1 March 2020

Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau Travel Guide 2020

The Bauhuas movement and arts & crafts school was based in three locations in Germany in the 20th century: Weimar 1919-1925, Dessau 1925-1932, Berlin 1932-1933

You will find information about Bauhaus in Berlin in another travel guide.

This page is for those interested in visiting Weimar and Dessau. Following the centenary year in 2019, there are many more facilities and information in English, but this is still the primary guide on the web for making an independent trip to destinations that are slightly off the tourist track.

Please email me if you have any questions or comments.


WEIMAR

This is most accessible from Leipzig, though also possible from Berlin.
Trains from Leipzig are hourly and direct, and take 1 hour 20 minutes. Because you are travelling within one state, get a Sachsen-Ticket which is valid on weekday trains after 9am, and all day weekends. There are additional discounts where 2 or more travel. This would be around £30 altogether for 2 people.
Trains leave Berlin Hbf (and Berlin Südkreuz) every half an hour, and take around 2 hours 20 minutes, including a brief change at Erfurt. A day return costs up to £70, depending on time of travel, and you can get a cheaper advance ticket.

The station is to the north of the city, and there are frequent trams, or it is a pleasant 20 minute walk down the hill. Weimar has strong literary connections, and you will find statues to Goethe, Schiller and even Shakespeare. There is the Museum Neues art collection, houses where Goethe and Liszt lived, a City Museum, and many beautiful churches. Tourist Information is in the Market place.

There are two main Bauhaus locations to visit. The first is the new Bauhaus Museum, opened 2019 for the centenary. It is on the way from the station to the town, on the right. https://www.klassik-stiftung.de/en/bauhaus-museum-weimar/
We visited on the openeing day and there were long queues. Our advice is to go straight there and get a timed ticket for later in the day, then enjoy a leisurely stroll around the city. Alternatively, you can now buy tickets via the website.
There are lockers to the left of the entrance, but not many of them. Again, get your stuff safely stashed in advance, and you will need coins for the locks.
There is an extensive collection of Bauhaus artefacts, information about the makers, and video displays of ballets and footage from the period. Of course there is a cafe and a large shop as well. This was well worth a visit, and presented things in quite a different way to the other locations.
The building itself is a "white cube" and has nothing to do with Bauhaus design.

Of course you will want to see the university buildings where the Bauhaus was originally based. They have renamed the university after them, but you only need to see 2 specific buildings to get an idea of how things were. These are the Grand Duke's Saxon School and the Haus Am Horn.
Start at the Bauhaus Atelier https://www.uni-weimar.de/en/university/profile/bauhausatelier/, a pop-up building between Belvederer Allee and Geschwister-Scholl-Straße. This is next to the Van-de-Velde Building and the Main Building, and there are tours around both.
Haus Am Horn is an early prototype residential house, and has limited opening, usually only on a tour. Check out the website well in advance of your visit date. https://www.klassik-stiftung.de/haus-am-horn/

Before you leave Weimar, we recommend a few nice places:
Mary's Diner, Frauenplan 9, an American-style diner with great service, https://marysdinersweimar.wordpress.com/
Fricke, Amalienstrasse 17, a vast craft store near the University, http://www.bastelladen-fricke.de/



DESSAU

This is most accessible from Leipzig, though also possible from Berlin.
Trains from Leipzig every half an hour, and take around an hour. You can either take a Regio (regional) train, or a Leipzig S2 local train. It costs around £20 return.
Trains leave Berlin Hbf (and Berlin Südkreuz) every hour, and take around 90 minutes. A typical journey of leaving Berlin at 9.15am and returning for 5.45pm costs £30. 

Dessau Hbf only has 2 platforms. Come out at the back of the station, onto Schwabe Strasse.

Bauhaus Dessau
https://www.bauhaus-dessau.de/en/architecture/bauhaus-building/bauhaus-building.html
Follow the road round to the left onto Bauhaus Strasse and under the bridge of the Bauhaus building. Here you will see the famous balconies, and the high windows on each wall.
The entrance is on your left, where you will find the admissions desk and shop. There is a cafe in the basement. There are tours in English on Friday at noon, or if you go on one of the daily tours in German, borrow an English audio guide as the language is quite technical. Not all of the building is open, and there may be an additional fee for other exhibitions.
Buy a combined ticket for the Bauhaus and the Masters Houses. They are a short walk north up Gropius-allee and then left onto Ebert-allee. Each house has 2 entrances, one for each of the Masters who lived there. Ring the bell and show your ticket to the attendant. They may be very chatty or leave you to wander.
Photography is not allowed, but you may get away with not using a flash.
Some of the houses have great staircases, others have very Modernist kitchens. Explore everywhere, even the basements!
Designed and built by Carl Fieger in 1930, this is a bar and restaurant on the south bank of the Elbe, another short walk from the Masters Houses. From here you can get back to the station in about 15 minutes.

From the town side of the station, you can take a tram, or it is a short walk to the Museum.
A transport day ticket is number 3 on the ticket machine and costs €5.

Alternatively, bus Bauhauslinie 10 is a little minibus that goes all the way from the Kornhaus to the Torten estate regularly through the day. It stops at the back of the station, not with the other buses and trams.

Bauhaus Museum
https://www.bauhaus-dessau.de/en/architecture/bauhaus-museum-dessau.html
This was opened in 2019, a little late for the centenary! Like Weimar, the building is blocky and unimpressive. While the contents are genuine Bauhaus artefacts, the actual Bauhaus buildings are a better reason to visit the town.

This is an entire Bauhaus housing estate and definitely worth visiting!
Catch Tram 1. The journey takes about 5 minutes. Look for side-streets on the left called Damaschke Strasse or Peterholtz Strasse, either of these stops are suitable places to start your tour. Don't panic about going too far! The stop after Peterholtz Strasse is Tempelhofer Strasse which is the last stop on Tram no. 1, and not too far to walk back.

Both Peterholtzstrasse and Mittelbreite have housing with balcony access.
Damaschkestrasse has an apartment block called the Konsum Building, which now houses an information centre about the estate.
There are three concentric roads, Grossring, Mittelring and Kleinring. Each have different types of Bauhaus homes on them. You can also walk along the back alleys to see the style of gardens.

Two houses are open for visitors:
Mittelring 38 is furnished in the original 1920s style, and is also an information centre about Moses Mendelssohn, a Jewish philosopher. It costs 2 Euro, and there is an information leaflet inside. The curators may not speak English, but are happy to communicate as best as possible.
http://www.mendelssohn-dessau.de/weiteres/ausstellungen.html
Kleinring 5 is also in its original state, and is open to the public occasionally.

The Steel House on Sudstrasse can be visited by guided tour.
Almost next door is the Fieger House, by another Bauhaus architect, which is visually interesting but not open to the public.

It is a short walk back to the tram stop and Tram 1 (or bus 10) will take you back to the centre of town.
This is another Walter Gropius building, at August-Bebel-Platz 16, not far from the centre of town


Dessau Tourist Office on Ratsgasse http://www.visitdessau.com/index.php?id=161

A map of the Bauhaus locations:




No comments: