Bauhaus Hotel "Haus des Volkes"
The "Haus des Volkes" in Probstzella is the largest and most comprehensive Bauhaus monument complex in Thuringia. It represents part of the history of the Bauhaus from 1919 to 1933 - the major college of architecture, design and art in the 20th century. Enjoy the "spirit of the Bauhaus" in the Culture Center as well as its restaurant in the Blue Room and on the Arndt Terrace. (Photo credit: Probstzella / Haus des Volkes)
Margaretha Reichardt House
The Erfurt-born artist and Bauhaus student Margaretha Reichardt opened a hand-weaving workshop in 1933, passing on the intellectual and cultural principles of the Bauhaus in addition to teaching the art of weaving. The basement workshop houses several functioning hand-weaving looms, on which the Reichardt student Christine Leister today demonstrates the art of hand-weaving but also makes fabrics based on historic models. Margaretha Reichardt’s living quarters on the ground floor have been maintained in their original condition as a memorial and can be viewed. (Photo credit: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Walter Gropius, the Director of the Bauhaus, built his first private home in the New Building style for the physicist and art patron Dr. Felix Auerbach in 1924. It is a perfect example of elementary geometry, purist shapes, blocks that appear to interlink, partially walkable roofs, horizontal ribbon windows and a fully glazed conservatory (collaboration: Adolf Meyer). (Photo credit: Frank Müller / JenaKultur)
Walking Tour: Henry van de Velde and the Bauhaus artists in Jena
This walk through the town of Jena creates a link between Henry van de Velde’s Art Nouveau and the Bauhaus with the Gropius Bauhaus mansions Zuckerkandl and Auerbach. As early as 1911, Henry van de Velde created a work of art of European standing with his monument for Ernst Abbe. The Jena Art Society was seen as an open forum for the Modern Movement and so a close relationship developed between the Bauhaus artists, the University and industry in Jena. (Photo credit: Tino Zippel Bildeigner: JenaKultur)
Bauhaus Museum in Weimar
The Staatliche Bauhaus was founded in Weimar by Walter Gropius as an art school in 1919 and closed in Berlin by the Nationalist Socialists in 1933. More than 300 exhibits in the Weimar Bauhaus Museum are dedicated to Bauhaus history and its artists, whose ideas are seen as the most effective and successful export of German culture in the 20th century today. Works by Walter Gropius, Lyonel Feininger, Gerhard Marcks, Johannes Itten and Paul Klee are part of the collection, as are items by famous Bauhaus students, such as Marcel Breuer or Alma Siedhoff-Buscher. (Photo credit: Thomas Härtrich / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Art School Building
The Henry-van-de-Velde Building is one of the major turn-of-the-century art school buildings. It was the location of the State Bauhaus founding in 1919, of which traces can still be found today in wall paintings, reliefs and the reconstructed Gropius Room. Today, the former art school is used by the Bauhaus University and is open to the public. (Photo credit: Andreas Weise / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Bauhaus Model House "Haus am Horn"
For the first major Bauhaus Exhibition in Weimar in 1923, this model house was built in only four months. Named after the road it was built on, it went down in architectural history as the "House Am Horn." The Bauhaus was the most important art school in the 20th century, founded on 1 April 1919 when Walter Gropius was appointed as its principal. With this building, it created its only architectural memorial in Weimar. Gropius had one great objective - the union of art with craft, since he saw artists as the enhancement of tradesmen. (Photo credit: Guido Werner / weimar GmbH)
House Hohe Pappeln
Van de Velde designed and lived in House Hohe Pappeln from 1908-1917 when he was art adviser to Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst. In his design, van de Velde avoids elaborate decoration, instead applying principles of practicality in line with aesthetics of modern industry. Today, the ground floor and garden are open to visitors. (Photo credit: Jens Hauspurg / Weimar GmbH)
Former School of Arts and Crafts
This building was designed by Henry van de Velde and built between 1905 and 1906 for the Grand Duchy of Saxony School of Arts and Crafts in Weimar. Between 1919 and 1925, it was used by the "State Bauhaus in Weimar.” Today it is the home to the Faculty of Design and used for teaching by the Weimar Bauhaus University. Particularly interesting features of this building by van de Velde are the unusual lighting of the wide winding staircase and the three reconstructed wall paintings by Oskar Schlemmer, which were completed for the Bauhaus Exhibition in 1923. (Photo credit: Ehemalige Kunstgewerbeschule)
Walking Tour: The Early Bauhaus
Follow in the footsteps of the masters. This guided tour focuses on the lives of some of the key members of the Bauhaus. During the tour you will see the main Bauhaus University building and the monument to the March Dead by Walter Gropius, among other sights. (Photo credit: Maik Schuck Bildeigner: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
