Travel Report: mansions and gardens of classical town Weimar in Germany

This is a travel report of a trip to the famous German town of Weimar, which is  home to several cultural memorial sites called ” Classical Weimar”. You may ask yourself why a report of classical Weimar at this herb blog. But part of Classical Weimar are also castles and mansions with historic parks and gardens designed and built by famous landscape gardeners. So, as a cultural enthusiast and having a weakness for gardening and herbs it is an ideal place to go (if you are planning a trip to Europe).

One of these mansions is Tiefurt House a small stately home on the Ilm river at Weimar, about 4 km east of the city center. It was the summer residence of duchess Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. She was the regent of the states Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach from 1758 to 1775. Her husband Ernst August II Konstantin died two years after their marriage and left her regent for her infant son Karl August. She transformed her court and its surrounding into the most influential cultural center of Germany of those days. For about 25 years Tiefurt House was the favorite residence of Anna Amalia and the center of a circle of poets, as a part of Weimar classicism.

On the duchess’s death the house became neglected. Her grandson Karl Friederich began renovation during the lifetime of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who spent his whole later life in Weimar. In 1907 Tiefurt was opened to the public as a museum and from 1978 to 1981 it was restored to its 1800 decor. The nearby landscape garden in the English style was maintained by well-known landscape gardener Eduard Petzold during the 19th century. It is said that the famous German poet and philosopher Friedrich Schiller is buried in the grand-ducal burial chamber in the grounds.

Only a few kilometres away of that lovely mansion Tiefurt the house of Dorotheenhof is located. It was the former estate of Cavalry captain Carl von Kalckreuth. It is situated in its own pittoresque park spreading across two hectares of land. Now, the Dorotheenhof has become a hotel of romantic character. Beside century-old orchards a well-equipped herb garden with dozens of different herb species is part of the botanically interesting park. The herbs are used in the kitchen of the hotel’s restaurant, where you can taste them as a part of culinary interesting meals. It is said that Dorotheenhof estate has served as the fruit and vegetable supplier for Tiefurt House and the court in Anna Amalia’s times and the 19th century.

Beside Tiefurt House and Dorotheenhof there are other parks and gardens in Weimar very worth visiting. For example the backyard garden of the Goethe House, which was the residential house auf the poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (a very good example for a historic residential garden of the beginning 19th century) and orangery and park of Belvedere Castle.

By Dagmar Held


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