The up-and-comingly hip German city of Leipzig celebrated its annual Pride over the weekend, known here (like all German Prides) as CSD, for Christopher Street Day.
Some two thousand people took part in Saturday’s CSD Parade, which began in the city center Marktplatz and wound through nearby streets before returning to where it all started for a late afternoon and evening of LGBT performances. A Pride Ball followed at night.
About 75 minutes southwest of Berlin, Leipzig (population: just over half a million) has drawn an increasing amount of German press attention in recent years, touted by many as “the next Berlin” as rents in the capital continue to rise, forcing creative types to seek cheaper pastures.
Leipzig has a long history of producing and nurturing artists, from classical composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Richard Wagner to contemporary art superstar Neo Rauch. The city’s Museum of Fine Arts (Museum der bildenden Künste) boasts an extensive collection of works by Rauch and his fellow Leipzig School artists, intermingled beautifully with holdings of much older European works.
Among Leipzig’s other top attractions for visitors are the Spinnerei, a massive industrial complex of former cotton mill buildings in the western neighborhood of Plagwitz that have been converted into a dizzying array of art galleries, sprinkled with cool shops and cafes.
Meanwhile back in the city center, the Museum in the Round Corner (Museum in der Runden Ecke) showcases the chilling inner workings of the communist East German government’s police surveillance agency, the Stasi. Leipzig is proud of its role in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, its Monday Demonstrations in 1989 being seen as the launchpad for what’s known as Germany’s Peaceful Revolution.