The composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) spent 27 years in Leipzig as cantor at St. Thomas’s School and as the city’s Director of Music. Here some children are playing their instruments at the foot of his statue. The building behind him is St. Thomas’s Church.
This bust of Bach is in another Leipzig church, the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), where he often played the organ and directed the choir.
Bach composed great quantities of church music in Leipzig, including the Magnificat and the St. John and St. Matthew Passions.
Thirteen of Bach’s twenty children were born in Leipzig.
The St. Nicolas Church was founded in about 1165. It has been a Protestant church since 1539.
Throughout the 1980s, weekly prayers for peace were held in the St. Nicholas Church on Monday evenings, and these gradually developed into the Monday demonstrations against the GDR regime. In October 1989 these demonstrations attracted over 100,000 people and started spreading to other East Germany cities, leading to the fall of the GDR and the reunification of Germany.
In the St. Nicholas Church, you can still see one of the original hand-drawn “Swords into ploughshares” posters announcing the Monday peace prayers.
The slogan is from the Bible, Old Testament, Isaiah 2:4:
They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
My photos in this post are from 2005 and 2009. I revised the text in 2020.