St. Thomas Church, Leipzig
A church has occupied the site since 1212 – 1222 and became the St. Thomas Monastery of the Augustinian order. In 1217 Heinrich von Morungen gave the church a relic of St. Thomas after a trip to India. Several reconstructions were of Romanesque design. The current building is an example of late Gothic architecture and consecrated in 1496. Martin Luther preached here on Pentacost in 1539. The tower was built in 1537 and reconstructed in 1702 at a height of 68 meters or 223 feet. The large organ, in the back of the church, we heard being played, filled the the church with magnificent sound. This is a Romantic organ built from 1885-89 by Wilhelm Sauer with 63 stops with up to 88 stops added in 1908, and restored in 2005.
Johann Sebastian Bach was the choir director from 1723 until 1750 when he died. The choir founded in 1212 is one of the oldest boys choirs in Germany. A statue in front of the church of Bach was dedicated in 1908. On the side of the church is the current Bach organ, built by Gerald Woehl in 2000 with 61 stops, and is designed to look and play like the organ in the Paulinerkirche. One of the stained glass windows is a portrait of Bach and is opposite the Bach organ. In the altar approach is the burial place of JS Bach.
The current altar, installed in 1993, is the from the Paulinerkirche, the church of the University of Leipzig which was destroyed by the communist’s in 1968. Since the 1500s this has been a Lutheran Church.