What do creative art aficionados, lively music lovers, good-humoured history experts and nosy natural history fans have in common (aside from a lot of alliteration)? That’s right, all of them will find a visit to the museums in Leipzig well worth their while! And even if you’re just looking for something interesting to do on a rainy or chilly day, the museums featured today are not to be missed! Please check in advance with the museums in Leipzig about opening hours, registration procedures and hygiene measures.
Art Galleries in Leipzig: Exhibitions to Marvel At
Museum of Fine Arts
Leipzig lives and loves culture! So it’s no surprise that you’ll find countless art museums and galleries here. The Museum of Fine Arts (MdbK) at Katharinenstraße 10 is the first port of call. But you probably don’t need the house number, since you can hardly miss this enormous glass cube. Since 2004 this new building has been home to the MdbK, founded in 1858 and owner of one of the largest art collections in Germany. 4,600 paintings, 1,800 sculptures, medals and plaques, 5,000 photographs, 70,000 works on paper and also a changing array of exhibitions by artists await your visit! At the moment, you can discover photographs by Andreas Gursky until 22 August 2021. Some of Leipzig’s cultural institutions offer free admission on the first Wednesday of each month. The MdbK is also part of this initiative. So there’s no excuse to miss out on this highlight!
Our next tip is a real feast for the eyes – especially since the exhibit is massive! The artist Yadegar Asisi has been exhibiting gigantic 360° panoramic images in the Panometer Leipzig since 2003, which have made many a jaw drop. There is always a monumental painting on display with an accompanying museum exhibition. Here you can marvel at “CAROLAS GARTEN” until summer 2021, which lets you discover the wonders of nature from the perspective of an ant.
The Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig is no “ordinary” exhibition where you stroll from painting to painting. In this former heating plant, you can experience art immersively through breathtaking light spectacles You can literally walk through the work of art! The advantage of light as a material: the exhibitions mainly take place in shows that alternate regularly throughout the day.
Sonorous and Rhythmic – Musical Museums in Leipzig
Home to the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Opera and the St Thomas Boys Choir, Leipzig is proud of its status as a world-class city of music, with a tradition stretching back many generations. Fortunately there are plenty of museums that archive this tradition and make it tangible, and even audible, for us and future visitors!
One of them is the Bach Museum, which you will find in the Bose House opposite St. Thomas Church. The Bose family were friends with the city’s most famous Thomas Cantor: Johann Sebastian Bach. Situated right next to Bach’s place of work and grave, here you can learn everything about the composer’s life and family. Admission is free on the first Tuesday of every month.
Alte Nikolaischule (Old St. Nicholas School)
Of course, there is also an exhibition dedicated to Richard Wagner, who was born in Leipzig! His works can be heard at the Leipzig Opera, among other places. However at the Alte Nikolaischule, opposite St. Nicholas Church, you can learn all about the composer’s young years.
Leipzig Mendelssohn House and Schumann House
There are three names that should not be forgotten in any list of famous Leipzig composers: Mendelssohn, Schumann and Schumann. The Mendelssohn House where Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy lived and died is on Goldschmidtstraße. Besides a modern exhibition, you can also visit preserved parts of the musician’s flat. Another must-see is the Schumann House! This is home to the first exhibition about this musician couple. Visit the exhibition in the former living quarters of the famous pianist Clara Schumann and her husband Robert in today’s Schumann House. You can even play some music yourself in the sound room and at the SpielHÖRplatz.
Experience History in Leipzig’s Museums
To this day, Leipzig’s considerable history is clearly tangible, for example when strolling through the arcades of the city centre – but in particular during a visit to the magnificent Monument to the Battle of the Nations on the outskirts of the city. In fact, Leipzig’s city history is so multi-faceted that the Museum of City History operates several buildings that cover various topics.
