|• Lord Mayor||Stefan Wolf (SPD)|
|• Total||84.26 km2 (32.53 sq mi)|
|Elevation||208 m (682 ft)|
|• Density||750/km2 (1,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Dialling codes||03643, 036453|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|Reference||UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||1998 (22nd Session)|
Weimar (German pronunciation: [ˈvaɪmaɐ]) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approx. 80 kilometres (50 miles) SW of Leipzig, 170 kilometres (106 miles) N of Nuremberg and 170 kilometres (106 miles) W of Dresden. Together with the neighbour-cities Erfurt and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, whereas the city itself counts a population of 65,000. Weimar is well known because of its large cultural heritage and its importance in German history.
The city was a focal point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading characters of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism, the writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. In 19th century, famous composers like Franz Liszt made a music centre of Weimar and later, artists and architects like Henry van de Velde, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger and Walter Gropius came to the city and found the Bauhaus, the most important German design school of interwar period. However, the political history of 20th century Weimar was inconsistent: it was the place where Germany's first democratic constitution was signed after the First World War, giving its name to the Weimar Republic period in German politics (1918–1933), as well as one of the cities that got mystified by the National Socialist propaganda. Next to the city was one of the largest Nazi concentration camps in Germany: Buchenwald.
Until 1948, Weimar was the capital of Thuringia. Today, many places in the city centre have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites (either as part of the Weimar Classicism complex or as part of the Bauhaus complex) and tourism is one of the leading economic branches of Weimar. Relevant institutions in Weimar are the Bauhaus University, the Liszt School of Music, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library and two leading courts of Thuringia (Supreme Administrative Court and Constitutional Court). In 1999, Weimar was the European Capital of Culture.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography and demographics
- 3 Culture, sights and cityscape
- 4 Economy and Infrastructure
- 5 Politics
- 6 Famous residents of Weimar
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Some archaeological finds show that the Weimar part of Ilm valley was settled early. Many finds date back to the Thuringii epoque (3th to 6 th century) and prove, that there was a tight network of settlements where is the today's city.
The oldest records about Weimar date back to the year 899. Its name changed over the centuries from Wimares through Wimari to Wimar and finally Weimar; it is derived from Old High German wih- ('holy') and -mari ('standing water, swamp'). Another theory derives the first element from OHG win 'meadow, pasture.' The place was the seat of the County of Weimar, first mentioned in 949, which was one of the mightiest actors in early-Middle Ages Thuringia. In 1062, it was united with the County of Orlamünde to the new County of Weimar-Orlamünde, which existed until the Thuringian Count War in 1346 and fell to the Wettins afterwards.
The Weimar settlement emerged around the count's wooden castle and two small churches dedicated to St Peter, the later main church, and to St James, the later St James Church. In 1240, the count found the dynasty's monastery in Oberweimar, which ran under Cistercian nons. Soon after, the counts of Weimar found the town, which was an independent parish since 1249 and called civitas in 1254. Since 1262, the citizens used an own seal. Nevertheless, the regional influence of the Weimar counts was getting weaker and weaker the more influence the Wettins got in Thuringia. Hence, the new small town was relatively marginal in an over-local context, also due to the fact that it was situated far away from relevant trade routes like the Via Regia. The settlement around St James Church developed to a surburbium during the 13th century.
After becoming part of the Wettins territory in 1346, urban development improved. The Wettins fostered Weimar by abolishing socage and granting privileges to the citizens. Now, Weimar was equalized with other Wettinian cities like Weißensee and grew during the 15th century (establishing of town hall and current main church, woad trade privileges since 1438). The castle and the walls were finished in 16th century making Weimar to a full-value city.
