Leipzig (/ˈlaɪpsɪɡ/; German: [ˈlaɪptsɪç]) is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. With a population of 591,686 inhabitants as of 30 June 2018, (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone) it is Germany's tenth most populous city. Leipzig is located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) southwest of Berlin at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe rivers at the southern end of the North German Plain.
Leipzig has been a trade city since at least the time of the Holy Roman Empire. The city sits at the intersection of the Via Regia and the Via Imperii, two important medieval trade routes. Leipzig was once one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing. Leipzig became a major urban centre within the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) after the Second World War, but its cultural and economic importance declined.
Events in Leipzig in 1989 played a significant role in precipitating the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, mainly through demonstrations starting from St. Nicholas Church. Since the reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of some historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. Leipzig today is an economic centre, the most livable city in Germany, according to the GfK marketing research institution and has the second-best future prospects of all cities in Germany, according to HWWI and Berenberg Bank. Leipzig Zoo is one of the most modern zoos in Europe and ranks first in Germany and second in Europe according to Anthony Sheridan. Since the opening of the Leipzig City Tunnel in 2013, Leipzig forms the centrepiece of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland public transit system. Leipzig is currently listed as a Gamma World City, Germany's "Boomtown" and as the European City of the Year 2019.
Oper Leipzig has become one of the most prominent opera houses in Germany. It was founded in 1693, making it the third oldest opera venue in Europe after La Fenice (Venice, Italy) and the Hamburg State Opera (Hamburg, Germany). Leipzig is also home to the University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy". It was during a stay in this city that Friedrich Schiller wrote his poem "Ode to Joy". The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, established in 1743, is one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world.
Location of Leipzig
|District||Urban districts of Germany|
|• Lord Mayor||Burkhard Jung (SPD)|
|• City||297.36 km2 (114.81 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,000/km2 (5,100/sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,001,220 (LUZ)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
The name Leipzig is derived from the Slavic word Lipsk, which means "settlement where the linden trees (British English: lime trees; U.S. English: basswood trees) stand". An older spelling of the name in English is Leipsic. The Latin name Lipsia was also used. The name is cognate with Lipetsk (Липецк) in Russia and Liepāja in Latvia.
Since 1989 Leipzig has been informally dubbed "Hero City" (Heldenstadt), in recognition of the role that the Monday demonstrations there played in the fall of the East German regime – the name alludes to the honorary title awarded in the former Soviet Union to certain cities that played a key role in the victory of the Allies during the Second World War. The common usage of this nickname for Leipzig up until the present is reflected, for example, in the name of a popular blog for local arts and culture, Heldenstadt.de.
More recently, the city has sometimes been nicknamed the "Boomtown of eastern Germany", "Hypezig" or "The better Berlin" for being celebrated by the media as a hip urban centre for the vital lifestyle and creative scene with many startups.
Leipzig was first documented in 1015 in the chronicles of Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg as urbs Libzi (Chronikon VII, 25) and endowed with city and market privileges in 1165 by Otto the Rich. Leipzig Trade Fair, started in the Middle Ages, has become an event of international importance and is the oldest surviving trade fair in the world.
There are records of commercial fishing operations on the river Pleisse in Leipzig dating back to 1305, when the Margrave Dietrich the Younger granted the fishing rights to the church and convent of St Thomas.
There were a number of monasteries in and around the city, including a Franciscan monastery after which the Barfußgäßchen (Barefoot Alley) is named and a monastery of Irish monks (Jacobskirche, destroyed in 1544) near the present day Ranstädter Steinweg (the old Via Regia).
The foundation of the University of Leipzig in 1409 initiated the city's development into a centre of German law and the publishing industry, and towards being the location of the Reichsgericht (Imperial Court of Justice) and the German National Library (founded in 1912).
During the Thirty Years' War, two battles took place in Breitenfeld, about 8 kilometres (5.0 miles) outside Leipzig city walls. The first Battle of Breitenfeld took place in 1631 and the second in 1642. Both battles resulted in victories for the Swedish-led side.
On 24 December 1701, an oil-fueled street lighting system was introduced. The city employed light guards who had to follow a specific schedule to ensure the punctual lighting of the 700 lanterns.
