The Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) is a Lutheran church in Leipzig, Germany. It is most famous as the place where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as a Kapellmeister, and as the current location of his remains. The Thomanerchor, the choir of the Thomaskirche, was founded in 1212 and is one of the oldest and most famous boys' choirs in Germany. It is headed by the Thomaskantor, an office that has been held by many well-known composers and musicians, including Johann Sebastian Bach from 1723 until his death in 1750. Another notable feature of the Thomaskirche is that it contains two organs. The older one is a Romantic organ by Wilhelm Sauer, built from 1885–89. Since this organ is considered "unsuitable" for Bach's music, a second organ was built by Gerald Woehl's organ building company from 1999–2000. This "Bach organ" was designed to look similar to the old organ on which Bach had played in the Paulinerkirche.
Additional access information for wheelchair users and persons with reduced mobility:
- Access (door 86 cm)
- Alternatively via the southern sacristy at the Burgstraße
- Public WC only accessible via 13 steps below the church
- Induction loops
- Palpation model with church, Thomashaus and southern Thomas churchyard with Bach monument
When the Leipzig Disputation was opened in St Thomas’ Church in June 1519, the Boys Choir sang a twelve-part motet by their cantor Georg Rhau. At this time, the ensemble was already 300 years old. In those days, the boys went to a monastery school, as St Thomas Church was part of an Augustinian monastery. For their education, they had to perform the liturgical music. That has not changed over the years, although the choir is now world famous. Visitors can still hear the boys singing motets every Friday and Saturday, and at the church service every Sunday when the choir is not on tour. Works by former Thomas cantor Johann Sebastian Bach are often performed, even if – as it is reported – he was not always happy with his singers. Bach is buried in St. Thomas’ Church. In honor of the man considered by many to be the greatest composer of all time, the Leipzig Bach Festival takes place every June. It was not until 1539 that Luther could return to Leipzig where he preached in St Thomas Church in front of a large congregation, an event that is commemorated by a plaque and the “Luther Window”.