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Leipzig got bombed comperatively little, so destruction was limited compared to many other cities. Nevertheless the old town doesn't really appear "old" by German standards. However, the limited destruction in the center and the wide swathes of preserved Gründerzeit districts probably make Leipzig the most beautiful 500K+ city in Germany.
 

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I feel Leipzig old town, while sustaining comparatively little damage during the war, was 'hit where it hurt' -- i.e. the damage that was done was dealt in significant spots where one can really feel the disruption to the historic fabric. A good example of this is the area north-east of the Markt, which once used to home to many important baroque townhouses but it now just a bit too empty and full of monolithic post-war buildings.

Open spaces were also created in certain sections of the old town, which makes it feel less 'cozy' I supposed.

As for the relative 'modernity' of Leipzig's old town, I think it was primarily composed of renaissance and baroque townhouses before the 19th century, when a lot of the old town area was modernised (due to the city's wealth and standing at the time). Despite that and the destruction of the war, there are quite a lot of nice older buildings in Leipzig, especially from the baroque period. These in particular are often very reminiscent of those that once existed en-masse in Dresden. It's a shame the eastern side of Katherinenstraße was destroyed, because I think this street in particular probably rivalled any of the great baroque streets in Dresden.
 

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I feel Leipzig old town, while sustaining comparatively little damage during the war, was 'hit where it hurt' -- i.e. the damage that was done was dealt in significant spots where one can really feel the disruption to the historic fabric. A good example of this is the area north-east of the Markt, which once used to home to many important baroque townhouses but it now just a bit too empty and full of monolithic post-war buildings.
Hopefully some reconstructions could be done in the future to restore this area. There would be a lot less work compared to Dresden or Frankfurt with far more effective results in terms of a unified urban fabric.
 

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Hopefully some reconstructions could be done in the future to restore this area. There would be a lot less work compared to Dresden or Frankfurt with far more effective results in terms of a unified urban fabric.
Unfortunately I think some of the buildings along this stretch are relatively new or have been renovated recently. There are places in Leipzig where reconstructions could work though.
 

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It depends very much on citizen initiatives. I'm sure there is latent will in a lot of cities, but no one has taken the initiative to actually concentrate it in a tangible manner.
 

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Potsdam seen from the Brauhausberg, c. 1930

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From Google Earth, I can tell the city slaughterhouse, the buildings to the left of the first pic, existed until ~ 2010. The building in the foreground, with the little tower at the corner, seems to still stand, although I cannot find what it is.

In the last photo, you can see part of the old Hauptbahnhof, to the right, and the water tower that exists to this day.
 
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