Leipzig: Welcome to the heart of Europe
A MEMORABLE ANNIVERSARY
9 October 1989 is arguably the most important date in modern German history: a memorable day, which heralded, in Leipzig, the end of the GDR regime. At the time, more than 70,000 of the city‘s inhabitants assembled in a mass demonstration, stretching from St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche) to the inner city ring road. With one voice, they shouted: “We are the people”, setting themselves up in defiance of the armed security forces, and protesting for greater freedom and democracy. A courageous confrontation with the power of the State, which Leipzig: Welcome to the heart of Europe 9 miraculously remained without bloodshed and became the starting point for the Peaceful Revolution. This memorable event, which led, finally, to the fall of the Berlin Wall and to German Reunification, will have its 30th anniversary in 2019. In the anniversary year there is a host of events planned in Leipzig in memory of this momentous time.
PRICELESS WORKS OF ART
Amongst the most imposing new buildings to have emerged since German Reunification is undoubtedly the Museum of Fine Arts (Museum der bildenden Künste) that found its home at the heart of Leipzig‘s old town centre. Displayed over four floors, and in an exhibition space of over 5,000 square metres, are artworks from the late Middle Ages up to the present day. Art from Leipzig itself provides, as is to be expected, a central section of the museum‘s collection. It includes, of course, works by artists of the “New Leipzig School“, one of the most famous exponents of which is Neo Rauch. Since 1994 he has worked on the site of the former Leipzig wool spinning works, which has, today, with its numerous galleries and studios, long since become a Mecca for art lovers.
There are plenty of attractions in Leipzig for those who enjoy leisurely hours on the water. Almost 300 kilometres of waterways weave through this major city of Saxony, which lies at the confluence of the Pleisse, the Parthe and the White Elster. In addition, there are numerous lakes in the surrounding region, which have been created in recent years as a result of the flooding of the former brown coal diggings and are known as Neuseenland (New Lakeland) for short. It is well worth taking a tour of “Kurs 1“, one of the most delightful of all Leipzig‘s waterways, to discover this water