The trade fair business in Leipzig has been constantly developing since its origins in the Middle Ages, as a result Leipzig was one of the most important trade fair cities in the world at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1920, when the sheer volume of goods for display finally exceeded the capacity of the city centre's courtyards, passages and exhibition halls, an exhibition centre with several halls was opened near the Battle of the Nations Monument. After the 17 exhibition halls were partly destroyed and some converted during the Second World War, the first post-war exhibition was able to reopen as early as 1946. Up until 1996, the exhibition centre with its two grand-Ms at the entrance and the magnificent Soviet Pavilion was the showpiece for the city of trade fairs. Following the opening of the Neues Messegelände (New Trade Fair Grounds) north of Leipzig in the mid-90s, several new events were held at the Old Trade Fair. Today the site not only has research facilities but also leisure activities such as indoor football, escape rooms, a beach bar and much more.