The Leipzig region was the arena of the 1813 Battle of Leipzig between Napoleonic France and an allied coalition of Prussia, Russia, Austria and Sweden. It was the largest battle in Europe before the First World War and the coalition victory ended Napoleon's presence in Germany and would ultimately lead to his first exile on Elba. The Monument to the Battle of the Nations celebrating the centenary of this event was completed in 1913. In addition to stimulating German nationalism, the war had a major impact in mobilizing a civic spirit in numerous volunteer activities. Many volunteer militias and civic associations were formed, and collaborated with churches and the press to support local and state militias, patriotic wartime mobilization, humanitarian relief and postwar commemorative practices and rituals.
When it was made a terminus of the first German long-distance railway to Dresden (the capital of Saxony) in 1839, Leipzig became a hub of Central European railway traffic, with Leipzig Hauptbahnhof the largest terminal station by area in Europe. The railway station has two grand entrance halls, the eastern one for the Royal Saxon State Railways and the western one for the Prussian state railways.
In the 19th century, Leipzig was a centre of the German and Saxon liberal movements. The first German labor party, the General German Workers' Association (Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein, ADAV) was founded in Leipzig on 23 May 1863 by Ferdinand Lassalle; about 600 workers from across Germany travelled to the foundation on the new railway. Leipzig expanded rapidly to more than 700,000 inhabitants. Huge Gründerzeit areas were built, which mostly survived both war and post-war demolition.
With the opening of a fifth production hall in 1907, the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei became the largest cotton mill company on the continent, housing over 240,000 spindles. Daily production surpassed 5 million kilograms of yarn.
During the 1930s and 1940s, music was prominent throughout Leipzig. Many students attended Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy College of Music and Theatre (then named Landeskonservatorium.) However, in 1944, it was closed due to World War II. It re-opened soon after the war ended in 1945.
On 22 May 1930, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler was elected mayor of Leipzig. He was well known as an opponent of the Nazi regime. He resigned in 1937 when, in his absence, his Nazi deputy ordered the destruction of the city's statue of Felix Mendelssohn. On Kristallnacht in 1938, the 1855 Moorish Revival Leipzig synagogue, one of the city's most architecturally significant buildings, was deliberately destroyed. Goerdeler was later executed by the Nazis on 2 February 1945.
Several thousand forced labourers were stationed in Leipzig during the Second World War.
Beginning in 1933, many Jewish citizens of Leipzig were members of the Gemeinde, a large Jewish religious community spread throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In October 1935, the Gemeinde helped found the Lehrhaus (English: a house of study) in Leipzig to provide different forms of studies to Jewish students who were prohibited from attending any institutions in Germany. Jewish studies were emphasized and much of the Jewish community of Leipzig became involved.
Like all other cities claimed by the Nazis, Leipzig was subject to aryanisation. Beginning in 1933 and increasing in 1939, Jewish business owners were forced to give up their possessions and stores. This eventually intensified to the point where Nazi officials were strong enough to evict the Jewish people from their own homes. They also had the power to force many of the Jews living in the city to sell their houses. Many people who sold their homes emigrated elsewhere, outside of Leipzig. Others moved to Judenhäuser, which were smaller houses that acted as ghettos, housing large groups of people.
As with other cities in Europe during the Holocaust, the Jewish people of Leipzig were impacted greatly by the Nuremberg Laws. However, due to the Leipzig Trade Fair and the international attention it garnered, Leipzig was especially cautious about its public image. Despite this, the Leipzig authorities were not afraid to strictly apply and enforce anti-semitic measures. Shortly before Kristallnacht, Polish Jews living in the city were expelled.
On 20 December 1937, after the Nazis took control of the city, they renamed it Reichsmessestadt Leipzig, meaning the "Imperial Trade Fair City Leipzig". In early 1938, Leipzig saw an increase in Zionism through Jewish citizens. Many of these Zionists attempted to flee before deportations began. On 28 October 1938, Heinrich Himmler ordered the deportation of Polish Jews from Leipzig to Poland.
