City Of Music: Leipzig

BIRTHPLACE OF WAGNER, LONG-TIME HOME OF MUSICAL GIANTS LIKE BACH, SCHUMANN AND MENDELSSOHN, LEIPZIG WILL BECOME A VERITABLE CITY OF MUSIC DURING THE BACH FEST, JUNE 7 TO 17.

Founded in the 7th century as a small fishing village at the confluence of the Parthe and Elster Rivers, Leipzig got its name from the local linden trees. This city where Johann Sebastian Bach, the leading light of Baroque music, spent the last 27 years of his life, has a museum where the composer’s personal effects as well as his violin and much of his music is also displayed: the Bach Museum. St. Thomas Church, where the composer is buried, is among the city’s iconic structures. Another of the city’s bastions of music, the Neues Gewandhaus is home to Germany’s oldest orchestra in a giant hall of glass and alloy construction. Felix Mendelssohn was the first conductor of the 200-member orchestra, which was established by the people of Leipzig in 1743 and ranks among the best in the world today.

BOOKS AND COFFEE
The largest city in the former East Germany with a population of over half a million, Leipzig boasts a brilliant five-century history of printing and publishing. Hosting its first book fair in 1493, Leipzig published its first textbook in 1507 and its first daily newspaper in 1660. Turning now to the city’s noteworthy buildings, the Hauptbahnhof, aka Leipzig Central Station, is one of Europe’s largest. The recently restored 1915 structure is at the same time a shopping center with fashionable stores. New and old town halls, are another of the city’s architectural marvels. Strong, dark, slightly sweetened coffee is a farovite in this city, which is home to Europe’s oldest coffee shops. In the intriguing posters that adorn their walls you can see for yourself that the city first made its acquaintance with the coffee bean back in 1693. Meanwhile the most famous dish in Leipzig cuisine is a kind of meatless mixed vegetable stew known as Leipziger Allerlei. Served in summer, it includes carrots, peas, kohlrabi, cauliflower, Morel mushrooms and tiny dumplings.Music, food, architercture... There is no shortage of reasons to go to Leipzig.

LEIPZIG BACH FESTIVAL
You will encounter Bach at every turn during the festival, June 7 to 17. Kicking off with an opening concert at the St. Thomas Church the evening of June 7, the fest continues for 10 days in a host of recitals, exhibitions, panel discussions and competitions.

GETTING THERE
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Leipzig-Istanbul flights on everyday. Flight times are 11:55 a.m. from Istanbul and 2:45 p.m. from Leipzig. www.turkishairlines.com