Weimar City Castle and Bastille Ensemble

Residence of the Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

The present form of the Weimar City Castle, the residence of the Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, developed over a construction period of more than five hundred years.
Located on the banks of the Ilm River, the complex emerged from a medieval moated castle and was first mentioned in documents at the end of the 10th century.

  • Stadtschloss Weimar
  • Stadtschloss Weimar


After a fire in 1424 and from the middle of the 16th century, when Weimar became the permanent residence of the dukes, the complex underwent extensive modifications. In 1618, the castle burned down again. Reconstruction began as early as 1619, according to the designs of the Italian master builder Giovanni Bonalino. Under the construction supervision of Johann Moritz Richter the Elder, the planned four-wing complex was transformed into a Baroque three-wing complex open to the south after the end of the Thirty Years' War.
In the southwest of the castle complex, the Bastille Ensemble, located outside the castle courtyard, bears witness to the transformation of the Ernestine residence from a fortress to a Renaissance castle.
The Saxon electoral coat of arms is included in the relief decoration of the portal, presenting the unbroken claim of the Ernestines to the electoral dignity. The castle tower, which received a baroque dome in the 18th century, still dates back to the donjon of the medieval castle. In the Bastille ensemble, the Thuringian Treasure Chamber, as a presentation of the residences of Thuringia, the Castle Road of Thuringia as a cultural tourism initiative and the older history of the castle before the classical period are to be given exhibition rooms.

The three-winged building burned down again in 1774, except for the surrounding walls. For the reconstruction, which began in 1789, Duke Carl August appointed a castle-building commission under the direction of Johann Wolfgang Goethe. The reconstruction was carried out until 1803 with the significant participation of Goethe by the architects Johann August Arens, Nicolaus Thouret and Heinrich Gentz. The classicist interior design dates from this period, the highlights of which are the staircase and the ballroom.

The west wing was expanded by Clemens Wenzeslaus Coudray from 1816. Here are the Poets' Rooms, memorial rooms furnished by Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna between 1835 and 1847 in honor of Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller and Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

With the construction of the south wing from 1912 to 1914 under Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst, the courtyard open to the park was closed off.
Since 1923, the city castle has been used as a museum. It also serves as the administrative headquarters of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar (KSW) (Weimar Classic Foundation) and will be expanded into the new center of the Klassik Stiftung by 2017.

The castle museum is located in the north, east, and west wings of the former residential castle. Its core collection consists of the former grand ducal art collection from the Middle Ages to modernism around 1900.
Highlights include the Cranach Gallery with other representatives of Old German painting on the first floor, as well as works by Caspar David Friedrich, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, Auguste Rodin, and Max Beckmann.
The Beletage also displays sculpture and arts and crafts from around 1800, including furniture from the workshop of David Roentgen and some pieces from the bridal treasure of the Tsar's daughter Maria Pavlovna, as well as porcelain from European manufactories.
On the second floor, the works of the Weimar School of Painting as well as French and German modernism are exhibited.

Amenities and Facilities

Residence of the Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach has the following amenities and facilities:

Guided tours



Hours of operation & ticket prices:

Castle Museum

The castle museum is closed for renovation and reconstruction work. Guided tours of the Poet's Rooms are possible, see the KSW calendar of events.

Ensemble Bastille

"Bach-Erlebnisraum Bastille"
all year-round
Tuesday to Sunday
10.00 - 17.00 Uhr

Der Eintritt im Ensemble Bastille ist frei.


Weimar City Castle and Bastille Ensemble

Klassik Stiftung Weimar

Burgplatz 4
99423 Weimar
Phone: +49 / 36 43 / 545 400
Fax: 0 36 43 / 545 401

Mark 10
99423 Weimar

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Ensemble Bastille
Stiftung Thüringer Schlösser und Gärten
Schloss Heidecksburg
Schloßbezirk 1
07407 Rudolstadt
Phone: +49 / 36 72 / 44 70
Fax: +49 / 36 72 / 44 71 19

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