With 571,000 inhabitants, Leipzig is the largest town in the German state of Saxony. It was originally a Slavic settlement called Lipsk but quickly developed into a commercial centre, located at the intersection of several major trade routes. In the 16th century, it turned into one of the major cultural centres in Europe, while in the 18th century, it became a major literary centre, with young Goethe studying at its renowned university. The composers Mendelssohn and Wagner both are connected to the city, although it is Bach who has had the biggest impact on Leipzig, having served as cantor in the famous Thomaskirche. After the end of the Cold War, Leipzig has staged an amazing turnaround to become one of Germany’s most popular tourism destinations. Today, Leipzig is a lively, open and multi-faceted city, with an abundance of attractions on offer. As having been a trade centre for centuries, the shopping opportunities are fantastic, while the opera house, the museums and art institutions provide activities galore for those with a cultural taste. As being an university town, the nightlife is of course buzzing too, especially in the Drallewatsch pub area, which is a must see for incoming party animals.