After spending the first four days of my trip around Bavaria I caught a train from Munich to Leipzig.
There is a large difference in culture between Bavaria and Leipzig that is noticeable from the moment you step off the train. Architecture is different, but also people’s mannerisms are different. It really felt like a different country.
After checking into the hotel I was staying at I visited a friend at the University of Leipzig who gave me ideas for exploring the city in the afternoon. In the city I visited the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) which houses a great museum covering the history of the city over the past 1,000 years. I really knew nothing about the city until I visited the museum and came out afterwards with a much greater appreciation of its history.
While waiting to meet a friend for dinner I stumbled into Thomaskirche (St Thomas Church) which, as I quickly discovered, was the location where Martin Luther preached on the reformation and also where Johann Sebastian Bach was the former director of music. To top this off inside the church someone was playing the organ which was beautifully haunting in the low twilight.
The following morning I visited the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum (GDR Museum) which traced Leipzig’s history under Soviet rule. I then caught a train out to the Völkerschlachtdenkmal (Monument to the Battle of the Nations) which marks the defeat of Napoleon’s armies in Leipzig. After getting slightly lost trying to find the monument (pro trip: the tram stops right outside, the train does not), I bought a ticket to go inside and climb to the top. The monument is mega and slightly unusual as well, it contains huge statues of warriors.
After intending to only pass through Leipzig on the way to Berlin I ended up spending a little over a day there and it was well worth it. If I return again there remains plenty more to see.