Weimar can be called a magical worldly village in the „Green heart of Germany“. In this cultural city the esprit of the German Classical Time, the esprit of the „Weimarer Republic“and the spirit of the Bauhaus era are still alive. Many worldwide known people like Cranach, Bach, Goethe, Schiller, Nietzsche, Liszt, Kessler and Feininger lived and worked in this miraculous city and created the unique atmosphere. In 1999 Weimar became the cultural capital of Germany rightly. It cultural potential made it to a symbolic place in Germany. Walking between historic sites connected to Goethe, the Bauhaus University, the academy for music „Franz Liszt“ and the memorial place Buchenwald makes you feel like walking through the memories of a city. Weimar became a place of a wide cultural education for people from all over the world. More than 22 historic houses and literary sites depict the rich history of the city. But not only that. Nearly every street, every building makes you follow the traces of the mutual and ambiguous history. Weimar is living its memories and its culture by offering numerous big or small cultural events.
Every year thousand of people come to Weimar to experience the cultural atmosphere and to discover new things. Weimar has 60.000 inhabitants and offers nice cafés and an idyllic city life. While passing romantic squares the angled streets with their shops and cafés lead you the summer residences Belvedere and Tiefurt outside the city.
Weimar’s climate is consistent with warm summers and mild winters. Usually the temperatures in summer don’t exceed 30 degrees but lately they can even climb up the 36 degrees. Winters are in general rainy and temperatures barely drop below 0. Spring and autumn are very mild with sunny weather and temperatures between 10 and 20 °C.
German is the official language spoken in Weimar. English is widely understood and spoken in most of the touristy places.
The most frequent religion in Weimar is Protestantism but there are also some religious minorities. Besides, there are also some free churches that differ in their belief slightly from the Protestant belief. Most of the churches offer services which are usually announced in the local newspapers or in the church building.
The currency used in Germany is the Euro. Notes come in denominations of €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 and the coins in use are €2, €1, € 0.50, € 0.20, € 0.10, € 0.05, € 0.02 and € 0.01.
Normally a tip of 10% is common. In restaurants in the tip is usually included, though it is customary to round up the bill (ie €2 on €1.90.). For other services, such a haircut or taxi, it is common to leave a tip.
The VAT of 16% (from 1. January 2007: 19%) can be reclaimed by visitors from outside the EU. In order to do that you have to fill a tax-cheque by the time of purchase. At the airport your purchased items need to be taken to the customs clearance where the customs official will provide a tax stamp which can be cashed at any of the airport banks in a variety of currencies.
To call Weimar from abroad dial +49 for Germany and then (0)3643 for Weimar. To use a public phone you need a telephone card or coins. In some public phones you can use money or credit cards. Nowadays it is more common to use telephone cards than coins.Telephone cards can be purchased in any post office, at the main stations and in a lot of kiosks.
There are many internet cafes in Weimar but even normal cafes and other official facilities over internet access with wireless connections. A popular internet café is Internetcafe PIC, August-Baudert-Platz 2, 99423.
Police Tel.: 110
Fire department Tel.: 112
Ambulance Tel.: 112
Post offices are open during the week between 8 am and 6 pm and on Saturdays from 8 am to 12 am. Small post offices are usually closed during lunch time. If you just need a stamp there are machines next some offices. Banks are usually open between 8 am and 4 pm. Most of the banks in the city have 24-hours ATM’s. The exchange rate at the ATM’s is very good, so the only extra fee you''ll pay is whatever your bank at home charges for international withdrawals.
Public Holidays 2007
01.01.2007 New Year’s Day
06.04.2007 Good Friday
09.04.2007 Easter Monday
01.05.2007 Tag der Arbeit „Day of Work“
17.05.2007 Ascension Day
28.05.2007 Whit Monday
07.06.2007 Corpus Christi
03.10.2007 German Unification Day
31.10.2007 Reformation Day
25.12.2007 1. Christmas
26.12.2007 2. Christmas
Weimar is a small and secure city but nevertheless it is very touristy. Due to the high amount of people visiting the town minor crimes such as pick pocketing can occur. Especially in crowded places such as the train station, on busses and trams you should watch your personal belongings. Weimar’s parks are a safe place for a stroll, nevertheless watch your belongings when lying down and enjoying the environment.