On 9 November 1938, as part of Kristallnacht, in Gottschedstrasse (German: Gottschedstraße), now a popular dining and nightlife area in Leipzig, synagogues and businesses were set on fire. Only a couple of days later, on 11 November 1938, many Jews in the Leipzig area were deported to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. As World War II came to an end, much of Leipzig was destroyed. Following the war, the Communist Party of Germany (German: Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD) provided aid for the reconstruction of the city.
In 1933, a census recorded that over 11,000 Jews were living in Leipzig. In the 1939 census, the number had fallen to roughly 4,500, and by January 1942 only 2,000 remained. In that month, these 2,000 Jews began to be deported. On 13 July 1942, 170 Jews were deported from Leipzig to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. On 19 September 1942, 440 Jews were deported from Leipzig to Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. On 18 June 1943, the remaining 18 Jews still in Leipzig were deported from Leipzig to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. According to records of the two waves of deportations to Auschwitz there were no survivors. According to records of the Theresienstadt deportation, only 53 Jews survived.
Until late 1943, there was little threat of aerial bombings to the city. However, on the morning of 4 December 1943, the British Royal Air Force dropped over 1,000 tons of explosives, resulting in the death of nearly 1,000 civilians. This bombing was the largest up to that time. Due to the close proximity of many of the buildings hit, a firestorm occurred. This prompted firefighters to rush to the city; however, the storm was too overwhelming for them. Unlike its neighbouring city of Dresden, this was a largely conventional bombing with high explosives rather than incendiaries. The resultant pattern of loss was a patchwork, rather than wholesale loss of its centre, but was nevertheless extensive.
The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Leipzig in late April 1945. The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and U.S. 69th Infantry Division fought their way into the city on 18 April and completed its capture after fierce urban action, in which fighting was often house-to-house and block-to-block, on 19 April 1945. In April 1945 the SS Gruppehfuhrer/Mayor of Leipzig Bruno Erich Alfred Freyberg, his wife and daughter; the Deputy Mayor/Treasurer of Leipzig, Ernest Kurt Lisso, his wife, daughter, and a Volkssturm Major Walter Dönicke committed suicide in Leipzig City Hall.
The United States turned the city over to the Red Army as it pulled back from the line of contact with Soviet forces in July 1945 to the designated occupation zone boundaries. Leipzig became one of the major cities of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
In the mid-20th century, the city's trade fair assumed renewed importance as a point of contact with the Comecon Eastern Europe economic bloc, of which East Germany was a member. At this time, trade fairs were held at a site in the south of the city, near the Monument to the Battle of the Nations. In October 1989, after prayers for peace at St. Nicholas Church, established in 1983 as part of the peace movement, the Monday demonstrations started as the most prominent mass protest against the East German government. Since the reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of some historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure.
Nowadays, Leipzig is an important economic center in Germany. Since the 2010s, the city has been celebrated by the media as a hip urban center with a very high quality of living. It is often called "The new Berlin". Leipzig is also Germany's fastest growing city. Leipzig was the German candidate for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but was unsuccessful. After ten years of construction, the Leipzig City Tunnel opened on 14 December 2013. Leipzig forms the centerpiece of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland public transit system, which operates in the four German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Brandenburg.
Leipzig lies at the confluence of the rivers White Elster, Pleisse and Parthe, in the Leipzig Bay, on the most southerly part of the North German Plain, which is the part of the North European Plain in Germany. The site is characterized by swampy areas such as the Leipzig Riverside Forest, though there are also some limestone areas to the north of the city. The landscape is mostly flat though there is also some evidence of moraine and drumlins.
Although there are some forest parks within the city limits, the area surrounding Leipzig is relatively unforested. During the 20th century, there were several open-cast mines in the region, many of which are being converted to use as lakes. Also see: Neuseenland
Leipzig is also situated at the intersection of the ancient roads known as the Via Regia (King's highway), which traversed Germany in an east-west direction, and the Via Imperii (Imperial Highway), a north-south road.
Leipzig was a walled city in the Middle Ages and the current "ring" road around the historic centre of the city follows the line of the old city walls.
Since 1992 Leipzig has been divided administratively into ten districts, which in turn contain a total of 63 subdistricts. Some of these correspond to outlying villages which have been annexed by Leipzig.
