Weimar, Germany – an ancient city in the central part of the country. For centuries, it was known as the economic, political, and cultural center of German counties and lands. The most terrible page of its history was opened in 1937 – the Buchenwald concentration camp was created here.
The city of Weimar, after which a whole historical period from 1919 to 1933 is named. (Weimar Republic), located in Thuringia (central part of the country). Its population is 65 thousand people. The city covers an area of 84 square meters. km, divided into 12 districts.
This is one of the most ancient and well-studied from the point of view of the history of German cities. For example, in the southern part of Weimar, scientists found traces of Neanderthals.
For centuries, Weimar was considered the political, economic and cultural capital of those counties where it entered. In the mid-18th century, the city became the center of the Enlightenment in Germany (mainly thanks to Friedrich Nietzsche). At the beginning of the 20th century, Weimar became the capital of Thuringia, and with the advent of Nazism, a concentration camp Buchenwald is created here.
Buchenwald is one of the largest concentration camps in Germany, which, according to various estimates, killed from 50,000 to 150,000 people. Today at the site of the former camp is a memorial that consists of:
- Bunker. This is a building in which there were solitary confinement cells, where those who were planning to take their lives in the next few weeks were sitting. Now the main part of the museum exposition is located here.
- Watchtower. At the moment, restoration work is being carried out in it.
- Station and platform. This is the westernmost point on the map of the memorial. Future prisoners of the camp arrived here, and from here they sent the sick and the most dangerous (according to the Nazis) prisoners to other death camps.
- Roads to the cemetery. This part of the camp belongs to a later period – from 1945 to 1950. it belonged to the Red Army, and the Nazis themselves were already held here.
- Buildings of the commandant’s office. Now there is a museum, as well as photo exhibitions.
- Aviary for bears. This is only a small part of the pre-existing zoo, which was built by prisoners of war for the camp guards and local residents who could enter the camp.
- Commemorative plate. The nationalities of the victims of Buchenwald are carved on it. Interestingly, the temperature of the plate is always equal to +37 C – this is the temperature of the human body.
- Camp store. This is a small building in the northern part of the memorial where prisoners could buy tobacco or clothes. Now there is a photo exhibition.
- The crematorium is an inconspicuous, but the most terrible building in any concentration camp. In addition to the stoves, here you can see dozens of commemorative tablets from relatives of the murdered prisoners and a ton of original documents.
In addition to the above buildings, on the territory of the former Buchenwald concentration camp there are many other buildings, most of which are almost completely destroyed.
Be prepared for the fact that a lot of creepy exhibits are stored in the crematorium, which not everyone can look at (pieces of human skin with tattoos, dried people’s heads, prisoners’ hair and “operational” instruments).
- Location: Buchenwald Area, 99427 Weimar, Thuringia.
- Opening hours: 10.00 – 18.00.
The building of the library of the Duchess of Anna Amalia is one of the oldest attractions in Weimar, built back in 1691.
Over 300 years, more than 1 million books and hundreds of other ancient exhibits have accumulated here (paintings, interior items, unique spiral staircases), but in 2004 there was a strong fire in the library that destroyed most of the unique book editions and significantly changed the appearance of most of the halls.
The reconstruction, for which the authorities allocated more than 12 million euros, was completed in 2007, but the consequences of the fire are still felt. For example, employees of the sights have not yet fully cataloged books previously stored here. Specialists also buy copies of burned books from second-hand book dealers.
In the Anna Amalia library, you must:
- Visit the reading room “Rococo”. This is the most famous and most beautiful room in the library, which is still used for its intended purpose. Anyone who wants to pay 8 euros can come here to read a book or just enjoy the atmosphere of antiquity. At the same time in the reading room can be no more than 300 people. Locals advise to come here by 9 in the morning – at this time there are very few people.
- Explore a rich collection of manuscripts and books, among which you can find collections of works by William Shakespeare dating from the 18th century.
- Admire a large collection of paintings by famous European artists.
- Location: Platz der Demokratie 1, 99423 Weimar, Germany.
- Opening hours: 9.00 – 18.00.
- Cost: 8 euros.
The central square is the heart of the Old Town. Here are the main historical sights of Weimar in Germany:
- Town Hall
- ancient hotel Elephant;
- a local farmer’s market where, in addition to fresh vegetables and fruits, flowers and handicrafts can be purchased;
- “Gingerbread houses” in which there are cafes, restaurants and a tourist center;
- souvenir shops where you can buy traditional German sweets (pretzel, gingerbread, strudel), as well as postcards with photos of the city of Weimar in Germany.
Also in December, there is a Christmas market where you can try fried sausages, mulled wine and German beer.
Location: Markt Platz, Weimar, Germany.
