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.
The former residence of the grand ducal family of Saxony-Weimar and Eisenach possesses a rich and eventful history. For many centuries, the castle represented the cultural heart of the city. It was here that the artistically-minded Ernestine dynasty lived and ruled for almost 400 years in the company of famous poets, philosophers, artists and composers.
The first phase of a major renovation project at the Weimar City Castle began in summer 2018. A new Klassik Stifting Weimar visitor centre on the ground floor will be completed by 2023. Large sections of the castle will be opened to visitors free of charge. On the upper-level belétage, curators are busy developing a new exhibition which includes rooms which have never been opened to the public before. Following the grand re-opening, visitors can look forward to fascinating stories that took place inside and “behind the scenes” of the castle.
The Weimar City Castle with its gatehouse, castle tower and court ladies’ building possesses an eventful history spanning hundreds of years. The castle complex, situated on the banks of the Ilm River, was built on the site of a medieval moated castle first mentioned in documents from the 10th century. Since the mid-16th century, the castle served as the permanent residence of the dukes of Saxony-Weimar and Eisenach until their reign ended in 1918.
Today the Weimar City Castle is comprised of four wings. Its classical appearance dates back to 1789 when the Baroque three-wing castle was rebuilt under Goethe’s direction following a devastating fire. Based on plans by the architects Johann August Arens, Nicolaus Friedrich Thouret and Heinrich Gentz, reconstruction work continued until the mid-19th century under the supervision of Clemens Wenzelaus Coudray. The south wing with the vaulted gateway to the Ilm Park was built between 1912 and 1914 and was designed to resemble the other wings. The City Castle has been used as a museum since 1923 and serves as the administrative headquarters of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar today.