If you happened to read my last post, you know we are back from… you guessed it, Leipzig. I admit I was a bit apprehensive about this trip when we found out the main Train Station was to be closed for the time we planned to be there. They were replacing all of the tracks into the station. A bit inconvenient but we made other connections using the S-Bahn from Halle (a city nearby). The businesses were open and it was nice to look around and really see and take in the beauty of this old station without running to a platform to catch your connecting train.
The first day in Leipzig was the soccer game, our main reason for this trip. The cool thing about this stadium is, it was built inside the existing old stadium. This year is the first year that Leipzig is in the First Division.
Can we just talk about the steps for a minute?!!! We counted 290! The entrance is not the only place with steps. The guest entrance where we had to enter through had soooo many. Too many!
What is so wonderful about Leipzig is you can go anywhere in the city at anytime using the Trams. Their public transportation is fantastic! So, we did a bit of sightseeing…
This building which looks like a church is still being rebuilt on the inside. Leipzig was formerly part of the DDR and the communist did not want the university church, so the original church, The Pauliner Kirche, was blown up in 1968 for political reasons. It is quite a complicated history. Although the altar and various items from the old church were saved and will be used in this new assembly hall and room of common prayer for the university.
A little less complicated…The Opera House.
This next building is the Bayericher Bahnhof or Bavarian Train Station. Although the front was renovated it is not a working train station anymore but a brewery of Gose beer (originally from the city of Goslar) and very good restaurant.
Of course, I only have a photo of our beverages for this meal, but I had a delicious platter of assorted lunch meats and cheese’s with delicious fresh & still warm, homemade Potato bread and Leif ate what is called a cold Wurst Salat with Kase which is basically strips of pork lunch meat and cheese all mixed up with vinegar and onions. A very Bavarian dish.
Oh, one thing that I have to share with you which was so unique was this upstairs area in the restaurant, where the restrooms were located. This beautiful old piano. I used to play classical piano and I love anything vintage, so it just spoke to me. Wish I could have this piece in my home.
We visited many other beautiful parts of Leipzig.
The monument for the battle of the nations, completed at the 100th anniversary of the battle against Napoleon.
and a view inside… these stone sculptors are the Guardians of the dead. Sadly 100,000 soldiers were lost in this battle.
My first visit to a Russian Orthodox Church which also opened at the same time as the monument (above). This is also a monument in remembrance of the Russian soldiers lost in battle in the year 1813. What is so unique about this building is the outside resembles a monument but the inside is a church. The idea was to create a living monument. I couldn’t take photos on the inside but it is absolutely beautiful and so peaceful.
Now on to other sites. Friederick Schiller’s house, the classical playwright famous for his works such as The Robbers and Mary Stuart. Did you know… he was originally a Doctor of Medicine until he saw his first play?
The University Library – yes, the book geeks that we are, we did go inside to have a look. They have an American section which was incredible. I think I could write great papers in this building!
The famous Auerbachs Keller, one of the city’s most important wine bars and restaurants from the 16th century even. Linked to Goethe’s famous Faust drama, it is located in the beautiful Mädlerpassage which also has high-end shopping inside. I really wanted to eat here but it was a bit on the pricey side for us. I noticed this photo is a bit blurry but the entrance to the restaurant is just to the left of the sign in front of the monument. It truly is in a cellar!
… the passage with shopping and cafe bars.
Finally, one of my favorites from this trip was a visit to St. Thomas Church, for a concert.
Johann Sebastian Bach was the music director in the 1700’s at this church.
As I mentioned above I studied classical music, so this was incredible for me. We heard some of his works executed beautifully by the organist and the highlight… the St. Thomas Boys Choir performed. I was so moved listening to the blend of these talented, beautiful voices. I honestly, did not want them to stop singing. A wonderful experience for me. In fact, leaving the church after the concert, I felt so calm and relaxed.
I have to say I felt totally safe and comfortable as we navigated our way around Leipzig.
A little reality check though as we stumbled upon this laying on a side street. It loosely translates, For a peaceful world, Here is no place for rasicm, right-wing activism, and anti-Americanism. Sad that in this day and age we have to have reminders such as this around.
On to happier thoughts….These were the highlights from our trip to Leipzig, BUT one of the best moments was lunch at a famous biergarten (beer garden). As this lookbook seems to be quite lengthy, I will share this final place and our meal even in my next blog post!
To close… I have to say Leipzig has a place in my top three cities in Germany. I look forward to making a trip back to see more of this historic place, so rich in culture.
I hope you enjoyed following us around a little bit of Leipzig. If you happen to find yourself in Germany, you should really plan on spending some time and creating your own beautiful memories in Leipzig.