Early Modern Period
Since the Treaty of Leipzig (1485) Weimar was part of the electorate Ernestine branch of Wettins with Wittenberg as capital. The Protestant Reformation was introduced in Weimar in 1525 with various stays of Martin Luther in the city. As the Ernestines lost the Schmalkaldic War in 1547, their capital Wittenberg went also to the Albertines, so that they needed a new residence. As the ruler returned of captivity, Weimar became his residence in 1552 and remained it until the end of monarchy in 1918. The first Ernestine territorial partition in 1572 was followed by various ones, nevertheless Weimar stayed the capital of different Saxe-Weimar states. The court and its staff brought some wealth to the city, so that it saw a first construction boom in 16th century. The 17th century brought a decline to Weimar, because of changing trade conditions (same as in near Erfurt). Besides, the territorial partitions led to the loose of political importance of the dukes of Saxe-Weimar and their finances shrunk. The city's polity weakend more and more and lost its privileges leading to absolutist reign of the dukes in early 18th century. On the other hand, this time brought another construction boom to Weimar and the city got its today's appearance, marked by various ducal representaion buildings. The city walls were laid down in 1757 and during the following decades, Weimar expanded to all directions. The biggest building, constructed in this period was the new City Palace as seat of the dukes (north and east wing: 1789–1803, west wing 1832–1835, south wing: 1913–1914). Between 1708 and 1717 Johann Sebastian Bach worked as the court's organist in Weimar.
Golden or Classical Ages (1758–1832)
The regencies of Anna Amalia (1758–1775) and her son Carl August (1809–1828) until Goethe's death in 1832 are denoted as the "golden" or the "classical" ages because of the substantial high culture in Weimar. The city became an important cultural centre of Europe, having been home to such luminaries as Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Wieland and Bertuch; and in music the piano virtuoso Hummel. It has been a site of pilgrimage for the German intelligentsia since Goethe first moved to Weimar in 1775. Goethe was also active in civic duties while living in Weimar. He served as Privy Councilor to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach for an extended period. The tombs of Goethe and Schiller, as well as their archives, may be found in the city. Goethe's Elective Affinities (1809) is set around the city of Weimar. In comparison to many major German states, the dukes' policy was liberal and tolerant in this ages. The liberal Saxe-Weimar constitution was brought into effect in 1816.
Silver Ages and The New Weimar (1832–1918)
The time after Goethe's death is denoted as the "silver" ages because Weimar remained an influential cultural centre. The first emphasis was fostering music. In 1842, Franz Liszt moved to Weimar as court conductor. He organized the premiere of Richard Wagner's Lohengrin (1850) in the city. The Weimar School of Music was found in 1872 as Germany's first orchestra school. Richard Strauss worked in Weimar between 1889 and 1894 as second conductor in the acclaimed Staatskapelle Weimar (the court orchestra founded in 1491). Several of his encores for works such as Hansel and Gretel, Don Juan and Macbeth were performed by the Staatskapelle Weimar. In 1897, Friedrich Nietzsche moved to Weimar and died here in 1900.
In 1860 the Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School as the first precursor of today's Bauhaus University was found. This was the beginning of academic arts education in Weimar. The institution created an own painting style, the "Weimar School" of painting with representatives like Max Liebermann and Arnold Böcklin. The Kunstgewerbeschule Weimar was found by Henry van de Velde with support of Grand Duke William Ernest in 1902 and represents the other root of the Bauhaus, known as "Das Neue Weimar" ("The New Weimar") around Harry Graf Kessler. It was a foundation against Prussia's restrictive arts policy favouring Historicism instead of international Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau.
Already in 19th century, the museification of Weimar and its heritage started. Many archives, societies and museums were found to present and conserve the cultural sights and goods. In 1846, Weimar was connected by the Thuringian Railway. In the following decades, the city saw a construction and population boom (like most late-19th century cities in Germany). Nevertheless, industrialization finally didn't break through and Weimar remained a city of clerks, artists and rentiers. During the German Revolution of 1918–19 the grand-duke had to abdicate and went to exile to Heinrichau in Silesia.
The period in German history from 1919 to 1933 is commonly referred to as the Weimar Republic, as the Republic's constitution was drafted here. Berlin as the capital was considered too dangerous for the National Assembly to use as a meeting place, because of its street rioting after the 1918 German Revolution. The calm and centrally located Weimar had a suitable place of assembly (the theatre), hotels and infrastructure so that it was chosen.