Like many places located in Eastern parts of Germany, Leipzig has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb close to a Dfb [0 °C US isoterm]) with significant continental influences due to inland location. Winters are variably mild to cold, with an average of around 1 °C (34 °F). Summers are generally warm, averaging at 19 °C (66 °F) with daytime temperatures of 24 °C (75 °F). Precipitation in winter is about half that of the summer. The amount of sunshine is very different between winter and summer, with an average of around 51 hours of sunshine in December (1.7 hours a day) compared with 229 hours of sunshine in July (7.4 hours a day).
|Climate data for Leipzig/Halle, Germany for 1981–2010, temperature records for 1973–2013 (Source: DWD)|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.9
|Average high °C (°F)||3.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−27.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||31.9
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||62.8||77.8||124.5||181.7||227.4||224.8||229.0||213.1||160.9||122.9||61.5||51.1||1,737.3|
|Source: Data derived from Deutscher Wetterdienst, note: sunshine hours are from 1991–2013|
Leipzig has a population of about 570,000. In 1930 the population reached its historical peak of over 700,000. It decreased steadily from 1950 until 1989 to about 530,000. In the 1990s the population decreased rather rapidly to 437,000 in 1998. This reduction was mostly due to outward migration and suburbanization. After almost doubling the city area by incorporation of surrounding towns in 1999, the number stabilized and started to rise again with an increase of 1,000 in 2000. As of 2015, Leipzig is the fastest-growing city in Germany with over 500,000 inhabitants. The growth of the past 10–15 years has mostly been due to inward migration. In recent years inward migration accelerated, reaching an increase of 12,917 in 2014.
In the years following German reunification many people of working age took the opportunity to move to the states of the former West Germany to seek work. This was a contributory factor to falling birth rates. Births dropped from 7,000 in 1988 to less than 3,000 in 1994. However, the number of children born in Leipzig has risen since the late 1990s. In 2011 it reached 5,490 newborns resulting in a RNI of -17.7 (-393.7 in 1995).
The percentage of the population with an immigrant background is low compared with other German cities. As of 2012, only 5.6% of the population were foreigners, compared to the German overall average of 7.7%.
The number of people with an immigrant background (immigrants and their children) grew from 49,323 in 2012 to 77,559 in 2016, making them 13.3% of the city's population (Leipzig's population 579,530 in 2016).
The largest minorities (first and second generation) in Leipzig by country of origin in 2017 are:
The historic central area of Leipzig features a Renaissance-style ensemble of buildings from the 16th century, including the old city hall in the market place. There are also several baroque period trading houses and former residences of rich merchants. As Leipzig grew considerably during the economic boom of the late 19th century, the town has many buildings in the historicist style representative of the Gründerzeit era. Approximately 35% of Leipzig's flats are in buildings of this type. The new city hall, completed in 1905, is built in the same style.
Some 64,000 apartments in Leipzig were built in Plattenbau buildings during the Communist rule in East Germany. and although some of these have been demolished and the numbers living in this type of accommodation have declined in recent years, at least 10% of Leipzig's population (50,000 people) are still living in Plattenbau accommodation. Grünau, for example, has approximately 40,000 people living in this sort of accommodation.
The St. Paul's Church was destroyed by the communists in 1968 to make room for a new main building for the university. After some debate, the city decided to establish a new, mainly secular building at the same location, called Paulinum, which was completed in 2012. Its architecture alludes to the look of the former church and it includes space for religious use by the faculty of theology, including the original altar from the old church and two newly built organs.
Many commercial buildings were built in the 1990s as a result of tax breaks after German reunification.
