Classical Weimar: Goethe's Resting Place

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the small town of Weimar in Thuringia experienced a remarkable cultural development, attracting numerous writers and scholars, including Goethe and Schiller. This development is evident in the quality of the numerous buildings and parks in the surrounding area.

Classical Weimar - Belvedere Castle and Park

The earliest document mentioning Weimar dates back to 899 when the city was the seat of the duchy Weimar-Orlamund, but it was in the time of Duchess Anna Amalia (1739-1809) that Weimar's Classical period began. In 1775 Goethe settled in Weimar, where he remained until his death, and Schiller did the same in 1799. Subsequently, the city became an innovative center of new trends in the field of architecture and the fine arts, with outstanding contributions to the so-called Art Nouveau. A total of 12 buildings have been declared World Heritage Sites. 

The Goethe House (1707-1709), in baroque style, underwent various modifications during the writer's stay from 1792 to 1832. It consists of two sections of two floors each surrounding a courtyard crossed by a gallery. The furniture of the time is preserved and three of its rooms are dedicated to a museum.

The Goethe House in Weimar

The Schiller House (1777) is a simple two-story structure topped by a mansard roof, with a three-story section in the center. Most of the rooms have retained the furnishings and decorations of the poet's time. The church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Herder's house, and the former college also form a unique ensemble. The castle, residence of the reigning family from the 10th century onwards, was largely destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1424 in late Gothic and Renaissance style to become a ducal castle. After another fire in 1618, it was built in the Baroque style. Today it appears as an important irregular building, consisting of four wings surrounding a courtyard. The palace of the Old Lady (1767-1769) was bought by Duchess Anna Amalia in 1775 and lived there until her death in 1807. It was a center of intellectual life during the heyday of Weimar's Classical period. It consists of a group of simple two- or three-story Baroque buildings situated around a courtyard.

The Goethe House Museum

The library of Duchess Anna Amalia is a small three-story French castle in Renaissance style that was transformed into a library, of which Goethe was its director from 1797 to 1832. The historical cemetery extends over an area of 370 m by 130 m and inside there are numerous funerary monuments sheltered by abundant trees. At the end of the main avenue of this cemetery, on a hill, stands the tomb of the princes, a classical structure where many members of the ducal house are buried. The remains of Goethe and Schiller also rest in this mausoleum.

The Anna Amalia Library

Other significant buildings included in the world heritage site are: Roman House in the Park on the Ilm, Goethe's Garden and Pavilion Garden located south of the city; Belvedere Park and The Orangery, 3 km south of Weimar; Tiefurt Castle and Park 2.5 km northeast of the city; Ethersburg Castle and Park, almost 8 km northwest of Weimar; and the Manor House with its Wieland Park in Obmannstedt, 7.5 km east of Weimar.

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