From Gotha to Dresden, our arts and culture road trip takes in numerous Cultural Heart of Germany highlights. Expect splendid art collections, world-leading museums, stunning architecture, beautiful cities and lots of lasting memories.
Arts and Culture
Gotha – Erfurt – Gera – Chemnitz – Leipzig – Dresden
Start in Gotha with some baroque splendour at Friedenstein Palace and explore the Ducal Museum that is part of the stunning complex with collections of European paintings and sculptures, Chinese and Japanese Art as well as art from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Continue to Erfurt (approx. 35 min drive).
Gotha, a ducal residence town from the mid-1600s until the early 20th century, is known for its ‘”Baroque Universe” consisting of Friedenstein Palace with the Ekhof Theatre and Ducal Museum.
Take a whole day for the beautiful history city of Erfurt and tour its medieval churches, including St. Mary’s Cathedral, Preachers’ Church, St. Michael’s and the Church of the Barefooters. Don’t miss the Old Synagogue with the Erfurt Treasure and make sure to browse the independent shops on the one-of-its-kind Merchants’ Bridge.
One hour from Erfurt, Gera is a charming, green city that is well worth half a day to visit the Otto Dix House where the expressionist artist was born. Architecture lovers should not miss “Haus Schulenburg”, a stunning mansion designed inside and out by Art Nouveau master Henry van de Velde. On to Chemnitz (about 50 min drive)
1000-year-old Gera is the birthplace of the German painter Otto Dix and his place of birth is today a museum where visitors can see paintings from all of this periods of work. Don’t miss exploring the green side of the city, too: Gera is situated in the beautiful, hilly countryside by the banks of the river Weisse Elster and features many parks and gardens.
With strong modernist influences clearly visible in Chemnitz’s architecture and culture, this off-the-beaten track destination will reward its visitors with, among others, impressive Art Nouveau villas including Henry van de Velde’s Villa Esche and a wide choice of museums and galleries.
Guess where you can find Europe’s largest and most beautiful “Gründerzeit” neighbourhood? Yes, in Chemnitz, a veritable dream for architecture buffs. Tip: Don’t miss Gunzenhauser Museum in a former bank building with its excellent collection of classical modernist works. For insights into Saxony’s long-standing industrial culture, try the Saxon Industrial Museum.
Next stop about an hour further north is buzzing Leipzig. Take a guided walk through this more than 1,000-year-old city of trade and music and then explore to your own liking.
Bach Museum and St. Thomas Church, contemporary art in Leipzig’s eminent museums and artists’ studios at the Spinnerei, once a cotton mill, now one of Germany’s most vibrant hubs for contemporary art and culture – Leipzig’s arts and culture scene is unique (and you might want to come back soon because a day is certainly not enough …)
Last stop another 1,5 hrs further east is baroque beauty Dresden, one of Europe’s top culture destinations. Explore the historic centre on a guided city tour with a wealth of cultural treasures on the way.
When in Dresden, you’ll see …. Church of Our Lady, Semper Opera, Zwinger Palace, Royal Palace and the breathtaking “Fürstenzug” mural. Plus, Dresden State Art Collections, offering a choice of 15 museums, including the Old Masters Picture Gallery where you will be awed by masterpiece after masterpiece, including Italian Renaissance, Dutch and Flemish masters.