In the 17th century, Leipzig was one of the major European city-centres of learning and culture in fields such as music, astronomy and optics. After World War II, Leipzig became a major urban centre within the Communist German Democratic Republic.
Leipzig later played a significant role in the fall of communism in Eastern Germany, through events taken place in and around St. Nikolai Church. Since the Reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of historical buildings and the development of a modern transport infrastructure. In 2006, Leipzig hosted key games in the World Cup.
In 2010, Leipzig was ranked 68th in the world as a livable city, by consulting firm Mercer in their quality of life survey, scoring just below Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009, Leipzig was ranked 35th in the world out of 256 cities for cultural, economic and social innovation.