Visionaries and Pioneering Thinkers Route – Germany’s UNESCO Routes

April 17, 2015

You might have read my earlier blog on Germany’s Natural Wonders and Proud Cities Route, but if not, then don’t worry because we’ve got another new route for you.

Throughout history, Germany has been the home of many famous artists, inventors and great thinkers. With names like Thomas Mann, Martin Luther and many more, the country has more than its fair share of artistic, philosophical and literary heritage.

Germany’s capital, Berlin, is famously one of the most progressive and free-thinking cities in Europe, if not the world. Among some of its most interesting and innovative developments is its architecture, and Berlin has everything from classic Bauhaus to modern Brutalist and Soviet-era buildings. Berlin’s modernist housing estates, built between 1913 and 1934 are among the most fascinating buildings in the city. Spread right across the city, seeing the whole lot in one go is tough, but be sure you don’t miss Tautes Heim, the holiday home that the lead architect Bruno Taut built for himself there. Fully renovated with all of its 1920s-style fixtures and fittings, the house represents a trip back in time.

Famous for the reformation of the church, Martin Luther is a figure with far more political and historical significance in Europe than in the UK. His presence is particularly felt to this day in Eisleben and Wittenberg, where you can see the house where he was born, the house where he died, the monastery where he lived, and the church to which he famously nailed his 95 theses. The house of Martin Luther’s birth was turned into a memorial site in the 17th century and is Germany’s oldest museum.

A prestigious university of design, the Bauhaus School revolutionised 20th century art and architecture all over the globe. Today the original buildings in Weimar and Dessau, along with a range of museums and exhibitions, provide an insight into a movement that retains its modern, cutting-edge appeal almost a century later.

When it comes to architecture, you won’t find a more impressive example than the large, imposing Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999. The castle is one of the best-preserved medieval German fortresses and almost 1,000 years old. It is possibly Germany’s most famous castle, and certainly one of its most important.

Goethe and Schiller, Herder and Wieland, Nietzsche, Fürnberg, Liszt, Bach, Cornelius, Gropius, Feininger, Klee, Itten – Weimar is intrinsically linked with the great names of Germany’s and Europe’s intellectual past. Both Weimar Classicism and the Bauhaus remain beacons of the extraordinarily rich cultural life that is abundantly and harmoniously manifest in the town.

Leipzig is another of Germany’s most culturally significant cities. A lively, buzzing student city, but also one with a rich history and wide appeal, music beats from the heart of this city like not many others.

Leipzig’s awesome concert hall houses an impressive organ, with 6,638 pipes which have to be heard to be believed. Leipzig has also been home for world-famous composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach Felix Mendelssohn and Richard Wagner, a testament to the city’s rich musical heritage, as well as its current cultural relevance.

Finally, finish your trip in Frankfurt, a city which is famous for the sheer number of museums it contains. Whether you’re interested in art, architecture or history, you’re sure to find something to fascinate you. For more information on Frankfurt, visit the Germany travel guide.

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