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View of the Leipzig Opera with the Mende Fountain in the foreground, which is located on Augustusplatz in front of the Gewandhaus and near the University of Leipzig, sights in Leipzig, cultural venue
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First Gewandhaus location

Former cloth maker's shop

View of a staircase at the site of the first Gewandhaus which is a station of the Notenspur in the music city Leipzig, cultural institution
© W. Schneider

The first Leipzig Gewandhaus was built in 1498 as a double-winged building in Gewandgäßchen and Universitätsstraße. It was initially used as a cloth maker's shop and at the same time as an arsenal for the city's own weapons and armour. The concert hall, built by the city of Leipzig, was opened in 1781 and the orchestra was given the name "Gewandhausorchester". The second upper floor - and the attic of the arsenal wing of the concert hall were made entirely of wood - like a violin in its case. The concert hall thus became a huge resonating body and almost a musical instrument itself.

Up to 500 listeners attended the world premières of many pieces that are famous all over the world today. These include Mozart's only guest performance in Leipzig (1789), Clara Wieck's first public appearance (1828), Beethoven's fifth piano concerto, Schumann's "Spring Symphony", Wagner's "Meistersinger" prelude and Brahms' Violin Concerto. However, the capacity of the hall quickly reached its limits and in 1884 the New Gewandhaus was opened. Today, this is called the second Gewandhaus. Unfortunately, it was completely destroyed by bombs in World War II.

After this time, Gewandhaus concerts took place in the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo until 1981, when they moved, alongside the Gewandhaus Orchestra, into the New Gewandhaus (the third Gewandhaus) on today's Augustusplatz. The first Gewandhaus was demolished in 1894. A new trade fair building, the Städtisches Kaufhaus, was built at this location.


location Location of the first Gewandhaus, Städtisches Kaufhaus
Universitätsstraße 16
04109 Leipzig
Hintergrundbild Anfahrt

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