The historical epicentre of Germany's 18th-century Enlightenment, Weimar is an essential stop for anyone with a passion for the country's history and culture. A pantheon of intellectual and creative giants lived and worked here: Goethe, Schiller, Bach, Cranach, Liszt, Nietzsche, Gropius, Herder, Feininger, Kandinsky – and the list goes on. You’ll see them memorialised on the streets, in museums and in reverently preserved houses across town. In summer, Weimar’s many parks and gardens lend themselves to quiet contemplation of all this intellectual and cultural gravity (or allow you to take a break from it).
Weimar is also the place where, post-WWI, the constitution of the German Reich, known by historians as the Weimar Republic (1919–33), was drafted, though there are strangely few reminders of this historical moment. Nearby, the unadorned, unaltered remains of the Buchenwald concentration camp provide sobering testament to the crimes of the subsequent Nazi regime.