The city of Weimar
This university town in the state of Thuringia, with a population of 65,000, can look back on an impressive cultural heritage. Weimar's wealth of art treasures, monuments and historical sites makes it enormously popular. It was the home of the painter Lucas Cranach the Elder. Johann Sebastian Bach served here as the court organist and cappellmeister. Wieland, Goethe, Herder and Schiller made the city world famous. Franz Liszt had a stint as the court cappellmeister in Weimar. In 1919 Weimar witnessed the establishment of the republic that bore its name. In the same year Walter Gropius started the Bauhaus, one of the most influential architectural schools of the 20th century. Today the Franz Liszt College of Music and the Bauhaus University have an excellent reputation. In 1999, the 250th anniversary of Goethe's birth, Weimar was the European Cultural Capital.
This city of classics has an unusually wide range of events from the fields of literature, theater, music and the fine arts: With the Yiddish Summer, Bach Biennale and the Kunstfest, an art festival, Weimar welcomes the world as a many-faceted city of culture. The city's dramatic and musical heritage is celebrated by the Deutsches Nationaltheater and the Staatskapelle, a highly respected symphony orchestra. Buildings of architectural and historical importance include the Nietzsche Archives, the Goethe House, the Schiller House, the Anna Amalia Library and the Bauhaus Museum. The Residenzschloss, a castle, houses an excellent art collection. The Buchenwald memorial site bears witness to the crimes of the Nazi era. But Weimar is more than a living museum of the past: a young, responsive cultural scene takes the classical heritage as a starting point for formulating questions aimed at the present.
Weimar's parks and gardens are enchantingly beautiful. From the gardens of Goethe's house to the modern artists' gardens, it is soon obvious that it was no accident that Weimar's greenspaces earned the city a silver medal in the European "Entente florale" competition. Museums dedicated to bees and gingkos offer interesting discoveries away from classical Weimar's well-trodden cultural paths. Another fascinating diversion can be found in the quarters enlivened by the young cultural scene. In October the traditional onion market is a chance to sample Thuringian bratwurst, beer and onion cake. The scenic countryside surrounding Weimar is ideal for a wide range of sports and leisure-time activities. It is only about an hour by train to Erfurt and Leipzig, and Dresden and Berlin are just two hours away.