The tallest structure in Leipzig is the chimney of the Stahl- und Hartgusswerk Bösdorf GmbH with a height of 205 metres (673 feet). With 142 metres (466 feet), the City-Hochhaus Leipzig is the tallest high-rise building in Leipzig. From 1972 to 1973 it was Germany's tallest building.
|Buildings and structures||Image||Height in metres||Year||Notes|
|Chimney of Stahl- und Hartgusswerk Bösdorf GmbH||205||1984|
|City-Hochhaus Leipzig||142||1972||Total height 153 m, tallest building in Germany 1972–1973. Headquarter of European Energy Exchange.|
|Tower of New Town Hall||115||1905||Tallest Town Hall in Germany|
|Wintergartenhochhaus||106,8||1972||Used as residential tower|
|Hotel The Westin Leipzig||95||1972||Hotel with skybar and restaurant|
|Monument to the Battle of the Nations||91||1913||Tallest monument in Europe.|
|St. Peters'||88,5||1885||Leipzig's tallest church.|
|MDR-Hochhaus||65||2000||MDR is one of Germany's public broadcasters.|
|Hochhaus Löhr's Carree||65||1997||Headquarters of Sachsen Bank and Sparkasse Leipzig.|
|Center Torgauer Platz||63||1995|
|Europahaus||56||1929||Headquarters of Stadtwerke Leipzig|
One of the highlights of the city's contemporary arts was the Neo Rauch retrospective opening in April 2010 at the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts. This is a show devoted to the father of the New Leipzig School of artists. According to The New York Times, this scene "has been the toast of the contemporary art world" for the past decade. In addition, there are eleven galleries in the so-called Spinnerei.
The Grassi Museum complex contains three more of Leipzig's major collections: the Ethnography Museum, Applied Arts Museum and Musical Instrument Museum (the last of which is run by the University of Leipzig). The university also runs the Museum of Antiquities.
Founded in March 2015, the G2 Kunsthalle houses the Hildebrand Collection. This private collection focuses on the so-called New Leipzig School. Leipzig's first private museum dedicated to contemporary art in Leipzig after the turn of the millennium is located in the city centre close to the famous St. Thomas Church on the third floor of the former GDR processing centre.
Other museums in Leipzig include the following:
Leipzig is well known for its large parks. The Leipziger Auwald (riparian forest) lies mostly within the city limits. Neuseenland is an area south of Leipzig where old open-cast mines are being converted into a huge lake district. It is planned to be finished in 2060.
Johann Sebastian Bach worked in Leipzig from 1723 to 1750, conducting the Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Church Choir), at the St. Thomas Church, the St. Nicholas Church and the Paulinerkirche, the university church of Leipzig (destroyed in 1968). The composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig in 1813, in the Brühl. Robert Schumann was also active in Leipzig music, having been invited by Felix Mendelssohn when the latter established Germany's first musical conservatoire in the city in 1843. Gustav Mahler was second conductor (working under Artur Nikisch) at the Leipzig Opera from June 1886 until May 1888, and achieved his first significant recognition while there by completing and publishing Carl Maria von Weber's opera Die Drei Pintos. Mahler also completed his own 1st Symphony while living in Leipzig.
Today the conservatory is the University of Music and Theatre Leipzig. A broad range of subjects are taught, including artistic and teacher training in all orchestral instruments, voice, interpretation, coaching, piano chamber music, orchestral conducting, choir conducting and musical composition in various musical styles. The drama departments teach acting and scriptwriting.
The Bach-Archiv Leipzig, an institution for the documentation and research of the life and work of Bach (and also of the Bach family), was founded in Leipzig in 1950 by Werner Neumann. The Bach-Archiv organizes the prestigious International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition, initiated in 1950 as part of a music festival marking the bicentennial of Bach's death. The competition is now held every two years in three changing categories. The Bach-Archiv also organizes performances, especially the international festival Bachfest Leipzig (de) and runs the Bach-Museum.
The MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra is Leipzig's second largest symphony orchestra. Its current chief conductor is Kristjan Järvi. Both the Gewandhausorchester and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra make use of in the Gewandhaus concert hall.
For over 60 years Leipzig has been offering a "school concert" programme for children in Germany, with over 140 concerts every year in venues such as the Gewandhaus and over 40,000 children attending.
