One of Germany's most beautiful city halls, with a baroque tower that dominates the Marktplatz, built in 1556 during the Renaissance, now the site of the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum and Altes Rathaus Restaurant
One museum exhibit is dedicated to Augustusplatz, scene of momentous events. A permanent exhibition depicts city history from medieval times to the Battle of Leipzig with about 1200 exhibits. Also: the impressive ballroom with portrait gallery of town magistrates, sovereigns and Saxony Electors Augustus the Strong and Moritz; an 1823 model of the city; the old council chamber, considered the most beautiful room in Leipzig, with original furnishings, interior decorations and silverware. The museum also depicts war and peace in Leipzig, the sieges and sackings, suffering of inhabitants, and prison cells vaults with old torture instruments and execution devices.
A second part illustrating the 19th to 21st century period is planned for the second floor.
Famous bierstube and wine cellar, founded 1438, still stands at the original Leipzig center site.
Here the Leipziger alchemist and magician, Dr. Johann Georg Faust, was said to have bewitched Leipzig University students. A wall plaque here shows the original Dr Faust with Mephisto, enchanting a handsome youth. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a student here between 1765 and 1768, fascinated by this Faust story, later made Aucherbach´s Keller the site for the meeting between Mephistopholes and Dr. Faust in his book Faust I. Around the huge oak table where events were said to have taken place, students still speak of the devlish prank, (and the enticements of freedom from convention), in what is still a drinking den for outsiders --homosexual or otherwise.
The third public opera house in Europe, founded in 1693. The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra has performed at every production of the Leipzig Opera and the Leipzig Ballet since 1840. The Musikalische Komödie is also a part of the Leipzig Opera, with operettas, and musical shows.
The world´s longest-standing boy choir celebrates its 800th anniversary in 2012. Guenter Ramin, a closeted gay director (cantor) during Nazi times, shielded the choir from state control, to continue as the only non-Nazi school and choir in Germany during those years. In East German days, the Choir School was again the only such independent school. Sons of some top Communist Party officials sang Bach contatas during Sunday worship, but were excused during communion. The choir is hosted by the St. Thomas Church, founded in the 12th century, now a Lutherin Church. Johann Sebastian Bach was cantor from 1723-1750, and Martin Luther preached from the high pulpit.
The choir consists now of nearly 100 boys, between ages 9 and 18, who live and go to school in the Thomasschule, nearby. They sleep, eat, study and sing in Stuben (workshop), groups of 8 to 12, led by older boys, with minimal adult involvement -- often called the world´s first student-centered school. In addition to Sunday services, the choir sings Friday evenings at 6pm, and Saturday afternoons at 3pm, except when on tour. The Thomanenchor website has schedules and photos.
Built in Romanesque style, later remodelled as Gothic, this is one of Germany's most important churches. Founded in 1165, dedicated to the patron saint of tradesmen (in connection with Leipzig trade fairs), it was the site for the Reformation debate between Martin Luther and John Eck. Luther preached several times here. Now an Evangelical Lutheran Church but still also holds regular masses of the Roman Catholic Church. Johann S. Bach performed his St. John´s Passion here on Good Friday, 1724.
In more recent times, St. Nicholas was the center of the East German Peace Movement, with mass meetings every Monday between 1987 and 1989. Thousands of protesters shouted, “We are one people!” It also became the meeting place for gay groups, such as ¨Courage,¨ and other alternative movements of the 1980s. Early gay and lesbian weddings were also peformed here. The Monday meetings continue each week at 5pm, and the congregation is guided, not by a board or pastor, but by the consensus of meeting participants.