St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig is an open church for all. In 1989, it was viewed by many around the world as the starting point of a peaceful revolution, aimed at reunifying Germany. Nowadays it is a church for anybody looking to find strength in stillness – a church for peaceful coexistence.
The story behind the construction of St. Nicholas Church is as eventful as the church's own history. Originally constructed in a Romanesque style in the 12th century (the crucifix in the chancel dates back to this period), it was converted into a late Gothic hall church at the start of the 16th century. The Luther pulpit, constructed in 1521, which was part of St. Nicholas Church long before the Reformation, is now located in the north chapel. The main tower and door are examples of Baroque architecture; the church interior was designed in a Neoclassical style at the end of the 18th century.
The music at St. Nicholas Church became a talking point between 1723 and 1759, as the church appointed Johann Sebastian Bach as its "director musices". Many of his works were premiered at the church. It became an "open church" with the decade of peace in the 1980s, and the prayers for peace held every Monday since 1982. In autumn 1989, this turned into the peaceful Monday demonstrations, which made a significant contribution to Germany's reunification. The "Osterlichtbaum" candle holder in the church's central aisle, the Coventry Cross of Nails and the European Heritage Label remind visitors of this time, which is considered a "miracle of biblical proportions". Immersed in silence, it's almost as if you can still hear the shouting.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 9:30am service
Nearest train station: Leipzig
Accessible; there is a book table in the church, "Nikolaitreff" meeting in the youth church, Monday to Friday, 10am to 5/6pm; free tours of the church, paid tours of the organ and tower;
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