Leipziger Notenspur

Many visitors associate Leipzig with the life and work of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach. After all there is the world famous Bach Festival held here every summer. Wagner, Mendelssohn, and Schumann and others are also strongly connected to the city and its University, Opera House and churches. The amount of architectural sites in Leipzig relating to classical music and the lives of European composers is second only to that of Vienna.

The City of Leipzig has created the Leipziger Notenspur with two self-guided walking/biking tours around the city. The trails are well sign-posted and are comfortable to do for all ages. A third tour under construction (due 2015) is designed primarily for bicycle and will be 40km long.

Station 12 on the Music Trail
Station 12 on the Music Trail

The Leipzig Music Walk (5km) is focused on Zentrum-West. This tour will interest those more keen on seeing the über-posh Gründerzeit areas (Bachviertel, Waldstraßenviertel, etc) and lovely parks to the west of the city centre.

The Leipzig Music Trail (5.3km) encompasses all the key places in the Zentrum. This one is also better signposted and more touristy. Along the way you’ll find stations with interesting historical facts and musical information. Visit the atmospheric Old St. John’s cemetery (Alter Johannisfriedhof) where most of old Leipzig’s prominent citizens were buried including Richard Wagner’s parents and J. S. Bach. Bach’s remains were later reburied at St. Thomas’s church in 1949.

You can cut the Music Trail short by confining to the Zentrum only by starting at station 1 (New Gewandhaus / Opera House) then skipping immediately to station 10 (Leipzig Opera) which is directly opposite. The Music Trail tour is also the better option if the weather is a bit dodgy as there’s plenty of cafes to duck into if it rains.

Even if you’re only vaguely interested in Leipzig’s musical present and past, you’ll still find either of these tours a great excuse to explore the city in an organized way. We’re sure even long term residents will notice something new about their city.

Station 18 outside the Bach museum
Station 18 outside the Bach museum

Stop 6 on Music Trail - Alter Johannisfriedhof ("Old St. John cemetery")
Station 6 on Leipzig Music Trail – Alter Johannisfriedhof (“Old St. John cemetery”)


[page content last updated April 2014]

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