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Weimar

N 50°58.838', E 11°19.936'
2014-03-30
http://www.weimar.de/en/tourismus/homepage/
Our rating: 7.60
Overall rating:

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.

Map of Weimar
Map of Weimar ©weimar.de

The first object that the tourists see is the train station, which for some reason is called "cultural station" (34 on the map).

Train station in Weimar
Train station in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

The square near the train station is not particularly remarkable, but there's one beautiful building here.

Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

With several electrocars nearby.

Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

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.

Weimar (1650)
Weimar (1650) ©Matthäus Merian / wikipedia.org

Since that time only few objects left, such as the Kasseturm Tower (1500) at the Goethe Square.

Kasseturm Tower in Weimar
Kasseturm Tower in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

Weimar has a lot of museums, especially related to the age of classicism. But we cannot visit all of them during one day.

New museum in Weimar
New museum in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

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.

Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar
Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar
Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Duchess Anna Amalia
Duchess Anna Amalia ©Yuriy Buriak


Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar
Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar
Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Unique clock in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar
Unique clock in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar
Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar
Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar
Rococo Hall in the library of Duchess Anna Amalia in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

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.

City castle and palace in Weimar
City castle and palace in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


City castle and palace in Weimar
City castle and palace in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


City castle and palace in Weimar
City castle and palace in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

The next place is the traditional German Market Square (1).

Market Square in Weimar
Market Square in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Market Square in Weimar
Market Square in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

One of the oldest houses in the city has retained only the facade.

Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

Interesting roof of a house at the Market Square

Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

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.

Monument to Karl August in Weimar
Monument to Karl August in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

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.

Theatre and monument to Goethe and Schiller in Weimar
Theatre and monument to Goethe and Schiller in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Monument to Goethe and Schiller in Weimar
Monument to Goethe and Schiller in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

Near the Theatre Square lies the beautiful Schiller Street, with his house and museum (14).

Schiller Street in Weimar
Schiller Street in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Schiller's house and museum in Weimar
Schiller's house and museum in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

At the end of the street turn right and go to the Frauenplan Square, where Goethe's house is located (13). The house retained the authentic setting of Goethe's last years.
Goethe's house and museum
Goethe's house and museum ©Georg Alsch / wikipedia.org

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.

Church of Mary Magdalene in Weimar
Church of Mary Magdalene in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

It is curious that Goethe and Schiller are not buried in the ground. Their coffins stand in the ducal vault. The Goethe family is buried nearby.

The Goethe family is buried here.
The Goethe family is buried here. ©Yuriy Buriak

There are even such interesting plates: "Goethe's friend is buried here".

Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

The cemetery is more like a park with sculptures.

Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

The cemetery is working today. Most of the new graves look like this.

Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Historical cemetery in Weimar
Historical cemetery in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

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.

Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

Not far from the house there's a pointer to the "Haus Am Horn" (31). Here we need to tell more, as it's not easy to understand what it is.

Bauhaus house in Weimar
Bauhaus house in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Bauhaus house in Weimar
Bauhaus house in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

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.

Roman house in Weimar
Roman house in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Roman house in Weimar
Roman house in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Roman house in Weimar
Roman house in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

The park is great, don't miss it.

Park on the Ilm river in Weimar
Park on the Ilm river in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Park on the Ilm river in Weimar
Park on the Ilm river in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Squirrel in Weimar
Squirrel in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Park on the Ilm river in Weimar
Park on the Ilm river in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Park on the Ilm river in Weimar
Park on the Ilm river in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

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).

Monument to Franz Liszt in Weimar
Monument to Franz Liszt in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

More pictures of Weimar

Post office building in Weimar
Post office building in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


House on the Carl August Alley in Weimar
House on the Carl August Alley in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

Funny, someone allowed to set the mobile antenna at the roof of their house.

Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


House in Weimar on the Carl August Alley
House in Weimar on the Carl August Alley ©Yuriy Buriak


"Russian Court" hotel in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Weimar
Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak


Plate in Weimar dedicated to Hungarian vizslas dogs
Plate in Weimar dedicated to Hungarian vizslas dogs ©Yuriy Buriak


Beethoven Square in Weimar
Beethoven Square in Weimar ©Yuriy Buriak

We visited the main but not all interesting places of Weimar. Then we went to see some interesing objects in the suburbs:

Belvedere Palace (bus #1)
Ettersburg Castle (bus #6)
Buchenwald concentration camp (bus #6)

There's also the Tifurt Palace (bus #3), but we didn't have enough time for it.

To get to the sights in the suburbs, you need a map of bus routes.

Weimar bus route map
Weimar bus route map ©weimar.de

Getting there: By train to Weimar, use bahn.de.

Tags, Germany: castle, cemetery, city, museum, palace, park

Tags, all countries: castle, cemetery, city, museum, palace, park
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