Weimar is a city in Germany famous for its cultural heritage. It is located in the federal state of Thuringia (German: Thuringen), north of the Thuringer Wald, east of Erfurt, and southwest of Halle and Leipzig. Its current population is approximately 65,000. The oldest record of the city dates from the year 899. Weimar was the capital of the Duchy (after 1815 the Grand Duchy) of Saxe-Weimar (German Sachsen-Weimar).
Weimar's cultural heritage is vast. It is most often recognised as 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, of 1918¨C1933. However, the city was also the focal point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading characters of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism, the writers Goethe and Schiller. The city was also the birthplace of the Bauhaus movement, founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, with artists Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oskar Schlemmer, and Lyonel Feininger teaching in Weimar's Bauhaus School. Many places in the city centre have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Geography:It is one of the smallest states in Germany. The city of Weimar is classified as an independent city district, in addition to the 17 districts (Landkreise) and 5 other independent cities of Thuringia. Weimar is the 4th largest area in Thuringia, with a population of approximately 65,000 people.
House of Liszt in Weimar
The city limits of Weimar itself are approximately 7 km and the neighbouring cities are Jena and Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia. The city lies along the River Ilm. In the valley of the river Ilm river the federal Motorway 87 runs from Ilmenau to Leipzig and two railways: the Ilmbahn between Kranichfeld and Weimar and the highspeed railway from Berlin to Frankfurt am Main between Weimar and Grobheringen.The city is north-east of the Thuringian Forest, 25 minutes away by autobahn or train.
History and Culture: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 probably derived from Old High German wih 'holy' + mari 'standing water, swamp'. (Another theory derives the first element from OHG win 'meadow, pasture.') In 1410 it received city rights, although the growth of the city was severely affected by the 1424 fires.
In 1552 Weimar became the capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar (German Sachsen-Weimar) and remained so until 1918.
18th and 19th: centuriesDuring the regencies of Anna Amalia (1758-1775) and her son Carl August (1809¨C1828), Weimar became an important cultural centre of Europe, having been home to such luminaries as Goethe, Schiller, and Herder; and in music the piano virtuoso Hummel (a pupil of Mozart), Liszt, and Bach. Richard Strauss worked in Weimar for 5 years 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. It has been a site of pilgrimage for the German intelligentsia since Goethe first moved to Weimar in the late 18th century. 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.
Weimar Republic: 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 because the capital, Berlin, with its street rioting after the 1918 German Revolution, was considered too dangerous for the National Assembly to use it as a meeting place.
The Bauhaus Movement: Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus School and movement in Weimar in 1919. The School aimed to teach and develop modernist style. The Bauhaus University and the Liszt School of Music Weimar, attracted many students, specializing in art, media and design, architecture, civil engineering and music. The Bauhaus in Weimar lasted from 1919 to 1925, when it moved to Dessau, after the newly-elected right-wing city 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 Bauhaus Museum, on Theaterplatz, offers an exhibition of works from the Bauhaus period in Weimar and screens an infomovie about the movement's influences on Weimar city.