This pearl of Baroque architecture can be visited on Theaterplatz at the center of Weimar. Duchess Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar and Eisenach (1739-1807) was a long-term resident of the three-wing Wittums Palace built between 1767 and 1769. A tour of the palace with its original furniture, musical instruments, fittings and objects d'art provides a vivid picture of court life in Classic Weimar. The highlight of every tour is the Duchess's former drawing room and the Green Salon in early Classicist style with its almost fully authentic furnishings. (Photo credit: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
City Palace Museum
On a tour of the Museum in the City Palace, art lovers can expect a real treat! In the historic palace rooms with their partly original furnishings, the former art collection of the Grand Dukes is on show, ranging from the Middle Ages to the turn of the century around 1900. The highlights of the thematically divided exhibitions are the Cranach Gallery and works by Caspar David Friedrich, Auguste Rodin and Max Beckmann. The first floor displays sculptures and arts and crafts dating from around 1800, including treasures from the dowry of Maria Pavlovna, the Tsar's daughter. Another section shows works of the Weimar School of Painters. (Photo credit: CMR/Udo Bernhart)
Town Church of St Peter and Paul
The Late Gothic Town Church of St Peter and Paul was built as a three-nave hall church between 1498 and 1500. The first church was built on this site in 1245-49. The foundations of the west tower are among the oldest building sections in the town. Of the Late Gothic church fittings, there remain the christening font, the steps to the pulpit - which was converted to Baroque style - and parts of a wall painting of Saint Ursula under the organ gallery. The main attraction is the winged altar which was begun in 1552 by Lucas Cranach the Elder and completed by his son. Of interest is also the Luther Shrine, a triptych dating from 1572, which shows Martin Luther as a monk, as Squire George and as a teacher. Martin Luther often preached in this church, Johann Sebastian Bach often played here and two of his sons were christened here. Between 1776 and 1803, Johann Gottfried Herder was the senior court preacher, senior consistorial counsellor, general superintendent and vicar at the Town Church and thus, the people of Weimar also call the church the "Herder Church." (Photo credit: Maik Schuck / weimar GmbH)
The Schiller family lived here from 1802 until the death of Charlotte von Schiller in 1826. As the first memorial to a poet open to the public in Germany, the house opened its doors as early as 1847. Today the house presents a vivid impression of the tastes of the time and the everyday life of the Schiller family, with its many authentic exhibits, such as a coffee pot made of Thuringian porcelain. One major attraction is the study with its largely original furnishings. It was here that the poet completed his plays "The Bride of Messina" and "William Tell." In 1802, Friedrich Schiller bought this town house built in 1777 and lived here with his family until his death in 1805. On the attic floor, visitors can view Schiller's study, drawing room and reception room, with some authentic contents. On the first floor, the living quarters of Charlotte and the children can be seen and on the ground floor, the kitchen and servants' room and the permanent exhibition "Schiller in Thuringia." (Photo credit: Guido Werner / weimar GmbH)
Goethe played a leading role in the construction of the Roman House between 1791 - 1797. It was inspired by his time spent in Italy. The former retreat of Duke Carl August, with its four-column Ionic vestibule, is reminiscent of ancient temples. At the center of the paintings on the walls and ceilings in the interior of the building are Apollo with the muses and Pegasus. There is a permanent exhibition on the history of the Park by the River Ilm since the 18th century. In addition, visitors can view the vestibule, the Blue and the Yellow Salon and the Duke's study. (Photo Credit: Gert Lange / weimar GmbH)
Palace and Park Tiefurt
Tiefurt Palace was built in 1765 as a tenant's house and extended in 1776 to become a royal country residence. Until 1781, it was the home of Prince Friedrich Ferdinand Constantin and then served Duchess Anna Amalia as a summer residence. She arranged for the extension of the English countryside park laid out by her predecessor. Today the park with its many monuments and architectural features is just waiting to be explored. The highlight of every visit to the palace is the Cold Kitchen with its historic show meals made of porcelain, wax and papier-mache. (Photo credit: Weimar, weimar GmbH)
Goethe's Garden House in Weimar
From 1776 until 1782, the former vineyard house in the Park by the Ilm served Goethe as his home and place of work. It was opened as a memorial as early as 1886. After in-depth renovation work in 1995/96, the house has been restored to its former glory. A tour of the house consists of the dining-room - the so-called "Erdsälchen" (little earth room) - and the kitchen on the ground floor and four rooms on the first floor. The furniture and fittings on display are original items, including rare exhibits such as the high desk with a stool in the study and the folding bed in the bedroom. (Photo credit: Joachim Negwer / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
