Hidden Architectural Gems, Leipzig
From my room I had a perfect view of the area north of old town that was developed in the late 19th century. In the centre of this area is the Nordplatz, a beautiful square which is dominated by St. Michaelis church. The church was built 1901 - 05 in a mix of historic styles. Since it was November when I visited I couldn't go inside but the church is open May - Sept 3 - 5 pm. The surrounding apartment houses are wonderful examples of late 19th/early 20th century architecture with elements of Neo-Renaissance/-Baroque and Art Nouveau mostly. It is a quiet residential area with typical small shops that I loved to stroll through.
Gutenbergschule – as you may guess from the name – is a training school for all professions around the production of books: printer, bookbinder… Leipzig has always (that is, since the invention of letterpress printing) been a city of the book. Before the war countless editors had their seat here. After the war many of them reopened their businesses in the West. Leipzig is also the seat of the national library, which got a sister in the West after the war with the new Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt; since the reunification the two cooperate. Leipzig’s book fair which takes place every year in March is still a renowned event, though much smaller than the one in Frankfurt.
I am mentioning Gutenbergschule here for the architecture freaks. The building is an example of purest Bauhaus style.
Location: Gutenbergplatz, east of Johannisfriedhof
The large museum complex unites three collections: the museum of ethnology, the museum of arts and crafts and the museum of musical instruments.
Even if you do not plan to go in, walking through the courtyards is worthwhile because of its remarkable 1920s art déco architecture. From the last courtyard you enter the old Johannis cemetery (see separate tip). The museum was built in 1925/27 in the grounds of the former Hospital of St John’s (Johannisspital).
Leipzig is rich of amazing 19th century industrial architecture. A highly recommended place to go for exploring is Leipzig-Plagwitz, just a few tram stops southwest of the city centre.
My favourite is the former textile plant "Buntgarnwerke" (Nonnenstraße 17-21), built 1879-88 in Neo-Renaissance style. Facades are brickstones and plaster alternating, with large windows. In the 1990s these buildings were turned into apartment (lofts) houses and office buildings. As you can see on the picture on side faces the Weiße Elster river - must be amazing to live there.
The second picture shows some recently built luxury apartment houses with their own access to the river. Many folks who live there have boats.
Tram 1, 2 stop Holbeinstraße
Schiller House: This particular corner of Germany seems filled with the houses that belonged to Schiller. So, after visiting one in Dresden, I was not really surprised to see one in Leipzig as well. This fine dwelling was turned into a museum some time ago. Go to Nr. 42 in Menckerstrasse.
Deutsches Buch und Schriftmuseum: or a museum of German literature, press and anything of the kind. A place often missed, but a must if you love books. Though those collecting old manuscripts would get a heart stroke because of the sight of so many antique books. Old prints are on display, too, as are things of less fame, such as leaflets. Wonder how some propaganda or publicity items looked? The museums'll show you! I found it just by chance wandering along the streets as I knew nothing of its existence. Deutscher Platz, 1 is the address I wrote down in my travel diary.