Leipzig’s railway station is one of the largest in Europe and is a few minutes’ walk from the city’s lovingly restored Old Town. There is a vast range of architectural styles to see, from Art Nouveau to Post-Modernism, which combine to make the city a joy to wander. The glamorous heritage of the city dates back to the Grunderzeit period during the 19th century, when Leipzig flourished during the post-industrialisation boom in Germany and nearby Austria. The Madler Mall is Leipzig’s most famous shopping arcade, and was immortalized by a scene from Goethe’s ‘Faust’. Outside the stunning Art Nouveau entrance are bronze sculptures that pay homage to the Goethe’s famous text. The main reason to visit today, other than the high-end shops, is the historic tavern ‘Auerbach’s Keller’ that the author frequented.
For those interested in Leipzig’s history, a visit to the Nikolaikirche is a must. Like many churches in the former East, Nikolaikirche played a prominent role in bringing an end to the Soviet regime. It was here that 600 members of the SED came to break up the non-violent demonstrations and, rather than follow this rule, they ended up joining forces with those inside. This was historic moment in the lead up to the collapse of the SED party and the fall of their dictatorship.