July 28, 2015
A place of education and book-publishing for much of the past millennia, Leipzig was the scene of an epic battle and Napoleon's most decisive defeat in 1813. The city was fairly lightly bombed during World War II, but it fell inside of what would become the DDR and rebuilding proceeded at a glacial pace. There were some interesting examples of Soviet architecture built during this time, such as the Opera House, but the Soviets were just as zealous in their desire to destroy any buildings or statues that reminded them of Germany's Imperial past, including a number of old churches. Following Reunification Leipzig has been growing rapidly, becoming popular with young people around Germany and gaining the nickname "Hypezig."
The Then photos are from Wikipedia while I took the Then photos in July 2015.
People enjoy lunch in a streetside cafe in the market square.
This is the Concert Hall. The old photo was taken just after its completion in 1884, but the building was destroyed by Allied bombing during the Second World War. The current building was erected during the DDR era, in 1981.
A busy day on Peterstrasse.
The Volkshaus here was the headquarters of Leipzig's trade unions. In the old photo it has been burned to the ground by the Reichswehr. During the Kapp Putsch in 1919, when army officers attempted to overthrow the Weimar Republic and bring in a right wing autocracy, the coup leaders were thought to have made their headquarters in this building. The army attacked the Volkshaus and destroyed it in a bid to flush out the coup plotters.
The Pleissenberg as seen from across the river Pleisse. Today the buildig has been replaced by the new Town Hall.
People, carts and horse-drawn trams work their way up and down South Goethestrasse. The building on the far left remains the same.
A crowd of men, women and children, pose for a photo on the Bruhl. The building at the end of the street on the left side is the only one that still stands.
This photo gives us a glimpse deep into a long-vanished era. The building seen is the Heuwaage, which dates to the early 17th Century. It was demolished just after this photo was taken and today its site is occupied by a modern office building.
Two men walk along the Bruhl by Nikolaistrasse.
A busy day on the Bruhl. German national flags and decorations are out, perhaps to mark the visit of a member of the royal family. Once again little has survived the Second World War and decades of Communism except for the street layout.