Executive summary by darmansjah
Weimar is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately 80 kilometres (50 miles) southwest of Leipzig, 170 kilometres (106 miles) north of Nuremberg and 170 kilometres (106 miles) west of Dresden. Together with the neighbour-cities Erfurt and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, whereas the city itself counts a population of 65,000. Weimar is well known because of its large cultural heritage and its importance in German history.
The city was a focal point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading characters of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism, the writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. In the 19th century, famous composers like Franz Liszt made a music centre of Weimar and later, artists and architects like Henry van de Velde, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger and Walter Gropius came to the city and founded the Bauhaus movement, the most important German design school of the interwar period. However, the political history of 20th-century Weimar was inconsistent: it was the place where Germany's first democratic constitution was signed after the First World War, giving its name to the Weimar Republic period in German politics (1918–1933), as well as one of the cities that got mythologized by the National Socialist propaganda.
Until 1948, Weimar was the capital of Thuringia. Today, many places in the city centre have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites (either as part of the Weimar Classicism complex or as part of the Bauhaus complex) and tourism is one of the leading economic sectors of Weimar. Relevant institutions in Weimar are the Bauhaus University, the Liszt School of Music, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library and two leading courts of Thuringia (Supreme Administrative Court and Constitutional Court). In 1999, Weimar was the European Capital of Culture.
The town hall at Marktplatz was built between 1837 and 1841 in Neo-Gothic style by Heinrich Heß after the former one (15th-century) burnt down.
The two main buildings of Bauhaus University at Marienstraße are icons of 20th-century early-modern architecture. Both were built by Henry van de Velde between 1904 and 1911. They mark the transition from older Historicism and Art Nouveau to the new international modern style in Germany by their functional forms (e. g. skylights for better working conditions inside).
The German National Theatre at Theaterplatz was built in 1906/07 in neo-classicist forms. Two predecessors were in use after 1779 and 1825 as ducal court theatres during Weimar's golden age. In 1919, the Weimar National Assembly developed the Weimar Constitution in this theatre.
The Gauforum at Weimarplatz is a Roman-fascist style representative government district between the city centre and the main station. This Gauforum, designed by Hermann Giesler, was the only realized Nazi government district outside Berlin (whereas there were plans for all German state capitals). Today it hosts the Thuringian Administration State Department.
The Park an der Ilm is the citiy's largest park along Ilm river between the ducal castle and the district of Oberweimar. It was established between 1778 and 1833 and is an English landscape garden today, part of UNESCO wold heritage. Sights inside the park are Goethes Gartenhaus (1690s) and Römisches Haus (in style of a Roman temple, 1790s).
The Historic Cemetery at Karl-Haußknecht-Straße was opened in 1818 and hosts the graves of Goethe, Schiller and many other famous people from Weimar.
The Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal at Theaterplatz is the most famous memorial in Weimar. It was made by Ernst Rietschel between 1852 and 1857 and is dedicated to Goethe and Schiller, the most important poets of German classical literature.
Weimar is connected by the Thuringian Railway to Leipzig in the east and to Frankfurt/Kassel in the west. Furthermore there are some regional railways to Gera via Jena and to Kranichfeld via Bad Berka. Today, there are long-distance trains to Frankfurt via Erfurt and Fulda and to Dresden via Leipzig and regional trains to Göttingen and Eisenach via Erfurt, to Halle via Naumburg, to Altenburg, Glauchau, Zwickau and Greiz via Jena and Gera and to Kranichfeld. When the new Erfurt–Leipzig/Halle high-speed railway will open (in 2015), Weimar will be disconnected from German long-distance train network. On the other hand, regional trains shall be strengthened to connect Weimar with ICE-stops in Erfurt, Halle and Leipzig.
In freight transport exists an intermodal terminal in Vieselbach (Güterverkehrszentrum/GVZ) with connection to rail and Autobahn, 15 km (9 mi) west of Weimar.
Weimar is located at the Bundesautobahn 4 (Frankfurt–Dresden). Furthermore, there are two federal streets to Erfurt and Jena (Bundesstraße 7) and to Rudolstadt and Kölleda (Bundesstraße 85) as well as some regional streets to Sömmerda, Oßmannstedt and Magdala. A bypass street around Weimar has been built in 2000s in the north and west, the eastern and southern continuation are in discussion, but not in definite planning because of some difficulties in routing.
The Erfurt-Weimar Airport lies approximately 30 km (19 mi) west of Weimar. It was largely extended in 1990s, but anticipations did not fulfill so that there is only rare air traffic, mostly to Mediterranean holiday regions. Other flights are carried out via Frankfurt Airport, which can be reached in 3 h and prospective via Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which will open in 2014 and is accessible within 3 h.
Biking is getting more and more popular since the construction of quality cycle tracks began in the 1990s. For tourism serve the Ilm track and the Thuringian city string track (Radweg Thüringer Städtekette). Both connect points of tourist interest, the first along the Ilm valley from Thuringian Forest to Saale river and second near to medieval Via Regia from Eisenach via Gotha, Erfurt, Weimar and Jena to Altenburg. Additionally, there are some theme routes like the Goethe cycle track and the Feininger cycle track. For inner city every-day traffic exist some cycle lanes along several main streets. Bike renting is offered in city centre.
For a small city, Weimar is well served by city bus routes, which also serve all of the annex towns and villages. An hourly bus route serves the Buchenwald Memorial and oldtimer buses go in city's historical centre. All bus routes are connected at Goethe Square in city centre, most run furthermore to the main station. Between 1899 and 1937 were trams in operation. Trolleybus service started in 1948 and was ceased in 1993.