In 1920, the federal state of Thuringia was found by association of eight former microstates (Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Gotha, Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Meiningen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Reuss-Gera and Reuss-Greiz) and Weimar became its capital. Due to that fact, the city experienced another period of growth.
In 1919, Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus School by merger of Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School with Kunstgewerbeschule Weimar. The Bauhaus in Weimar lasted from 1919 to 1925, when it moved to Dessau, after the newly elected right-wing Thuringian council put pressure on the School by withdrawing funding and forcing its teachers to quit. Many buildings in Weimar today have influences from the Bauhaus period. However, only one original Bauhaus building was constructed during 1919-1925, the Haus am Horn, now used for exhibitions and events on Bauhaus culture.
The Weimar Republic era was marked by a constant conflict between progressive forces and reactionary right wing forces, represented by Harry Graf Kessler and Adolf Bartels in Weimar. After 1929, the right wing forces prevailed and Weimar became an early centre of Nazism.
Nazi Germany and World War II
The importance of Weimar for the Nazis had two reasons: first, it was the place of foundation of the hated Weimar Republic and second it was a hotspot of German high culture through the recent centuries. In 1926, the NSDAP held its party convention in Weimar. Adolf Hitler visited Weimar more than 40 times, also before 1933. In 1930, Wilhelm Frick became minister for inner affairs and education in Thuringia being the first NSDAP minister in Germany. In 1932, the NSDAP started its rule in Thuringian government under Fritz Sauckel. In 1933, the first Concentration Camps were established around Weimar in Nohra (the first one in Germany) and Bad Sulza. Most prisoners at this time were communists and social democrats. After Kristallnacht in 1938, harassment against the Jews got harder, so that many of them emigrated or were captured. The Weimar Synagogue was destroyed in 1938.
During the 1930s, the barracks in Weimar were largely extended. A famous person serving as a soldier in Weimar was the later poet Wolfgang Borchert. Due to its function as the Thuringian capital, the Nazis built a new Roman-fascist style representative government district between the city centre and the main station. This Gauforum, designed by Hermann Giesler, was the only realized Nazi government district outside Berlin (whereas there were plans for all German state capitals). Today it hosts the Thuringian Administration State Department. Other Giesler buildings are the "Villa Sauckel", the governor's palace and the "Hotel Elephant" in the city centre.
In 1937, the Nazis constructed the Buchenwald concentration camp, only eight kilometres from Weimar's city centre. The slogan Jedem das Seine (translated "to each his own") was placed over the camp's main entrance gate. Between July 1938 and April 1945, some 240,000 people were incarcerated in the camp by the Nazi regime, including 168 Western Allied POWs. The number of deaths in Buchenwald is estimated at 56,545. The Buchenwald concentration camp provided slave labour for local industry (arms industry of Wilhelm-Gustloff-Werk).
The city centre was partial damaged by US Air Force bombings in 1945 with some 1,800 people killed and many historic buildings being destroyed. Nevertheless, most of the destroyed buildings were restored soon after the war because of their importance in German cultural history. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Weimar in April 1945, and the city surrendered to the US 80th Infantry Division on April 12, 1945. The residents of Weimar were ordered to walk through Buchenwald, to see what had been happening so close to the city, as documented in Billy Wilder's film Death Mills. The city ended up in the Soviet zone of occupation, however, so US troops were soon replaced with Russian forces.
From 1945 to 1950, the Soviet Union used the occupied Buchenwald concentration camp as a NKVD special camp to imprison defeated Nazis and other Germans. The camp slogan remained Jedem das Seine. On 6 January 1950, the Soviets handed over Buchenwald to the East German Ministry of Internal Affairs.
In 1948, the East German government declared Erfurt as Thuringias new capital instead of Weimar, however Thuringia was dissolved in 1952 and replaced by three Bezirks. During the GDR period, Weimar lost its influence on German contemporary culture and politics and became a museificated provincial town. It was the head quarter of Soviet Union's 8th Guards Army as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. Due to its international and turistic importance, Weimar got more financial subsidies from the GDR government than other cities, led to better condition of historic buildings in city centre compared to other East German cities.