Park an der Ilm
The 48 hectare surrounding park is located close to the city centre and the city castle. It ranges from the park of the Castle Belvedere to the Park Tiefurt. Goethe moved into his property “Star” in spring 1776 and initially had a huge impact on the design of the landscape park. His garden house and the Roman House are the most important attractions. Today there are traces of classical and post-classical times. Characteristic for the style are the numerous sight axes, bridges and statues. Today the park is a popular attraction for tourists and locals likewise.
The youngest son of Anna Amalia, Prince Constantin, designed the first scenic parts of the park. When Anna Amalia chose the Tiefurt as her summer residence she started the extension of the park. Later on it was redecorated and renewed by Eduard Petzold who amended further elements. The park is located 2 km from Weimar and surrounds 21 hectare on the shore on both sides of the Ilm.
When duchess Anna Amalia decided to choose the former castle in Ettersburg for her summer residence the rearrangement of her hunting grounds began. The park is about 6 hectare big and is located on the north of the Ettersberg. Opposite of the park there is the so-called Pücklerschlag, a long and wide grassland.
The park is located around the Belvedere Castle, 2 km south of Weimar. The ensemble of pleasure palace and orangery was built in the 18th century and is surrounded post-classical-romantic Landscape Park, in which the Russian Garden with a hedge theatre and a labyrinth is included. The botanic importance of the plant collection culminated in 1820 as the “Hortus Belvederanus”. Today the building of the orangery is used for different changing plant exhibitions.
The Kochberg Castle lies about 35 km outside of Weimar and 10 km from Rudolstadt. In the first third of the 19th century the rearrangement started under the guidance of Carl von Stein. The big garden of the so-called water castle was converted into a Landscape Park. The work was finished in 1840.
Weimar is not really the biggest city in Germany but it offers a cumulative load of culture. Not only Goethe and Schiller were fascinated by this amazing city, also other artists like Cranach, Bach, Nietzsche and Liszt lived and worked over here. That is why there are numerous evidences, buildings and monuments in this history loaded town which remember all these fabulous personalities. No matter what you consider, the currently restored stocks of the Anna Amalia Library, the pleasure palace Belvedere with its garden, the town hall or the House of Mrs von Stein; all these are treasures that make Weimar to something special. Nearly in every street and behind every curve something new is waiting to be discovered. At the end of a long day of sightseeing numerous grassland, parks and gardens attract to relax and enjoy.
St. Peter & Paul
This late gothic city church St. Peter & Paul was built as a three nave church between 1498 and 1500. The fundaments of the west tower belong to the oldest buildings of the city. The altar of Cranach is a main attraction of the church and belongs to the most important evidences of the Saxon – Thuringian art of the 16th century. Very precious is the Luther shrine, a triptych from 1572 showing Martin Luther as the monk Junker Jörg and as a graduate. In 1945 the church was immensely damaged but reopened in 1953.
This nice church was built in 1168 on the hill “Jakobshügel” close to the pilgrimage street “Jakobus-Pilgerstraße” to Santiago de Copostella. A stone at the south eastern edge of the church reminds this time. In the sacristy Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Christiane Vulpius got married in 1806. Today there are regular services, services for youths and performances of church music.
„Herz Jesu“ Church
The catholic church was built in 1889 – 1891. The cupola and the bell tower are based on the cathedral of Florence. In 1964 the church was renovated into a simpler style. The church is rich of treasures such as the late gothic cross above the altar or the wooden cravings. The organ was given as a present in 1991 by the Swiss monastery Wettingen / Aargau.
The church is one of the few church buildings of the 30’s of this century. The building is simple. But because of its facilities such as kitchen, toilets and youth rooms it can be easily used for social work.
