Leipzig in a Day

I mentioned before that I’d eventually get back to writing about our trip to Leipzig when I wrote about our trip to Dresden. So here it is:

Petra and I had a limited budget and limited amount of time for our barely spring vacation, and so we spent a few days In Dresden (which has a lot more as far as sightseeing), and only one day in Leipzig.

We arrived in the evening of March 16th, so we basically had dinner and hit the hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn, which is DIRECTLY across the street from the train station, making it just about the ideal location. However, the windows seemed to be about as thin as physically possible, so the noise from the street was quite substantial and also there was a very clear draft from the windows which are directly over the bed. We had stayed at the Hilton in Dresden, so it was a clear step down.

Anyways, so we really had just one full day to see Leipzig and so we got up and out as early as we could. We had done out research on things to see mainly using Fodors Germany and Wikipedia. I love my Fodors Germany and our copy is very much showing it at this stage.

The first thing on our list to see was the Battle of the Nations Monument (Völkerschlachtdenkmal), which is supposedly the largest monument in Europe (although I would be interested in how they qualify this statement). It was the only thing on the list that was outside of the downtown area, so we thought we’d take care of it right away. After a short tram ride, we were there in maybe 15 minutes. I think the pictures speak for themselves:
We went all the way to the top and it was pretty cool. Before researching this trip, neither of had ever heard of the Battle of Nations. My current excuse is that modern history and specifically battles and wars are not my thing. End results and the stories around them are more my cup of tea…also, like I said, modern history is always last on my list.

The second thing on the list I wasn’t so sure about since Fodors mentioned that everything was in German only. It was the Stasi museum, which is basically about how closely the DDR watched over its citizens. The building served as the Stasi (secret police) headquarters in Leipzig until 1989. It’s an interesting museum, free, and definitely worth a look. However, I will say that the entire museum appears to have been done as a class project for a class of 6th graders.

Next up was St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche). This is best known as the Johann Sebastian Bach church, if you couldn’t tell from the large statue out front, the fact that he’s IN the stained glass windows, the small museum of his instruments, or that everyone inside is hovered around the altar snapping photos of his grave.

The old city all (Rathaus) was built in 1556, houses the city museum, and is definitely worth a visit. We spent a couple hours in there and it was excellent. Also, relatively cheap…especially for how well it was done.

The Church of St. Nicholas (Nikolaikirche) came next on our list, which was absolutely beautiful, and possibly the only church I’ve seen that invites visitors up and around the altar area. It has been a protestant church since 1539. I love the palm tree effect.

Now, since we were visiting on St. Patrick’s Day, of course we stopped for a couple pints of Guinness before our journey home to Munich. If you plan on visiting Leipzig, I highly recommend it as a one or one and a half day stop doing something along the same lines as I posted above…including the beer.

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