From the Middle Ages to contemporary arts and culture, Saxony and Thuringia offer visitors a wealth of stunning sights in cities such as Erfurt, Weimar, Gotha, Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz.
Treasures of Thuringia
Erfurt’s historic churches in the city’s Old Town are home to beautiful paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages, including rarities such as the “Wolfram” sculputure from the 12th century. The city’s unique medieval Jewish heritage makes for a special visitor experience in the Old Synagogue, dating back to the late 11th century and a museum since 2009. The 14th century “Erfurt Treasure” is a must-see. In Gotha, the Ducal Museum, founded by the brother-in-law of Queen Victoria, showcases the art collections of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, including painting by Rubens, Dürer, van Goyen or Cranach as well as one of Europe’s oldest collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Weimar’s stunning “Classical Weimar” UNESCO World heritage sites such as beautiful Anna Amalia Library are complemented by first-class cultural institutions including Museum Neues Weimar, reopened in April 2019 with a new permanent exhibition on Modernism, as well as the new Bauhaus-Museum Weimar.
Saxony’s passion for collecting
Saxony’s rulers were great collectors of art and left the region some unique cultural treasures: The 15 museums of the Dresden State Art Collections are among the world’s leading arts and culture institutions, offering an exceptional diversity. Among those, the Old Masters Picture Gallery, home to Raphael’s famous “Sistine Madonna”, and the treasures in the Historic Green Vault are two particular visitor favourites. Neighbouring Leipzig is one of the most important contemporary art centres in Germany and birthplace of eminent international art movements. After Germany’s reunification, a former cotton mill, the Spinnerei, became home to artists of the so-called “New Leipzig School”. The old industrial site is now a creative hub of studios and workshops and not to be missed by visitors on the arts trail. In Chemnitz, arts and culture lovers will be surprised by not only Europe’s biggest district completely built in Art Nouveau and Belle Epoque style but also the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Otto Dix in the Gunzenhauser Museum.