Three nights: Thursday, June 14 to Sunday, June 17
For our first stop in Germany, we chose the small town of Weimar. It’s a reasonable train trip from Prague and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its cultural significance. In a nutshell, it’s famous as the home town of Goethe, the city where the Weimar Republic came to life and the birthplace of the Bauhaus school of design. Three nights was good to get a feel of the city and its history.
One of the first places we saw was the Weimar House, which turned out to be a funky, amusement park-like multimedia experience that detailed the history of Weimar from prehistoric times to the early 19th century. One of the key bits of info I took away from the experience was the origin of the name of the region Thüringia – the early inhabitants of the area were worshipers of Thor. Anyway, I was surprised that the story didn’t continue up to the present time, but maybe that was because the experience was narrated by Goethe 🙂
Speaking of Goethe, Weimar is Goethe crazy! He was the main figure behind the Weimar Classical period and a huge contributor to German culture. He had many friends and and fellow intellectuals in Weimar, most notably his BFF, Schiller. There’s a huge statue of the two of them together in front of the National Theater building. Almost everywhere you go, there’s some kind of connection to Goethe and Schiller, Schiller and Goethe. The emphasis on their friendship was beginning to seem over the top to me, but it turns out I’m not the only one to feel that way – we saw some local graffiti speculating along the same lines (BTW, do not look at these images if you’re easily offended: mild graffiti and one titled “A Poem“).
To take a break from Classical Weimar, we also checked out the Bauhaus museum. This was really quite interesting and informative. The Bauhaus design school was formed in Weimar in the early twentieth century and has had a major influence on what we consider modern design. I enjoyed learning more about the philosophy behind the school and its history (which was unfortunately somewhat rocky, maybe to be expected given the events in Europe during the 20th century).
To round out the visit, we enjoyed some fine German food and drink. In addition to easy, authentic German food, there were also local specialties such as Kloße and Thüringen bratwurst. For a small town, there were a lot of stands selling hot-off-the-grill bratwurst. And of course, there were many varieties of local pils for washing it all down. If this is any indicator of what to expect across Germany, I’m definitely going to enjoy our next two stops!
Finally, the visit happened to coincide with our 11th anniversary. However, to properly celebrate, we’ve booked a couple of nights at a castle along the Rhine – should be romantic (so long as the Franks don’t attack)!
Oh yeah, we also saw at least five Weimaraners during our stay in Weimar.