Weimar, situated in the Thuringia region of Germany, is bursting at the seams with Heritage Listed buildings, gardens and monuments. As the home of Goethe, Franz Liszt and the Bauhaus movement, this city has something for every history, art, music and literature-lover alike.
Weimar is often referred to as a park containing a town and if you find yourself in Weimar – and you should – take a stroll through the parklands of Ilm Park. Designed in the late 1700’s by famous author/poet/nobleman and statesman Goethe, whose fascination with both botany and anatomy led to lasting works in both fields. Each point of interest being within line of sight of another, the classically designed park is breathtaking even in the heart of winter – when I visited.
The trees in Ilm Park are estimated to have an average age of between 80 and 150 years old and is almost unchanged since its inception in the 1780’s.
There are so many historically significant trees and buildings within the park that it is World Heritage Listed. One such building is Goethe’s summer house, which is actually a copy of his first house purchased in Weimar at aged 26, but so faithful to the original, only the trained eye would know.
Wandering the pathways, you will come across ruins, grottos, memorials and of course the meandering River Ilm. The ruins are actually part of Goethe’s design recreating antiquity in gardens reminiscent of English country gardens, hence, the Romanesque feel to the freestanding walls. Centuries old in themselves now, they are fascinating to walk through.
Standing starkly alone in the centre of a clearing was the Tempelherrenhaus Ruin, or The House of the Templars (or what’s left of it). This was converted from an orangerie, into a fashionable salon in the 18th Century to host concerts by such luminaries as Franz Liszt, another Weimar native. This building marked the completion of the gardens and remained in use until WWII when it, and a large percentage of Weimar, were flattened by bombs. Walking around the solitary tower that remains of this building, it still commands your attention and reflection.
Weimar is an endlessly fascinating city, its cultural history is diverse and big-name filled. That alone should bring you here, but add in the opportunity to visit the Bauhaus, a working university to this day, with its Rodin sculpture in the entryway, and to walk the same streets as world famous composers, literary giants, arguably the best bratwurst in the country, monumentally pivotal political history and its endlessly beautiful architecture – which I will share with you in a future post – is a place I fully intend to return one day.
It would make me happy if you would like, share or comment if you enjoyed learning a little more about Germany. 🙂