After German Reunification in 1990, Weimar got thoroughly restored and designated as UNESCO World Heritage in 1996 (Bauhaus) and 1998 (Classical Weimar). The European Council of Ministers selected the city as European Capital of Culture for 1999. The economic situation remained difficult after 1990, because many companies closed. On the other hand, tourism brought new impetuses to the city's commercial life. Furthermore, Weimar is a popular residence of people working either in Erfurt or in Jena, which can both be reached within 20 minutes.
On 2 September 2004, a fire broke out at the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. The library contains a 13,000-volume collection including Goethe's masterpiece Faust, in addition to a music collection of the Duchess. An authentic Lutheran Bible from 1534 was saved from the fire. The damage stretched into the millions of dollars. The number of books in this historic library exceeded 1,000,000, of which 40,000 to 50,000 were destroyed past recovery. The library, which dates back to 1691, belongs to UNESCO world heritage, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. The fire, with its destruction of much historical literature, amounts to a huge cultural loss for Germany, Europe, and indeed the world. A number of books were shock-frozen in Leipzig to save them from rotting. On 24 October 2007 the library reopened. Visitors were advised to book their tickets many months in advance.
Geography and demographics
Weimar is situated within the valley of Ilm river, a tributary of Saale river on the southern border of the Thuringian Basin, a fertile agricultural area between the Harz mountains 70 km (43 mi) in the north and the Thuringian Forest 50 km (31 mi) in the southwest. The municipal terrain is hilly; the height of the city centre in Ilm valley is approximately 200 m of elevation. To the north, the terrain rises to Ettersberg, the city's 482 m high backyard mountain. The range of hills in the south of Weimar rises up to 370 m and is part of the Ilm Saale Plate Muschelkalk formation. The eastern, central and western parts of the municipal territory are in agricultural use, whereas the Ettersberg and some southern areas are wooded.
Weimar has a humid continental climate (Dfb) or an oceanic climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system. Summers are warm and sometimes humid with average high temperatures of 23 °C (73 °F) and lows of 12 °C (54 °F). Winters are relatively cold with average high temperatures of 2 °C (36 °F) and lows of −3 °C (27 °F). The city's topography creates a microclimate caused through the basin position with sometimes inversion in winter (quite cold nights under −20 °C (−4 °F)). Annual precipitation is only 574 millimeters (22.6 in) with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Light snowfall mainly occurs from December through February, but snow cover does not usually remain for long.
Weimar abuts the district of Weimarer Land with the municipalities Berlstedt, Ettersburg, Kleinobringen, Großobringen and Wohlsborn in the north, Kromsdorf, Umpferstedt and Mellingen in the east, Vollersroda, Buchfart, Hetschburg, Bad Berka and Troistedt in the south and Nohra, Daasdorf am Berge, Hopfgarten and Ottstedt am Berge in the west.
The city itself is divided in 10 innerurban and 11 suburban districts. The centre is formed by the district Altstadt (old town) and the Gründerzeit districts Nordvorstadt in the north, Parkvorstadt in the east and Westvorstadt in the south and west. Later additions are Südstadt in the south and Schönblick in the southwest. Finally, there are the Plattenbau settlements, constructed during the GDR period, Weststadt and Nordstadt as well as two industrial areas in the north and west.
