Weimar is not just a beautiful historic town, but has also been home to legendary personalities including Luther, Cranach, Bach, Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche. Weimar is also known for being the birthplace of the famous Bauhaus Movement and has produced several famous painters. Here’s your ultimate guide.
Schloss and Park Belvedere
Located on the edge of Weimar is the 18th century Schloss Belvedere. Originally built as a summer pleasure palace, today it is a museum containing an impressive collection of faience, porcelain, furniture and artwork belonging to the 18th century. The palace sits on a pretty English-styled garden. Don’t forget to take a look at the historic carriages in the orangery.
Weimar, Germany, +49 3643 545400
Goethe House and National Museum
Goethe House is dedicated to legendary German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who lived here from 1782 till he passed away in 1832. Today, literature lovers make their pilgrimage to Goethe House to look at Goethe’s precious collection of art, the well-stocked library and his writing room. The National Museum on the upper floor houses a trove of information on the life and works of this luminary.
The revolutionary style of design, Bauhaus, was born in Weimar. Head to the Bauhaus Museum to admire the famous designs of the founder of the Bauhaus movement, Walter Gropius, as well as those of his gifted pupils and colleagues. To explore the Bauhaus style of architecture, visit the Main Building, School of Arts and Crafts (Bauhaus University) and Haus am Horn.
Duchess Anna Amalia Library
The Duchess Anna Amalia Library is yet another monument dedicated to Weimar’s literary heritage. Behind the walls of this 16th century renaissance building is housed an unbeatable collection of classic literature. Expect to find first editions, rare volumes, artwork, medieval artifacts, ancient maps and more. This is an extremely popular attraction in Weimar, so it’s wise to book tickets in advance.
The Castle Museum holds unending appeal for art lovers. This building with a neoclassical facade and stunning interiors is home to an admirable collection of art dating back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period. The ensemble of Italian and Dutch paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries is also immensely popular among visitors. Additionally, the museum boasts an extensive collection of graphic art and coins.
Schiller’s Home is steeped in the memory of gifted German poet and playwright, Friedrich Schiller. Today, visitors come here to pay homage to the legend and explore the rooms that are impeccably maintained in an almost-original condition. A museum housed in the same building has preserved a great collection of materials pertaining to the life and creations of Schiller.
Wittumspalais (The Widow’s Palace)
Home of the Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia, Wittumspalais used to buzz with literary activity in its time. Visitors are welcome to tour its fine rooms decorated with period furniture and portraits of luminaries belonging to the literary field. For devotees of Goethe, a special attraction is the Round Table Room, where he used to often spend time as a guest.
Ducal Vault and Historical Graveyard
Fürstengruft Historischer Friedhof, Weimar’s most famous cemetery, is known for its pristine ambience, admirable architecture and as the eternal resting place of iconic personalities. Ducal Vault contains the tombs of Goethe, Schiller and Grand Duke Carl August. Grand Duchess Maria Pawlowna sleeps in the Russian Chapel in this cemetery. Various family members and friends of Goethe are also buried in this sombre spot.
Goethe and Schiller Archive
The Goethe and Schiller Archive, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another monument dedicated to the memory of Weimar’s most famous sons. The archive contains a priceless collection of almost 600,000 papers and manuscripts by over 60 famous German authors and their autographs. A notable part of this collection is the works of genius philosopher, writer and intellectual Friedrich Nietzsche.
To see for yourself how the ordinary middle class lived their lives in Goethe’s time in Weimar, drop in at the Kirms-Krackow House. Though it is inconspicuous at first glance, this simple Baroque structure holds special charm in its little garden with flowerbeds, original furniture, courtyard and the arched entrance.