Yep, Leipzig is awesome. In general. But some neighbourhoods are clearly more awesome than others. Today I want to to tell you about SchleuĂig, which I think is one of Leipzigâs most amazing areas. No, that is not just because I live there, but as youâll see, SchleuĂig arguably has more to offer than any other Leipzig neighbourhood. In fact, by the end of this article, Iâd be surprised if youâre not busy packing, because I guarantee you: SchleuĂig is hot.
Believe it or not, SchleuĂig is actually an island. If Leipzig is Klein-Paris, SchleuĂig is its Ăle de la CitĂ©. Leipzig actually has more bridges than Venice, and quite a few of them lead to our neighbourhood. If you want to feed some nutrias (aka muskrats), Limburgersteg is the place to be. Leipzigâs famous SachsenbrĂŒcke too is in SchleuĂig. Renting a boat to navigate Leipzigâs canal and river system can be done at SchleuĂig-based Bootsverleih Herold (you pay 5 euros for an hour of kayaking). SchleuĂig is Leipzigâs water paradise.
SchleuĂig’s Fascinating History
Up until the 1880s SchleuĂig was a rather small village just outside the boundaries of Leipzig. Industrialist Karl Heine bought huge swathes of land belonging to the municipality and designed a sophisticated urban planning scheme which resulted in the densely built-up neighbourhood we know today. A railroad traversed SchleuĂig from east to west, crossing KĂ¶nneritzstraĂe right about where the Konsum supermarket is located today. If you look carefully, you can still follow the train tracks. After 1990 SchleuĂigâs villas attracted high-income residents, and the district became one of Leipzigâs first gentrified communities. Rents remain slightly above average, but our islandÂ offers a very high quality of life.
Germany is known for order and discipline. Nevertheless, living in SchleuĂig makes you doubt whether these qualities are truly universally followed. Finding a parking spot in SchleuĂig can become somewhat of a challenge, but then again, where else in Germany do you have cars driving on the pavement? If you visit SchleuĂig on a Sunday night, you will find the sidewalks of HolbeinstraĂe utterly packed full of cars. Leipzigâs Ordnungsamt had tolerated this state of affairs for decades, but lately occasionally you do receive a parking ticket.
A Great Place to Raise Kids
SchleuĂig has Leipzigâs highest birthrate and it is one of our cityâs youngest neighbourhoods. The entrance to our own building is usually packed full of prams and strollers, and it certainly is no exception. When you open the window to our courtyard on a sunny afternoon you hear dozens of children playing and laughing. SchleuĂigâs playgrounds and parks make it the ideal place to raise your kids. This is true for English-speakers in particular, as SchleuĂig hosts Leipzig International School.
A (pretty much) Nazi-free Neighbourhood
For the 2014 European elections only 20 of 9,184 eligible voters in SchleuĂig voted for the NPD (i.e. 0.4%). This is the lowest percentage of Nazi voters of any district of Leipzig. The AfD also got its worst result in SchleuĂig (4.3%). At the same time SchleuĂig also had Leipzigâs highest turn-out. Left-wing parties received 67.6% of votes, which is their best result in the city.
Awesome Small Businesses
Leipzig is a pretty centralised city and most shops and services are located in the city centre. Nevertheless, our island actually hosts a wide-range of small businesses which often make trips to the city centre unnecessary. On KĂ¶nneritzstraĂe there are three (rather expensive) shops for childrenâs clothes and families are spoilt by two brilliant toy shops. The bakery on BlĂŒmnerstraĂe bakes the best buns in the city (although you often have to queue for 15 minutesâŠ). My favourite place to visit is Hans Kohlmannâs bookshop Whodunnit. I stopped buying books on Amazon ages ago, as Hans gets me all the books I need (in English!). I usually just write him an email and pick up my goodies the day after.
OrganicÂ Food Scene
Most people in SchleuĂig are probably either flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan or fruitarian and they are certainly very environmentally conscious. As a result Leipzigâs first package-free supermarket opened in SchleuĂig a few months ago. We have a great vegan burger place (I Love Veggie Burger), Leipzigâs only paleo restaurant (The Flow), as well as the best place to eat pasta in town (Fratelliâs). There is a fantastic organic ice cream parlour (Tonis) and if you donât mind long queues, get Leipzigâs best Spaghettieis at StieglitzstraĂe tram stop.
During an afternoon walk through the streets of SchleuĂig you will most certainly encounter boxes filled with stuff in front of peopleâs homes. The idea is to give away rather than bin things you no longer need. Alex and I have actually picked up the arm chair in our living room from the sidewalk outside our house. In BrockhausstraĂe there is actually a âGiveboxâ where you can bring your old stuff to share it with others. Books, cutlery, plates, toys, printers, radios â you never know what you might find.
By now you are probably on Immobilienscout, looking for a nice flat in SchleuĂig. If youâre not searching already, you certainly will be in a minute, as SchleuĂig hosts the Leipzigersâ favourite place to chill on a hot summerâs day: Clara-Zetkin-Park. With public barbeques, giant oak trees providing lots of shade, the enormous Elsterflutbecken, trendy SachsenbrĂŒcke â Clara-Zetkin-Park is Leipzigâs green lung and itâs got lots to offer.
No, SchleuĂig hasnât got it all. If you like to party and go for drinks, our neighbourhood is somewhat lame. But then again it’s 15-minute walk to Karl-Heine-StraĂe and getting to Karli requires a 5-minute bus or bike ride. Our neighbourhoodÂ is clearly one of Leipzigâs prettiest districts and if youâre thinking of settling down in Leipzig, SchleuĂig is the place to be. It isnât easy to find a flat in SchleuĂig, but if you walk through its streets you will probably find some signs in windows. Move to SchleuĂig, people!