As for contemporary music, Leipzig is known for its independent music scene and subcultural events. Leipzig has for 20 years been home to the world's largest Gothic festival, the annual Wave-Gotik-Treffen (WGT), where thousands of fans of gothic and dark styled music from across Europe gather in the early summer. The first Wave Gotik Treffen was held at the Eiskeller club, today known as Conne Island, in the Connewitz district. Mayhem's notorious album Live in Leipzig was also recorded at the Eiskeller club. Leipzig Pop Up is an annual music trade fair for the independent music scene as well as a music festival taking place on Pentecost weekend. Its most famous indie-labels are Moon Harbour Recordings (House) and Kann Records (House/Techno/Psychedelic). Several venues offer live music on a daily basis, including the Moritzbastei which was once part of the city's fortifications, and is one of the oldest student clubs in Europe with concerts in various styles. For over 15 years "Tonelli's" has been offering free weekly concerts every day of the week, though door charges may apply Saturdays.
More than 300 sport clubs in the city represent 78 different disciplines. Over 400 athletic facilities are available to citizens and club members.
The German Football Association (DFB) was founded in Leipzig in 1900. The city was the venue for the 2006 FIFA World Cup draw, and hosted four first-round matches and one match in the round of 16 in the central stadium.
VfB Leipzig, now 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig, won the first national Association football championship in 1903. The club was reformed as 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig in 1966 and has had a glorious past in international competition as well, having been champions of the 1965–66 Intertoto Cup, semi-finalists in the 1973–74 UEFA Cup, and runners-up in the 1986–87 European Cup Winners' Cup.
In May 2009 Red Bull entered the local market after being denied the right to buy into FC Sachsen Leipzig in 2006. The newly founded RB Leipzig declared the intention to come up through the ranks of German football to bring Bundesliga football back to the region. RB Leipzig was finally promoted to the top level of the Bundesliga after finishing the 2015–16 2. Bundesliga season as runners-up.
List of Leipzig men and women's football clubs playing at state level and above:
|RB Leipzig||2009||Bundesliga||1||Red Bull Arena||42,959|
|RB Leipzig (women)||20161||Regionalliga (women)||3||Sportanlage Gontardweg||1,300|
|1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig||2003||Regionalliga Nordost||4||Bruno-Plache-Stadion||7,000|
|BSG Chemie Leipzig||19972||NOFV-Oberliga Süd||5||Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark||4,999|
|FC International Leipzig||2013||NOFV-Oberliga Süd||5||Sportpark Tresenwald||1,500|
|Roter Stern Leipzig (de)||1999||Landesklasse Sachsen Nord||7||Sportpark Dölitz||1,200|
Note 1: The RB Leipzig women's football team was formed in 2016 and began play in the 2016-17 season.
Note 2: The club began play in the 2008-09 season.
SC DHfK Leipzig is the men's handball club in Leipzig and were six times (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965 and 1966) the champion of East Germany handball league and was winner of EHF Champions League in 1966. They finally promoted to Handball-Bundesliga as champions of 2. Bundesliga in 2014–15 season. They play in the Arena Leipzig witch have a capacity of 6,327 spectators in HBL games but can take up to 7,532 spectators for handball in maximum capacity.
Handball-Club Leipzig is one of the most successful women's handball clubs in Germany, winning 20 domestic championships since 1956 and 3 Champions League titles. The team was however relegated to the third tier league in 2017 due to failing to achieve the economic standard demanded by the league licence.
From 1950 to 1990 Leipzig was host of the Deutsche Hochschule für Körperkultur (DHfK, German College of Physical Culture), the national sports college of the GDR.
Leipzig also hosted the Fencing World Cup in 2005 and hosts a number of international competitions in a variety of sports each year.
Leipzig made a bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The bid did not make the shortlist after the International Olympic Committee pared the bids down to 5.
Markkleeberger See is a new lake next to Markkleeberg, a suburb on the south side of Leipzig. A former open-pit coal mine, it was flooded in 1999 with groundwater and developed in 2006 as a tourist area. On its southeastern shore is Germany's only pump-powered artificial whitewater slalom course, Markkleeberg Canoe Park (Kanupark Markkleeberg), a venue which rivals the Eiskanal in Augsburg for training and international canoe/kayak competition.
Leipzig Rugby Club competes in the German Rugby Bundesliga but finished at the bottom of their group in 2013.
