Traveling in Europe for nearly a decade, I’ve reached a saturation point with churches. Some study-abroad students come down with an unshakable case of ABC Syndrome (short for “Another Boring Church”) in just 10 weeks! Don’t get me wrong: I studied church art intensively and am still moved by the beauty and majesty of many religious temples — but these days it takes a soaring recommendation from the guidebook to get me in the door, which happens only once or maybe twice per trip.
Sometimes I am surprised, however, by a jewel of a church that I just have to recommend. The Pisa Cathedral (Italy) is one I’ve already mentioned; the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig (Germany) is another.
The pastel color scheme and the natural light give the church a truly uplifting feel while the unique palm-frond column tops reminded me of the tree-like columns designed by Gaudi in Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia. Your eyes are naturally drawn heavenward by the architecture.
I wanted to visit the Nikolaikirche because of the significant role it played in the peace movement leading to the end of the German Democratic Republic in 1989. I was not prepared for it to be so beautiful!
Johann Sebastian Bach was the choirmaster and organist here for over a quarter-century. Regular concerts of Bach’s compositions are held at the church; tickets are 10-15 euros and can be ordered online.
Open daily for visitors (even during weddings and services, it is possible to enter the rear for viewing and gift-shop purchases), even cheapskates can appreciate as admission is free.
Photo Friday aficionados — follow my fellows forthwith!