The "Nikolaikirche" (St. Nicholas Church) has long been one of the most famous in Leipzig, and rose to national fame in 1989
with the Monday Demonstrations when it became the centre of peaceful revolt against communist rule. The church was built in about 1165, around the same time Leipzig was founded. It is named after St. Nicholas, the patron saint of merchants and wholesalers, and is situated in the very heart of the city at the intersection of two then important trade roads, the Via Regia and Via Imperii. It is built partially in the Romanesque style but was extended and enlarged in the early 16th century with a more Gothic style. In 1794 the interior was remodeled by German architect
Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe in the neoclassical style. The church has been a Protestant seat since 1539 after the Protestant Reformation, but the Catholic Church is allowed to use it too. The church saw four of the five performances (including the premiere) of the St. John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach on Good Friday in 1724, 1728, 1732, and 1749 as well as many of his cantatas and oratorios performed by the Thomanerchor.
The organ was built by the famous German organ-builder Friedrich Ladegast of Weißenfels in 1858-1862.
It is an important example of the 'Romantic' school of organ-building and has been modernized
with electric-pneumatic equipment in the 20th century.