Top Historic Sights in Leipzig, Germany

Explore the historic highlights of Leipzig

St. Thomas Church

St. Thomas Church is associated with a number of well-known composers such as Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, but mostly with Johann Sebastian Bach who worked here as a Kapellmeister (music director) from 1723 until his death in 1750. Today, the church also holds his remains. Martin Luther preached here in 1539. There has been a church at the current site of the Thomaskirche at least since the 12 ...
Founded: 1496 | Location: Leipzig, Germany

St. Nicholas Church

Construction of the St. Nicholas Church began about 1165. It is named after St. Nicholas, patron of travelers and merchants. It was built originally in the Romanesque style (with twin towers) but was extended and enlarged in the early 16th century in the Gothic style. The Baroque main tower was added in 1730; the portal dates from 1759. From 1784 to 1797 the interior was remodeled by German architect Johann Carl Fr ...
Founded: 1165 | Location: Leipzig, Germany

Monument to the Battle of the Nations

The Monument to the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal) is dedicated to the 1813 Battle of Leipzig, also known as the Battle of the Nations. Paid for mostly by donations and the city of Leipzig, it was completed in 1913 for the 100th anniversary of the battle at a cost of six million goldmarks. The monument commemorates Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig, a crucial step towards the end of hostilities in the War ...
Founded: 1913 | Location: Leipzig, Germany

New Town Hall

Leipzig New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) is the seat of the Leipzig city administration since 1905. It stands within the Leipzig"s 'ring road' on the southwest corner opposite the city library at Martin-Luther-Ring. The main tower is, at 114.8 meters, the tallest city hall tower in Germany. In 1895 the city of Leipzig was granted the site of the Pleissenburg by the Kingdom of Saxony to build a new tow ...
Founded: 1899 | Location: Leipzig, Germany

Gohliser Schlösschen

In 1756, the Leipzig merchant and City Architect Johann Caspar Richter commissioned the building of a summer palace - the Gohlis Palace. Richter"s architecture, the building"s interior design and the orangery wings enclosing the building at either end make the palace a sterling example of Saxon Baroque architecture. In 1998, the palace was reopened after undergoing complete restoration. Today, the palace is a v ...
Founded: 1756 | Location: Leipzig, Germany

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Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.