Leipzig University, founded 1409, is one of Europe's oldest universities. The philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born in Leipzig in 1646, and attended the university from 1661 to 1666. Nobel Prize laureate Werner Heisenberg worked here as a physics professor (from 1927 to 1942), as did Nobel Prize laureates Gustav Ludwig Hertz (physics), Wilhelm Ostwald (chemistry) and Theodor Mommsen (Nobel Prize in literature). Other former staff of faculty include mineralogist Georg Agricola, writer Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, philosopher Ernst Bloch, eccentric founder of psychophysics Gustav Theodor Fechner, and psychologist Wilhelm Wundt. Among the university's many noteworthy students were writers Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Erich Kästner, and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, political activist Karl Liebknecht, and composer Richard Wagner. Germany's chancellor since 2006, Angela Merkel, studied physics at Leipzig University. The university has about 30,000 students.
A part of Leipzig University is the German Institute for Literature which was founded in 1955 under the name "Johannes R. Becher-Institut". Many noted writers have graduated from this school, including Heinz Czechowski, Kurt Drawert, Adolf Endler, Ralph Giordano, Kerstin Hensel, Sarah and Rainer Kirsch, Angela Krauß, Erich Loest, Fred Wander. After its closure in 1990 the institute was refounded in 1995 with new teachers.
The Academy of Visual Arts (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst) was established in 1764. Its 530 students (as of 2006) are enrolled in courses in painting and graphics, book design/graphic design, photography and media art. The school also houses an Institute for Theory.
The University of Music and Theatre offers a broad range of subjects ranging from training in orchestral instruments, voice, interpretation, coaching, piano chamber music, orchestral conducting, choir conducting and musical composition to acting and scriptwriting.
The Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK) has approximately 6,200 students (as of 2007) and is (as of 2007) the second biggest institution of higher education in Leipzig. It was founded in 1992, merging several older schools. As a university of applied sciences (German: Fachhochschule) its status is slightly below that of a university, with more emphasis on the practical part of the education. The HTWK offers many engineering courses, as well as courses in computer science, mathematics, business administration, librarianship, museum studies and social work. It is mainly located in the south of the city.
The private Leipzig Graduate School of Management, (in German Handelshochschule Leipzig (HHL)), is the oldest business school in Germany. According to The Economist, HHL is one of the best schools in the world, rankend at number six overall.
Among the research institutes located in Leipzig, three belong to the Max Planck Society. These are the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Two more are Fraunhofer Society institutes. Others are the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, and the Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research.
The Lutheran Theological Seminary is a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church in Leipzig. The seminary trains students to become pastors for the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church or for member church bodies of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference.
The city is a location for automobile manufacturing by BMW and Porsche in large plants north of the city. In 2011 and 2012 DHL transferred the bulk of its European air operations from Brussels Airport to Leipzig/Halle Airport. Kirow Ardelt AG, the world market leader in breakdown cranes, is based in Leipzig. The city also houses the European Energy Exchange, the leading energy exchange in Central Europe. With VNG – Verbundnetz Gas AG, one of Germany's large natural gas suppliers is headquartered at Leipzig. In addition, inside its larger metropolitan area, Leipzig has developed an important petrochemical center.
Some of the largest employers in the area (outside of manufacturing) include software companies such as Spreadshirt and the various schools and universities in and around the Leipzig/Halle region. The University of Leipzig attracts millions of euros of investment yearly and is in the middle of a massive construction and refurbishment to celebrate its 600th anniversary.
Leipzig also benefits from world leading medical research (Leipzig Heart Centre) and a growing biotechnology industry.
Many bars, restaurants and stores found in the downtown area are patronized by German and foreign tourists. Leipzig Hauptbahnhof itself is the location of a shopping mall. Leipzig is one of Germany's most visited cities with over 3 million overnight stays in 2017.
In 2010, Leipzig was included in the top 10 cities to visit by The New York Times, and ranked 39th globally out of 289 cities for innovation in the 4th Innovation Cities Index published by Australian agency 2thinknow. In 2015, Leipzig have among the 30 largest German cities the third best prospects for the future. In recent years Leipzig has often been nicknamed the "Boomtown of eastern Germany" or "Hypezig". As of 2013 it had the highest rate of population growth of any German city.
Companies with operations in or around Leipzig include:
In December 2013, according to a study by Marktforschungsinstituts GfK, Leipzig was ranked as the most livable city in Germany and is one of the three European cities with the highest quality of living (after Groningen and Kraków). In 2015/2016, Leipzig is the second-best city for students in Germany (after Munich).
