Leipzig Central Station was built in 1915 by architects William Lossow and Hans-Max Kühne as the largest railway terminus in Europe. Its cathedral-like structure of stone and steel impressively embodies the bourgeoisie’s sense of identity of the time. Together with its platforms, the station’s area is more or less equivalent to that of the entire city centre of Leipzig (which within the ring road measures a considerable 48 hectares). One special feature of Leipzig Central Station is its symmetrical design. This stems from the rivalry between the Prussian and Saxon railway companies, which operated the station jointly. In order to avoid any argument, it was decided that both companies would receive exactly the same structure.
Following extensive refurbishment, in 1997 the station was reopened with a shopping centre under the name ”Promenaden Hauptbahnhof”. It contains 140 shops and restaurants on three floors superbly integrated into this listed building which is one of Leipzig’s most prominent landmarks. The shopping centre has 30,000 square metres of retail space and most shops are open from 10am until 10pm, including many on Sundays and bank holidays.
By the way, in its issue dated 4 November 1999, the magazine Geldidee tested Germany’s 16 most important stations in terms of service, safety, cleanliness, and facilities for travellers. Leipzig Central Station came out on top, underlining how quickly it has blossomed into one of the most modern railway stations in Europe.