Things to Do in Leipzig
On the outskirts of Leipzig, the Belantis amusement park entertains visitors with a variety of live performances and more than 60 rides and attractions. Fun seekers of all ages will find plenty to do, from toddler-sized bumper cars to topsy-turvy roller coasters.
Standing at the intersection of two historically important trade roads, Via Regia and Via Imperii, St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig dates to 1165. The oldest church in the city, it was originally built in a Romanesque style, but was enlarged and converted into a Gothic hall church in the 16th century. An octagonal central tower was added at that time as well. Martin Luther is said to have preached at the church, which has been Protestant since 1539. The interior of the church is notable for the pillars in the nave that end in palm-like flourishes. Johann Sebastian Bach once served as the music director for the church and several of his works debuted in the church in the 18th century.
The church gained national prominence in 1989 due to peaceful demonstrations outside the church protesting communist rule in Germany. Today, it remains one of the largest churches in the Saxony region of Germany, holding up to 1400.
One of two places of worship in the center of Leipzig, St. Thomas Church is home to the remains of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who once worked as the church’s music director. The current building dates to the end of the 15th century, and the roof above its vaulted ceiling is one of the steepest in Germany. Martin Luther preached at St. Thomas on Pentecost Sunday in 1539, but the church may be best known for the St. Thomas Boys’ Choirs founded centuries earlier, in 1212.
A 223-foot (68-m) church tower rises above the surrounding skyline, featuring four bells that ring hourly and on the quarter hour. The church contains two organs, one of which was built in semblance to Bach's in the Paulinekirche—as well as a Gothic altar. Next to the church is a sculpture of Bach, added in 1908.
Home to over 850 animal species from around the world, Leipzig Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Leipzig) is a leader in animal-welfare and -breeding programs. From jungle paths and treetop trails to river cruises and Germany’s largest indoor tropical rain forest, the sprawling zoo has something to entertain all ages.
Housed in a former gas storage tank, the Leipzig Panometer was created in 2003 to display the artworks of panorama artist Yadegar Asisi. Today there are two Panometers showcasing his unique, immersive work (the other is in Dresden), and Asisi’s pieces can be seen on display around the world.