As you may have read, Leipzig is a cultural city. Many of the city’s famous ‘children’, such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und Friedrich Schiller have left their tracks here.
Without a doubt, two of Leipzig’s cultural landmarks are the Gewandhaus and the opera. The Gewandhaus is famous all over the world for its orchestra, which has been directed by great conductors such as Kurt Masur and Herbert Blomstedt.
The orchestra’s concerts, along with highlights from many genres, including jazz, pop, entertainment and classical music, attract many visitors each year to this building, which is also notable for its interesting architecture. The opera is situated on Augustusplatz, directly opposite the Gewandhaus, and presents an architectural contrast to the modern Gewandhaus. In addition to its repertoire of musical comedies, ballets and world famous operas, the opera also offers tours of the building, which give the visitor a peek backstage.
A further cultural venue in the city centre is the Centraltheater, which many still know as the Schauspielhaus. The Centraltheater’s programme has been marked by modern performances in recent months, and, with this new focus on modern theatre, the Centraltheater is hoping to distinguish itself in the theatre scene. Numerous performances are also given in the Centraltheater’s two sister theatres, the Skala and the Spinnwerk. The three venues offer a bright mixture of premieres, German premieres, performances and innovative theatrical styles. In addition there are also smaller performances in the Weiße Haus and in the Sommertheater at the Gohlisher Schlösschen.
Leipzig also offers many more opportunities to experience culture, all of them within easy reach of the hostel.
Many museums and cabarets can be found right in the city centre. One such museum, the Museum of Visual Arts, attracts many visitors a year to the glass building on Sachsenplatz with its temporary exhibitions. Another popular museum is the Grassimuseum, which houses the Museum of Applied Arts, the Museum of Ethnology and the Museum of Musical Instruments.
History fans will be fascinated by the memorial site “Museum in der Runden Ecke”. The building, which was the seat of the Leipzig branch of the Stasi for 40 years, now serves as a museum, where visitors can find information about the Stasi, including information on their function, the way they worked and their history.
The authentic surroundings have been largely preserved, which enables visitors to feel the atmosphere which dominated the Runde Ecke until 1989.
Another trademark of Leipzig’s cultural scene are the first class cabaret ensembles, some of which were already operating in the times of the GDR. One of the most famous venues in town is the Academixer, which has had some of its performers, such as Bernd Lutz Lange, Gunter Böhnke und Katrin Weber, go on to fame and success beyond the border.
Other well established venues are the Pfeffermühle, the Funzel, the Gogelmosch und the Sanftwut. In addition there is also a number of smaller cabarets.
Those who are looking for a more classic performance can take pleasure in one of the Krystallpalast’s variety shows. Here you can see trapeze artists swing across the stage and jugglers show off their skills.
Leipzig, of course, also hosts many concerts. Musical greats, such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, AC/DC, Herbert Grönemeyer and Rammstein have already thrilled their fans here. The best known concert venues in town are the Leipzig Arena, the Festwiese, the Haus Auensee, the Werk II, the Parkbühne in the Clara-Zetkin-Park and the Conne Island.
The homepage of the city magazine, Kreuzer, will offer you an overview of Leipzig’s cultural scene.