Rococo interior of Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar.

©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek

Top choice in Weimar

Assembled by Duchess Anna Amalia (1739–1807), the power (and purse) behind Weimar's classical florescence, this Unesco-listed library has been beautifully reconstructed after a fire in 2004 destroyed much of the building and its priceless contents. Some of the most precious tomes are housed in the magnificent Rokokosaal (Rococo Hall), and were once used by Goethe, Schiller, Christoph Wieland, Johann Herder and other Weimar hot shots, whose various busts and paintings still keep watch over the collection.

Entry by timed ticket is capped at 290 people per day; book online months in advance or queue before the ticket office opens to snap up one of 50 daily tickets. Admission includes an audioguide.

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