Mini guide to Leipzig
Located near the confluence of the Pleisse, Parthe and Weibe Elster rivers
in eastern Germany, Leipzig boasts some fine monuments and architecture, and
is a major industrial and cultural centre with its famous trade fairs dating
back to the Middle Ages.
Johann Sebastian Bach served the last 27 years of his life in the Thomaskirche
Church. The predominantly Gothic church has been altered down the centuries,
notably by the addition of galleries in line with the Protestant emphasis on
preaching. The Bach Museum directly across from the Thomaskirche Church houses
an extensive show of mementos of the great composer.
Leipzig is a gem of a Saxon city and can be fully explored on foot in a day.
Dominating the main market square in the centre of the city is the Altes Rathaus,
built in the grandest German Renaissance style with elaborate gables, an asymmetrical
tower and the longest inscription to be found on any building in the world.
Leipzig has some great little cafés and eateries, among the many reliable
German taverns, which line the public square and Grimmaische Street; for Italian
food head to the lively Barfubgabchen Street east of the market place.
For an interesting side trip southeast of the city, head for the Volkerschlachtdenkmal,
the site of the Battle of Nations, where the defeat of Napoleon by a combined
army of Prussians, Austrians, Russians and Swedes in 1813 led to his exile on
Elba Island. A colossal monument stands to commemorate the event.
If you're driving, access is via the Halle-Dresden Autobahn east and west or
the E51 Autobahn north and south. The Leipzig Hauptbahnhof has frequent connections
to German cities: 17 trains arrive daily from Berlin (2 hours, 10 minutes);
23 trains from Dresden (1 hour, 35 minutes); and 15 trains from Frankfurt (3-4
Long-distance bus service is provided by Leipzieger Verkehrsbetriebe; and buses
depart from the east side of the main rail station. Leipzig-Halle Airport is
18 kms from the city centre and there is a shuttle bus service to the main train
station, taking about 30 minutes and running every half hour through the day.
A taxi to the city centre will cost about 30 Euros.
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