Park an der Ilm

Weimar, Germany

The 48-hectare landscaped park on the edge of Weimar’s old town is part of a kilometre-long stretch of green along the Ilm. It was laid between 1778 and 1828 and features both sentimental, classical and post-classical/romantic styles.

The creation of the park on the Ilm river is closely linked with Goethe’s life and work in Weimar. In 1776, Duke Carl August gave the poet a small house with a garden, today known as Goethe's Garden House. The first constructions and developments appeared in 1778 on the rocky western slope. Paths were subsequently laid, seating installed, monuments, bridges and other park architecture built. Numerous trees and bushes were also planted. The old palace gardens such as the Stern and the Welsche Garten were redesigned and integrated into the park along with the eastern valley slope and the water meadow as far as Oberweimar.

Between 1791 and 1797, the Duke had the Roman House built in classical style. This is the main design featured in the southern part of the park. Important characteristics of the park include the numerous lines of sight linking features such as Goethe’s garden house, the Roman House and the bark house within the park; these also connect them with the surrounding countryside.

The work largely came to an end in 1828 with the death of Carl August, who had been a significant driving force behind the design of the park. Over the following decades, the park was maintained but part of its direct connection with the surrounding landscape disappeared due to building work such as the street Am Horn. Moreover, insufficient care of the trees and shrubs puts its original appearance at risk. Extensive reconstruction, preservation and maintenance work was carried out on the trees, shrubs, paths and architecture only when the park was taken over by the National Research and Memorial Sites of Classical German Literature (NFG) in 1970.

The park on the Ilm river has been one of sites in 'Classical Weimar' UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.



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Founded: 1778-1828
Historical period: Emerging States (Germany)

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User Reviews

Sarah Joy Tillmans (13 months ago)
The Park, designed by the greatest German literary figure Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, is a green oasis along and through the town of Weimar. Goethe's garden house, the Roman house, natural springs, the river Ilm, Villa Haar, overlooked by the famous Anna Amalia library and nestled next to the city castle, it is a refuge with countless, meandering paths with benches and lawns to throw down a blanket and relax. The bee museum at one end is a nice place to grab a coffee and learn something about bees. The Sternbrücke, crossing the river Ilm, has a lovely secret, leading you inside the bridge to sit for a spell. Cyclists, walkers, pets, tourists, fishermen even- there is a little something for everyone. An old cave can be accessed near the Russian cemetery as well. Definitely worth a visit!
I_am_ Broda (13 months ago)
Best place to take a walk in all over Weimar. Glad that I live nearby. Makes it easy to enjoy nature
Nitram Nodnek (14 months ago)
This is just such a beautiful park in Weimar. You can really get the impression that you left Weimar and entered a completely different place. Absolutely stunning. It's perfect for nearly any outdoor activity and there are also several places to bathe in the Ilm.
Anastasios Fotopoulos (15 months ago)
Just what a person must have in their life. A vast, all-natural, open expanse of green to walk, run, play or just sit and relax in. This park is massive and has enough room for everyone, and is the home of many birds and animals. It provides clear air that we all so much need. The river Ilm that passes through is also a refreshing spot to be at. Be sure to bring a few seeds or fruits to feed the ducks and swans!
Anastasia Yevtushenko (16 months ago)
This park is very big and beautiful! Perfect place for a picnic or a walk, spending time with friends or on your own with a book. It’s also very pleasant to ride a bike here. The stone bridge and the view on the castle are my personal favorites in this park.
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