The 11 suburban districts are villages which got incorporated during the 20th century; however, they mostly stayed rural to date:
- Gaberndorf (incorporated in 1994)
- Gelmeroda (1994)
- Legefeld/Holzdorf (1994)
- Niedergrunstedt (1994)
- Oberweimar/Ehringsdorf (1922)
- Possendorf (1994)
- Schöndorf (1939)
- Süßenborn (1994)
- Taubach (1994)
- Tiefurt (1922)
- Tröbsdorf (1994)
During the centuries, Weimar remained a small town of less than 5,000 inhabitants. As it became the capital of Saxe-Weimar in 1572, a first stimulus to population growth came into being and population changed from 3,000 in 1650 to 6,000 in 1750. Around the year 1800, Weimar had 7,000 inhabitants. Their number grew constant during the next decades to 13,000 in 1850, 28,000 in 1900 and 35,000 at the beginning of World War I. During the interwar period, the new capital of Thuringia saw a population boom led to 65,000 inhabitants in 1940. Since that time, the population is stagnating. The last years (2009–2012) brought a moderate growth of approximately 0.35% p. a., whereas the population in bordering rural regions is shrinking with accelerating tendency. Suburbanization played only a small role in Weimar. It occurred after the reunification for a short time in the 1990s, but most of the suburban areas were situated within the administrative city borders.
The birth surplus was +3 in 2012, this is +0.0 per 1,000 inhabitants (Thuringian average: -4.5; national average: -2.4). The net migration rate was +4.5 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2012 (Thuringian average: -0.8; national average: +4.6). The most important regions of origin of Erfurt migrants are rural areas of Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony as well as foreign countries like Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Like other eastern German cities, Weimar has only a small amount of foreign population: circa 4.0% are non-Germans by citizenship and overall 7.3% are migrants (according to 2011 EU census). Differing from the national average, the biggest groups of migrants in Weimar are Vietnamese people, Russians and Ukrainians. During recent years, the economic situation of the city improved: the unemployment rate declined from 20% in 2005 to 8% in 2013. Due to the official atheism in former GDR, most of the population is non-religious. 20.3% are members of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany and 6.1% are Catholics (according to 2011 EU census).
Culture, sights and cityscape
Weimar has a great variety of museums:
- The Goethe-Nationalmuseum at Frauenplan shows the life of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his former residence.
- The Goethes Gartenhaus in Park an der Ilm shows an exhibition about Goethe and his connection to the nature.
- The Schiller-Museum at Schillerstraße shows the life of Friedrich Schiller in his former residence.
- The Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv at Hans-Wahl-Straße collects the estate of Goethe, Schiller and other various artists. In 2001, it became member of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.
- The Wittumspalais at Theaterplatz shows early-modern court lifestyle with items like furniture and porcelain.
- The Liszt-Haus at Marienstraße shows the life of Franz Liszt in his former summer residence.
- The Nietzsche-Archiv at Humboldtstraße shows the life and estate of Friedrich Nietzsche.
- The Gedenkstätte Buchenwald in former Buchenwald concentration camp commemorates the victims of Nazi terror.
- The Bauhaus-Museum at Theaterplatz shows an exhibition about the Bauhaus design school.
- The Schlossmuseum inside the residence castle exhibits early-modern antiques and other objects of court life.
- The Duchess Anna Amalia Library at Platz der Demokratie is an important early-modern library with various print objects.
- The Neues Museum at Weimarplatz shows an exhibition of contemporary art.
- The Stadtmuseum at Karl-Liebknecht-Straße exhibits the municipal history of Weimar.
- The Kunsthalle Harry Graf Kessler at Goetheplatz hosts rotative exhibitions of contemporary artists.
- The Haus am Horn at Am Horn street is the only pattern residence built after the pinciples of Bauhaus design school.
- The Fürstengruft at the historic cemetery is a mausoleum of famous Weimar citizens like Goethe and Schiller as well as the dukes of Saxe-Weimar.
- The Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Thüringens (museum of pre- and protohistory of Thuringia) at Humboldtstraße exhibits various objects of early Thuringian history such as archaeological finds.
- The Deutsches Bienenmuseum (German bee museum) at Ilmstraße in Oberweimar district hosts the only pure exhibition about bees and apiculture in Germany.
Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv
Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Thüringens
The historic city centre of Weimar is situated between the Ilm river in the east, the Graben street in the north, Goetheplatz and Theaterplatz in the west and Schillerstraße in the south. Its two central squares are the Marktplatz in the south (with the town hall) and the Herderplatz in the north (with the main church). Despite its medieval origin, there are only a few medieval buildings, whereas there were often town fires in history. Most buildings in this area date back to 17th and 18th century. Furthermore, Weimar has two old suburbs: in the north, the Jakobsvorstadt around St. James' Church (medieval origin) and another one in the south around Frauenplan square. The most buildings in this areas are also of 17th and 18th century origin. During the late 19th and early 20th century, Weimar enlarged to all directions. Because of its function as an "officials city", the houses in this areas are more extensive than in many comparable Gründerzeit quarters in Germany. The most uptown areas are those right and left of the Park an der Ilm in southeast, whereas the western and northern quarters are more basic and mixed with industrial areas in their outer parts. During the GDR period, two new Plattenbau settlements were developed in the west and the north of the city. After 1990, suburbanization occurred for a short time and the rural districts of Weimar saw significant growth.
Sights and architectural heritage
The city's main church is the evangelical St. Peter and Paul at Herderplatz (also known as Herderkirche). It was rebuilt after a fire around 1500 in late-Gothic style. Between 1726 and 1735, the interior got a Baroque renewal by Johann Adolf Richter. Johann Gottfried Herder was the dean of the church between 1766 and 1803. The second old evangelical church of Weimar is St. James at Rollplatz, rebuilt in 1712 in Baroque style. The catholic parish church of Weimar is devoted to Sacred Heart and was built between 1888 and 1891 in historicist forms imitating the Florence Cathedral. Another church is the Russian-Orthodox Chapel within the historic cemetery. It was built in 1862 as funerary chapel of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and was one of the first Russian-styled buildings in Germany.
Interesting churches in the suburban districts are the evangelical parish church of Gelmeroda, which was inspiration for many paintings of Lyonel Feininger, and the evangelical parish church of Oberweimar, which was a former monastery, and is a good example of Gothic architecture in Weimar.
St. Peter and Paul's Church
St. James' Church
Sacred Heart Church
Gelmeroda Parish Church
Oberweimar Parish Church
Castles and Palaces
Due to its function as ducal residence, Weimar is rich in early-modern castles and palaces. The biggest one is the City Castle at Burgplatz in city centre. The today's four-wing building was started after a great fire in 1774. The tower and the Bastille building at its south-western edge are relicts of older castles in this place.
The Fürstenhaus at Platz der Demokratie was the first parliament building in Weimar, established in 1770s. Today it is in use of the Weimar School of Music. The Green Castle next to the Fürstenhaus was built in 1560s in Renaissance style and hosts today the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. The Yellow Castle at Grüner Markt was built in 1703 and is the municipal library today. The neighbouring Red Castle is also part of the library and was built in 1570s. The Wittumspalais is a smaller widow mansion near Theaterplatz, established in 1768. Outbildings of the ducal residence are the Husarenstall (1770), the later residence of Charlotte von Stein at Ackerwand street, the Marstall (1870s) at Kegelplatz, today used as Thuringian State Archive and the Reithaus (1710s) within the Park an der Ilm.
City Castle's Patio
Furthermore, there are some impressive ducal country residences around Weimar. They are marked by their beautiful parks and gardens. Belvedere Castle, south-east of Weimar was built between 1724 and 1732 in Baroque style with an orangery near to a ducal hunting forest. North-east of Weimar, at Ettersburg lies another ducal hunting lodge next to the Ettersberg mountain and its forest. It was established between 1706 and 1711 also in Baroque style. The third summer residence is located in Tiefurt, north-east of Weimar. The small lodge in a wide park in Ilm valley was rebuild in 1775 in late-Baroque forms.
Belvedere, main building
Belvedere, side buildings
- The town hall at Marktplatz was built between 1837 and 1841 in Neo-Gothic style by Heinrich Heß after the former one (15th century) burnt down.
- The two main buildings of Bauhaus University at Marienstraße are icons of 20th century early-modern architecture. Both were built by Henry van de Velde between 1904 and 1911. They mark the transition from older Historicism and Art Nouveau to the new international modern style in Germany by their functional forms (e. g. skylights for better working conditions inside).
