Treasure House Thuringia - The heritage of princely culture
The treasure house Thuringia owes its wealth to the state-wide net of princely residences in the former capitals of the small states; nowhere else they were situated more closely to one another. The smaller the military role of these principalities, the more they competed with each other in matters of architecture and art, intellectual life and science, collecting and culture. Thus, in a very small area a heritage of princely culture could develop that was structured in a decentralised way, showed reciprocal stimulation in a regional-cultural net and also included the middle classes. Consequently, Thuringia could become a cradle of classical music and literature, of encyclopaedic science and innovative fine arts for the entire German-speaking area.
The residences of the most important places of the treasure house Thuringia are all characterised by three princely creations, which are closely linked to one another and can be experienced undiminished to this day and by everybody:
- an impressive palace architecture with authentic interiors and furnishings,
- parks as fascinating unities of art and nature, and
- princely collections assembled over a long period of time in accordance with the ideal of a humanist idea of man.
Integrated into the architectural frame of the palaces all these elements together form an exceptional ensemble hardly to be found anywhere else to such an extent and in such density. But this heritage of princely culture is also an exciting cosmos giving visitors the chance to learn more about themselves and find out where their place in the cultural history of humankind is.
The treasure house Thuringia is a realistic testimony to the past and presents itself today as a synthesis of the arts. At all the sites historical personalities are not being idolised; instead visitors are given the opportunity to realise for themselves that they are part of the whole and, when dealing with the given realities, to experience what Aristotle summed up in the simple phrase: “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”.