'Goethe's garden house, Park an der Ilm, Weimar.'
Weimar is the city of Goethe. When he was twenty-six he was invited by Karl August, duke of the mini-state Sachsen-Weimar and seven years his minor, to be his personal teacher. Later Goethe became minister of mining and taxes. He improved the social climate of the miners and decreased the number of soldiers in the army, leading to lower taxes and higher prosperity for the Weimarians.
After a long journey to Italy he returned and became minister of education and director of the theatre. Everyone knows Goethe as a poet and author, but these were just two of his side-activities. He also liked to draw and was thoroughly involved with botanics, zoology, geology and colour theory. He was one of the last universal minds in history.
His garden house is another proof of his versatility. Not only did he design its garden, he designed the adjacent landscape park as well: the Park an der Ilm. In fact, he decorated it with his own romantic dreams: gothic ruins, artificial caves and antique temples.
His house proper, situated in the town's heart, is open for the public as well, but don't expect to be alone: it's the busiest attraction of Thüringen. Photo Paul Smit.