Living in Leipzig
Considered one of the most dynamic European cities, Leipzig truly stands out in East Germany. Almost a thousand years old, this proud Saxon city of about half a million residents – many of them students at one of Leipzig’s seven colleges and universities – is rich in history, culture and natural beauty. Also known as Heldenstadt, or the City of Heroes, Leipzig was the centre of revolt against the Communist regime in East Germany, culminating in a non-violent revolution that forced the collapse of the Wall in 1989.
Since then, Leipzig has (re-)emerged as one of Germany's cultural and economic powerhouses. The historical city centre has been beautifully renovated, featuring picturesque alleys and larger pedestrian areas lined with fashionable shops, restaurants, coffee shops and clubs. Leipzig has evolved into an automobile and industrial hub, with major companies such as BMW, Porsche and Siemens opening production facilities here. More recently, the city has also become one of Europe’s most important logistics centres: Amazon and DHL, for example, have some of their largest operations in Leipzig. The famous Leipzig Trade Fair, which began in the Middle Ages, is the oldest trade fair in the world. Moreover, Leipzig boasts a long tradition of book publishing and production. Today the Leipzig Book Fair, which started in the seventeenth century, is the second largest in Germany after Frankfurt/Main.
For centuries, Leipzig has also been a major force in music and the arts, nurturing some of Germany’s most well-known classical composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, and Robert and Clara Schumann. Today, the venerable 'City of Music', with its world-famous Gewandhaus Orchestra and St. Thomas Choir, is also the place where some of the most innovative house and techno music is being created. On weekends, there is never a shortage of parties or events, often taking place in one of the many abandoned factory buildings that now attract creative entrepreneurs, artists and musicians, who are reclaiming these old spaces. Many of these venues are located in the Connewitz and Südvorstadt neighbourhoods, not far from the HTWK Leipzig campus.
Getting around in Leipzig is easy. All parts of the city are well served by public transport: in addition to the existing bus and tram services, an underground railway line was completed in December 2013. Biking is a popular alternative, especially among students, and with more than 300km of bike lanes, Leipzig ranks among Germany's most bike-friendly cities. Starting from Leipzig Central Station, arguably one of Europe’s largest and finest railway terminals, other interesting destinations such as Dresden or Berlin are only a short train ride away.