Day 10: Hypezig Leipzig

A first reminder of Leipzig’s political history was evident at the main entrance to the Markt. The banner read: “Love Football. Hate Racism”. They continue to extend an open hand to refugees and warn against Neo-Nazi tendencies. Despite the loudspeakers and full police reinforcements nearby, it appeared to be a quiet, orderly, and reassuring demonstration.

Today’s demonstration was a faint reminder of the city’s history. In 1989, Leipzig sparked a series of demonstrations at the Nicholai Church that led to Reunification of Germany. You can read more about Leipzig here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leipzig

Leipzig doesn’t have the appeal and cultural taste of Weimar, but it has music to make up for its visual shortcomings. There are a wealth of classical and rock concerts, performances, plays, and revues, and the Gewandhaus and the Leipzig Opera are world-renown. As a major trading town and international fair promoter, Leipzig seems to have picked up economically since I was last here. Many new malls, museums, and building developments have surfaced, and the economy seems to be booming.

There are still many lovely Baroque-like buildings to appreciate everywhere you turn. Intricate passageways connect positive and negative spaces to each other. The decorative elements and sturdy, well-maintained buildings are reminiscent of Prague. Newer buildings are well integrated into the urban, pedestrianized fabric of the city.

The famed Auerbach’s Keller is where Goethe purportedly wrote “Faust”. The cellar and dark interior of the restaurant spins the mind into believing that Goethe himself must have made a deal with the devil there. A couple of bronze statues at the entrance add to the dramatic air.

The Friday Market was also in full tilt and it wasn’t hard to find seasonal spargel, or asparagus. Every vendor was selling some, and it dropped dramatically from 6 Euros in the morning to only 2 Euros per kilo by midday. Fresh meat, cheese and cakes tempted the eye as well as the palate.

And, the Thomas Kirche offered a moment of peaceful reflection at the end of the day.

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If you want to see an experimental short film on a Leipzig mural in one of the passageways: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi5GPovC2Vc. Set volume if you want to hear the Thomaskirche organ.

 

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