Architecture & History

The Architecture of the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo Leipzig

  • Die KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo Leipzig liegt im Herzen der Stadt. Aus dem 1900 eröffneten Gründerzeitgebäude ist nach aufwendiger Sanierung und Umbau ein modernes Kongress- und Tagungszentrum geworden. Betreiber ist das Congress Center Leipzig (CCL) der Leipziger Messe. Bildnachweis: Leipziger Messe
    A Place of Encounter
    The KONGRESSHALLE is located in the former "Gesellschaftshaus am Zoo", a magnificent Gründerzeit building. Today, you can still get an idea of the important role this institution played in the cultural life of the city of Leipzig by looking at the faithfully restored façade and the Great Hall, which has been preserved in its original cubature.
  • KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo Leipzig, Bach-Saal
    The Building Over the Years
    For a long time, the exterior was dominated by Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles until the building, which was barely damaged during the war, was converted into the "Kongreßhalle Leipzig" (Leipzig Congress Hall). The once opulently decorated "Pfauensaal" was transformed into the neo-baroque "Bach-Saal", and new rooms were created. From the late 1980s, however, the building's fabric visibly deteriorated due to a lack of funds, until the city of Leipzig decided in 2009 to give the building a new lease of life as a modern congress centre.
  • Gründergarten vor der KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo Leipzig
    History Meets Modern
    Completed in 2016, the new KONGRESSHALLE still features a number of Art Nouveau and Art Deco details that recall the building's eventful past. The harmonious combination of lovingly restored and modernised architectural elements still conveys the special atmosphere of the house to visitors today and lends each room a special character.

You can find all the details about our rooms under Rooms & Equipment .

The History of the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo Leipzig

1900–1945: Emergence, Heyday and War Years

After Leipzig Zoo's prestigious civic centre was opened in September 1900, it soon became a significant venue for civic festivities and clubs: by 1914, more than 100 different events had already taken place. The first trade fair event at the present KONGRESSHALLE dates back to 1919. In the twenties and thirties after the First World War, business recovered and continued until April 1945 despite rigid intervention by the Nazi regime.

1946–1949: Reconstruction and Use as a Cultural Centre

Unlike the majority of Leipzig's other cultural venues, the civic centre at Leipzig Zoo had survived the Second World War relatively unscathed, which is why it was quickly repaired and converted into the "Kongreßhalle Leipzig". As early as 1946, a spring trade fair and various plays and concerts were held here. In 1948, the "Kongreßhalle Leipzig" was equipped with its own organ, transforming the house into a place of first-class concert culture offering excellent shows, music, theatre and dance events every evening.

1950–1989: Cultural Centre in the Heart of Leipzig

In the second half of the 20th century, the "Kongreßhalle Leipzig" also became an important venue for political congresses such as the 1st German Cultural Congress, along with sporting and cultural events of all kinds. Stars such as Udo Jürgens, Roy Black and Gilbert Bécaud performed here and the Leipziger Jazztage (jazz festival) have also been held here since 1978. The many dance events also became legendary, as the Great Hall was home to one of the largest sprung dance floors in Europe. A large number of smaller events including Christmas parties, school concerts, end-of-term dance balls and youth consecrations also made the "Kongreßhalle Leipzig" the number one cultural venue until it had to be closed in 1988 due to dilapidation.

From 1992: Long Road to Regeneration

Thanks to initial repairs, the building could be used sporadically again from 1992, but apart from an interim use by the Krystallpalast Varieté between 2008 and 2010, it mostly remained empty. The "Bürgerinitiative Kongreßhalle" (Congress Hall Citizens' Initiative) had been campaigning for the preservation of the building since 2001, but it was not until 2009 that the City of Leipzig passed a resolution for its comprehensive renovation, which laid the foundations for the new KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo. It is operated by the Congress Center Leipzig as an expert player in the congress business and today enriches the conference industry by offering an attractive meeting location in a city centre setting.