Kochberg Castle, Park and Liebhabertheater

Located 35 km south of Weimar, the former country estate of the Von Stein family gained widespread fame with Goethe’s growing affection for Charlotte von Stein and his frequent visits there between 1775 and 1788. The castle and park of the feudal estate have been preserved in almost original condition. A special highlight is the Liebhabertheater, a small theatre built around 1800 which is still used as a performance venue today. The castle restaurant invites visitors to enjoy fine meals in a historical atmosphere.

„My soul seeks you in Kochberg and often hastens to you hither.“

Goethe to Charlotte von Stein, 1785

Castle

The castle museum highlights Goethe’s visits to his closest female companion and confidante during his early years in Weimar. Equipped with the museum audio guide, visitors are accompanied by Charlotte von Stein and her eldest son Carl who take them on a tour of the rooms furnished with original furniture and artworks. They talk about their family history and Goethe’s visits to their home which are vividly documented in manuscripts and drawings on display. In the room Goethe occupied during his visits at Kochberg, one can admire its most valuable piece of furniture, a writing bureau, on which the poet had scribbled the dates of his visits in ink. The tour concludes on the ground floor with an exhibition on the history of the manor and baronage, as well as the Liebhabertheater.

The castle restaurant is open to visitors during and after museum opening hours, as is the landscaped park which is publicly accessible all year round.

Park

From ca. 1800 to 1840, Carl von Stein had this originally Baroque garden converted into a six-hectare landscaped park. In line with the predilections of the times, its design combined beauty with practicality. In the second half of the 20th century, the park and its buildings underwent extensive renovation based on land registry plans dating back to 1869. Today, visitors stroll along winding paths under a magnificent stand of old trees which lead to the ruins of a tower, grotto with a burial site, bathing pond and exceptional floral garden containing a floral theatre and linen cottage. A rivulet flows through the park via a sandstone channel into a fountain, located in front of the Liebhabertheater. The park includes a plant nursery with beds of summer flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Floral theatre from above
Floral theatre from above
Southwest view of the castle and Liebhabertheater
Southwest view of the castle and Liebhabertheater
Colourful flower beds in the floral theatre
Colourful flower beds in the floral theatre

Projects of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Free State of Thuringia, represented by the State Chancellery of Thuringia, Department of Culture and the Arts.

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