City of Goethe and Bauhaus
Weimar Travel Blog› entry 18 of 22 › view all entries
I never put much thought into this town. I knew of it, but not what happened here. Of course I’m familiar
with the Weimar Republic and such, but please don’t ask me any questions about
that piece of history. Google would certainly give you better answers. I know Buchenwald concentration camp is on
the outskirts of Weimar and I had been there on a previous trip with a friend.
(See previous post of this blog)
Today wasn’t about that sad part of history. It turns out Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived
in Weimar, along with his buddy Friedrich Schiller.
museum today. Most of the interior was
kept the way it was when Goethe had lived there. He was an avid collector of art and was in
general interested in many fields. He
wrote about the “Color theory” and was part of the “Sturm und Drang “movement. Of course his most famous work is Faust.
Weimar is also famous for its architecture and particularly
the Bauhaus University which sprung an architectural movement that influenced
the whole world. “Less is more” was
their motto and Bauhaus in general was more about function than lavish design
and décor. Bauhaus did not only teach
architecture, but also influenced furniture and other objects that could be
readily used and mass produced.
Bauhaus university was closed by the Nazi regime, but was reopened by its famous
architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who is considered to be one of the first
modern architects. He settled in Chicago and designed several buildings there.
We walked past the Bauhaus University’s main library to get
to Frauenplan. Here we paid the entrance
fee to check out Goethe’s residence and the Goethe museum which are in the same
building. We spent nearly 3 hours
inside. It was highly interesting. Many
walls were decorated with Goethe’s poems and others showed art that he
collected. The rooms in his apartment
all have names. Goethe knew how to place
his collections and walking through his living quarters reminded more of a
museum than a place where someone had lived.
The separate museum under the same roof houses all the
original pieces, since most of the ones in his apartment are replicas, no doubt
to keep them from sticky fingers.
Handbags were actually not allowed inside. I put mine in a locker along
with my jacket. All I needed was a 1 Euro coin, which was returned when I
picked the items back up. I only had to
hold onto the key.
I was very impressed with both, the apartment and the
museum. I wasn’t familiar with any of
Goethe’s work, even though I have a German and English version of Faust on my Kindle for when I’m really
bored. That hasn’t happened yet though.
After we were done with Goethe’s residence we headed to the
main market square to grab a bite to eat.
Original Thuringer sausages are sold at nearly every street corner and
do make sure you try one. They are delicious!!
After our snack we headed to the park along the Ilm river. Here we saw Goethe’s garden house, a
sculpture of my buddy Shakespeare, and a house that reminds of Roman
architecture, but isn’t that old.
After the park we headed to the historic cemetery to see the
Orthodox Church there. The cemetery was
recently put on the UNESCO heritage list and was undergoing heavy restoration
work. We had to enter from a side
entrance and walk about 5 minutes to get to the “main attraction”. The Orthodox Church is gorgeous though and
well worth the walk. The crypts where Goethe and Schiller’s remains are buried
are right next door, but it was closed when we got there. This was a long and informative day, but it
was definitely nice to explore this part of German history.