For almost 50 years until his death in 1832, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived in this house, which was erected in 1709. In 1885, it was bequeathed to the state of Saxe-Weimar, including contents and collections, by Goethe's grandson Walther and opened as a memorial venue in 1886. In the study rooms, the fittings have been preserved unchanged. In the other rooms, the fittings largely correspond to the condition during the last years of Goethe's life. You can visit the living rooms and studies of Goethe and his wife Christiane, as well as and the garden. (Photo Credit: Dipl.-Des. Jens Hauspurg // Weimar / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Ettersburg Castle Gardens
On the northern slope of Ettersberg Hill are the Ettersburg Castle Gardens. Two terraces and the six-hectare countryside park supplement the castle complex, which was used as a hunting lodge by the Weimar dukes from the 17th century. In the mid-19th century, Duke Carl Alexander had the outside areas redesigned and extended by the Weimar court gardener Eduard Petzold. One of the existing avenues of an historic hunting “étoile” leading directly to the castle was converted into a long forest meadow by Prince Hermann Pückler von Muskau together with Petzold, his student. (Photo credit: Jens Hauspurg / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
Duchess Anna Amalia Library
The Duchess Anna Amalia Library was founded by Duke Wilhelm Ernst in 1691 and has been one of Germany’s most famous libraries ever since the 18th century. It preserves literary records from the 9th to the 21st century as sources of cultural history and for research. It then catalogues them by formal aspects and content and makes them available for use. The library possesses a total of one million units. The major focus of the work is the epoch from Enlightenment to Late Romanticism since its profile is dominated by the educational concept of the era around 1800 and its collections from the time between 1750 and 1850 are particularly extensive.(Photo credit: Jens Hauspurg Bildeigner: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Ducal Tomb (Fuerstengruft)
Built from 1823-1828 at the order of Grand Duke Carl August, this tomb is the last resting place of royal personages as well as of Goethe (1832) and Schiller (1827). Today the mausoleum in Classicist style is open to visitors, who first enter the chapel room with its neo-Classicist painting. On the left, steps lead to the burial vault with the coffins of the poets and the royal family. In 2008, a genetic analysis showed that Schiller's alleged mortal remains were not genuine, so his sarcophagus is now empty.
Duke Ernst August had a Baroque summer residence built to the south of Weimar between 1724 and 1748. Since 1923, this Belvedere Palace has housed a museum of the arts and crafts of the 18th century. One focus of the items displayed is porcelain and glass used at the Duke's court. Also on show are East Asian porcelain and faience ware, furniture dating from the 18th century and early porcelain from the Meissen manufactory. An exhibition in the West Pavilion is devoted to the architecture and garden design of the era and a collection of weapons dating from the 18th century records the history of court hunting. (Photo credit: Joachim Negwer / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Hainich National Park
Walking through the jungle-like, mixed deciduous forests in Hainich National Park is an experience not to be missed. Admire groves of dead wood on a guided tour through the National Park Center, or enjoy sweeping views of the park from the Treetop Trail. Visit Hütscheroda village to learn about the habits of the elusive wild cat. Or, head to “Hainich View” observation platform to catch a glimpse of the timid animals up close. (Photo credit: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Thuringian Forest Nature Park
Germany’s oldest and most famous hiking trail, the Rennsteig, runs for some 105 miles through the highlands of the Thuringian Forest Nature Park. Marked by large “R” signposts, it takes hikers through lush meadows and deep, quiet forests and treats them to spectacular views of the Wartburg Castle. Visitors to the park can also drive the 280-mile Nature Park Route to enjoy the best of the park’s natural phenomena and cultural attractions. (Photo credit: Andreas Hub / Regionalverbund Thüringer Wald)
Vessertal Thuringian Forest
Almost 90 percent forest, the Vessertal-Thüringen Forest is home to the three highest mountains in the Thuringian Forest: Großer Beerberg, Schneekopf and Großer Finsterberg. Its deeply scored valleys and high moors rank among Thuringia’s most breathtaking scenery. (Photo credit: Christiane Würtenberger / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Thuringian Slate Mountains/ Upper Saale Nature Park
Adjoining the Thuringian Forest Nature Park, this park is divided into five unique natural areas. To the southwest, the countryside is dominated by the traditional slate mines, and the Saale Valley is marked by the Bleiloch and Hohenwarte dams. Birdwatchers flock to this “land of a thousand ponds” for its diverse population of water birds. (Photo credit: Worldelse Bildeigner: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Rhon - Unesco Biosphere Reserve
