Leipzig in Sachsen, Eastern Germany, pop. 530,000, is located 150 km south of Berlin. It has been a trade city since the time of the Holy Roman Empire, sitting at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, 2 important Medieval trade routes. At one time, it was one of the major European centers of learning and culture in fields like music and publishing. After WW2, it became a major urban center within the DDR (German Democratic Republic), but its cultural and economic importance declined, despite East Germany being the richest economy in the Soviet Bloc. Leipzig later played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, through events which took place in and around St. Nicholas Church. Since the Reunification, it has undergone significant change with the restoration of historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. Leipzig today is an economic center, has a prominent opera house and one of the most modern zoos in Europe.