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Leipzig Travel and Tourist Information

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Continued from page 2

Bergbau-Technik-Park

ABOVE: A retired Schaufelradbagger strip-mining machine from the Bergbau-Technik-Park in the "New Lake District" near Leipzig, where lignite mines from the GDR era are being returned to nature. (Check with the tourist office for up-to-date information on this Mining Technology Park, which is expected to open in 2010.) INSET BELOW: An exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary History, and a Stasi prison cell at the Museum in der "Runde Ecke."

Museums and monuments

Leipzig has a good selection of museums, starting with the Museum of City History or Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig. This is actually a collection of eight museums, including the main city museum in the Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall), the Monument to the Battle of Nations, Forum 1813 (another battle monument), Schiller House (where the poet lived and wrote), the Museum Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum (in the city's 18th Century coffeehouse), the Alte Börse or Old Exchange (mostly used for special events), the Sport Museum (which emphasizes sports in Saxony), and a children's and youth museum called LIPSIKUS in the city museum's Neubau, or New Extension.

Museum of Contemporary HistoryThe Forum of Contemporary History, a.k.a. the Zeitgeschichliches Forum, is built around the theme of "life and resistance in the GDR." It documents the history of the Soviet-occupied zone and the German Democratic Republic from the 1940s through the "Peaceful Revolution," the fall of the Iron Curtain, and events that followed.

Museum in der 'Runde Ecke'The Museum in the "Round Corner" ("Museum in der "Runde Ecke") has a permanent exhibit titled "Stasi--Power and Banality." The museum is located in the former GDR State Security headquarters for the Leipzig district, and it's run by a citizens' committee that was formed after peaceful protestors risked arrest or death by occupying the building in 1989.

Another reminder of the GDR era, the Museum im Stasi-Bunker, lets you explore an underground shelter that was built to protect Stasi secret police officials in case of war.

Art galleries include the Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the GRASSI Museums (applied art, ethnology, and musical instruments), Spinnerei (artists' studios, galleries, and exhibition halls in a 19th Century cotton mill), and the Art Exhibition Hall of the Sparkasse Leipzig. The Asisi Panometer, which opened in 2002, exhibits massive computer-created 360° paintings in a converted gasometer.

Music lovers can visit Mendelssohn House, Schumann House, and the Bach-Archiv's Bach Museum, which celebrate the lives and works of great composers who lived in Leipzig.

Are you more interested in classic trams than in classical music? Visit the Strassenbahnmuseum or Streetcar Museum, also known as the Historical Tram Station. It's located in the suburb of Möckern, but if you time your visit right, you can ride an historic excursion tram between the city center and the museum.

It's a long way from Leipzig to Egypt, but the University of Leipzig's Egyptian Museum is conveniently located in Leipzig's city center. (In 2009, when this page was written, the museum was occupying temporary quarters during renovation.)

Educators should make time for a visit to the School Museum, which covers three eras in the history of Leipzig schools (including schools during the time of the GDR).

For more information about museums in Leipzig, see the Museums and Art Collections page of the tourist office's Web site.

Parks

Leipzig parkLeipzig has vast areas of public parkland. Most parks are outside the city center, but they're easy to reach on foot or by public transportation.

If you're a horseracing fan, you can combine a park visit with a flutter by heading for the Galopprennbahn Scheibenholz track in the Clara Zelkin Park. (Plan ahead, though, because there aren't many races during the season.)

Zoo Leipzig is becoming one of Europe's most modern zoos, thanks to a €90 million renovation project that began in 1999. Exhibits are organized by continent, and there's a petting zoo for the Kinder.

The University of Leipzig's Botanical Garden and its greenhouses are open year-round, with seasonal exhibits of orchids, cacti, etc. Special attractions include a medicinal herb garden, a "smell and taste" garden, and--in the spring--the annual opening of the butterfly house.

To see the locations of Leipzig's parks, view the free online Tourist Map (which can take a half-minute or so to load) or check a printed map when you're in the city.

If you've got time, visit some of the parks and attractions in the surrounding region, such as the new Mining Technology Park (photo at top of page, due to open in 2010) and the Belantis amusement park, the only attraction of its kind in Eastern Germany.

Next page: Hotels, restaurants, nightlife


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Top photo copyright © Tokle.
3rd inset photo copyright © Peter Neuber.

 

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