Leipzig is one of the two largest cities in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. Leipzig is situated about 200 km south of Berlin at the confluence of the Weisse Elster, Pleiße and Parthe rivers at the southerly end of the North German Plain. Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing. After World War II, Leipzig became a major urban centre within the Communist German Democratic Republic but its cultural and economic importance declined. Leipzig later played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, through events which took place in and around St. Nicholas Church. Since the reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of some historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. Leipzig has many institutions and opportunities for culture and recreation including a football stadium which has hosted some international matches, an opera house and one of the most modern zoos in Europe. Leipzig was included in the top 10 of cities to visit by the New York Times.
Leipzig New Town Hall is the seat of the Leipzig city administration since 1905. It stands within the Leipzig's "ring road" on the south west corner opposite the city library at Martin-Luther-Ring. In 1895 the city of Leipzig was granted the site of the Pleissenburg by the Kingdom of Saxony to build a new town hall. A competition was held for architectural designs with the specification that the Rapunzel tower sillhouette of the Pleißenburg be retained. In 1897 the architect and city building director of Leipzig Hugo Licht was awarded the job of designing it. The foundation stone of the New Town Hall was laid on the 19 th October 1899.
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