During the book fair in March, we—Alison Grey and Jae—visited Leipzig, the largest city in Saxony, Germany. We quickly realized that Leipzig has more to offer than “just” the book fair—especially for people who are interested in literature and history.
Leipzig is often called the “ city of books ” since it can look back on a 550-year-old tradition of book printing and trading.
Since 1959 the city Leipzig awards the “Johannes-Gutenberg-Award” for special accomplishments in promoting book art. The award is named after famous inventer of moveable type letters and printer of the Gutenberg Bible, Johannes Gutenberg.
In 1650, the first daily newspaper in the world was printed in Leipzig. Famous German writers such as Goethe studied in Leipzig. The Leipzig Book Fair, where books from all over Europe were traded, developed during the sixteenth century.
Later, all of Germany’s important publishing houses had their offices in the Graphic Quarter. During World War II, the quarter was almost completely destroyed by bombs, and Leipzig started to lose its leading position as Germany’s book capital to Frankfurt.
However, Leipzig continues to be a “ city of books ” by hosting the annual Leipzig Book Fair, one of the facilities of the German National Library, the House of Books, and Europe’s biggest reading festival (Leipzig Reads).
In the coming weeks, we’ll blog about some of Leipzig’s literary sights, so check back to find out more.