- The German National Theatre at Theaterplatz was built in 1906/07 in neo-classicist forms. Two predecessors were in use after 1779 and 1825 as ducal court theatres during Weimar's golden age. In 1919, the Weimar National Assembly developed the Weimar Constitution in this theatre.
- The Gauforum at Weimarplatz is a Roman-fascist style representative government district between the city centre and the main station. This Gauforum, designed by Hermann Giesler, was the only realized Nazi government district outside Berlin (whereas there were plans for all German state capitals). Today it hosts the Thuringian Administration State Department.
- The Park an der Ilm is the citiy's largest park along Ilm river between the ducal castle and the district of Oberweimar. It was established between 1778 and 1833 and is an English landscape garden today, part of UNESCO wold heritage. Sights inside the park are Goethes Gartenhaus (1690s) and Römisches Haus (in style of a Roman temple, 1790s).
- The Historic Cemetery at Karl-Haußknecht-Straße was opened in 1818 and hosts the graves of Goethe, Schiller and many other famous people from Weimar.
- The Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal at Theaterplatz is the most famous memorial in Weimar. It was made by Ernst Rietschel between 1852 and 1857 and is dedicated to Goethe and Schiller, the most important poets of German classical literature.
Southern main building of Bauhaus University
Northern main building of Bauhaus University
Theatre and Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal
One building of the Gauforum
The Römisches Haus in Park an der Ilm
The Onion Market (Weimarer Zwiebelmarkt) is an annual festival held in October in Weimar and it is Thuringia's largest festival. The festival is held over 3 days and approximately 500 stalls and more than 100 stage performances are put up across the city.
Weimar first celebrated the Onion Market in 1653. Stalls typically offer onion plaits, themed arts and crafts and numerous onion-based foods, including onion cakes, onion soups and onion breads. The festival also hosts numerous beer gardens, live music, fairground attractions and a Ferris wheel.
There are several clubs with live music once or twice a week. The two student clubs in the city centre also feature disco and live music events on Friday- and Saturday nights (Studentenclub Schützengasse, Kasseturm). There are several smaller theatre and cabaret venues other than the large "DNT" (Deutsches National Theater). There are four cinemas including a 3-D cinema.
Economy and Infrastructure
Agriculture, Industry and Services
The area around Weimar is relatively fertile and 48% of the municipal surface are used for agricultural production. Most common agricultures are cereals, maize and rapeseed, while famous agricultural products from the Weimar region are potatoes (especially from Heichelheim, 7 km (4 mi) to the north) for dishes with Thüringer Klöße (Knödel from potatoes), onions (from Heldrungen and Oldisleben, 45 km (28 mi) to the north), which are sold on the Weimar Onion Market in October, and Saale-Unstrut wine from Bad Sulza, 25 km (16 mi) to the north-east.
Industry has never been dominant in Weimar, nevertheless there were several big factories from different sectors until 1990. After reunification, nearly all factories got closed, either because they failed the adoption of free market economy or because the German government sold them to west German businessmen who closed them to avoid competition to their own enterprises. On the other hand, the federal government started early in the 1990s to subsidize the foundation of new companies, but it took long time before the economic situation got stabilized around 2006. Since this time, unemployment decreased and overall, new jobs develop. Today, there are many small and medium-sized companies in Weimar with electro-technics and engineering in focus. Nevertheless, settlement of new factories isn't much in focus of the local government, because it concentrates itself on developing tourism and services. The biggest companies with production in Weimar are Bayer (pharmaceutical factory), Coca Cola (beverages) and Hydrema (dump truck factory). A new big commercial zone was established in 1990s in the neighbouring municipality of Nohra with focus on logistics and distribution.
Due to its tradition as a capital, Weimar is a centre of governmental services to date. Furthermore, creative branches like media, advertising, architecture and design are important for Weimar's economy. The most important sector is tourism with 3,500 hotel beds, 350,000 visitors and 650,000 overnight stays in hotels in 2012 and a large number of German one-day visitors. Other services like retail, trade fairs and specialized hospitals are more brought by the near neighbour cities Erfurt and Jena with their infrastructure.
