Weimar Journals

Weimar, the Cultural Center of Goethe’s Day

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An April 2003 trip to Weimar by drhough

Widows Palace Photo, Weimar, Germany More Photos
Quote: In the region of Thuringia, Weimar has been a cultural mecca for writers and philosophers, the birthplace of German literary romanticism, and a World Heritage gem.

Weimar, the Cultural Center of Goethe’s Day

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Overview

Widow's Palace Photo, Weimar, Germany
Quote:
Referred to in UNESCO World Heritage literature as "the classical city of Weimar," Weimer is where the "dark" poets, Goethe and Schiller, introduced romantic themes into German literature, and it is also where classical composers (Wagner, Liszt, and Bach) filled the air with structured melody and where Lucas Cranach, the Elder "painted the town red." (His house and studio, now a theater school, is on the Market Square.) Our trip there was a journey back to the German Enlightenment. Every merchant in town seemed to participate in the recreation of sights, sounds, and smells from the past. The city enjoys what I would call a "legacy of delight." For example, the poet Goethe designed t...Read More

Hotel Elephant

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Hotel | "Hotel Elephant, a Sheraton Antique"

Hotel Elephant Photo, Weimar, Germany
Quote:
Add to "posh" some extra status for being over 4.5 centuries old, and you get "historic luxury," my designation for hotels like "the Elephant." This history decorated with artistry doesn’t come cheap, except to Sheraton Preferred Guests cashing in points. Others may pay $300/night in season for a room where someone famous may have stayed. This is the building where the poets Goethe and Schiller wined and dined with painter Lucas Cranach, composers Bach, Mendelssohn, and Liszt, and philosopher Herder. (Nietzsche, Leo Tolstoi, and Karl Marx were other famous guests in more recent centuries.) Their statues and poetry painted on the walls haunt Elephantenkeller in the basement of the bu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2003

Hotel Elephant
MARKT 19
Weimar, Germany
49-3643-8020

Elephantenkeller

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Restaurant

Elephantenkeller Photo, Weimar, Germany
Quote:
A Weimar institution for over 400 years, Elephantenkeller is famous for the poets, novelists, composers, painters, and philosophers who frequented the establishment in the basement of the Hotel Elephant. Goethe, author of Faust, made it his haunt in the 18th Century, and even Hitler dined here. The rather chic cellar is also famous for its excellent Thuringian cuisine. The dishes of the region are hearty and feature meat, sometimes with several meats in the same dish, some of them organ meats. Sausages loaded with the spice marjoram and the famous German potato dumplings are from Thuringia. This is all fine with me. Guests in the hotel, we had only to walk downstairs,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 23, 2003

Elephantenkeller
19 Markt at Hotel Elephant
Weimar, Germany
(43) 802-639

Park on the Ilm-Weimar Park

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Attraction | "Park an der Ilm"

Park on the Ilm-Weimar Park Photo, Weimar, Germany
Quote:
The Ilm River is a lazy stream as it winds its way through Weimar, lazy enough for wooden footbridges and a park that felt so "cozy" to me that I could easily understand why Goethe loved it. The poet "designed" the park according to Worlitz's model for a sentimental landscape, but the pleasing, haunting setting was already "naturalistic." I’ve never seen a wood that appealed to me so much, and I found it impossible to decipher where Mother Nature left off and Goethe began. What I know for certain is that this work of art was designed to soothe the soul and that every neighborhood should be situated on a park like this. Perhaps that is what the poet wanted to communicate to posterity. After al...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2003

Park on the Ilm-Weimar Park
On The Ilm River
Weimar, Germany

D. Reichenbach Bakery

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Attraction

D. Reichenbach Bakery Photo, Weimar, Germany
Quote:
Everyone raves about French breads and pastries, but German ones are just as good. I can testify to this because of long evenings at home following around a good German cook in my own kitchen. Through a relative once stationed in Germany, Karen acquired a cookbook of authentic traditional recipes which required help to prepare, she insisted. (They were time-consuming!) Even with American ingredients, they were refreshingly different and definitely not as sweet as American sweets. We made large cakes with only 1/4 cup of sugar and lots of cream. Yum! I was already a fan of bienenstich and mandeltorte or bee sting cake and almond torte. I was ready for the backerei, ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2003

D. Reichenbach Bakery
Corner of the Center Square
Weimar, Germany

About the Writer

drhough

drhough
West Virginia, United States