Sometimes a series of historical accidents leads to something amazing that never could’ve been planned from the top down. Moritzbastei is one of those.

Originally the ancient city fortifications for Leipzig, it lost its military function during the Seven Years’ War and was relegated to storage. In 1974, the students club of the nearby University of Leipzig uncovered it and began a reabilitation project. The work took years and involved some 30,000 students – among them a young physics student named Angela Merkel.

Today, it’s a night club and cultural space inside a fortress, and runs from dusk until dawn every night of WGT. Photos often use optical tricks to make small places look larger, but this one does the opposite – it’s only a narrow glimpse into a huge space that spans a dozen rooms in a labyrinthine complex spanning many floors.

Published June 17, 2019.

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