UNESCO World Heritage Site #161: Classical Weimar

UNESCO World Heritage Site #161: Classical Weimar
UNESCO World Heritage Site #161: Classical Weimar

From the World Heritage inscription:

The high artistic quality of the public and private buildings and parks in and around the town testify to the remarkable cultural flowering of the Weimar classical period. Enlightened ducal patronage attracted many of the leading writers and thinkers in Germany, such as Goethe, Schiller and Herder, to Weimar in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, making it the cultural centre of the Europe of the day.

Weimar became the capital of the Duchy of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach in 1572. For many years the painter Lucas Cranach the Elder worked in Weimar, where he died in 1553. This marked the start of a long period of growing cultural importance in which many painters, writers, poets, and philosopher lived in the city – Johann Sebastian Bach, Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller, Franz Liszt, Henry van de Velde, and Walter Gropius.

You have probably heard of Weimar from the “Weimar Republic”, the name given to the German government between WWI and WWII. What you probably didn’t know is how this small city of 44,000 people played such an important part in German culture.

Weimar was the home to three of Germany’s greatest authors: Goethe, Schiller and Herder. Composers JS Bach and Franz List lived in Weimar for a time as did architect Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus School. Martin Luther preached here and reformation artist Lucas Cranach died here.

The above photo is of Goethe’s home in Weimar.

It is an amazingly remarkable city considering its size.

This was the sixth stop on my November 2011 Eurail trip of UNESCO sites in Europe

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.