The city of Weimar in central Germany may be overlooked by many visitors who come for holiday to this country. The city itself has a population of about 65,000 people, and is a three hour drive south of Berlin.
Although most people have not heard of Weimar, it is a well known city due to its large cultural heritage, and its importance in German history. It is also close to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial, which is worth the visit if that type of site interests you.
I came to Weimar while on a multiple week trip through Germany, and this city had enough interests for me to spend several days here. I wanted to see Buchenwald, which in itself was an unforgettable experience, and have written a separate blog on that visit. I was also interested in the cultural movement of Weimar, and how it played an important role in Germany.
Weimar was the focal point in the country of the German Enlightenment period, which was part of Europe’s “Age of Enlightenment”. This was an era of intellectual and philosophical movements during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The city is also known as the birthplace of Weimar Classicism, a humanistic cultural movement. Additionally, Weimar was home to several leading literary figures, and 19th century musical composers.
Later on in years there were artists, and architects who thrived in Weimar including Walter Gropius. He founded the Bauhaus movement, which is the most significant design school in Germany.
The city of Weimar is rich in culture, and many places in the city center have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as part of the Classical Weimar complex or the Bauhaus Complex. There are also noted intuitions in this city, the Bauhaus University, the Liszt School of Music, and the Duchess Anna Amalia Library.
Besides my interest in culture and history, I have an invested interest in regional food. Weimar is located in the state of Thurgingia, and the region has a unique sausage, Thüringer Bratwurst. The sausage is special to this state, and has Protected Geographical Indication Status under European Union Law.
I did try Thüringer Bratwurst, along with grilled pork steak and onions, with a side of potatoes. One of the best German style meals of meat and potatoes, yet!
The preferred prep method of Thuringian sausage is quite heavenly, the brats are roasted over charcoals or rubbed with bacon, and grilled. The fire temperature should not be too hot where the skin breaks, although some charring is desired. You can also sprinkle beer over while grilling, which would turn up that German flavor notch.
WW II and Buchenwald Concentration Camp
During WWII, the city of Weimar was infamous due to its importance with the Nazis. It was the location of the Weimar Republic, and was a city that Adolf Hitler frequented more than forty times before 1933. Weimar was also the location of the notorious Buchenwald Concentration Camp, which was built eight kilometers from the center of Weimar. In 1945, during a US Air Force bombing, the city center was partially damaged and some 1,800 people were killed, along with many historic buildings being destroyed.
Buchenwald was established in July of 1937 as a Nazi concentration camp near Weimar, Germany. It was the first as well as the largest concentration camps inside of Germany’s 1937 borders. There were 280,000 prisoners who came into the camp, as well as its subcamps. There were 56,545 deaths due to executions, lack of food, and poor conditions. In April 1945, Buchenwald gained notoriety when the United States Army liberated the concentration camp.
For my personal approach and thoughts of Buchenwald Concentration Camp- Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Weimar | Discovering Germany
Weimar is an intriguing place to visit if you have specific interests of WWII history, culture, art, and architecture. The city has a friendly and lively atmosphere with sumptuous food, which includes those delicious Thüringer Bratwurst. Enjoy Weimar!
I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list…
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