In the FORUM 1813 at the foot of the “Völki” – as we call Monument to the Battle of the Nations – you can learn all about the Battle and marvel at real weapons, uniforms and other armoury equipment. The Old Town Hall is a city landmark and as such stands in its own right as a symbol of the city’s long history. Here you can also explore the old prison cells and the treasury as well as the exhibition “Leipzig original. From medieval times to the Battle of Leipzig”. Admission is even free on the first Wednesday of every month. The centre of the museum is the Haus Böttchergäßchen, which is home to several special cultural-historical exhibitions. You also get free entry here on the first Wednesday of every month.
Museum of the Printing Arts
The Museum of the Printing Arts is a somewhat unusual example of a museum steeped in history: the exhibits are definitely not just there to be looked at. The majority of the machines and presses are still running just as they did many decades ago. Founded in 1994, this museum in the western district of Plagwitz invites visitors both young and old to join in. Visitors are given an introduction to the “black art” of printing and can then immerse themselves in Leipzig’s informative past as a city of books and publishing.
The art of printing exhibition is particularly suitable for children: there are great workshops and courses that give them the opportunity to get stuck in, for example in setting their own name and then printing it with the printing press.
As the starting point of the Peaceful Revolution, Leipzig occupies a very special position in German history. To mark the tenth anniversary of the Monday demonstration of 9 October 1989, the Haus der Geschichte Foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany opened the Forum of Contemporary History in the city centre. You can relive the days of the Soviet occupation zone, the GDR and German reunification through the permanent exhibition “OUR HISTORY”, which is free of charge. There are also changing temporary exhibitions on show.
Before the Peaceful Revolution heralded the end of the GDR, the regime primarily relied on state security to maintain and enforce its power. The Stasi’s former district administration building is now the Museum in the “Round Corner”, which raises awareness of the dangers of dictatorship through its exhibition “Stasi – Power and Banality”.
The GRASSI Trio
You can visit three museums in Leipzig in just one trip to Johannisplatz! The three GRASSI museums in the imposing Bauhaus building represent a veritable hub of knowledge for all inquisitive minds.
Various styles of art from all over the world await you in several permanent exhibitions at the GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts. The current special exhibitions focus on porcelain and glass. “Murano | Colour Light Fire” presents beautiful works from one of the largest private collections of Murano glass. “Reklame | Sheet Metal Seduction” presents THE medium of the 19th Century. Colourful enamel signs adorned the walls of houses and shop entrances to encourage customers to buy. Entry here is also free on the first Wednesday of every month.
In the permanent exhibition of the GRASSI Museum of Ethnology, you can admire treasures from foreign cultures such as masks, sculptures, jewellery and much more. The goal: to build bridges between cultures and regions!
The third member of the group, the GRASSI Museum for Musical Instruments, houses a huge collection of musical instruments from different eras. This museum has belonged to Leipzig University since 1926 and serves, among other things, as a place of learning for students of musicology. Here too, entry is free on the first Wednesday of every month.
Learning is Child’s Play in Leipzig’s Museums
Leipzig’s museums are not just for grown-ups! Pupils can experience science up close and carry out many experiments themselves at INSPIRATA, an interactive museum. Here Günter Brendel’s exhibition links art with mathematics to playfully impart an understanding of Pythagoras’ theorem. Zitronella answers all questions about nutrition in the “Nimmersatt” exhibition at the UNIKATUM Children’s Museum. This way the little ones can quench their thirst and their thirst for knowledge.
The Leipzig School Museum takes visitors back in time to learn about going to school in the imperial era. This is supported by an audio guide, which can be borrowed free of charge. All fans of natural history will get their money’s worth at the Natural History Museum, with exhibitions about animals, nature and the environment. And it’s free for children and young people up to the age of 18, with adults paying just €2. The museum offers a wide range of activities, especially during the holidays. For instance, all fans of puzzles can visit the new exhibition tour “Quizomania”.
However, now it’s time to quench your thirst for knowledge and use our tips to plunge into Leipzig’s array of museums!
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