A Brief History of Leipzig

Welcome to Leipzig (in English) - a brief history

AUGUSTUSPLATZ, LEIPZIG

The city of Leipzig was first documented in 1015 and has the oldest surviving trade fair in the world. It has been a trade city since at least the Holy Roman Empire. The city and market privileges, however, were granted in 1165. The name Leipzig derives from the Slavic word Lipsk, which means settlement where the linden or lime trees stand. The University of Leipzig was founded in 1409 making the city an important centre for education and law.

The ‚DOUBLE M‘ SYMBOL OF LEIPZIG’S TRADE FAIR.
THE MONUMENT OF THE BATTLE OF NATIONS.

The 19th century saw the bloody Battle of Leipzig in 1813 – the war between Napoleonic France and coalition of Prussia, Russia, Austria and Sweden. The Monument to the Battle of Nations was completed 100 years later when the city’s name was changed to Reichsmessestadt Leipzig. During the second world war, it was repeatedly attacked by British and American air raids – the most severe one took place in December 1943, which claimed more than 1.800 lives.

Leipzig played an important role in the fall of the East German regime. It became a major urban centre during the GDR (German Democratic Republic), especially in fields such as Music and Publishing. But the city´s cultural and economic importance declined after the fall of the regime.
Today Leipzig is the most populous city in Saxony with 582.277 inhabitants. It is the fastest growing city and for that it earned itself names like ‘Hypezig’, ‘Boomtown’ or the ‘better Berlin’. This is due to the Leipzig´s high quality of life and the influx of young people and start-up companies. The city is known for its prominent Opera House, the Zoo and City Tunnel, which is now the heart of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland public transit system.

VIDEO – 24 HOURS IN LEIPZIG

GLOSSARY

to document (ˈdɒkjəmənt) – urkundlich erwähnt, belegt, nachgewiesen
trade fair (treɪd feəʳ)– die Handelsmesse
at least (æt li:st) – zumindest, mindestens, wenigstens
to grant (grɑ:nt) – etw gewähren, bewilligen
to derive (dɪˈraɪv) – hier: sich ableiten lassen, von etw abstammen
to found (faʊnd) – etw gründen, errichten
education (ˌeʤʊˈkeɪʃən) – die Bildung, Ausbildung
law (lɔ:) – Recht, Gesetz
repeatedly (rɪˈpi:tɪdli) – wiederholt, mehrfach

air raid (eəʳ reɪd) – der Luftangriff
severe (səˈvɪəʳ) – schwer, schlimm, heftig
major (ˈmeɪʤəʳ) – bedeutend, wichtig
publishing (ˈpʌblɪʃɪŋ) – das Verlagswesen
to decline (dɪˈklaɪn) – sinken, zurückgehen, nachlassen
populous (ˈpɒpjələs) – bevölkerungsreich, dicht besiedelt
to earn (ɜ:n) – etw verdienen
influx (ˈɪnflʌks) – der Zustrom, Zufuhr
public transit system (ˈpʌblɪˈtræn(t)sɪˈsɪstəm) – das öffentliche Verkehrswesen