Augusteum (Leipzig)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Augusteum was a building on the Augustusplatz in Leipzig, to the left of the Paulinerkirche. It was the original site of the University of Leipzig.

History[edit]

Augusteum and Paulinerkirche in 1890

It was built between 1831 and 1836 to plans by Albert Geutebrück, though its façade referred back to a classicist design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The building had, however, already reached its full capacity by the 1870s since the university had grown due to major urban expansion in this period. The building was generously rebuilt and expanded from 1892 to 1897 by the architect Arwed Rossbach. The Augusteum had originally only had a front onto the Augustusplatz, but (due to the demolition of the Paulinum) could now receive a south wing known as the Johanneum (1895), a middle wing known as the Albertinum (1896) and a west wing known as the Paulinum (1896). The renovation also altered the building's style to fit in better with other buildings on the Augustusplatz, with Neo-Renaissance and Neo Gothic façades being added to the Paulinerkirche and Augusteum to plans by Rossbach.

Heavily damaged by bombing in the Second World War, the Augusteum was decided by the East German government to be beyond repair and (like the fully intact Paulinerkirche) ill-fitting for their concept of a socialist-orientated university. Thus the two buildings were dynamited on 30 May 1968. This cleared an area on which a new university complex in functional and sober DDR architectural style was built in 1975. Until 1971 a rectory building was on the site of the Augusteum's main wing.

After reunification a "citizens' initiative for the reconstruction of the university church and Augusteum of Leipzig" gathered but after years of litigation demands for reconstruction have been waived in favour of the university's need for modern teaching and research facilities. A plan has been drawn up by Erick van Egeraat of a campus building recalling parts of the Augusteum's façade and an auditorium designed to appear like the Paulinerkirche, but the historic main building of university will not rise again.

Reconstruction[edit]

The new Augusteum as Leipzig university's main building with the Paulinum in 2012

Since 2006, the campus Augustusplatz, consisting of the main building (Hauptgebäude) at the place of former Augusteum and Paulinerkirche, the lecture hall building (Hörsaalgebäude), seminar building (Seminargebäude) and dining hall building (Mensagebäude), has been under reconstruction. The new building for the Faculty of economic sciences and parts of the renovated seminar building have been finished, the long overdue new dining hall building has nearly been finished, and the other parts, including the new Augusteum and Paulinum are still under heavy construction. Coordinates: 51°20′19″N 12°22′46″E / 51.338561°N 12.379378°E / 51.338561; 12.379378