Covering parts of Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia, this reserve is a land of open distances. Its sweeping grasslands are a refuge for many threatened animal and plant species, and the park maintains a rural character. Here, fruit orchards and shepherds tending the sheep are common sights. (Photo credit: Rasmus Schübel Bildeigner: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Kyffhauser Nature Park
Kyffhauser Nature Park's landscape is without compare in Germany. Cranes flock to its marshy meadows and salt springs, beech woods offer respite from the sun on walks, and steep gypsum slopes transform into the magical subterranean world of Barbarossa Cave. Don’t miss the imposing Kyffhäuser Monument, dedicated to the emperor under whose reign the Kyffhäuser Fortress was completed, or the Panorama Museum, home to Werner Tübke’s 3000-figure painting “Early Bourgeois Revolution in Germany.” (Photo credit: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Southern Harz Nature Park
Beginning in the Harz region and extending into Thuringia, this park sits on the edge of a mountain range and is home to unique natural phenomena ranging from sinkholes to karst springs and caves. On the Harz narrow-gauge railways, you can travel from Nordhausen to the Harz region as far as Brocken Mountain, Wernigerode or Quedlinburg.(Photo credit: Toma Babovic / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werra Valley Nature Park
Situated on a limestone plateau with tall beech trees and numerous cliffs, this nature park paints an impressive picture. To the south, the River Werra winds past steep rock faces, and jungle begins to the southeast near Hainich National Park. Discover one of Germany’s most beautiful railway routes on a bicycle trolley, and don’t miss a chance to test out one of Hainich Climbing Park’s seven courses. (Photo credit: Stadt Creuzburg)
Wartburg Castle is the stuff of legends. To walk through this castle, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is to walk through over 900 years of history. It was here that Martin Luther translated the New Testament, drawing thousands of pilgrims each year. Later, the castle inspired Wagner’s romantic opera “Tannhäuser“ and hosted the first festival of German fraternities.
Extremely well preserved, Wilhelmsburg Castle is a major monument of Renaissance architecture. Though relatively plain on the outside, this four-wing palace boasts lavish wall paintings and stucco work on the inside. Notable rooms include Landgrave’s chamber, richly decorated ballrooms, the royal chamber and cellar vaults. The castle also houses one of the oldest, functioning wood-pipe organs in Europe.
Vest Heldburg Castle
Once a stronghold in the border country of the regions ruled by the Hennebergs and Electoral Saxony, Veste Heldburg Castle had the task of lighting beacons to warn its Franconian neighbors of imminent danger. As a result, it was called the "Franconian Lantern." In good weather, a climb up the 150-foot high tower offers a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding region. Don’t miss September’s Castle Fest when knights, musicians, craftspeople and traders take over the castle grounds. (Photo credit: Nürnberger Versicherung (Förderer des Deutschen Burgenmuseums))
Standing on a rise in the center of town, Altenburg Castle is an unmistakable fixture. Initially a fortress, it became a palace in the 12th century under Emperor Barbarossa and was the scene of the historic kidnapping of Princes Ernst and Albrecht in 1455, known as the “Altenburg stealing of the princes.“ Converted into a castle in the 18th century, the complex includes the "Corp de Logis" Baroque building and an impressive castle church with late Gothic choir. (Photo credit: Maik Schuck / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Friedenstein Castle Museum
Completed in 1654, Friedenstein Castle is regarded as one of the largest early Baroque castles in Germany. In the mid-17th century, Duke Ernest I of Saxe-Gotha established an art gallery in the west tower, which has since transformed into a collection of international significance. The museum also features original royal living quarters and a reception room. Visitors can pass through several epochs, from Baroque through Rococo to Classicism, admiring major works of art at every turn.
Residence Palace Sondershausen
This impressive four-wing palace towers above Sondershausen, Thuringia’s capital of music. Once the seat of government of the counts and princes of Schwarburg-Sondershausen, today it is one of the most beautiful palaces in Thuringia. Wander through the English-style Lohpark or the Princess and Pleasure Gardens. Other highlights include an eight-sided house, a former concert venue for the royal court, and the old stable, now home to Thuringia’s State Academy of Music.
Heidecksburg Residential Castle Rudolstadt
Perched above the former royal town of Rudolstadt, the Renaissance and Baroque-influenced Heidecksburg Castle is an ode to the airiness and glory of Rococco. In the north wing, admire the royal collection of more than 4,000 weapons and discover Thuringian “White Gold“ in the porcelain gallery.
