In Weimar

 

There’s heaps to do here in this most cultural of cities. Anyone who’s anyone has been here at some time: Goethe and Schiller are the main characters, but Liszt, Nietsche, Johann Sebastian Bach, Martin Luther, Walter Gropius, Thomas Mann, Paul Klee, Walter Kandinsky, composers Berlioz and Hummel, the artist Boeckling, Hans Christian Andersen, the conductors von Bulow and Abendroth, composers Peter Cornelius and Joachim RAFF!! In this, the anniversary of the Bauhaus movement there’s special emphasis on the Weimar Bauhaus group and even the hotel napkins at breakfast this morning promote the Bauhaus festival of 2009.

Now of course we turn up and the place closes. Once again we find that Monday is not the best day to be a tourist but in this city of tourists, wouldn’t you expect that at least half the museums would remain open? And when purchasing a “Weimar card” in the tourist info office for cheaper entry into museums, wouldn’t you expect to at least be warned that most of those featured on the card were closed?

So, a frustrating day all round. Thank goodness the city itself is picturesque and interesting enough to keep us enthralled for a few hours as we enjoy the sunshine and potter about. The Liszt House was a high priority, for it was here that he met Joachim Raff; not that our hero got so much of a mention in the composer’s museum. Staffed by two formidable women “of a certain age” (wearing slippers and reading a gossip magazine, no less) we were admitted to the museum and given headphones for a German language commentary. When declining three headsets and choosing to take just the one, the response was one of shrugged shoulders and an “as you wish” attitude. We found the museum to be dry as dust, in spite of much multi-media content and the exhibit was fundamentally a time line of his work with commentary and musical illustration.

We walked over the park to Goethe’s garden house where, at least we had some insight into the man’s personality with a brave palette of paint colours chosen for their emotional qualities – his colour wheel is one of those images frequently portrayed on postcards here.

Most frustrating was the current closure of the Bauhaus museum, signposted from the motorway as part of this year’s Bauhaus celebrations and heavily publicised throughout the city. Clearly we were not alone in finding this rather odd as whenever we passed, we found a group of people muttering by the door.

We settled for a look around the museum shop, unsure whether this made things better in that we at least got to see what we missed or worse, because we realised what we had missed

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We consoled ourselves once more with the products of the Thuringia kitchen at the oldest pub in Weimar, the Black Bear – Kloesse (potato dumplings) and hearty stews washed down with an ample supply of the local brew of course.

To The Wartburg

To Weimar, via Dusseldorf airport