Explore the world of Leica Camera at Leitz Park III

A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex. Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-b
A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW
A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex. Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-b
Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-breaking ceremonies through the years.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW
A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex. Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-b
The balcony of the Leica Camera AG building is modelled after the camera viewfinder.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW
A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex. Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-b
The archive showcases rare cameras like this set of rangefinders from the 1920s.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW
A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex. Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-b
Camera imagery is used throughout the complex, including the hotel rooms, where blueprints of the Leica camera adorn the wall.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW
A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex. Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-b
Dr Andreas Kaufmann (centre), chairman of Leica's supervisory board, with guests after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. His vision for Leitz Park III was realised when it officially opened last Friday.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

Leitz Park III in Wetzlar, Germany, is an architectural work of art housing a Leica-themed museum, academy, gallery, cafe and hotel

In the town of Wetzlar, about 40 minutes' drive north of Frankfurt, Germany, stands the newly completed Leitz Park III complex built by Leica Camera AG.

Its latest addition of four new buildings marks the culmination of a two-year-long construction which began in June 2016.

The clean lines and curves of the grey, concrete, geometric-shaped buildings showcase modern German design and architecture and reflect the design philosophy Leica embraces.

The impressive complex, designed by Frankfurt architectural firm Gruber + Kleine-Kraneburg, is definitely worth a visit.

Avid photographers can check out the Leica Museum and shop, Leica Akademie, Leica Galerie and store, dine at Cafe Leitz and stay at the 129-room Ernst Leitz Hotel run by Arcona Living.

The premium camera brand has lined up several photo exhibitions.

  • LIMITED-EDITION CAMERAS AND WATCHES

  • To mark this milestone opening, Leica has released several limited-edition cameras.

    A Leitzpark Edition of the Leica Q, M-10 and D-Lux has special engraving on the top or front of the camera, with the first two models featuring a special leather trim. Fifty units of each model are available.

    A touchscreen and 15x zoom are the highlights of the newly launched Leica C-lux, which has an 8.8-132mm f/3.3-6.4 lens and a 20-megapixel sensor that can shoot up to 10 frames per second. It has a maximum ISO of 25,600 and can record 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. The C-Lux retails at US$1,050 (S$1,420).

    A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex. Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-b
    PHOTO: LEICA
     

    Leica also teamed up with Italian automotive design house Zagato to release a limited-edition M10 Edition Zagato (above) with a unique aluminium body. There are 250 pieces of the model and each retails at US$21,600.

    Leica has also launched a product it is not usually associated with: watches.

    The limited-edition L1 and L2 (below) are made-inGermany mechanical luxury timepieces with a starting price of €10,000 (S$15,700). They are made by hand at Leica's new operations, the Ernst Leitz Workshops, and will be available from autumn this year in a few countries, including Singapore.

    A view from inside the giant "viewfinder" balcony of the new Leica Camera AG building that gives visitors a bird's eye view of the Leitz Park complex. Leica Archive guide Maria-Victoria Furst showing historical items such as shovels used for ground-b

Eyes Wide Open! 100 Years Of Leica Photography is on at the museum until October. It is a collection of iconic images shot over a century of 35mm photography by greats such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and Rene Burri.

Leica Galerie has on its walls pictures by Magnum photographer Bruce Davidson. He was awarded this year's Leica Hall of Fame Award for his body of work, which includes searing images of street gangs, circus performers and the American civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

There are three other exhibitions featuring the works of Ray Barbee, an American skateboarder and musician; German photographer and designer Tine Acke; and Mathieu Bitton, a French photographer, director and producer. These run until August.

Two brightly lit white rooms store the Leica Archive of valuable vintage cameras from the 1920s and sketches of early Leica cameras made by German photographer and inventor Oskar Barnack. He built the first Leica camera - the Ur-Leica - in 1913 in Wetzlar.

• The writer's trip was sponsored by Leica.

• Leica's Leitz Park is located at Am Leitz Park 5, 35578 Wetzlar, Hesse, Germany.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2018, with the headline 'Explore the world of Leica'. Print Edition | Subscribe