Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig is the largest city in Saxony, Germany, located 164km (102 miles) southwest of Berlin and 126km (78 miles) northeast of Erfurt. Leipzig's name is derived from the Slavic word Lipsk, which means "settlement in the linden trees." Leipzig's population, which peaked at 750,000 before World War II, has diminished to about 500,000.

The approximately 20,000 students who study in the area, as Nietzsche, Goethe, and Leibniz once did, add a youthful flavor to Leipzig. More than any other city in former East Germany, Leipzig is a city to see modern Germany. Glassy skyscrapers and glitzy nightlife add a cosmopolitan flavor you don't encounter in much of the rest of the region. But there is also history to be seen in Leipzig, including a church where Luther preached and where Bach was choirmaster for 27 years.

This church with an undistinguished facade was center stage during the demonstrations that helped bring down the Communist regime.
This 13th-century church has hosted several important Germans over the years, most notably Bach and Luther.