Most striking about the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Thuringia and Saxony is their variety. Take a look at our UNESCO road trip and you will understand.
UNESCO World Heritage
Eisenach – Weimar – Bad Muskau
First stop: Eisenach, where Wartburg Castle has been recognised by UNESCO as a place of “outstanding cultural and historical importance”. Touring it, you will be fascinated by the many stories this stunning castle can tell. Plus, the views across the surrounding Thuringian Forest are delightful. Which leads us to Hainich National Park, your next stop 50 minutes along the road. Listed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage, it is an untamed, primeval forest right in the heart of Germany. Stand out feature for visitors: a canopy walk high up in the trees for fabulous views.
Welterberegion Wartburg Hainich
In the Wartburg-Hainich region near Eisenach, cultural heritage meets natural heritage, with Wartburg Castle and the Hainich National Park not far away from each other.
Weimar (approx. 70 min drive) boasts not one but two UNESCO listings: The “Classical Weimar” complex is testament to a time of flourish in the early 19th century and includes sites such as Ilm Park, Belvedere Palace, Goethe’s House and Garden or Duchess Anna Amalia Library with its breathtaking rococo hall. Take your time and pick and choose your favourites! Tip for anyone into philosophy: Weimar is also home to the Nietzsche Archive, archiving and documenting the life and work of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
Weimar’s outstanding role as a European cultural centre of the 19th century and the birthplace of the Bauhaus is reflected in two UNESCO complex entries, which incorporate a wealth of historical buildings and museums. Enough for a two day’s programme.
We’re still in Weimar and here’s UNESCO listing number two: The buildings of the “Bauhaus Weimar” complex remind of the time when the eminent design school was founded here in 1919. Visit “Haus Am Horn”, the first residential home built in Bauhaus-style in 1923 (re-opening April 2019) and the brand new Museum Neues Weimar (opening 6 April 2019) housing the world’s oldest Bauhaus collection. At Museum Neues Weimar, the “Van de Velde, Nietzsche and Modernism around 1900” exhibition (opening 6 April 2019) complement your day.
Heading east now (approx. 3,5 hrs drive), finish off your UNESCO trail in Saxony’s Bad Muskau where Prince Pückler Park is testament to a 19th century aristocrat’s love of landscape gardening: “Muskauer Park”, as it is known in German, is the largest and one of the most famous English Gardens in Central Europe. Divided between Germany and neighbouring Poland, it extends along both sides of the border river Neisse, so why not hop over the bridge and make the most of the Cultural Heart of Germany’s location right in the centre of Europe!