Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Top Ten Spots in Weimar

Based on my first ten months of exploring Weimar, here are ten places I say you shouldn't miss:

1. The Ilmschlosscen Restaurant in Oberweimar--a half hour saunter to the southern end of the Ilm River Park. The Bauhaus artists threw their last party there before moving in a huff to Dessau. (The conservative state officials--it was the first to turn Nazi--and the "degenerate" artists didn't get along!) Don't miss their party invitation on the wall of memorabilia--a lottery for five marks, in which the prizes were prints by Klee, Feininger, Kandisky "and others". Some lottery!

2. The Main Cemetery. It's full of interesting memorials, and a Russian Orthodox Church for Maria Pavlovna, one of the duke's wives. Especially interesting is the Walter Gropius-designed Memorial for the Fallen of March l920--killed by the right wing militants in the Kapp Putsch.

3. Villa Pappeln. A Henry van de Velde Villa, just south of the Hilton Hotel off Belvidere Allee. His Jugendstil Buildings for the art schools that preceded the Bauhaus are among the visual glories of this town.

4. The City Library on Steubenstrasse near Wielandplatz. They have a new jazz club in the spookily neogothic cellar. Along with the C1 Club on Carl-August-Allee and the ACC on Bergplatz, the best venu for good pop music.

5. Abraxas, next to the InterCity Hotel, is a shop with brilliantly designed clothes. Pricey, but delicious. And it costs nothing to coo over their excellence. (They like that almost as much as customers.)

6. The Theater Cafe next to the DNT. They offer a mixed grill in which a super hot stone is your table stove as you do your own mixing.

7. Faustina, the new cafe in the Goethe Museum. German-American painter Christoph Hodgson has spoofed Goethe-Mania with sly visual digs like putting the Goethe-Schiller Archive atop a Tower of Babel far out to sea.

8. Schloss Belvedere. It has the best view of the Ilm River Valley (heh, that's what a Duke did, took first picks). Now commoners like me exult over coffee in their terrace cafe. Don't miss the new Music Building by Thomas Valentiner. I love the way you can't see into their practice rooms, but musicians can see out.

9. The Bratwurst Grill behind the InterCity Hotel at the Glockerei Restaurant. Your mouth hasn't lived until it has slurped one of their 2.6 DM lunches. There are other good wursters out there, on Marktplatz. But the Glockerei is best, and I've got the extra pounds to prove it.

10. By the time you've read this, I will have discovered other pleasures. So this is to remind you to follow your nose and your eyes to find special places on your own.

No comments: