nikolaikirche, leipzig

The Saint Nicholas Church in Leipzig was founded in about 1165. It was situated at the intersection of two important north-south, east-west trade roads and dedicated to Nicholas, the medieval patron saint of merchants and wholesalers. The Nikolaikirche was originally built in the Romanesque architectural style. In the early 16th century, the building was extended and converted into a Gothic church. Due to its central location, the St. Nicholas Church served as a hub for change throughout the centuries. Exactly 450 years after the introduction of the Reformation in Leipzig the prayer-for-peace movement, which led to the downfall of the GDR, started at St. Nicholas Church. Even though the Nikolaikirche has always been the main parish church of Leipzig, it never had its own Kantor. Those duties were shared with the St. Thomas Church and thus Johann Sebastian Bach served as Kantor of the St. Nicholas from 1723-1750. Organ music has a long tradition at the church and many famous organists served the church community since the first organ was installed in the early 1600.