For a long time I have wanted to go on this pilgrimage to follow the trail of the early 20th century design school, the Bauhaus. After a ride on the ICE train from Munich we arrive in Weimar at about noon. After we check into the Hotel Anna Amalia, a funky small hotel in the center of town, we head to the Tourist Info place to get a map and info on what Bauhaus sights might be about.
Next year is the 100th anniversary of the first year the school opened and they are building a new museum to house the articles that had been collected over the years. Unfortunately for us they have already closed the old museum and the stuff they have is not displayed anywhere.
There are still bits and pieces to see like the first house designed on Bauhaus philosophies, Haus am Horn. Georg Muche, one of the school’s ‘Masters’, designed the house and construction was finished in 1923. So we amble off through the cities wonderful river park, across the river and up a wicked steep hill in search of our first real sighting of a Bauhaus work of art. Once found it is really not that exciting. It is fenced in but the gate is open. The building is closed for maintenance so all we can do is peak in the windows.
The Bauhaus is one of Weimar’s less known claims to fame. The city is know as the birth place of German democracy. After the first world war the German powers that be met here, rather than in Berlin, to put together the structure of the new Germany. After the emperor Kaiser Wilhelm had be ousted from office and representatives from all over Germany laid the foundation for a democratic state. From 1919 to 1933 Germany was unofficially named the Weimar Republic.
Earlier than that, in the 19th century Weimar was a gathering place for cultural and intellectual giants. Johann Wolfgang Goethe lived most of his adult life here writing works that include Faust. Johann Schiller, a friend of Goethe’s and also a writer spent the last years of his live in Weimar. Franz Liszt and Johann Sebastian Bach both spent some time here, as did Carl Maria von Weber. All well know composers in their time and giants in the classical music field 200 year hence. A few years later Friedrich Nietzsche, a philosopher much studied over the last century, spent the last years of his life in Weimar.
So even though one of this town’s highlights, at least for me, is not available to view, tomorrow should be interesting enough as we chase the ghosts of some very famous people.