The Augustusplatz on the eastern edge of the city centre is the site of approximately 40,000 m2 (430,556 sq. ft.) of architecture from various decades of the previous century. First laid out in 1785, the plaza was significantly damaged in World War II. The Augustusplatz is also frequently used as a venue for a wide variety of events.
The opera house opened in 1960. It was built on the site of the "New Theatre", which had been destroyed in the war. Certain late-classical architectural elements of its predecessor are suggested in the building's design. In 2007, the foyer was renovated in accordance with landmark preservation specifications. Both opera and ballet productions are given in the opera house, which can seat 1,267 audience members.
Gewandhaus Concert Hall
Successor to two earlier historic concert halls on other sites, the current, third Gewandhaus is the only new concert hall to be constructed in the former GDR. The imitative for the construction of the building came from conductor Kurt Masur, who worked closely with the team of architects during the entire 57-month construction period. The "new" Gewandhaus opened in 1981 and is home to the Gewandhaus Orchestra. The Great Hall seats 1,900 and the Mendelssohn Hall seats 500.
The Paulinum building, resembling a church, belongs to the University of Leipzig. Along with other rooms, it houses the university auditorium and a prayer room. The Paulinum was built in 2007 and commemorates St. Paul's Church (Paulinerkirche), which was destroyed in 1968. The official opening is planned for late 2014.
City High-Rise (City-Hochhaus)
At 142.5 metres (467 ft.) high, the City High-Rise building on the Augustusplatz is a Leipzig landmark, visible even from a great distance. Locals affectionately refer to it as the "Uniriese" or "Uni-Giant". It was built between 1968 and 1972, based on plans drawn up by architect Prof. Hermann Henselmann. The building is home to numerous offices, a panorama restaurant and an observation platform.
Opening hours and Prices
The observation platform opens daily at 9:00am and closes Monday-Thursday at 11:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 12:30am, and on Sunday at 10:30pm. The entrance fee is € 3.00.
The Mende Fountain (Mendebrunnen)
In front of the entrance to the Gewandhaus concert hall stands a silent witness from a more distant century - the Mende Fountain was erected in 1886 and was painstakingly restored in 2014.
Democracy Bell (Demokratieglocke)
The Democracy Bell is located at the entrance to Grimmaische Street. Since its dedication in 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution, the bell, created by the artist Via Lewandowsky, bids passers-by to pause and reflect.