St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig

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Nikolaikirche, Leipzig, 2012
Interior, facing the altar
(video) External and internal views of Nikolaikirche on a snowy day, December 2014

The St. Nicholas Church (in German: Nikolaikirche) has long been one of the most famous in Leipzig, and rose to national fame in 1989 with the Monday Demonstrations when it became the centre of peaceful revolt against communist rule.


The church was built in about 1165. It is named after St. Nicholas. It is built partially in the Romanesque style but was extended and enlarged in the early 16th century with a more Gothic style. In 1794 the interior was remodeled by German architect Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe in the neoclassical style. The church has been a Protestant seat since 1539 after the Protestant Reformation, but the Catholic Church is allowed to use it too.

The church saw four of the five performances (including the premiere) of the St John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach on Good Friday in 1724, 1728, 1732, and 1749 as well as many of his cantatas and oratorios performed by the Thomanerchor.


The church organ was renovated from mechanical (tracker) action to pneumatic action in the early 20th century.[1] More recently the church has been struggling to find the funds for interior restorations which have been ongoing since 1968. The administrator from this church is Bernhard Steve.

Peaceful demonstrations[edit]

Cabaret artist Bernd-Lutz Lange said about the events which started in the St. Nicholas Church:

There was no head of the revolution. The head was the Nikolaikirche and the body the centre of the city. There was only one leadership: Monday, 5 pm, St. Nicholas Church."[2]



  1. ^ Die Orgel (German) Nikokaikirche, Leipzig, retrieved 2 May, 2013
  2. ^ The rise and fall of the German Democratic Republic, 1945–1990, by Mike Dennis, Longman, 2000. p.278 ISBN 0-582-24562-1

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°20′25″N 12°22′43″E / 51.34028°N 12.37861°E / 51.34028; 12.37861