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In 1816, the world's first "public" Christmas tree was erected in the town square. This way, people of lesser means were still able to share in the Christmas spirit.
With three UNESCO World Heritage sites featuring over 16 UNESCO objects, Weimar is southern LutherCountry's cultural crown jewel. Located on the banks of the River Ilm, this lovely town is famous for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful scenery. From palaces to parks, museums to monuments, the list of things to do and see knows no bounds! Several festivals keep spirits high throughout the year, from a traditional wine festival in honor of Goethe's birthday to romantic Christmas markets and spellbinding musical performances. Those interested in World War II history will also want to check out Weimar’s Buchenwald Memorial; once an infamous Nazi concentration camp, it now invites visitors to explore the grounds and learn more about this dark time in history.
Lucas Cranach the Elder spent the last year of his life right here in Weimar. He was buried in St. Jacob’s cemetery, where you can still stop by and pay your respects to Cranach and other big names in Weimar history, such as Christiane Vulpius, Goethe’s wife. In addition to the Cranach altar in the city’s St. Peter and Paul Church, guests can look forward to seeing some of the Reformation artist’s greatest works in the Klassik Stiftung Weimar’s Cranach Gallery located inside the Palace Museum.
The Bauhaus School was founded in Weimar in 1919 and functioned as a school for the arts for 14 years. The original university building was designed by Henry van de Velde and is still used by the Bauhaus University today. Bauhaus is famous for its original, simplistic approach to artistic and architectural design. For a first-hand look at Bauhaus in action, be sure to stop by the Haus am Horn, Weimar’s only example of Bauhaus architecture. Last but not least, Weimar’s Bauhaus Museum provides a captivating exploration of this distinct form of modern architecture.
The entire city of Weimar was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1998 due to its accelerated cultural development during the Classical period. Some of the most exciting cultural highlights include the Goethe Residence, where the famous German writer and poet lived for 50 years until his death, as well as the Schiller Residence and the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. This library also boasts a magnificent Luther Bible from 1534, an absolute must-see for the total LutherCountry experience!
Many architectural highlights testify to the Reformation’s effect on this grand city. The Town Palace, for example, possesses the mystery and grandeur of a traditional moated castle (without the water) while housing an expansive art collection that includes some of Cranach’s greatest works. The Franciscan Monastery at the palace is another shining example that’s now marked with a plaque for having served as one of Luther’s places of accommodation during his visits to the city.