Visiting Weimar and Jena

If there is any one place that plays a crucial role in the development of freedom, emancipation and Bildung in Europe in the decades around 1800, it is the small Duchy of Weimar and Jena under the young Duke Karl August von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach and his mother Duchess Anna Amalia von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.

Tomas, our friend Karin and I went to Jena and Weimar for a couple of days in order to walk in the footsteps of Wieland, Herder, Goethe, Schiller, Humboldt, Hegel, Fichte, and so many other great minds.

Jena from above, a map of the old center of town and yours truly.

The tourist book told us that in Jena, Friedrich Schiller and Wilhelm von Humboldt lived just ten steps from one another. We simply had to check; the houses are not the original but the distance is right:

Ten Steps

In 1806, Napoleon conquered Weimar and Jena; the battle field was between the two cities and Tomas mansplained Napoleon’s winning tactics so well to Karin and me:

What’s left of Napoleon between Weimar and Jena:


In Weimar we went to the Schiller House and Goethe’s mansion.

Schiller’s bedroom in Weimar.



Goethe’s study in Weimar.

And two tourists posing at the feet of Goethe and Schiller (people were better dressed 200 years ago):



Posted in Our European Bildungsreise.

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