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 Europen paintings and sculptures, Chinese and Japanese Art as well as art from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Continue to Erfurt (approx. 35 min drive)
Take a whole day for this beautiful historic city and tour the 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)
With strong modernist influences clearly visible in Chemnitz’s architecture and culture, this off-the-beaten track destination will reward its visitors – with one of Europe’s largest and most beautiful “Gründerzeit” quarters, impressive Art Nouveau villas including Henry van de Velde’s Villa Esche and a wide choice of museums and galleries. 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 see, e.g., the Bach Museum and St. Thomas Church. Marvel at the impressive Monument to the Battle of the Nations, enjoy some contemporary art in Leipzig’s eminent museums and peek into artists’ studios at the Spinnerei, once a cotton mill, now one of Germany’s most vibrant hubs for contemporary art and culture.
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 and see, among others, Church of Our Lady, Semper Opera, Zwinger, Royal Palace or the breathtaking “Fürstenzug” mural. The Dresden State Art Collections offer a choice between 15 museums, including the Old Masters Picture Gallery where you will be awed by masterpiece after masterpiece, including Italian Renaissance, Dutch and Flemish masters.