Founded in 1015, Leipzig reached its cultural apex in the 17th century, particularly in music, optics and astronomy. The famous debate between Martin Luther and John Eck concerning the Reformation took place here in 1519. Other intellectual luminaries associated with Leipzig include Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, and Richard Wagner who was born here, but did not work in the city.
Leipzig was Germany's most important German publishing center until Nazi times. Early homosexual writers Karl Heinrich Ulrich and Magnus Hirschfeld published works, including Hirschfeld´s pioneering 1901 book, ¨What People Must Know About the Third Sex.´ It was again a center for homosexual political discourse from around 1970 on. The GDR (East Germany) had decriminalized homosexuality in 1957, and made it fully legal in 1967, 25 years before the West Germans . Activists in this city figured large in that accomplishment. Leipzig also developed into a major center for the East German peace movement. Huge demonstrations in 1987-89 contributed to the fall of the Wall in 1989, and the subsequent re-unification of Germany.
Always a trading city, Leipzig has Germany's largest trade fair, one of the largest in the world. In 2006 the World Cup played here confirming Leipzig's standing as a major sports center. Situated about half-way between Berlin and Prague, just over 2 hours from each by train or autobahn, this is a favorite stopping-off point for travelers.
As a gay mecca, Leipzig has come increasingly into its own, boasting a variety of bars, party nights and other establishments. Cited as one of the world´s most liveable cities it retains many pre-war buildings, unlike neighboring Dresden which was devastated in World War II. Leipzig was largely spared and many older neighborhoods remain in a very walkable district of about 20 blocks downtown. The annual Christopher Street Day gay festivities take place each July and other city festivals include the Bachfest, in honor of the composer each June.
The Leipzig-Halle Airport connects to the A9 (Berlin-Munich) and A14 (Dresden-Magdeburg-Hanover) autobahns. FlughafenExpress and Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn trains connect the airport to Leipzig Central Station - a trip of 14 minutes with one stop at the Leipzig Trade Fair - departing every 30 minutes. See Deutsche Bahn for online information.
Bus companies also have service to downtown Leipzig. BerlinLinienBus has scheduled bus connections from Leipzig/Halle to many destinations in Germany, including Munich, Berchtesgaden, Berlin, and Eisenach.
LVB is the local transportation system (click the British flag for information in English). They operate an extensive network of trams, light rail trains and buses across the region. For an English-language overview of trams and buses see the Stadt Leipzig site on transportation.
Media & resources
Stadt Leipzig has web pages devoted to history and tips on tourist and cultural attractions, sports, and places to eat in this city, in five languages.
Cafe Apart (Reichsstrasse 16), friendly central café, open daily from 4pm, young crowd, gay men and women mix.
Cafe Luise (Bosestrasse 4), gay-friendly cafe and lounge at the center.
Cocks Bar (Otto-Schill-Strasse 10), cruisy Leather, rubber, fetish bar until 5am weekends, mostly men, wide age range, all welcome.
Cocks Kino (Otto-Schill-Strasse 10), gay porn cinema, cruise bar, free internet terminal, Friday naked parties, youngest crowd in town.
Comeback (Kupfergasse 1), daily from 7pm, dance club, drag shows, gay, straight and bi friendly mix.
KissKissBangBang at TwentyOne Club (Gottschedstrasse 2), second Friday monthly dances, gay, straight, lesbian, and everyone else.
Havana (Goethestraße 2, Theater-Passage), small gay pub in the Theater-Passage by Augustusplatz, open nightly 5pm to 5am.
PonyClub at Velvet (Körnerstraße 68), third Saturday each month gay party, young energetic mixed crowd.
X-Club (Sternwartenstrasse 14, at Turnerstrasse), modern lounge bar, cruising, porn cinema in vaulted cellar, open from 3pm, underwear and naked parties.
Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum (Kleine Fleischergasse 4), one of Europe's oldest coffee houses, restaurant, museum, warm-weather terrace seating at historic center.
Bærenstolz at Stoned Club (Kolonnadenstraße 15) is a guys-only, no frills, now and then party night for bears and friends.
Stargayte Sauna (Otto-Schill-Strasse 10), full sauna and steam facilities, young crowd, naked & foam parties, all night events; next to the Cocks bar/cruise complex.
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