Saturday, March 23, 2013
Leipzig Autumn Fair 1968
The Leipzig Trade Fair was a major fair for trade across Central Europe for nearly a millennium. After the Second World War, its location happened to lie within the borders of East Germany, whereupon it became one of the most important trade fairs of Comecon and was traditionally a meeting place for businessmen and politicians from both sides of the Iron Curtain.
The history of the Leipzig fairs goes back to the Middle Ages. A fair held at Leipzig is first mentioned in 1165. In 1190 Otto the Rich, margrave of Saxony instigated two trade fairs in Leipzig, at Easter (Jubilate) and Michaelmas. No other fair was to be held up to a mile away (Marktbann), and the bridges and streets were freed from toll. The Michaelmas fair was held at the church of St. Nikolai, built in 1176. At this time, there were fairs at other Saxon towns like Freiberg, Leisnig, Pegau and Regis as well. In 1268 all foreign merchants travelling to or living in Leipzig got safe conduct for their persons and their goods, even if their Rulers were at war with Saxony. This led to the settlement of numerous merchants in Leipzig. Trade goods now included herring, cloth, wine and pepper.
The Leipzig Opera traces its establishment to the year 1693, making it the third oldest opera venue in Europe after La Fenice (Venice, Italy) and the Hamburg State Opera (Hamburg, Germany). The director of many of those early operas was Telemann.
The Leipzig Opera does not have its own opera orchestra, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra performs as the orchestra for the opera. This relationship dates back to 1766, with performances of the Singspiel Die verwandelten Weiber, oder Der Teufel ist los by Johann Adam Hiller. During an air raid in the night of December 3, 1943, the theater was destroyed, as were all Leipzig's theatres.
During the Leipzig Fair in 1968 a Model Train exhibition was held in the Opera House. This stamp and the FDC were issued to commemorate the event. The Opera House is depicted on the special cancellation and so is the Double M which is the logo of the fair.Thank you Marco for this nice FDC.