As the center of German intellectual life in the 18th and early 19th centuries, according to hyperrestaurant, the small royal seat of Weimar in Thuringia set standards. In a unique concentration of leading poets, thinkers and scientists such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, Johann Gottfried Herder or Christoph Martin Wieland, Weimar gave decisive impulses to the classical period. Their work and their places of activity are testimony to a past, but still lasting cultural epoch. The most famous buildings include Goethe’s house on Frauenplan, his garden house, the city palace, the Wittumspalais and the Duchess Anna Amalia library.
Classic Weimar: facts
|Official title:||Classic Weimar|
|Cultural monument:||Workplace of the poets Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) and Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) as well as the philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803); with buildings such as the Stadtkirche Sankt Peter und Paul, the Stadtschloss, the Goethehaus am Frauenplan, the Schillerhaus (1777), the Liszthaus, the German National Theater, the Anna Amalia Library and the four Weimar landscape parks, including the Park an der Ilm with Roman house|
|Location:||Weimar on the Ilm|
|Meaning:||Weimar Classicism as a bygone cultural epoch that still has an impact today|
Classic Weimar: History
|1254||City of Weimar first attested|
|1547-1918||Residence of the Wettins|
|1708-17||Johann Sebastian Bach organist and chamber musician at the Weimar court|
|1735-45||Baroque remodeling of the three-aisled town church of St. Peter and Paul (Herder Church)|
|1767-69||Construction of the baroque Wittumspalais|
|1779||Goethe becomes Privy Councilor and|
|1782||Head of the Finance Chamber|
|1789-1803||Reconstruction of the destroyed residential palace|
|1845-60 and 1869-86||the composer Franz von Liszt lives and works in Weimar|
|1919||Conference of the Weimar National Assembly in the National Theater; Adoption of the Weimar Constitution|
|1999||European Capital of Culture|
|2.9.2004||Serious damage to the Duchess Anna Amalia Library and loss of valuable books due to a roof fire|
|October 24, 2007||Reopening of the restored library|
When two poet princes…
When two princes of poets sit with a glass of wine in the spruced-up residential town of Weimar and decide that it is time for a classical renaissance once again, then things really start to move. But anyone who believes that something as unique as a »classical« cannot be planned with the best will in the world, not even from a team like Friedrich von Schiller and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the central star of the national aristocracy of cultural merit, may react too responsibly to the myth of the unapproachable terminology “classic”.
»Classic«, that is the summit, the synonym for a quality product with a sticky label. Moreover, a peak that can be reached but not settled permanently: a culture with a distinction, whose actual quality, in turn, only the elite of astonished posterity can judge.
Since the coveted »logo« now has to work on such complex conceptual levels, it is by no means always entirely clear what we are talking about. Even in theory, “classical” no longer corresponds to a value-neutral scientific category, but rather resembles a title of nobility. Our fashion-conscious era is also increasingly transforming the generic term, which has such wonderful positive connotations, into a series of open marketing strategies. For example, “classical music” is automatically “serious music”, regardless of whether a Mozart or a Stockhausen wrote the score. The Beatles, on the other hand, are considered “classics” at best. To complete the term inflation, the original European trademark is now even on offer in line with the trend towards globalization.
Especially in the few sculptures that have survived, the classical sense of the zeitgeist of the flowering of ancient Greek culture is preserved. This “nucleus” for the periodically recurring need for ever new “classicisms” has been a common basic feature of all important European cultural sectors since late antiquity and thus one of the most venerable traditions of mankind. From the fine arts to the literature of high-level languages, »classical« is wanted with beautiful regularity and deliberately summoned, endeavored or simply imitated. The epoch in question creates the prerequisites for this of its own accord, but the award of the “logo” will only concern the next generation. In retrospect, either a “full-fledged classic” emerges, another “classicism” or perhaps just a “postmodern phase”. Now the Weimar Classic is much more than a purely literary heyday. The circle around Goethe and Schiller encompassed very different specialist areas and created a universal zeitgeist, entirely in the ancient sense. What they all had in common was the will to place “form and shape” of literary and universal historical works in the footsteps of humanism and the ancient world admired by all contemporaries.
And although this endeavor was anything but new in principle, in Weimar in Thuringia – at the turn of the late 18th century to the modern age – the constellation of ingeniously gifted individuals in the right place at the right time, which is rare in the history of science, arose. For the first time since antiquity, the original Greek classic was spread out on the dissection table, as it were. Their studies created the common framework for a decades-long flowering of the humanities. And the power of the thoughts of this era has congealed into printed paper; a universe of social philosophy materialized in the form of manuscripts published millions of times.
Today’s Weimar “cultural landscape”, on the other hand, is really suitable for historic monuments. Her buildings and parks are an exciting and contradicting attempt to add physical substance to the intellectual heritage with associative monuments.