St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche)
St. Thomas Church is one of Leipzig’s most iconic and important monuments. Not only is it an impressive piece of religious architecture, but it is also inextricably tied to the city’s musical legacy. Hear beautiful choral performances in a venue where worship music has been played for hundreds of years.
Explore the church, which was first built around 1160 and has been built upon and expanded in the following centuries. St. Thomas Church was also behind the establishment of Leipzig University and played a crucial role in Luther’s preaching during the Reformation.
Look for examples of architectural styles from different centuries. The Gothic altar sanctuary dates back to 1355, while the current nave was built in 1482 to replace a Romanesque interior.
Study a stained-glass window celebrating Johann Sebastian Bach, who composed many religious pieces in Leipzig. The great Baroque composer is buried here in this church. The Bach Museum, which is dedicated to his life and work, is located next door.
Join a tour of the steeple, a feature added at the start of the 18th century. Climb 232 steps and find yourself 164 feet (50 meters) above the courtyard below. From here, enjoy impressive views out over Leipzig.
Take a seat in the church on Friday evenings to hear liturgical vespers being sung by the St. Thomas Boys Choir, who have performed here for 800 years. Doors open 45 minutes before each “motet” begins.
Book tickets to hear concerts performed in the church. Check the church’s calendar of events to see what is playing during your visit. Listen for organ music, which has been played in the church since the late 14th century.
St. Thomas Church is located in the heart of Leipzig and is easily accessible on foot from other nearby attractions such as the Maedler Passage and Leipzig University. Take a tram to the stop directly outside the church.
The church is open daily. Explore by yourself or make an appointment for a guided tour with the knowledgeable staff. Admission is free, although there is a modest charge for tours and choral performances.