General opening hours
Wed - Mon 10.00 - 18.00
The Roman House located in the Park on the Ilm was the favourite residence and retreat of Duke Carl August of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach. Built from 1792 to 1797 under Goethe’s supervision, the Classical period building with its expansive view over the Ilm Valley was modelled after villas in Rome.
The tour begins in the representative entrance hall which the Duke also used as a dining room. From there, visitors enter the Blue Salon, which was reserved for festive social gatherings, and then the Yellow Salon, the Duke’s former study. In the adjoining rooms, which once served as the bedroom and dressing room, now hangs displays on the history of the building and the plans for the interior design. An exhibition on the lower level presents the development of the Park on the Ilm since the late 18th century.
Following extensive restoration measures on the Roman House in 1999, visitors can now gain a far better impression of the authentic Classical interior decoration. Because the original furniture no longer exists, the curators decided against furnishing the rooms altogether. A fortunate exception is the original portrait of Duchess Anna Amalia by Angelika Kauffmann, which H.R.M. Prince Michael of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach permanently loaned to the Klassik Stiftung and which was returned to the inventory of the Roman House in 2014. Duke Carl August deemed the portrait, painted in Rome in 1788/89, a perfect fit for the programmatic decoration of the Blue Salon.
The plans for the ducal retreat were drafted by the Hamburg architect Johann August Arens, whom Goethe had met during his journey to Italy. The construction of the Classical period “model house” was supervised by Goethe himself. Supported by Doric columns, the temple-like building is adorned by an Ionic portico leading to the entrance.
The lower floor with its Doric columns is visible from the Ilm valley plain. Christian Friedrich Schuricht of Dresden was contracted to design the interior furnishings. Together with Goethe and his friend Johann Heinrich Meyer, he proposed a uniform design concept consisting of a stringent wall structure and opulent rooms adorned with stucco, painted ornamentation and reliefs.