It has also the second-best future prospects of all cities in Germany, only surpassed by Munich.
According to the 2017 Global Least & Most Stressful Cities Ranking Leipzig is one of the least stressful cities in the World. It's ranked on place 25th out of 150 cities worldwide and in Germany before Dortmund, Cologne, Frankfurt and Berlin.
In 2018, Leipzig was named as the European Cities of Future in the category "Best Large City for Human Capital & Lifestyle".
Leipzig is the European City of the Year at the 2019 Urbanism Awards.
Founded at the crossing of Via Regia and Via Imperii, Leipzig has been a major interchange of inter-European traffic and commerce since medieval times. After the Reunification of Germany, immense efforts to restore and expand the traffic network have been undertaken and left the city area with an excellent infrastructure.
Since 1936, Leipzig has been connected to the A 9 and A 14 autobahns via the Schkeuditzer Kreuz (Schkeuditz Cross) interchange and several exits. The A 38 completed the autobahn beltway around Leipzig in 2006.
Like most German cities, Leipzig has a traffic layout designed to be bicycle-friendly. There is an extensive cycle network. In most of the one-way central streets, cyclists are explicitly allowed to cycle both ways. A few cycle paths have been built or declared since 1990.
Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, opened in 1915, is at a junction of important north-to-south and west-to-east railway lines. The ICE train between Berlin and Munich stops in Leipzig and it takes approximately one hour from Berlin Hauptbahnhof and three hours from München Hauptbahnhof.
Leipzig/Halle Airport is the main airport in the vicinity of the city. Leipzig/Halle Airport offers a number of seasonal vacation charter flights as well as regular scheduled services. The former military airport near Altenburg, Thuringia called Leipzig-Altenburg Airport about a half-hour drive from Leipzig was served by Ryanair until 2010.
In the first half of the 20th century, the construction of the Elster-Saale canal, White Elster and Saale was started in Leipzig in order to connect to the network of waterways. The outbreak of the Second World War stopped most of the work, though some may have continued through the use of forced labor. The Lindenauer port was almost completed but not yet connected to the Elster-Saale and Karl-Heine canal respectively. The Leipzig rivers (White Elster, New Luppe, Pleisse, and Parthe) in the city have largely artificial river beds and are supplemented by some channels. These waterways are suitable only for small leisure boat traffic.
Through the renovation and reconstruction of existing mill races and watercourses in the south of the city and flooded disused open cast mines, the city's navigable water network is being expanded. The city commissioned planning for a link between Karl Heine Canal and the disused Lindenauer port in 2008. Still more work was still scheduled to complete the Elster-Saale canal. Such a move would allow small boats to reach the Elbe from Leipzig. The intended completion date has been postponed because of an unacceptable cost-benefit ratio.
Leipzig has an extensive local public transport network. The city's tram and bus network is operated by the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe. Leipzig's tram network, at a length of 148.3 kilometres (92 mi), is the second biggest in Germany. Leipzig City Tunnel forms the centerpiece of an extensive S-Bahn network serving 1.2 million people in the Leipzig/Halle metropolitan area. The tunnel links the main station in the north with the Bayrische Bahnhof in the south.
Mein Leipzig lob' ich mir! Es ist ein klein Paris und bildet seine Leute. (I praise my Leipzig! It is a small Paris and educates its people.) – Frosch, a university student in Goethe's Faust, Part One
Ich komme nach Leipzig, an den Ort, wo man die ganze Welt im Kleinen sehen kann. (I'm coming to Leipzig, to the place where one can see the whole world in miniature.) – Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Extra Lipsiam vivere est miserrime vivere. (To live outside Leipzig is to live miserably.) – Benedikt Carpzov the Younger
Das angenehme Pleis-Athen, Behält den Ruhm vor allen, Auch allen zu gefallen, Denn es ist wunderschön. (The pleasurable Pleiss-Athens, earns its fame above all, appealing to every one, too, for it is mightily beauteous.) – Johann Sigismund Scholze
Germany Leipzig Metropolitan area DE008 843,619