Having survived, we hope, the final language test on Wednesday morning, we took off Thursday morning for nearby Weimar. The weather has been “variable”—which today meant that we moved between sunshine and downpours with considerable frequency. (This affected the number and quality of pictures we have to illustrate today’s journey.)Weimar has been a center of significant German cultural and political activity over the centuries.
Within a short walk of the railroad station, we encountered a Socialist-era monument to Ernst Thälmann, a leader of Germany’s Communist Party who was executed at nearby Buchenwald in 1944. Then the 19th-century Neues Museum, a Nazi-era bureaucratic complex, and not much farther, the 18th-century Baroque St. Jakob’s Church. Charlotte Vulpius, wife of the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was buried there among the original resting places of other famous residents such as the 16th-century artist Lucas Cranach the Elder and 18th-century poet Friedrich Schiller. Much of our day was spent tracking places significant to these and other well-known Weimar residents such as the composer Franz Liszt. 2009 is the 90th anniversary of both the Weimar Republic and the Bauhaus school. Although local museums included exhibitions related to both anniversaries, we focused on Bauhaus, whose theories influence the design of much that we consider “modern.” We visited the building in which the Bauhaus school was housed 1919-1925, saw an introductory film, and visited an exhibition that showed objects—textiles, furniture, toys, ceramics, and more—produced by Bauhaus artist-craftspeople. At the end of the afternoon (and in-between downpours) we took a moment to celebrate with two students the birthdays they will have while we are at our service locations.