Goethe is one of the most famous residents of Weimar in Germany in its entire history. The German poet was born in 1749, and bought the house, which now houses the museum named after him, in 1794.
Interestingly, despite the wars and revolutions, the Goethe house was preserved in perfect condition, and all the exhibits (books, dishes, interior items, clothes) that are stored in the museum are genuine. When visiting this place, pay attention to:
- Goethe’s library, which houses a large collection of unique publications dating from the 18-19 centuries, as well as poetry collections of the poet himself;
- a small but cozy living room in which Goethe and his wife received guests;
- yellow room;
- a small square near the house.
Travelers visiting the Goethe Museum call it one of the best in Weimar. Speaking about the minuses of the sights, they note the absence of audio guides and guidebooks in German and English, as well as a paid photo shoot (3 euros).
- Location: Frauenplan 1, 99423 Weimar, Thuringia.
- Opening hours: 9.30 – 16.00 (January – March, October – December), 9.30 – 18.00 (other months).
- Cost: 12 euros for adults, 8.50 for pensioners, 3.50 for students and free admission for children under 16 years.
The Church of Saints Peter and Paul is one of the main religious attractions of Weimar. Since the mid 16th century, the temple belongs to the Protestants.
Today, services are no longer held here, but tourists are expected. Travelers who have already visited church are advised to pay attention to:
- Altar. This is the most valuable and famous part of the temple. Firstly, it was created in the 1580s, and secondly, it was painted by Lucas Cranach himself, an honorary resident of Weimar.
- The spire of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul is the highest in Weimar, and it can be seen from anywhere in the city. Due to this, the spire often acts as a guide for stray tourists.
It is interesting that often this landmark of Weimar is called the “Herderkirche”. This is due to the fact that the famous German philosopher Herder worked and lived here for several years.
- Location: Herderplatz 8, Weimar.
- Opening hours: 11.00 – 12.00, 14.00 – 16.00 (daily).
Park an der Ilm, named after the Ilm River, on which it stands, is the largest and oldest in Weimar. He was defeated in the 17th century by King Charles. For tourists, Ilmsky Park is not even interesting for its unique collection of plants and its age, but for the fact that a number of attractions are located on its territory:
- Goethe’s house, in which the poet loves to relax on hot summer days;
- the house-museum of Liszt Ferenc, in which the composer lived for more than 20 years;
- Roman house (this is the first building in Thuringia, built in the style of classicism);
- monument to the heroes of the works of W. Shakespeare.
If you are not a big fan of historical sights, it’s worth coming to the park anyway. For example, here you can have a picnic, or just take a walk on a summer evening.
Location: Illmstrasse, Weimar.
Where to stay
Weimar has over 220 hotels of various levels. There are even more apartments – about 260 accommodation options.
A room in a 3 * hotel for two in the high season will cost 65 – 90 euros per day, which is an order of magnitude lower than in most neighboring German cities. As a rule, this price includes a good breakfast, a spacious terrace overlooking the historical part of the city and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
If the hotel option is not suitable, you should pay attention to the apartment. The cost of a studio apartment for two in the high season is 30-50 euros per day (the price depends on the location and other characteristics). The price includes all the necessary equipment in the apartment, daily necessities and round-the-clock support from the owner of the apartment.
Weimar is located in the central part of Germany, so it is easy to get to it from any big city. The nearest large settlements: Erfurt (25 km), Leipzig (129 km), Dresden (198 km), Nuremberg (243 km), Hanover (268 km), Berlin (284 km).
Weimar has its own railway station and bus station, to which more than 100 trains and 70 buses arrive daily.
It is better to get to Weimar from the German capital by train, which runs every 3 hours. Travel time is 2 hours 20 minutes. Estimated price – 35 euros. Landing is carried out at the train station in Berlin.
Getting to Weimar from Leipzig is also better by rail. The Ice train (coming from Munchen Station) runs every 2 hours. Travel time is 1 hour 10 minutes. Ticket price – 15-20 euros. Landing is carried out at the Leipzig Hauptbahnhof station.
Prices on the page are for July 2019.
- Famous German composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Franz Liszt, poets Johann Wolfrang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche are among the natives and honorable inhabitants of Weimar.
- In the 19th century, a new breed of dog was introduced in Weimar – the Weimar Pointing Dog.
- The Weimar Republic is called the historical period from 1919 to 1933. This is due to the fact that it was in Weimar that a new constitution was adopted.
- Until 1944, a huge oak tree was growing on the territory of the former Buchenwald concentration camp, which is still called the “Goethe tree”, because the poet (and he lived from 1749 to 1832) often came to this hill to enjoy the local nature.
- The library building of Anna Amalia is called the “Green Palace”, because for centuries it was painted only in green.
If you love and remember history, be sure to come to Weimar, Germany.
Inspection of the Buchenwald Memorial: