Leipzig is a city situated between heaven and hell. On one hand here is the heavenly religious music of Johan Sebastian Bach to be found, resounding still in the beautiful churches, leading the listeners towards the sky, elevating one’s spirit. On the other hand in the underground den of pleasures, called Auerbachs Keller, you will eat and drink, and then you’ll meet Mephistopheles himself or at least an actor in this costume, going around the tables and reciting verses from Goethe’s Faust. You see, this is the first place the demon wanted to show to Faust during his trips.
The first time I visited Leipzig I was really impressed by this renowned city of culture, of publishing houses, of famous composers (apart from Bach, Wagner, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Telemann, are all connected with the city one way or another), of a very old and prestigious University. Unfortunately Leipzig suffered the fate of all East German cities and was deprived of some of its most historical buildings which were replaced by some modern and ugly ones, as was the habit of the socialist regime.
The city’s dark recent past is to be re-lived in the House of the Round Corner, former HQ of the notorious Stasi. The entrance is free. Here visitors can take an idea of what it felt like to be a dissident at the time.
Some decades have gone by and a lot of money has been invested for the “plastic surgery” of Leipzig which is gradually getting its old glamour back.
In the last four years it’s obvious that the city has been booming and more and more young people come here to study, to live, to work.
In the pedestrian zone aspiring artists play music, sing, and dance for a few euros and the inhabitants of Leipzig seem to have a soft spot for everything original.
The weather is not so great in this part of Germany but for the rest Leipzig is a very interesting city, trying to find its balance between heaven and hell.