place around AD 900. The earliest mention of Libzi is found in a chronicle of Thietmar of Merseburg, dating from 1015. In 1165 Margrave Otto 'the Rich' of Meißen granted Leipzig the privileges of a city. The university of Leipzig was founded in 1409; it is thus the second-oldest university of modern Germany. In 1519 the castle Pleißenburg was the site of the famous disputation ('Leipziger Disputation') between Martin Luther and his opponent Johannes Eck. The Reformation was finally introduced in the city in 1539. Throughout the centuries, Leipzig was in centre of trading and commerce. Already in 1701 street lighting was installed and the progressive city soon became nicknamed 'Klein-Paris' (Little Paris) or 'Pleiß-Athen'. The famous Battle of Leipzig of 1813 ended with a victory of the allied armies of Prussia, Russia and Austria over the troops of Napoleon and his allies, among them the kingdom of Saxony. The population of Leipzig increased rapidly during the late 19th century, the period of industrialization. In April 1945 Leipzig was liberated by the US Army and in July of that year became part of the Soviet zone of occupation. The 'Monday demonstrations' at the church St. Nikolai which began in September 1989 were a series of peaceful political protests against the East German government. The demonstrations eventually ended in March 1990, around the time of the multiparty elections that led to the reunification of Germany.
The square, Augustusplatz, was laid out in 1785. At that time it was still named 'Platz vor dem Grimmaischen Thor' ('Square at the Grimma Gate'). In 1839 it was renamed Augustusplatz in honour of Friedrich August I, the first king of Saxony (b.1750, 1763 Elector F.A. III, 1806 King, d.1827). In 1953 the square was renamed 'Karl-Marx-Platz' but in 1990 it was again named 'Augustusplatz'.
The Paulinerkirche (church of St. Paul) [left] was originally built in 12311240 as church of the Dominican monastery. After its foundation in 1409 the university established close ties to this church. In 1539 the Dominican convent was dissolved and the monastery and church were handed over to the university in 1543. In 1545 Martin Luther dedicated St. Paul's as the Protestant university church. In World War II the church suffered only minor damages during a bomb raid in 1943. Nevertheless, the church was blown up in 1968 after a decision by the Politbüro of the Central Committee of the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany). In its place, the new main building of the universtiy was erected until 1974. At present, there are plans to replace the current structures by a new 'Aula', the façade of which, although modern, should allude to the historic architecture of St. Paul's.
The Mende-Brunnen with its characteristic neo-Baroque obelisk was designed
in 1893 by Adolph Gnauth; the sculptures were created by Jakob Ungerer. The fountain was unveiled in 1896.
The financial means for its construction were bequeathed by land owner Pauline Mende after whom the fountain was named.
The fountain was originally set up on Augustusplatz (as depicted on glasses no.1422 and 698). It was relocated several times
but now has been moved back to almost its original location in Austusplatz.
The New Theatre (Neues Theater) [left, no.2053] was built in 1864-1868 by
the architect Carl Ferdinand Langhans. The original theatre had a capacity of 1,700 seats plus 300 standing. After
some modifications it had a capacity of 1543 (1940). The theatre was destroyed by a bomb raid on 3/4 December 1943.
The remaining ruins were removed in 1956. In its place the new 'Opernhaus' was built in 19561960. Some sculptures
of the original theatres were put on display in the park behind the new opera house in 1993.
Another theatre built by C.F. Langhans, the Municipal Theatre in Szczecin, is depicted on glass no.2501.
The Reichsgericht (Imperial Court) [right, no.708] was built in 18881895
after a design by Ludwig Hoffmann and Peter Dybwad. The Historicist architecture combines elements of Italian Renaissance
and French Baroque. From 1895 until 1945 the building housed the Reichsgericht, the supreme court of the German empire.
The building was severely damaged in World War II. After its restoration it became home, in 1952, of the Museum of
Fine Arts which had losts its original building during the war. Between 1998 and 2001 the building was restored again and
an additional storey was added. The river Pleiße which flows in front of the court building had been covered up for a
prolonged period and was uncovered again during these restoration works. In 2002 the German Supreme Administrative Court
moved to this building from its previous location in Berlin.
The Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) [left, no.1283: top picture] was built in 15561557. The tower was modified in the Baroque period. When the city's administration moved to the new town hall in 1909, the old building became home of Leipzig's Museum of Muncipal History.
The New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) [right, no.850] was built in 18991905 on the site of the old castle, Pleißenburg. The tower in the centre of the building is a remainder of the old castle and dates from 15501567.
The Bismarck monument [left, no.1283: bottom left picture] was created in 1897. The design was made by Bruno Heinrich Eelbo, the statue of Otto von Bismarck was created by Adolf Lehnert, the statue of the blacksmith at the base of the monument was created by Josef Magr. The monument, originally located in the southern corner of Johannapark, was removed in 1946.
