Weimar, Sights and Pictures

 

These pictures were taken on a visit to Weimar. Weimar is a city in Thuringia, one of the German Federal states, in this case in the valley of the River Ilm, which is a tributary of the River Saale, more or less in the centre of the reunited Germany. The area is known for growing potatoes, and the approximately half of the surrounding area that is not agricultural is forested. They have warm summers in this part of Germany and the amount of rainfall is moderate. Snow sometimes falls between December and February, but tends not to lie for long.

The Weimar Republic
The name of the city is familiar because of the ‘Weimar Republic’, which had its seat of Government there after the revolution in Germany that followed the First World War. To some extent the ruling elite were hiding out there while governing, because it was too dangerous for them to stay in Berlin, the official capital. This was because the German People blamed the government for the humiliating terms of the Versailles Treaty which Germany had had to accept at the end of the war. Hitler visited Weimar many times before 1933, when the Nazis established the first concentration camps in the Weimar area.

What to see and do
Visitors to the city today who are interested in history are faced with a great choice of attractions. The Bauhaus architectural movement was started here between the wars, and a number of areas of the city centre are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In Theaterplatz (Theatre Square) is located the German National Theatre, which puts on drama and musicals in an historic setting. The same building is the home of one of Germany’s oldest classical music ensembles, the Weimar Staatskapelle orchestra. In the evening the platz is the location of Weimar’s nightlife, with nightclubs, bars and restaurants. In the daytime the focus is more on German authors Goethe and Schiller, who both lived in Weimar; there are statues of them together in Theatre Square, created in 1857 by German sculptor Rietschel, working in bronze. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 to 1812) was a playwright, poet, philosopher and novelist. He is probably Germany’s best-known writer, especially for his greatest work, the poetic drama, ‘Faust’. Other works by Goethe include: ‘Prometheus’, ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’, (which was so powerful that it was blamed for causing numerous young people to commit suicide); ‘Romische Elegien’ and ‘Venezianische Epigramme’.

Friedrich Schiller (1759 to 1805) was also a poet and philosopher, but in addition he was a physician. He lived in Schiller House in what is now Schiller Strasse, and the house has been kept as it would have looked in the 19th century when the Schillers lived there, and some of their possessions are on display. The residence shares the building with the Schiller Museum. Schiller’s most widely known works are dramas, including: ‘The Robbers’, ‘The Wallenstein Trilogy’, ‘Maria Stuart’ (Mary, Queen of Scots), ’The Maid of Orleans’ and ‘Willhelm Tell’, about Joan of Arc and the great symbol of Swiss independence respectively. Schiller’s house is the yellow one facing the camera, with a lot of windows including four dormers. The two writers became long-standing friends, after Schiller wrote to Goethe offering friendship in 1794. Their residences are both open to the public and both are buried in the city; there are museums to celebrate their work.

The composer Franz Liszt spent summers in Weimar, and his house can be visited. There is the usual Stadtmuseum showing the history of the area, and another museum about local archaeology.
On Market Square (Markt) is the impressive, three storey Town Hall (Rathaus). To the right of centre in the photo is the Cranach House on the east side of Market Place. The artist Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked here, as did his son. Today the building houses a theatre company specialising in popular classics, and Cranach’s former residence is not open to the public.

For those interested in architecture there are numerous 17th and 18th century buildings. Churches include Saints Peter and Paul in Herderplatz, and St James in Rollplatz, both baroque buildings from the early 18th century. There are also three castles named by colours: the Red Castle, the Yellow Castle and the Green Castle. Weimar City Castle (Stadtschloss) is really a Baroque palace at the north end of the city park. It is an art gallery of paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries, and is part of the World Heritage Site. A tower stands in front of the palace, as seen in the picture.

Where to stay in Weimar
If there is a good selection of historical sites, there is an even greater choice of accommodation, with no fewer than sixty hotels to choose from in the area. The quaintly named five star Elephant Hotel on the main square has 99 rooms within walking distance of all the sights. In the four star category the Dorint Am Goethepark
is just a three minute walk from the centre. All rooms have the internet and many are Art Nouveau in style. The restaurant offers fine dining and with 143 rooms the hotel is big enough to have two alternative bars for its customers: its own pub, the Consilium, and the Belle Epoque bar which serves snacks in the day and cocktails in the evening.

Accommodation at the cheaper end of the scale is rather scarce in Weimar, and you may have to travel quite a way from the city to find budget accommodation. The Ibis Budget Weimar Nohra is about fifteen minutes by car from the city and has 67 modern rooms for two adults with one young child in a purpose built hotel. There is parking and a buffet breakfast at the hotel, and free WiFi. If you are put off by the fact that the town of Nohra was the location of the first Nazi concentration camp set up in 1933, then there is at least one budget option in Weimar itself: this is the A&O Weimar Hostel, where the internet is free and there is a bar and socialising rooms. Rooms can be booked by families, and they also have washing machine and drier for hostel guests’ use.

If you would prefer a self-catering apartment and are willing to travel 18 miles (29 km) from the city of Weimar, then the Quartier Annekathrin in Rudolstadt sleeps two in one double room and offers a kitchen and seating area. Towels and bed linen are provided, but there is a charge for parking. You can play tennis on the site and the area is good for cycling. Unusually, pets are allowed at this apartment, which is appropriate since this area is the original home of the Weimaraner breed of dog, traditionally used by the local aristocracy for hunting.

Weimar, railway station Weimar, railway station Weimar, Carl-August-Allee Weimar, Carl-August-Allee
Weimar, Buchenwaldplatz, Ossietzky Weimar, Rathenau place Weimar, Neues Museum Weimar, Stadtmuseum
Weimar, Post office Weimar, Grand-Hotel Russischer Hof Weimar, Goetheplatz Weimar, Wielandstrasse
Weimar, Platz der Demokratie Weimar, Place of Democracy Weimar, Carl August Monument Weimar, Anna Amalia Library
Weimar, Wieland Place  Weimar, Bauhaus University Herder Church, Weimar Herder Place, Weimar
Weimar, Marstall Stern-bridge, Weimar Ilm river, Weimar Weimar, Atrium
     
Theater Place      
Weimar, Theaterplatz Weimar, Theater Place Weimar, Nationaltheater Weimar, Theater Place
Weimar, Goethe-Schiller Monument Weimar, Goethe Schiller Monument Weimar, Bauhaus Museum Weimar, Wittumspalais
     
Market Square
Weimar, Market square Weimar, Markt Weimar, Markt, Rathaus Weimar, Town Hall
     
 City Castle (Stadtschloss)
Weimar, Stadtschloss Weimar, Stadtschloss City Castle, Weimar Weimar, City Castle
     
Schiller street and Schiller house
Weimar, Schiller street Schillerstreet, Weimar Schiller House, Weimar Schiller House, Weimar
     
Goethe's House, Museum
Weimar, Goethe House Goethe's House, Weimar Weimar, Frauenplan, Goethe-House Weimar, Frauenplan
     
Goethe's Garden House
Goethe's Garden House, Weimar Weimar, Goethe's Garden House Goethe's Garden House Weimar, Goethe's Garden House