Anna Amalia Library
The „Green Castle“ was converted by Anna Amalia into a library and a unique ensemble of books, art and architecture. World wide known is the rococo hall. In September 2004 the library was afflicted by a big fire that destroyed a lot of valued books. The library will be reopened in 2007 reminding of the day of the death of Anna Amalia.
Platz der Demokratie 1
Tel.: +49 (0)3643 545200
Fax: +49 (0)3643 454220
This imposing, three floor building with pillars at the entry was temporarily used by the Royal family as residence when the castle was destroyed by a fire. Initially it was built as an administration building. Since 1951 the Academy of Music is hosted over there. In front of the building thrones the statue of Carl August.
Mo-Fr 7 am - 10 pm, Sat 8 am-10 pm, Sun 9 am-10 pm
Platz der Demokratie 2 / 3
Tel.: +49 (0)3643 5550
Fax: +49 (0)3643 555188
This castle is an elegant pleasure palace which was built for the duke Ernst August. It is the most important among his 20 castles. The master builder Johann Adolf Richter and Gottfried Heinrich Krohne created an almost quadratic main apparatus with a big cupola and a rich rococo interior as well as two connecting buildings with passages and pavilions with cupola. The annexed gardens which were in initially created in a very strict French style were reorganised at the end of the 18th century in terms of the English scenery gardens. A lot of buildings disappeared in this process. Today only the houses of the gentlemen and the orangery with its garden house and the hostelry are well-preserved. Inside the castle there is an exquisite collection of art and handy craft including porcelain, glasses and fine furniture.
1st April—15th October: Tues to Sun 10 am —6 pm, closed Mondays
16th October—31st October: Tues to Sun 10 am —6 pm, closed Mondays
1st November—31st March: closed
Tel.: +49 (0)3643 5460
Passes - WeimarCard
Using the WeimarCard the entry to museums, exhibitions, performances of the National Theatre or the art festival in September as well as the guided tours offered by the tourist information are free of charge or at least with a reduction. The usage of public transport is free, so you can easily reach all sightseeing points and attractions of Weimar. Every card is valid for one person and includes the same services. It costs 10 euro and is valid for 72 hours.
Five years after finishing this baroque, three floored castle in 1913 the monarchie ended. The most important art collection can be found today in the Lucas – Cranach gallery: works of Cranach, Dürer and contemporaries. Pieces of art from the classical period, the German Romantic period and the European open-air painting including the Weimarer Painting School and the French impressionism, are a main focus of the collection. The classical pompous rooms with a ball room, a big staircase and an enormous gallery belong to the most beautiful in whole Europe.
April – Oktober: Tue - Sun 10 am - 6 pm
closed on Monday
January - March and November – December: Tue - Sun 10 am – 4 pm
closed on Monday
Tel.: +49 (0)3643 546130
After being burned down two times, the city hall was rebuilt in 1841 in a new gothic style. The mayor has his bureaus over here. Apart from that there is a wedding room of the civil registry office. A lovely detail of the building: the glockenspiel of the tower is made by a bell of Meißner porcelain.
Rathaus Markt 1
An example of the early renaissance is this house where Lucas Cranach, the older, had his parlour where he worked on his famous three winged altarpiece for the city church – the piece that was finished by his younger brother. The building has a lot of shell, parlour and round arch ornaments which were damaged during the war. Today the buildings hosts an art stage.
The pompous building which is shows the style of the early renaissance was destroyed during WWII. Between 1968 and 1971 the historic façade was rebuilt and the interior restored in a modern style. Since 1432 the townhouse is in the hands of the city, today it hosts the cellar of the town hall and the tourist information of the city. There is a tunnel leading from the town house to the city hall.
House of Mrs von Stein
The girlfriend and close confidant of Goethe, Charlotte von Stein, has lived 50 years in this building until her death in 1827. Until 1794 the horse stables of the ducal hussars were located on the base floor. Later on there were public rooms. Today the Goethe Institute has their home in these walls.