Sunday, 31 July 2011


Time for a brief break from the parks and an opportunity to see another city. Leipzig has a population of around half a million people and I'd only heard of it because it holds one Europe's largest computer game conventions, not that I'd ever been. 

After a brief tram ride from the hotel we stopped at Augustplatz one of the main squares in the city centre and the place where all the trams seemed to meet. This building on the north side of the square is the opera house.

This sculpture titled "Unzeitgemäße Zeitgenossen" (Untimely Contemporaries) was initial erected in the late 80s but was subsequently removed when this part of the city was redeveloped. Their return in 2009 caused much celebration. To us in London this would be the equivalent of the Swiss Clock returning to Leicester Square.

This is actually a piece of art on the corner of the building. From the right angle, which I think I got just right, it looks real. This style of art to make a building more than it really is is called " trompe l'oei" (trick of the eye). Actually that's not true, this is a real building, but if you believed it then you've just become an example of what the french refer to as "duper le fou" and I'll leave you to look that up.

This is St Nicholas Church, built initially in the 12th century in a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque styles.

We had dinner in it's shadow at this rather pleasant restaurant, which seemed very welcoming of our custom. I can't remember what I had but I'm sure it was meat, heavy and delicious; typical German fare.

A short walk from the church in the centre of one of the shopping complexes is this water bell, which I couldn't get a good photo of because people kept trying to make it chime. Basically its a large vessel of water with two brass handles on the side that you rub back and forth (ooer) as you build a rhythm you vibrate the water causing it to bubble and the tone resonating out of it then gets louder. I got it to work a little bit but then thought this whole thing may have been some elaborate wind up for a hidden camera show and stopped.

Following the devastation to the city during the wars, the city has managed to rebuild itself but still retaining the architectural nods to it's past.

I have no idea what this is either, but it was tapping against the window of a closed shop as if it wanted us to help it escape.

This is St Thomas Church which is most famous for being the resting place of Johann Sebastian Bach, who used to work as a cantor here. It's one of those Lutheran churches that is focused on ending the life of Superman.

This building stands at the west end of the city's coffee shop district. We had noticed that walking around the city how quiet it was, but we realised why when we got here. Everyone was sat outside the multitude of coffee shops in this area indulging in coffee, snacks and ice cream.

It was a little too busy there but we found this nice area closeby on the edge of another square where we decided to have some dessert.

Nom nom nom !

Back to Augustusplatz where it was time to head home. This is a massive exhibition hall building to the south.

and this is the ............. again. Well done if you remembered this was the opera house.

In the morning I decided to head out for another walk, this time towards a large monument we drove past on the way in. Along the way I saw this nice little mural piece but couldn't recall Leipzig ever holding the Olympics. Turns out Olympia Leipzig is a local football team.

I'm wondering if the artist of this little piece wonders when will he will he be famous!

This guy is still so angry that he went to the trouble of printing pink stickers stating how upset he was! I wonder why he got into trouble in the first place? Using text speak isn't a crime in Germany from what I remember...but perhaps it should be.

and this is what I was wanting to walk to. The Monument to the Battle of the Nations is a massive piece commemorating (or celebrating depending on your outlook) the defeat of Napoleon. A large battle took place on this land but now it's a much more tranquil place, especially at 6 in the morning.

Usually you're allowed to climb to the top where superby views of the city are available. However the area is currently under renovation and fenced off. It's supposed to be completed by 2013 and knowing German efficiency probably will be.

Close by I found these murals also documenting the battles that had taken place in the area.

and this little piece making the wall look overgrown. They could just have planted vines and creepers.

Leipzig appeared to be a very nice city, modern but still with character and some stunning architecture to break up the monotony of the drab buildings that typically dominate a city centre.

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