Weimar is a small, pretty town in the heart of Germany. It became important as a gathering point of several classical authors and poets, with Friedrich Schiller and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as the most influential and best known. The constituting national assembly of the first German democracy ("Weimar Republic") met here in 1919, escaping troubled post-war Berlin. The Bauhaus art and architecture school was founded in Weimar before it was forced by a right-wing Thuringian government to resettle to Dessau, on the way to Berlin. The Nazi period left architectural traces here, and the Buchenwald Memorial stands for the darkest 12 years in German history.
These are some of the most interesting things to see in and around Weimar:
- Just take a guided walking tour of the city, book at the tourist information. You may also enjoy events at the "Weimar Summer".
- The splendid Rokoko Anna Amalia Library. As access is limited due to conservational issues, individual tickets for the day are sold at 9 am directly at the library. This should be done individually since groups have to reserve months ahead.
- Goethe's home gives insight into the life of a genius with an incredible width of interests.
- Together with the two sites above, the city castle, the Park on the Ilm and other spots outside the inner city form part of "Classical Weimar UNESCO World Heritage".
- The Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial outside Weimar is reachable by an hourly bus from central Goetheplatz. To respect the dignity of the place we don't recommend going there as a large group.
If you missed the workshop excursion, you may also go to Wartburg castle and the city of Erfurt individually and easily. Just book a (frequent) train to Eisenach and take a bus from the main station to the medieval fortress or even walk (sweating guaranteed). Erfurt is on the way, all trains stop there. Other worthwhile destinations include Jena as the old center of optical industry (Carl Zeiss, Schott) and Gotha, the founding place of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD).
A bit further away are Berlin, the Saxonian capital of Dresden, which has risen from the ashes after complete destruction, and Prague, the magnificent Czech capital. Inquire with Deutsche Bahn for travel tickets and schedules. Journeys to these cities make sense only with an overnight arrangement.
Even a densely populated country like Germany offers some outdoor activity in unspoiled nature, e.g., the Hainich Beech Forest National Park and the Thuringian Forest nearby. Inquire at the Weimar Tourist office or ask LOC for access.