Leipzig in Saxon dialect also Leibzsch [ˈlaɪ̯bt͡sʃ]) is an independent city and the most populous city in the Free State of Saxony with 609.869 inhabitants (31 December 2021). In 2021, it ranked eighth in the list of large cities in Germany. For Central Germany, it is a historical centre of business, trade and transport, administration, culture and education, as well as currently a centre for the "creative scene."
Settlement of the town centre began in the 5th millennium BC south of today's Goerdelerring. In the 6th century, immigrant Slavs built a permanent settlement, which was given the name "Lipzk" (lipa = place by the lime trees) around 800.
In 928, the German castle "urbs Lipzi" was founded on the hill of the later Matthäikirchhof. This was first mentioned in 1015 in the chronicle of Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg.
The year 1165 is regarded as the founding year of the city of Leipzig, when Margrave Otto the Rich granted the city and market rights. Situated at the crossroads of the two trade and military routes Via Regia and Via Imperii, Leipzig developed into an important trading city. A milestone on this path was the trade fair privilege granted by Emperor Maximilian I in 1497. It elevated the markets held three times a year to imperial fairs and forbade towns within a 15-mile radius from holding markets.