Leipzig is situated on the River Weiße Elster, which is joined by several tributaries, the main ones being the Pleiße and the Parthe. Leipzig’s development between floodplains as well as woodlands, marshes, pasture and many branching waterways resulted in the course of the waterways being frequently altered. However, the extensive lignite mines which were worked in the twentieth century swallowed up much of Leipzig’s water landscape.
Rund um Schleußig © TVLN
The waterways include the large canal built in west Leipzig in the nineteenth century by influential industrialist Karl Heine, originally with the aim of creating a water passage all the way from Leipzig to the international port in Hamburg. Nowadays the canals are mainly used for boating, and there are several hire centres. If you’re feeling peckish, moor up at one of the many waterside restaurants and cafés. Moreover, the canals are connected to the two biggest local rivers – the Elster and the Pleiße – and also extend as far as Lake Cospuden. Leipzig’s network of waterways and lakes is gradually expanding. They’re a marvellous way to discover the city of Leipzig and its architecture, not to mention the beautiful natural habitats roundabout.