Cities & Culture

Weimar: the city of Classicism and great minds

Weimar: Rococo Room in the Anna Amalia Library ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

Goethe, Schiller, Gropius: Weimar is the star of Germany's and Europe's intellectual past and is intrinsically linked with big names. Both Weimar Classicism and the Bauhaus movement remain beacons of the extraordinarily rich cultural life that you will encounter throughout the city.

Although it only lasted around 50 years, Weimar Classicism was one of the greatest eras in European intellectual history. It all began with Duchess Anna Amalia, who pulled in the great poets and philosophers, whose fame is still associated with Weimar. Reminders of Classical Weimar include the houses of Goethe and Schiller, Belvedere Palace, Ettersburg Castle and Tiefurt Mansion with their fabulous parks – all sites associated with Herder. Other attractions from this period include Wittums Palace, where the illustrious round table assembled, the renowned Duchess Anna Amalia Library and the historical cemetery with its royal crypt, where Goethe and Schiller are laid to rest.

It's no wonder, then, that the adoption of Classical Weimar as a UNESCO World Heritage Site was based on the art-historical significance of the town's buildings and parks and on its role as an intellectual hub in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Another great epoch that emerged and flourished in Weimar was the Bauhaus, one of the foremost movements in architecture and design of the 20th century. The Bauhaus Museum features more than 300 exhibits that provide an insight into the work of the Staatliches Bauhaus movement, whose sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau, along with the movement itself, now have UNESCO World Heritage status. There's no doubt about it: Weimar is full of surprises.

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