Frankly speaking, we didn't know about Weimar before our visit. But afterward it became clear that one day was not enough for a city with such rich cultural heritage.
At the turn of the 18-19 centuries Weimar became the intellectual and cultural center of Germany - people that set the direction of future European cultural history used to live and work here:
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - poet, philosopher, and naturalist; Friedrich Schiller - poet, philosopher, playwright, professor of history, and military doctor; Christoph Martin Wieland - poet and ideologist of German Rococo; Johann Gottfried Herder - historian and poet.
16 objects in Weimar from the period called Weimar classicism are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
We used the following map to walk around the city.
From the station, we immediately went to the Library of Duchess Anna Amalia (5 on the map, works Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm, 7.5 euros). There are many interesting places along the way. In the Middle Ages Weimar looked like a typical town of that time, with castle, cathedral, city walls, and a moat.
Therefore, we chose only the library. This is one of the most famous libraries in Germany, even Goethe worked here. If you didn't book the tickets in advance, then come earlier. In 2004, the library was severely damaged during a fire. 50,000 books were completely destroyed and 62,000 were damaged. The famous Rococo Hall, which is the main object of the visit, was restored three years later and can now be visited only by 290 people per day. As we didn't find where to buy the tickets online, we came in the morning and bought them on site without any problems.
After visiting the library we went for a walk around the city. Right beside the library there's a city castle and palace (3), which is only 100 years old. The building had been the residence of the local dukes, though not for a long time, as several years after its completion, monarchy in Germany fell.
Several well-known names advertise the city. First, it's Duke Carl August, the longest reigning monarch in the world. He granted a liberal constitution to his state, protected freedom of the press, improved management in all sectors and significantly reduced corruption, so he is a national hero. Besides, he loved arts and sciences, so it's not surprising that Weimar is named the cultural capital of Germany.
Even if you haven't heard his name, you definetely know the names of Goethe and Schiller. Monument to both, as they were friends, stands at the Theater Square (16).
This area is famous for the fact that here, in front of the German National Theatre in 1919, the Weimar Republic was proclaimed. It is the name of the German territory between the two world wars (1919-1933), before the the global financial crisis and National Socialists.
Both poets are buried in the historic cemetery (12). In 1825, Duke Carl August built a vault for the members of the ducal family. And in 1862 a rather unusual Russian Church of Mary Magdalene was built behind the vault.
In addition to the historic center, visit a huge park on the Ilm river. The park was created in 1778-1828, and Goethe was actively involved in the development of the park. And this is not surprising, as in 1776 Duke Carl August gave the poet a house with a garden, which was located in the park (7). This house can be visited today.
On the picture it looks like a normal modern house, right? But in fact this building was designed by architect Georg Muche in 1923! This house was built for the exhibition. Its design was quite unusual, just think about architecrure of that time, most houses with pillars and bas-reliefs. But the urban population grew and all these unnecessary decorations became just a waste of money. Invention of reinforced concrete completely changed the approach to architecture: walls could be made even of glass.
Therefore, the "Bauhaus" architectural school was opened in Weimar in 1919. Almost everything you see now on the streets is a modified Bauhaus or International style, as it's also called. In a nutshell: Bauhaus is a functional house, house for living. It's difficult for us to understand this because we have lived in such houses all our lives.
The school had a lot of Jewish teachers and students. Therefore, it's not surprising that when the National Socialists got the power, the school was closed and Bauhaus was called ugly. Most of the buildings were destroyed or rebuilt.
On the other side of the park, there's another interesting building - a Roman house in the classical style (21). Goethe guided its construction in 1791-1797.
In the park there's a monument to another prominent resident of the city, composer Franz Liszt. Thanks to him Weimar became the center of music. He bought a house on the outskirts of the park where now a museum is located (9).