Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Germany - Leipzig (1)

Kaffee-Haus Riquet

Sent by Detlef from Leipzig in Germany.

This is from Wikipedia : Leipzig (German pronunciation: [ˈlaɪptsɪç] ( listen), also called Leipsic in English; Upper Sorbian: Lipsk) is, with a population of appr. 519,000, the largest city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany and in the new states of Germany. In the 17th century, Leipzig was one of the major European city-centres of learning and culture in fields such as music, astronomy and optics. After World War II, Leipzig became a major urban centre within the Communist German Democratic Republic.

Leipzig later played a significant role in the fall of communism in Eastern Germany, through events taken place in and around St. Nikolai Church. Since the Reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of historical buildings and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. In 2006, Leipzig hosted key games in the World Cup.

In 2010, Leipzig was ranked 68th in the world as a livable city, by consulting firm Mercer in their quality of life survey, scoring just below Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009, Leipzig was ranked 35th in the world out of 256 cities for cultural, economic and social innovation.

Leipzig is derived from the Slavic word Lipsk, which means "settlement where the lime trees (American: linden trees) stand".

Leipzig was first documented in 1015 during the chronicles of Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg and endowed with city and market privileges in 1165 by Otto the Rich. Leipzig has fundamentally shaped the history of Saxony and of Germany. Leipzig has always been known as a place of commerce. The Leipzig Trade Fair, started in the Middle Ages, is the oldest remaining trade fair in the world. It became an event of international importance.

The foundation of the University of Leipzig in 1409 initiated the city's development into a centre of German law and the publishing industry, and towards being a location of the Reichsgericht (High Court), and the German National Library (founded in 1912). The philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born in Leipzig in 1646, and attended the university from 1661–1666.

On 24 December 1701 an oil-fueled street lighting system was instituted. The city employed light guards who had to follow a specific schedule to ensure the punctual lighting of the 700 lanterns.

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