Weimar is connected by the Thuringian Railway to Leipzig in the east and to Frankfurt/Kassel in the west. Furthermore there are some regional railways to Gera via Jena and to Kranichfeld via Bad Berka. Today, there are long-distance trains to Frankfurt via Erfurt and Fulda and to Dresden via Leipzig and regional trains to Göttingen and Eisenach via Erfurt, to Halle via Naumburg, to Altenburg, Glauchau, Zwickau and Greiz via Jena and Gera and to Kranichfeld. When the new Erfurt–Leipzig/Halle high-speed railway will open (in 2015), Weimar will be disconnected from German long-distance train network. On the other hand, regional trains shall be strengthened to connect Weimar with ICE-stops in Erfurt, Halle and Leipzig.
In freight transport exists an intermodal terminal in Vieselbach (Güterverkehrszentrum/GVZ) with connection to rail and Autobahn, 15 km (9 mi) west of Weimar.
Weimar is located at the Bundesautobahn 4 (Frankfurt–Dresden). Furthermore, there are two federal streets to Erfurt and Jena (Bundesstraße 7) and to Rudolstadt and Kölleda (Bundesstraße 85) as well as some regional streets to Sömmerda, Oßmannstedt and Magdala. A bypass street around Weimar has been built in 2000s in the north and west, the eastern and southern continuation are in discussion, but not in definite planning because of some difficulties in routing.
The Erfurt-Weimar Airport lies ca. 30 km (19 mi) west of Weimar. It was largely extended in 1990s, but anticipations did not fulfill so that there is only rare air traffic, mostly to Mediterranean holiday regions. Other flights are carried out via Frankfurt Airport, which can be reached in 3 h and prospective via Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which will open in 2014 and is accessible within 3 h.
Biking is getting more and more popular since the construction of quality cycle tracks began in the 1990s. For tourism serve the Ilm track and the Thuringian city string track (Radweg Thüringer Städtekette). Both connect points of tourist interest, the first along the Ilm valley from Thuringian Forest to Saale river and second near to medieval Via Regia from Eisenach via Gotha, Erfurt, Weimar and Jena to Altenburg. Additionally, there are some theme routes like the Goethe cycle track and the Feininger cycle track. For inner city every-day traffic exist some cycle lanes along several main streets. Bike renting is offered in city centre.
For a small city, Weimar is well served by city bus routes, which also serve all of the annex towns and villages. An hourly bus route serves the Buchenwald Memorial and oldtimer buses go in city's historical centre. All bus routes are connected at Goethe Square in city centre, most run furthermore to the main station. Between 1899 and 1937 were trams in operation. Trolleybus service started in 1948 and was ceased in 1993.
After the reunification, the educational system was realigned. Some academies were combined into the new Bauhaus University, founded in 1996 with approximately 4,200 students and focus on architecture, design and media. The Liszt School of Music is a university focussed on music and music education founded in 1872 with 850 students today. Furthermore, there are three regular Gymnasiums, the Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere, an elite boarding school with focus on music, and the Thuringia International School with an international (and foreign language) curriculum.
The most important archives in Weimar are the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv (member of UNESCO Memory of the World Programme) with focus on German literary history and the Thuringia Main State Archive with governmental documents from last 500 years. The Duchess Anna Amalia Library hosts books and documents of German literary and cultural history.
Mayor and city council
The current mayor Stefan Wolf, SPD is in office since 2006.
The last municipal election was held in 2009 with the result:
|Party||Percentage||Seats in council|
|The Left (post-socialistic left)||19.9||6|
|Weimarwerk Bürgerbündnis (citizen-oriented/populist)||18.4||8|
|SPD (social democratic)||13.6||8|
|FDP (classical liberal)||6.4||3|
Two members of council switched from The Left to SPD in 2012.
Weimar is twinned with:
Famous residents of Weimar
|Commons has media related to Weimar.|
|has a travel guide for Weimar.|
- Weimar's official website
- Historic tour in 49 pictures
- Deutsches Nationaltheater (German National Theater)
- The Weimar Story
- Ginkgo Museum, Weimar