The Victory monument [left, no.1283: bottom right picture] was erected in 1888. The design was created by Rudolf Siemering, the copper-driven statue of Germania was made by Hermann Howaldt. The monument was a memorial to the German victory in the French-German war of 1870/1871 which led to the foundation og the German Empire in 1871. Until 1946 the monument stood in the northwestern corner of the market square in front of the old town hall. In 1946 it was removed as a 'symbol of militarism'.
Glass no.2103 [left] shows pictures of the New Town Hall [top], the Gewandhaus [bottom left] and the New Theatre [bottom right]
The Gewandhaus is the traditional home of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. The first building was already erected in 1498 and originally served as armoury. When the first floor (American second floor) became used as a trading place for draperies and woolens, the whole building soon became as 'Gewandhaus', 'cloth hall'. In 1780/1781 the second floor was adapted as a concert hall. The orchestra itself had been founded in 1743 and soon after its first concert at its new location became known as 'Gewandhausorchester'. The old Gewandhaus was partly torn down in 18931896 and incorporated into the municipal department store. The building depicted on glass no.2103 [left: bottom left picture] was erected in 1882-1884 after a design by Martin Gropius. The building housed two concert halls; the large hall had a capacity of 1,700 seats, the chamber music hall seated 650. The building was severely damaged by two bomb raids in 1943 and 1944. The ruins were finally torn down in 1968. At first the site was used as a parking lot and in 2002 a new university building was built here. The present (third) Gewandhaus was built in 19771981 in Augustusplatz, opposite the new opera house.
The monument for Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in front of the old Gewandhaus [barely visible],
designed by Werner Stein and executed by Hermann Heinrich Howaldt, was unveiled in 1892. Mendelssohn became chief conductor
of the Gewandhaus orchestra in 1835. In 1836 Mendelssohn became honorary doctor of the university, in 1843 he became
honorary citizen of the city of Leipzig. The monument was destroyed in 1936 by the Nazis.
The Palmengarten-Hauptgebäude (main building) [left,no.1423] was built in 18981899. The Palmengarten was laid out in the 1890s in part of the woods between the rivers Weiße Elster and Pleiße. The park was opened in 1899. Together with the Klingerhain on the opposite bank of the Weiße Elster the park cobered an area of 22 hectares. Until 1921 the park was opereated by a private limited company and then was taken over by the city council. The building was torn down in 1939 to make way for a Gutenberg exhibition that should have taken place here in 1940. In 1955 Palmengarten, König-Albert-Park, Johannapark and Scheibenholzpark were combined and became known as Clara-Zetkin-Park, named for Socialist politician and feminist.
The Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) [right, no.807] was built in 18921915
by William Lossow and Max Hans Kühne. When it was completed, it was Europe's largest terminal station. The station building
covered 26 tracks; further 5 tracks were located outside the station building. The symmetric design included two main halls,
one of which was operated by the Prussian Magdeburg-Leipzig Railroad, the other by the Royal Saxon
State Railroad. The two railroad companies originally operated out of two separate station building which were located
next to each other on this site. The division of the station building between two separate companies was abolished only
in 1934. The station building was severely hit in 1943/1944. The restoration after the war was a technical masterpiece as
it was carried out without interrupting the service. Since 1997 the station building is also used as a shopping centre.
The number of tracks has been reduced to seventeen. The 'City Tunnel' underneath the historic town centre is expected to connect
the Central station with the station 'Bayerischer Bahnhof' in 2009.
The Völkerschlachtdenkmal (monument to the Battle of the Nations, i.e. the Battle of Leipzig)
is one Leipzig's best-known landmarks. The monument was designed by the architect Bruno Schmitz and was unveiled in 1913,
one hundred years after the battle. It was originally meant to be a memorial to all victims of the battle, irrespective
of their nationality. The monument has a height of 91 metres and is located in one of the historic centres of the battle,
now in the southeastern part of the town. 501 steps lead from the base up to the lookout platform at the top of the monument.
The four colossal statues in the central hall of fame allegorise the virtues of bravery, strength of faith, national strength
and readiness to make sacrifices. Reconstruction works started in 2003 and are planned to be completed in 2013.
The monument is Germany's largest monument (followed by the Kaiser Wilhelm monument at Porta Westfalica
and the Kyffhäuser monument).
Glasses no.749 [left] and no.1249 [right] are souvenirs from the
The picture on glass no.749 [left] shows the main building (industrial hall covering 40.000 square metres, and maschine hall at its back side).
The picture on glass no.1249 [right] shows the Thuringian village which was set up next to the industrial hall.
Glasses no.800 [left] and no.709 [right] are souvenir from the
Glass no.800 [left] depicts the gate building at Reitzenhainer Straße (Eingang B).
Glass no.709 [right] depicts the 'Peterstor'.