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Best Of 2018

(January – December 2018)

Iñaki Rezola


Carsten T. Rees

A Peaceful Revolution Started With Prayers

Nikolaikirche, Leipzig, Saxony

23.08.18 16:18 CEST

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© 2018 Carsten T. Rees, All Rights Reserved.

This panorama shows the interior of the Nikolaikirche - St. Nicolas’ Church - in Leipzig. This is one of the main churches of the City and also one of the largest in Saxony.

Originally the church was being built in Romanesque style in 1165. In the 16th century it was converted into a Gothic hall church, which were - at the time - quite fashionable in Saxony. The tower and some other architectural elements were added during Baroque times.

The Nikolaikirche is one of the two churches in Leipzig where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as a Cantor – the other church being St. Thomas, only a few hundred meters from this one. But in his time Bach saw quite a different interior from what we can see nowadays. In the late 18th century – after the death of Bach - the interior was changed to a Neoclassical style – which you can still see today.

The church became world famous during the so-called “Monday demonstrations” in East Germany from 1989 to 1991. For quite a while parson Christian Führer had held weekly prayers for peace on Monday evenings. On the 4th of September 1989, after the prayer, a few hundred people gathered outside in the church yard to protest against the communist government. From that day on the Monday demonstration took place every week near the Nikolaikirche. By October, 9th of 1989 more than 70,000 people joined the protests and on October the 23rd, more than 320,000 people would join in. These peaceful protests of large parts of the population eventually – together of course with other concurrent protests all over the Ex-“DDR” - led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on the 9th of November 1989.

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