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October 2019
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Leipzig by Day


Stasi!

Originally uploaded by elmada.

I’ve now been to beautiful Leipzig three time, and I can honestly say that Leipzig is by far the nicest major city I’ve visited in Germany—unlikely the overly large and spread out Berlin, or the All Business All The Time Frankfurt, Leipzig seems to have a human scale.

Each one of the three times I’ve explored Leipzig, it’s charmed me on some level—although it is home to that peculiar gay bar, the New Orleans American Bar (featuring the oh so inappropriate and hateful Confederate Flag).

Yesterday’s visit was with several colleagues from the office in order to celebrate the Easter holiday—I might note that Saturday has been (so far) the only non-rainy, non-cloudy, and non-dark day during this holiday weekend. For some slightly illogical reasons, we met in Weimar and all took the same train to Leipzig.

In Leipzig we started with a visit to the Museum der Bildenden Künste, had lunch at a café I wouldn’t visit again, wandered around town, the Stasi Museum, and finished with coffee and cake at a street café in the Naschmarkt. All of the center is located in a very short walk (5 minutes at most) from the main train station.

For whatever reasons, Leipzig has charmed me. I think it is because the historic center seems to be pretty much intact, and those parts that are not intact, seem to have been rebuilt with the human scale in mind. Surprisingly, this includes the communist built buildings that are interspersed amongst the older buildings.

The Museum der Bildenden Künste is a bizarre museum—it is actually rather old, but suffered through much of the twentieth century—whether from the hands of the Nazis or the Communist Neglect. At some point after Reunification, the museum built a new facility—in part because its home during the communist era was needed by the government. However, the new building suffers from delusions of grandeur with some massively high ceilings that in some galleries are at least 30 feet tall with doors to match.

The Stasi Museum, which I visited last December, but never wrote about, is appropriately creepy. It has a preserved office showing what its employee’s workspace was like, displays of equipment to take secret photographs, and the massive shredders that were used to try and destroy documents when it became clear that the East German government was going to fall.

I’m thinking that I will make another overnight run to Gay Leipzig at the end of this month—it would be nice to have another night of dancing. It won’t be next weekend since next weekend there will be a Monty Python party in Jena.

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