Leipzig, Germany, a city in Saxony. The city is on the Weisse Elster River where it is joined by the Pleisse and Parthe rivers, about 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Berlin. Leipzig is a commercial, industrial, and cultural center. It is also a railway hub and is served by modern highways and a large regional airport.
The old city walls were torn down after 1815 and replaced with a promenade, the Ringstrasse. Inside the Ringstrasse is the old city with its crowded, narrow streets. Outside are newer sections and suburbs, with broad streets, modern buildings, and industrial districts.
Before World War II Leipzig was the center of German book and musical publishing. The city is famous for its trade fairs, which have been held since the 12th century. Products include textiles, machinery, musical and precision instruments, plastics, chemicals, and farm implements.
The University of Leipzig was founded in 1409. Leipzig is home to one of the world's oldest orchestras, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, founded in 1743. One of the founders of the conservatory of music in 1843 was the composer Felix Mendelssohn. Among Leipzig's several notable churches is the 13th-century Thomaskirche, in which Johann Sebastian Bach was organist.
Leipzig was chartered in 1174. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-48), two great battles were fought nearby. In 1813 Napoleon was badly defeated in the Battle of Leipzig. During World War II the city was heavily damaged by air raids. In 1945 United States forces captured Leipzig, but it became part of the Soviet zone. The city was rebuilt following the war.