St Nicholas's cathedral is Leipzig's oldest church, said to be built in 1165. This cathedral witnessed not only the history of Leipzig but that of entire Germany. In 16th c. Martin Luther, the father-founder of German Protestantism, read his sermons from the pulpit here. Two centuries later in its walls worked the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach. His oratory “Passions for St. John” was performed here for the first time.
Not long ago the church became the symbol of German opposition to GDR's regime. On October 9, thousands of Germans gathered outside the church holding candles. They stood in silence, demonstrating their disagreement with the GDR government's politics. The stunned police did not even try to disperse the protesters. Today, in the memory of that event, a monument to the victims of GDR regime stands in the square in front of St Nicholas's church.