Halfday excursions (No 1-6) are taking place on Monday afternoon 11.09.2023, the full day excursion (No 7) takes place on Saturday 16.09.2023.

1. City tour Leipzig city centre

This Leipzig tour starts in front of the St. Nikolai church, a key piece of architecture witnessing the so-called peaceful revolution in Leipzig. You will further visit the most important sights, like the famous Restaurant Auerbachs Keller and learn why you should touch the golden foot there but shouldn’t walk careless over the market square. We will stop at a local bar, where you can try a historic and local liquor and discover the spirit of this growing metropolis of East Germany’s secret capital. Ask questions and get tips for your free time or a next visit.

Date: Monday afternoon 11.09.2023
Start: 14:30, End: 16:00
Language: English
Fee: 20 € (includes guided tour)
Maximum number of participants: 25
Meeting point: Church St. Nikolai

Old city hall of Leipzig Photo: Krzysztof Golik, Old city hall of Leipzig (20), CC BY-SA 4.0).

2. Visit of the UFZ Research Station Bad Lauchstädt

We offer a half-day excursion to the field research station in Bad Lauchstädt that turned 128 years old this year. Originally founded for agricultural research only, it is still home of one of the oldest continuous soil fertility experiments in the world and one of few experimental stations that has such a comprehensive long-term data set ready to use. The Bad Lauchstädt experimental research station allows scale-dependent investigations of different ecological systems in a broad range of experimental facilities ranging from climatic chambers (iDiv Ecotron), heated and unheated greenhouses, lysimeters (German Soilcan Network) to field sites (e.g. MyDiv) on an area of more than 40 hectares. The experiments shall contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationships in the soil-plant-atmosphere system with a special focus on agroecosystems. Investigating impacts on ecological systems resulting from changes in land use, climate and regarding the species pool are at the core of activities at the research station. Central facilities are the Global Change Experimental Facility (GCEF), the iDiv Ecotron, and the Static Fertilisation Experiment. We will walk over the station and get to know the diversity of experiments.

Date: Monday afternoon 11.09.2023
Departure: 14:00, Return: 18:00
Language: English
Fee: 20 €
Includes bus transfer and tour
Maximum number of participants 25
Meeting Point: Parking lot iDiv, Puschstraße 4, Leipzig

Aerial view of the UFZ Research Station Bad Lauchstädt. Photo: Teja Kattenborn

3. Jena Experiment visit

The Jena Experiment is a DFG-funded Research Unit that builds on a long history of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research. Despite the broad consensus of the positive BEF relationship, the underlying ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have not been well understood. The Jena Experiment, one of the longest-running biodiversity experiments in the world (running since 2002), aims at filling this gap of knowledge by applying novel experimental and analytical approaches. The central aim of the Research Unit is to uncover the mechanisms that determine BEF relationships in the short- and in the long-term. We will be introduced into different studies and exciting findings of this grassland experiment.

Date: Monday afternoon 11.09.2023
Departure: 12:30, Return: 17:30
Language: English
Fee: 20 €
Includes bus and visit
Maximum number of participants: 50
Meeting point: Parking lot iDiv, Puschstraße 4, Leipzig

Aerial view of the Jena Experiment. Photo: Christoph Scherber

4. Research at the crane at the Leipzig floodplain forest

Many visitors to the northern Leipzig floodplain forest are surprised by the unusual sight of a crane in the middle of a nature conservation area. However, construction work is not underway here, it is a large-scale research facility of Leipzig University running since 2001. The crane covers a total area of 1.6 hectares and allows for research in a height of up to 33 m. As one of the few crane projects worldwide, it focuses on biodiversity research. It is the only one that investigates the complex ecological interactions in a floodplain forest system. We will learn interesting facts about the Leipzig floodplain forest on the ground and get a ride in a gondola over the treetops (head for heights and physical fitness are required).

Date: Monday afternoon 11.09.2023
2 groups:
   1. Group start: 12:30, return 15:30
   2. Group start 14:30, return 17:30
Language: Englisch
Fee: 20 €
Maximum number of participants: 24
Meeting point: Leipzig Main Station, next to the DB information counter

Aerial view of the crane in the Leipzig floodplain forest. Photo: Steffen Schellhorn

5. Primate cognition research at the Zoo Leipzig

This is a zoo tour of a very special kind. We will be guided by a researcher of the Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Centre, a facility of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, whose research focuses on the behaviour and underlying cognition of four primate species. Particular interest is directed towards the psychological development of the individual apes and the resulting differences and similarities between the species. We will get unique insights in the research as well as the work with the animals in the zoo. You can endlessly bombard the expert with questions. If interested, participants can also buy a zoo ticket on-site and visit the rest of the zoo before or after the tour (zoo ticket not included in the excursion).

Date: Monday afternoon 11.09.2023
Start: 13:00, End: 15:00
Language english
Fee: 20 €
Maximum number of participants: 15
Meeting point: Meeting point: Kickerlingsberg Corner Kickerlingsberg-Karl-Rothe-Straße (Zoo side Gate G )

Leipzig Zoo inhabitant. Photo: Thomas Lersch, Gorilla zoo-leipzig, CC BY-SA 2.5

6. Geological excursion to the brown coal restoration area in Southern Leipzig

The Leipzig Neuseenland in the southern parts of Leipzig: recreation, leisure time activities, sports. Here, visitors have unlimited opportunities in, at, and around the lakes. But who knows about their history? Close to the lakes, still brown coal mining is continuing. How did coal actually develop? What happens after coal mining? What does restoration of former coal mining areas mean and how sustainable is this? This excursion to the coal mining area South of Leipzig will try to answer these and other questions.

Date: Monday afternoon 11.09.2023
Start: 14:00, End: 17:00
Language: Englisch
Fee: 20 €
Includes transfer and guided tour
Maximum number of participants: 25
Meeting point: Meeting Point: We meet with the guide at the S-Bahn station Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz (infront of the dm store) to go together to the excursion starting point.

Activity in a brown coal mining area. Photo: Jörg Blobelt creator QS:P170,Q28598952, 20050521010DR Welzow Braunkohletagebau Welzow-Süd, CC BY-SA 4.0

7. Hiking trip in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains

The Elbe Sandstone Mountains comprise Germany's only rocky national park, Saxon Switzerland. The rugged, Cretaceous erosion landscape with its fascinating microclimate holds a true treasure of rare flora and fauna. The start and end point of our excursion is the picturesque village of Schmilka, which was recently awarded the most beautiful village in Saxony. From here, we head uphill along the Wurzelweg and Lehnsteig trails. Here, we will also learn about a specialty of the area right away: Stairs! ;) But we also see the big problems (not only) of the National Park Saxon Switzerland already during the ascent: climate change, bark beetles, dying monocultures, forest fires. The rest of the trail is a bit more optimistic: we reach the highest peak of the Sandstone Mountains on the right side of the Elbe, the Großer Winterberg with its largely intact beech forests. Here, there is the option of a small snack and a coffee. After the refreshment and before the descent to Schmilka, we visit the Kipphornaussicht with a phenomenal view. In addition to the ranger, we will be accompanied by an experienced botanist who will familiarise us with the special flora of the region.

Language: Englisch
Starts: 08:00 Ends: 17:00 (including bus transfer return)
Fee: 65 €
Includes bus transfer, tour guide and lunch box)
Maximum number of participants: 40
Meeting point: Parking lot iDiv, Puschstraße 4, Leipzig

Bastei bridge in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Photo: Jens Strauß, 2015-05-13 Basteibrücke-, CC BY 3.0