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Weimar(vī`mär), city (1994 pop. 58,807), E ThuringiaThuringia
, Ger. Thüringen, state (1994 pop. 2,533,000), 6,273 sq mi (16,251 sq km), central Germany. It is bordered on the south by Bavaria, on the east by Saxony, on the north by Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony, and on the west by Hesse.
..... Click the link for more information. , central Germany, on the Ilm River. It is an industrial, transportation, and cultural center. Manufactures include agricultural machinery, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and furniture. Known in the 10th cent., Weimar became important only in the 16th cent. when it was made the capital of the duchy (after 1815 the grand duchy) of Saxe-WeimarSaxe-Weimar
, Ger. Sachsen-Weimar, former duchy, Thuringia, central Germany. The area passed in the division of 1485 to the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty and remained with that branch after the redivision of the Wettin lands in 1547, when Elector John Frederick I
..... Click the link for more information. . It developed as a cultural center of international importance. Under Elector John Frederick IJohn Frederick I,
1503–54, elector (1532–47) and duke (1547–54) of Saxony; last elector of the Ernestine branch of the house of Wettin. Like his father, John the Steadfast, whom he succeeded, John Frederick was a devout Lutheran.
..... Click the link for more information. , the painter Lucas CranachCranach or Kranach, Lucas
, the Elder, 1472–1553, German painter and engraver. The son of a painter, he settled in Wittenberg c.1504 and was court painter successively under three electors of Saxony.
..... Click the link for more information. , the elder, worked there (16th cent.), and from 1708 to 1717 Johann Sebastian BachBach, Johann Sebastian
, 1685–1750, German composer and organist, b. Eisenach; one of the greatest and most influential composers of the Western world. He brought polyphonic baroque music to its culmination, creating masterful and vigorous works in almost every musical
..... Click the link for more information. was court organist and concertmaster at Weimar. Under Dowager Duchess Amalia (1739–1807) and her son, Charles Augustus (1775–1828), Weimar reached the peak of its fame as a cultural center. After the arrival (1775) of GoetheGoethe, Johann Wolfgang von
, 1749–1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist, and scientist, b. Frankfurt. One of the great masters of world literature, his genius embraced most fields of human endeavor; his art and thought are epitomized in his great dramatic poem Faust.
..... Click the link for more information. at the court, Weimar and Goethe became virtually synonymous. Goethe not only made Weimar the literary capital of Europe during his lifetime, but he also attracted such men as HerderHerder, Johann Gottfried von
, 1744–1803, German philosopher, critic, and clergyman, b. East Prussia. Herder was an enormously influential literary critic and a leader in the Sturm und Drang movement.
..... Click the link for more information. and SchillerSchiller, Friedrich von,
1759–1805, German dramatist, poet, and historian, one of the greatest of German literary figures, b. Marbach, Württemberg. The poets of German romanticism were strongly influenced by Schiller, and he ranks as one of the founders of modern
..... Click the link for more information. , established and directed the Weimar theater, and as chief minister of Charles Augustus was active in the physical improvement of the city. The Weimar state theater was the site of the first performances of most of Goethe's and many of Schiller's plays. After Goethe's death (1832) Weimar lived mainly on its past reputation, but its active cultural life continued. Franz LisztLiszt, Franz
, 1811–86, Hungarian composer and pianist. Liszt was a revolutionary figure of romantic music and was acknowledged as the greatest pianist of his time. He made his debut at nine, going thereafter to Vienna to study with Czerny and Salieri.
..... Click the link for more information. was musical director there in the mid-19th cent., and Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin was first performed (1850) in Weimar. The fact that Friedrich NietzscheNietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
, 1844–1900, German philosopher, b. Röcken, Prussia. The son of a clergyman, Nietzsche studied Greek and Latin at Bonn and Leipzig and was appointed to the chair of classical philology at Basel in 1869.
..... Click the link for more information. lived and died at Weimar resulted in the foundation there of the important Nietzsche Archives by his sister. In 1919, Weimar was the scene of the German national assembly that established the republican government known as the "Weimar Republic." The BauhausBauhaus
, artists' collective and school of art and architecture in Germany (1919–33). The Bauhaus revolutionized art training by combining the teaching of classic arts with the study of crafts.
..... Click the link for more information. art school was first established (1919) in Weimar. Among the landmarks of the city are the parish church, with the graves of Lucas Cranach and Herder and with an altarpiece by Cranach; the former grand ducal palace (built 1789–1803) and the ducal crypt with the graves of Goethe and Schiller; Belvedere castle (1724–32); the residences of Goethe, Schiller, and Liszt; Goethe's garden cottage; the state theater; the Goethe National Museum; and the nearby ducal castle of Tiefurt. The city has a state college of music and an academy of art and architecture, and it is the seat of the Goethe and Schiller archives. BuchenwaldBuchenwald
, village, Thuringia, S central Germany, in the Buchenwald forest, near Weimar. It was the site of a large concentration camp established by the National Socialist (Nazi) regime in 1937. It held approximately 20,000 prisoners during World War II.
..... Click the link for more information. , the Nazi concentration camp (1937–45), was located nearby; it is now the site of a memorial to the 56,000 who died there.
a city in the Erfurt district of the German Democratic Republic on the Ilm River (Elbe basin), in the center of the Thuringian depression. Population, 65,000 (1969).
Weimar is a transportation center but has attained economic importance primarily in the years of the people’s government. Manufactures of farm combines and precision measuring instruments are among the city’s most important economic establishments. There are also publishing houses.
Weimar is known for its cultural traditions. Among its institutions are the National Research and Memorial Center of the Classical Writers of German Literature, the Franz Liszt Conservatory, and a teachers’ institute. Weimar is a tourist attraction.
The earliest reference to Weimar was made in 975. In 1573 it became the principal city of the duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (which lasted until 1918, after 1815 as a grand duchy). J. S. Bach lived in Weimar in 1703 and also from 1708 to 1717. During the second half of the 18th century and the first part of the 19th, the city was a major center of the German Enlightenment. A number of famous men lived and worked in Weimar during this period: C. M. Wieland (who lived there in the period 1772-1813), J. W. Goethe (1775-1832), J. G. Herder (1776-1803), and J. F. Schiller (1799-1805). Franz Liszt, the leader of the Weimar School of music, lived there from 1848 to 1861. In 1919 in Weimar the German constitution was adopted.
During the years of fascist dictatorship the Buchenwald concentration camp was built in the vicinity of Weimar.
The visual characteristics of the city are largely determined by its lovely parks (the largest of which is Goethe Park) and its monuments of classical architecture from the 16th-18th centuries, including the Cranach House (built about 1526), the ducal palace (now an art museum; rebuilt from 1790 to 1803 in the classical style), and the Belvedere Castle (1726-32). There are various memorial museums in Weimar: the Goethe National Museum (1709-94), the Schiller House, Goethe’s Park House, the Liszt House, the Museum of German Literature, a Goethe and Schiller archive, the German National Theater (1906-08), and the Advanced School of Architecture and Building (1904-07; architect, H. C. van de Velde).