The Bauhaus design movement was born in Weimar in 1919 and has since conquered the world. Discover where it all started on a modernist trip through Saxony and Thuringia.
Weimar – Dornburg – Jena – Chemnitz – Leipzig – Löbau
Explore Weimar’s sites that are part of the UNESCO listing “Bauhaus Weimar”, including “Haus Am Horn” that was built as a model for residential housing in 1923 as part of the first Bauhaus exhibition. At the new Bauhaus Museum Weimar, which opened in 2019, you can see the world’s oldest Bauhaus collection with a multitude of iconic items. Neighbouring Neues Museum’s new permanent exhibition “Van de Velde, Nietzsche and Modernism around 1900” provides more insights into the spirit of the time and “Haus Hohe Pappeln”, designed by Henry van de Velde, is a showcase for Modernist style.
Only 45 minutes drive from Weimar, the small town of Dornburg is home to the Bauhaus Pottery Workshop, to this day a production site of fine ceramics. Spend the second part of the day in Jena (10 min drive) to visit the Zeiss Planetarium in a 1920s modernist building. At “In der Göhre” café you can enjoy your cake served on porcelain plates designed by Henry van de Velde.
The little town of Dornburg is known for its ensemble of three charming palaces and gardens perched above the Saale river. An annex building of the Rococo palace houses the Bauhaus Pottery Workshop.
On to Chemnitz in Saxony (approx. 1h 15 min drive), also known as the “City of Modernity”, where modernist architecture is scattered around town, such as Villa Esche, designed by Henry van de Velde, Schocken department store (now a museum for archeology), or Gunzenheimer Museum in a former bank building and now housing an excellent collection of works of classical modernism.
Make time to visit Villa Esche, designed by Henry van de Velde in 1902/1903 for a Chemnitz-based stocking manufacturer and considered a masterpiece of modern architecture. Apart from serving as a event venue, it also houses Germany’s first Henry van de Velde museum.
Another hour north in Leipzig, you’ll find a splendid work of one of the Bauhaus greats in the shape of a large-scale glass window by Josef Albers in the city’s Grassi Museum. There’s, also the residential “Rundling” complex as an example for pioneering communal housing of the 1930s and the “Versöhnungskirche” (Church of Reconciliation) as another major historical monument of classical modernism in Leipzig.
Venturing east (approx. 2 hrs 45 min drive), be surprised by “Haus Schminke” in the small town of Löbau, an internationally renowned example of the “Neues Bauen” style.
Haus Schminke, Löbau
Designed by Hans Scharoun in 1930 for a local manufacturer, Haus Schminke was extensively renovated for the Bauhaus centenary in 2019. If you want a fully immersive experience of its architecture, you can also book a room and spend the night there (from Thu to Sun).