7/29/2013

Weimar

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Next stop:  Weimar.  I had no idea there was so much history in Weimar, or that it was such an artsy place.  Since the kids were on their homestays, MN & I were able to leisurely take in the town, without having to hurry or worry about getting somewhere on time.  I already told you about the Town Palace and Belvedere Palace during the 2nd part of Castles and Palaces.
Our original plan was to travel to Prague, but when we priced it, we decided it was a little more than we wanted to spend.  Then, we decided to go to Dresden, but a few days before the homestay, there was a little thing that is being called the most costly natural disaster in Germany (flooding), and the flood was expected to reach Dresden right when we were suppose to arrive.  So, we decided to just stay in Weimar, which really was a good decision.  It gave us time to recharge our batteries.
Just as in the other places we had visited, the architecture was fabulous.  The 3 pictures below are from Goethe Gymnasium.  When I got to Weimar, I had no idea who Goethe was.  He was a writer, artist, and politician who was born in Frankfurt in 1749 and died in Weimar in 1832.



There are a lot of monuments, fountains, and plaques in this town.  There's the Statue of Grand Duke Carl August who did a lot to lay the foundation for Weimar to be considered as a cultural center of Germany:
The building behind the monument is the  Hocheschule für Musik Franz Liszt.
The plaza in front of the monument and the school is called "Platz der Demokratie".  The plaque below indicates that this is the place where demonstrations took place beginning on 24 October, 1989.   (Weimar is also the place where the "new" democracy of Germany-now called the Federal Republic of Germany-was born.  The official documents weren't signed in Berlin; they were signed in Weimar.)

Plaque commemorating the 80th anniversary of the free state of Thuringia, which was founded in the same building as the Franz Liszt Music School.
They love their plaques in Weimar.  There is a plaque that indicates where Bach lived and where 2 of his sons were born:
A plaque to let you know that Hans Christian Andersen lived here:
A plaque in memory of Hans W. Schmidt, who was an artist:
A house where Heinrich Jäde (who was an author...possibly a children's author-from what I could figure out by googling his name- and freedom fighter in 1848) and Friedrich Schiller (playwright and historian) lived.
There was a monument to Bach:
Alexander  Pushkin (Russian poet & founder of modern Russian literature):  the monument was erected in 1949 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth:

Schiller & Goethe in front of the National Theater:
Another fountain, which is in the Market Square, is Neptune.  It is located where the first known "draw-well" was, which dates back to 1540. Neptune replaced a lion.
The Goethe Fountain is in another square.  It is a cast-iron fountain that the students take a dip in after graduation.
MN & I ate dinner in this square on our last night in Weimar.  It was really nice to sit and enjoy our dinner, and do some people-watching.  Just behind the fountain is this site:

There were some street musicians that were very good:

Strolls down cozy streets:





A walk to the "mall":


And an after-dinner stroll through Park An der Ilm.  We came upon a Russian Military Cemetery, which, as Americans, was quite creepy.


There is a cave in the park where they were having a play.  But, we didn't have tickets, so we didn't get to go.
There are ruins of a building that was bombed during the war:


Goethe's Gartenhaus:



And beautiful scenery:


There's even a statue of Shakespeare along the way:
The Market Square holds the Town Hall:

While we were there, they cut down a tree (which apparently they do every year) that is in the center of the square (although I couldn't find out why):




There was a band from a local school playing (and they were really good!):

That morning, there was a market in the square.  I bought some trivets from this booth for the boys' girlfriends.  He made all of the baskets and other goods himself.

We even saw a wedding party just after their ceremony.  They were leaving the Town Hall.
They held up a sheet with a huge heart, then cut out the heart.  Next, the groom picked up his wife and carried her through the heart.
Some of the buildings had quotes on them:

And we saw this one that paid tribute to Richard Wagner:
Wagner was only in Weimar for 3 days, since he was running from the law.  He left Dresden and headed to Paris.  Liszt debuted Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" in Weimar.

We saw so much in Weimar, especially for "taking it easy"!  MN & I had lunch last week.  I asked her what her favorite part of the trip was, and she said that she really enjoyed our time in Weimar because we weren't rushed.
Here's a picture of a house we saw on our way to the bus stop to meet the group at the train station:
And, a building across the street from the station:
The homestay came at a very good time:  MN & I had a chance to relax, and I think the kids had a nice little break away from each other.  Most of them had a very good weekend; there were 2 students who said it was "awkward", but both of them are very quiet anyway.  
After we met the group, it was time to board yet another train.  Come back tomorrow to find out where we went!

6 comments:

  1. Glad your alternate plans (Weimar) turned out so enjoyable. I'm learning so much from your trip.

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  2. Shakespeare seems a little out of place to be there but otherwise what a lovely town. And recharging your batteries got you some great pictures and memories.

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  3. I know that Prague and Dresden would be high on my list. Sorry you missed them but now you have two places to visit next time you go!

    I must say I am loving this town and I'm glad you got to spend time there. The pictures are awesome.

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  4. Wow! What a lot of wonderful things to see and learn in Weimar! Thank you.

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  5. I have to tell you, when I first read your post title I thought it was "Weiner" because that's who's been in the headlines so much!!! Lol! You are spot on with their love of plaques and statues! What history! I love the cobblestone streets, but was it hard to walk on?

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  6. I'm glad you stayed put and had the chance to really soak in a place. I think its a fun way to travel if you have that luxury. Much nicer than racing from one spot to the next. You cannot help but learn stuff when you travel around Europe. I remember so much more history when I have a visual!

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