October 21, 2010

Christian Worldview Academic Tour to Weimar - the Athens of Germany

This semester's first Academic Tour brought us to Weimar, the Athens of Germany. Weimar is famous for its vast cultural heritage. The city was the focal point of the German Enlightenment (1650-1800) with three of its leading figures Immanuel Kant, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Gottfried Leibniz residing here during their lifetime. In addition it was here that Goethe and fellow writer, Friedrich Schiller, developed the literary movement of Weimar Classicism. Friedrich Nietzsche lived in Weimar until his death in 1900 while further developing his views on existentialism and postmodernism. After WWI Germany's first democratic constitution was signed in Weimar, giving the new Repulic the name "Weimar Republic" which lasted from 1918-1933, when Hitler assumed power. Weimar is also popular among architectural students as the Bauhaus movement was founded here in 1919.   

First Stop on our city tour: Nietzsche Archives - he lived in this house until his death in 1900, his sister then converted the ground floor into a little museum. It was interesting contrasting his worldview - existentialism with Scriptural truths.

The group with Weimar's city hall in the background - you can't see them, but there were outdoor booths all around the market with little trinkets, and homemade goodies. Yes, the guys ended up waiting a bit while the ladies engaged in a some retail therapy.

 Weimar's old town is just lovely. It's filled with colorful houses, beautiful gardens and parks, and delicious cafes and gelato shops. Here is Katharine near Goethe's house. The house is really big - it has its own courtyard, and botanic gardens tucked away in the middle of the busy city center. The city of Weimar has done a wonderful job at reconstructing his home into a charming museum that takes you back into the day to day life of the 17th and 18th Century.

 The group at the Palace

 Herder's statue in front of his church. We visited there for Sunday services, which ended with a magnificent Organ interlude of J.S. Bach's works. They also offered a free Organ concert on Sunday evening which a few of us took advantage of.

 This took a few tries, but we finally got everyone synced. They were troopers!

 Martin Luther's house was all covered in these beautiful vines. Loved it!

 We stopped for some gelato at this delicious konditorei (cake shop) and creperia. The whole place smelled like sugar and vanilla - sooo yummie.

Pistachio & Waldmeister ice cream = win!

Photo Op at Herder's church - the altar painting in the background was done by Philip Melanchton who was a close friend of Luther's.

Hannah E. at Goethe's garden house in the city park

All in all a wonderful trip, with a wonderful group!

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