My Favourite History Place - Weimar


By Neil Taylor, published 16th January 2015

Neil Taylor explores the changing face and mixed fortunes of Weimar in the twentieth century.

Weimar is a town to which many famous people came, but from which few then left. It is not hard to see why. The locals summarise its appeal in one sentence Weimar ist nur eine kleine Stadt, aber doch eine Weltstadt (Weimar is only a small town, but nonetheless a world city). The earliest person of note who lived and died in Weimar was the artist Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) whose work firmly implanted Lutheranism into the town, and most of whose pictures survived the Second World War. Three hundred years later, in 1775, In 1775 Johann von Goethe, ‘considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era', arrived in Weimar, where he would stay until his death in 1832. ‘Every day we should listen to one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture and utter a few sensible words' was his...

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