Dont miss Gotha, it is so close to Eisenach and it is also a lovely town with a large palace and many interesting buildings. I had a short stop-over there and was impressed by the lovely townhall, that you will see on my 1st and 2nd picture. About 800 meters from the townhall you will see the impressive palace of Gotha, it was built on a narrow hill overlooking the village and you will be able to walk freely and without restrictions through its courts and parks. The tourist-information is in the lovely building that you may see on my last picture, it is opposite of the townhall !
On our last visit I had already noted the many beautiful grand old villas in Eisenach. I had not noticed, however, how many there really were. It was only because we stayed at Villa Bomberg, in the 'Villa Quarter' that I realised I need perhaps the better part of a day (next visit!) to enjoy these great buildings of the past.
These villas are built end of the 19th century up to the beginning of the 20th century. Eisenach was a place where industrials, men/women of science and art, pensioned army men settled down and had great mansions built.
The reason they came here was that Eisenach already had a good railway connection, the countryside is beautiful, the Wartburg (currently a World Heritage site) was already a great monument. Of course many famous names are connected to Eisenach: Martin Luther, JS Bach, Goethe, etc. etc.
There are bookable tours to see these villas. I did not do any of them, since I only had an hour before breakfast. In our hotel Villa Bomberg I read about the villas and their family histories the night before and then set out by myself to shoot some random photos.
Most of them I shall put in a travelogue here.
This is one of the 2 books I read:
Waverly is a city in Bremer County, Iowa, United States. The population was 8,968 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Bremer County, and is part of the Waterloo–Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. The sister city of Waverly is the German city of Eisenach, which is famous for the Wartburg castle. Waverly is also the home of Wartburg College which is named after this castle. Wartburg College, maintained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a four-year liberal-arts college in Waverly that opened in 1852. As of the 2006–2007 school year, the college had an enrollment of 1,800 students.
I am fond of sightseeing. Visiting marvels of architecture, historical places, highlights of the region gives me a real thrill. But then a moment comes when I've got enough - enogh of noise, crowds of tourists, enough of information to be remembered and spots to be admired. Then I'd like to leave it all and get to a tranquil place far away from all hustle and bustle of a town.
I've found such a place near Eisenach - it's of unique charm but still very peaceful and at the time of our visit almost completely empty..
The place is called Drachenschlucht (Dragon Gorge). It is a ravine which at its narrowest point is just 68 centimetres wide. Its sides, at places even ten metres high, are overgrown with moss. To make the hike possible there is a walkboard installed, under which you hear the brook flowing.
The whole walk through the ravine takes about 40 minutes.
Weimar is a great day-excursion from Eisenach, it is just about 35 km ! Take the whole day to explore Weimar and all of its sights or take a least a look and a stroll over the main square with the townhall in great renaissance style and plenty of lovely houses.
On my photographs :
1) My favorite building is the one with the green decorations, this building is also used by the tourist-information, you will find it on the main square.
2) the townhall of Weimar
3 & 4) Schloss Weimar
5) Anna-Amalia-Library / Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek burned down in September 2004 but 850.000 books could be saved and only 50.000 were lost forever.
End of October 2007 the first 50.000 books were taken back to the restored library .
I had been there in 2006, so my pics are just from the building during the restauration-time, but at least you get some sort of an impression what it will look like.
The former KZ of Buchenwald is just about 40 km from Eisenach and a few kilometers north of Weimar and you will still see lots of remains of this terrible part of German history there. On my main picture you will read the cynic motto of the KZ in Buchenwald : "Jedem das Seine" (everybody gets what he/she deserves) . You can read this motto only from inside the KZ. I came in the evening, when the main gate of the site was locked already, but I was able to walk along the fence and find entrance through a side-gate next to the former crematorium.
Buchenwald is about 5 km north of Weimar
The museum is open for visitors
april - October : 10.00a.m.-06.00p.m.
november - march : 10.00a.m. - 04.00p.m.
last entry always 30 min. before closing-time!
closed at dec. 24th+26th+31st and jan. 1st !
It is always CLOSED on Mondays !!
BUT the gate-house and the Krematorium is
open for visitors between 10.00a.m. and 03.00p.m.
Thueringer Landestheater was built in 1879 according to the plans by the architect Karl Weichardt and it was a donation by Baron Julius von Eichel-Streiber. I did not see any performance there, I simply passed by it, when I took a walk in the evening. You can click on the link below in order to find the Thueringer Landestheater on the townmap of Eisenach as #9.
99817 Eisenach - Theaterplatz 4-7
Tel. 0 36 91 / 25 62 33
for the program click here
In 1847 Eisenach was connected with the trainsystem of Thueringen and the Hauptbahnhof dates back to the end of the 19th century, beautifully decorated with colorful art-nouveau windows and some nice decorations on the facade, see my 2nd and 3rd photographs !
Hauptbahnhof is about 500 meters from Karlsplatz, click on my link below and you will see it on the townmap of Eisenach.
Schmales Haus is the narrowest house in Eisenach, built between 2 other houses in the very centre of town. It is just 2,05 meters wide and 8,5 meters high and was built around the year 1750. Nowadays it shows a small exhibition of paintings, sculptures, ceramics etc. In any case it is one of the listed "must see" - places of the tourist office in Eisenach, so take a look and take a photograph !
On my last photograph you will see another quite narrow house, but dont confuse them !
You will find "Schmales Haus" in Johannisplatz 9, when walking from "Alte Stadtapotheke" to the "Bachhaus" and when you click on my link below !
Bürgerbuero / Stadtverwaltung is the name of another building on the main square, opposite of the Georgenkirche, its adress is "Markt 12". Dont miss to take a closer look at these special details of the fence around the entrance-door of that building.
On my last picture : another lovely house in the pedestrian zone of Eisenach
Zwickau is not really closeby Eisenach, but for car-enthousiasts like me the distance of 1 hour driving on the highway does not really matter, when I will get to see another great carmuseum like that one :
August Horch-Museum in Zwickau / Saxony.Most people dont known that Horch used to be one of the most noble and expensive car-manufacturers of Germany before WW II. August Horch had left the company "Horch" in order to build his own cars and because he was not allowed to build them under the well-known name of Horch he used that same expression (in german horch means Listen !) in latin : and the wellknown name of AUDI was born.
Horch-Museum is open daily except Mondays:
from 09.30 am till 05.00pm
On my photographs : one of the highlights of the museum:
Horch 951 A Pullmann Cabriolet 1939
the official car of Baldur von Schirach
Nazi Reichsjugendfuehrer & Gauleiter of Vienna 1939-1945 and in that position he was responsable for the deportation of 185.000 jews into the KZs.
In old movies you will see him sitting like a king in this car, driving through the ruins of Vienna, there was only a single seat, made like a throne in the middle of the backrow of this car.
The Georgentor (Georg gate) was part of the city wall and an entry gate into Eisenach. The wall was started in 1130.
To the north of gate lies an old cemetery containing some famous people like the parents of Johann Sebastian Bach and Dorothea Grimm, the wife of the fairy tale poet William Grimm.
Gotha is a city of 49,000 inhabitants, on the main railroad line between Eisenach and Erfurt.
I have been to Gotha twice, but I'm afraid I haven't seen much besides the railroad station and the Adult Education Center.
The Adult Education Center in Eisenach is this newly renovated yellow building on Sophienstraße.
The church next to it is St. Elisabeth's Catholic Church.