Epitomizing European fortress architecture from the 17th to 19th century, Petersburg Citadel in a must-see. Baroque at its core, the citadel also features neo-Prussian defense barracks and artillery wagon houses. The Romanesque St. Peter’s Church, housed inside the fortress, dates back to 1103. (Photo credit: Toma Babovic)
Discover Goethe in love at this dreamy moated castle. Beginning in 1775, Goethe often stayed here to be near his adored Charlotte von Stein. Listen to a selection of more than 1,700 of Goethe’s love letters in the museum ballroom while relaxing on swings designed in Rococo style. Don’t miss a show at the 75-seat Liebhabertheater, built at the turn of the 19th century. From May through October, operas, plays, concerts and readings take place on its stage. Ending the events season are the Kochberg Garden Delight program in May and Kochberg St. Nicholas Market in December.
This impressive three-palace complex situated on the edge of a plateau takes visitors on a whirlwind tour of Dornburg’s history and culture. Inside the Rococo Palace, discover three different interior decoration epochs. Visit the Goethe Memorial inside the Renaissance Palace, where the legendary 19th-century writer wrote his Dornburg Poems, and stroll through the Baroque palace gardens or English-style country park. The Old Palace is reserved for weddings – if you’re lucky, you may glimpse one on your visit. (Photo credit: Jens Hauspurg / Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Elisabethenburg Palace Meiningen
Built in a myriad of architectural styles ranging from Baroque to Historicism, the Elisabethenburg Palace is the cultural hub of Meiningen. Tour the Meiningen Thuringian State Archive and the Max Reger Music School here, or sit down at Schlossstuben restaurant for a taste of traditional Thuringian cuisine. Architectural highlights include the Holy Trinity Castle Church, wall to ceiling stucco work and the impressive neo-Classicist Marble Hall. (Photo credit: Maik Schuck Bildeigner: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH)
Friederiken Palace Bad Langensalza
Dating back to the mid-18th century, the Friederiken Palace was the summer residence of the widowed Duchess Friederike of Saxony-Weissenfels. Wander through its charming halls and vaulted cellar on a guided tour, or attend a reading in the estate’s historic orangery. Be sure to check out the historic printing press in the former coach house, and in the pump room, watch healing sulphuric water bubble out of the ground. (Photo credit: Joachim Negwer)
Just slightly larger than the state of Connecticut, the central German state of Thuringia is the ideal place to discover Germany's history and culture. Dramatic scenery and forests, 16 Unesco World Heritage sites, Bauhaus architectural history and a rich variety of castles and palaces: no other region offers so many attractions in such close proximity. In the cities, cultural sites are connected through special walking routes and the region’s top destinations are no more than an hour drive away from each other. Walk in the footsteps of great German minds such as Goethe, J.S. Bach and Martin Luther, and discover a land where German history is ever-present.
Where the Bauhaus Began
In 1919, the State Bauhaus, the most important school of art of the early 20th century, opened in Weimar. Representing a center of new ideas and experiments in the wake of WWI, the Bauhaus was the cradle of modern design. Concerned with a revolution of everyday life and cooperation in society, Bauhaus artists worked on an interdisciplinary basis. Closed in Berlin under pressure from the Nazis in 1933, the school of design only existed for 14 years; yet, its global influence continues to this day. Mark your calendars for 2019, when Germany celebrates the centenary of the founding of Bauhaus, and learn more in the map above.
In the late 18th and early 19th century, ducal patronage attracted many of the leading German poets and philosophers such as Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche to Weimar, turning it into a European center of culture. Public and private buildings, castles and parks in and around the city bear witness to the outstanding cultural history of the Weimar Classical Period, sixteen of which are recognized as Unesco World Heritage sites. Learn more in the map above.
Almost one-quarter of Thuringia’s area is preserved and developed as “National Nature Landscapes”. Eight protected areas, including the Hainich Unesco World Nature Heritage National Park, two Unesco biosphere reserves and five nature parks, preserve a diverse group of natural landscapes. From Germany’s oldest and most famous hiking path, the Rennsteig, to Hainich National Park's Canopy Walk, Thuringia is the ultimate travel destination for unique nature combined with cultural heritage. Learn more in the map above.
Castles & Palaces
Evidence of Thuringia’s eventful history can be found in more than 60 palaces and castles throughout the region, the legacy of innumerable ruling counts, princes and dukes. While some are in ruins, many have survived in their full splendor such as Unesco-listed Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German. Housing internationally renowned museums and art collections, Thuringia's castles and palaces also function as hotels, restaurants and wedding destinations. Don't miss one of Thuringia's historic castle festivals, including knights’ tournaments and jousting. Learn more in the map above.