Architecture

The St. Thomas Church dates back to the 12th Century. It was here in 1409 that the University of Leipzig was founded. From 1492 to 1496, the church had the form of a late Gothic hall church. It was also here in 1539 that Martin Luther preached the implementation of the Reformation. For the last 800 years, the St. Thomas Boys Choir has been singing here.

Excavations in the altar sanctuary and in the crossing of the present-day St. Thomas Church revealed foundations of a church dating back to around 1160--a time when Margrave Otto the Rich of Meissen granted a city charter to the Castle of Libzi and the settlement around it. The Romanesque altar sanctuary was rebuilt in 1355 into Gothic style. Then, in 1482, the Romanesque nave was pulled down and replaced with a late-Gothic church hall, which still exists today. With the exception of the steeple, which was completed into its final form in 1702, the architectural style of the St. Thomas Church has not changed since the end of the 15th century.

The renovations during the years 1884 to 1889 did, however, bring along a distinctive change: All architectural features of the Baroque period-especially those dating from Bach's tenure of office-were completely removed and converted into a new-Gothic style, which can be seen today. It was during this time that the Mendelssohn portal was added at the west front.

Bachfenster Bach Window After the reunification of the two German countries in 1990, the St. Thomas Church was able to realize a total restoration process badly needed after 100 years of neglect. The project was finished on July 28th, 2000 - the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Bach's death. During this time the St. Thomas Church received the new Bach-Organ. The St. Thomas Church's appearance at present: With a complete length of 76m, the nave is 50m long, 25m wide and 18m high. The roof of the church has an exceptionally steep angle of 63°. The interior of the building rises to above 7 floors (Ridge height 45m) and the steeple is 68m in height.

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