Leipzig Travel and Tourist Information
Leipzig's major sights are easy to see on foot: The city center covers only 1 square kilometer, or less than 0.4 square mile, and most of the places you're likely to visit are either in the center or close by.
Top attractions include the Thomaskirche, where Bach wrote his most important choral and organ works, and where Martin Luther intrduced the Reformation to Leipzig in 1519; the Nikolaikirche, Leipzig's oldest church and the site of "peace prayers" during the GDR years that led to the Monday Demonstrations of 1989; the Altes Rathaus, or Old City Hall, which houses the Museum of City History and faces the Marktplatz or Market Square and the Old Stock Exchange; the Opera House; and the Gewandhaus, home of Leipzig's symphony orchestra, which also has inexpensive guided tours.
For more information on sightseeing opportunities in Leipzig, visit the city's tourist office or browse its Web site (see hours of operation and links on our Leipzig Tourist Office page.)
Leipzig's city center is a lively place for shoppers, with branches of major German department stores and clothing chains as well as locally-owned shops. The Promenaden Hauptbahnhof Leipzig shopping mall in the main railroad station is also a great place for shopping--especially late in the evening or on Sundays, when most other stores in the city are closed.
But the most unique shopping experience in Leipzig is beneath the glass roofs of the covered passages and courtyards in the city center. Many of these structures were built as "exhibition palaces" in the mid-1890s, when merchants began displaying their goods at sample fairs.
Only 13 of the original passages remained after World War II, but the number has grown back to about 30 in recent years.
The site of the modern Brühl Arkade (inset photo) was once the hub of Leipzig's fur trade, while the Mädlerpassage (an arcade on top of a celebrated historic tavern, Auerbachs Keller) was built from 1912-1914. The oldest surviving historic passage, Barthels Hof, has been home to the Gasthaus Barthels Hof restaurant since 1890.
For more historical and architectural background reading, see LTM's "Arcades, Passageways, and Exhibition Buildings" press document in Microsoft Word format.
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