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Lufthansa travel reports Leipzig

 

Leipzig - The better Berlin

What Berlin promised, Leipzig now delivers: The Saxon metropolis is the new creative capital of Germany. Artists, culture buffs and creative entrepreneurs have moved into the once abandoned Art Nouveau villas and the factory buildings of Plagwitz district. Thanks to the almost spectacularly low rents there, the newcomers can experiment to their heart’s content, venture down new creative paths – and produce works even Hollywood star Brad Pitt has been happy to buy.

 
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The better Berlin

The better Berlin

Plagwitz:
New beginning, decline, followed by another new beginning: Leipzig’s future lies in Plagwitz. The district was where the industrial heart of the city used to beat. Then after World War Two, the vast factory halls were left to rack and ruin. Since then, many of the buildings – among them, the wonderful Buntgarnwerke – have been restored and today offer ample space for workshops, offices, galleries, as well as loft and other apartments. The best locations in the district are on the green banks of the Karl Heine Canal. Plagwitz may appear amazingly smart at first glance, but take a look behind the restored facades or a stroll through the side-streets and you will soon see that the area still has bags of potential.
The better Berlin

Baumwollspinnerei Cotton Mill:
Leipzig’s artists are attracting worldwide attention and the art market has even come up with a – controversial – tag, the “New Leipzig School.” If this cultural current had a headquarters, it would definitely be the cotton mill in Plagwitz. There, on a site the size of 14 soccer fields, 11 galleries and around 100 artists have settled in, including such famous names as Neo Rauch and Matthias Weischer. Architects, fashion designers and artisans have also discovered for themselves the 20 buildings that make up the mill complex, which also houses a cultural center, a cinema and a café. If you want to spend a night here, there’s Pension Meisterzimmer guesthouse right on site.

Info
Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei: Spinnereistraße 7, Tel: +49-(0)341/498 02 00. www.spinnerei.de. Pension Meisterzimmer: Spinnereistraße 7, Tel.: +49-(0)3641/29 56 88. Rooms for 1-6 people. www.meisterzimmer.de


The better Berlin

Eigen + Art Gallery:
Leipzig-born Neo Rauch now counts among Germany’s best-known contemporary artists. Even Hollywood star Brad Pitt owns one of his pictures. Rauch was discovered by fellow Leipzig native Gerd Harry Lybke, whose gallery, Eigen + Art, like Rauch’s workshop, is on the site of the former cotton mill. Lybke is one of the foremost dealers in contemporary German art and also represents an array of famous artists. Their works can be viewed in changing exhibitions at Eigen + Art and also in Berlin, at Lybke’s second gallery.

Info:
Eigen + Art: Spinnereistraße 7, Tel.: +49-(0)341/960 78 86. Open: Tue-Sat 11-6pm. www.eigen-art.com


The better Berlin

Westwerk:
Agencies, studios and artists’ workshops have also moved into the Westwerk buildings in Plagwitz. This place was once the home of a large ironworks that made valves and apparatus for steam engines, among other things. Today’s tenants are as creative as they are different: self-defense instructors for children, vendors of regional produce, party organizers. If exploring Plagwitz from the water sounds like fun, you can even rent a boat at Westwerk – and then paddle up and down the Karl Heine Canal.

Info:
Westwerk: Karl-Heine-Straße 93, Tel.: +49-(0)341/926 17 00. www.westwerk-leipzig.de


The better Berlin

Schaubühne Lindenfels:
When the curtain was first raised at this theater, in 1994, the actors were weary not just from all the rehearsals but because, with the aid of several willing helpers, they had also just finished restoring the theater building, which dates back to 1876. Because there was no functioning heating system, the audience had to keep themselves warm with hot tea and woolen blankets, but since then, the enthusiasm of everyone involved has transformed the project into one of the liveliest cultural centers in all of Leipzig. In addition to staging plays, readings and concerts, Schaubühne Lindenfels also screens movies and has a café.

Info:
Schaubühne Lindenfels: Karl-Heine-Straße 50, Tel.: +49-(0)341/48 46 20. www.schaubuehne.com


The better Berlin

Panometer:
Berlin-born artist Yadegar Asisis brings the tropics to life inside a converted gas works, with a 360° panorama of the Brazilian rainforest – a deceptively realistic illusion, orchestrated to even more convincing effect by the concerted voices of thousands of wild creatures. Here, the trees appear to reach as high as the sky, and with a pair of binoculars, visitors can spot caterpillars, parrots and sloths up in their branches. Panometer even simulates tropical electric storms and the changing times of the day. The 106 x 30-meter installation was created in 2009 as a tribute to the famous natural scientist and landscape painter Alexander von Humboldt.

Info
Asisi Panometer Leipzig: Richard-Lehmann-Straße 114, Tel.: +49-(0)341/35 55 34-0. Open: Apr-Oct, Tue-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat+Sun 10am-7pm, Nov-Mar Tue-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat+Sun 10am-6pm. Admission: €10 (reduced, €5-8.50). www.asisi.de/de/Panometer/Amazonien
 

Photos: Stumpe/LOOK-foto (2), Jana Gunstheimer, Uwe Walter, courtesy Galerie Eigen+Art Leipzig/Berlin, PR (2)

 
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