Ettersburg Castle lies on the edge of the forest on the northern side of the Grosse Ettersberg. This woodland has been the hunting ground for the Dukes of Weimar since the 17th century. Duke Wilhelm Ernst started building the castle at the beginning of the 18th century; the work was completed by his nephew Ernst August. From 1776 to 1780, the Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach held her summer court in Ettersburg and became the centre of a circle of literary and musical figures. A second golden age of culture began when the castle was taken over by Carl Alexander, Anna Amalia’s great-grandson, in 1842. The young duke had the two castle parterres reconstructed in accordance with designs by Carl Eduard Petzold. Petzold also laid the six-hectare landscaped park at the west of the castle and the great forest house meadow which stretches east of the valley base from the old castle to the forester’s house. In 1845, the castle avenue, one of the intersecting hunting trails, was widened with the suggestion and under the direction of Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau to form the so-called Pücklerschlag.
After 1919, Ettersburg Castle became the property of the State of Thuringia. The various users of the castle neglected the parkland over the following years. The Pücklerschlag was divided in 1946 as part of the land reform measures. In 1968, the entire Ettersburg estate passed on to the trusteeship of the National Research and Memorial Sites of Classical German Literature (NFG), which also took over the administration of the castle and park in 1979. Since then, the ongoing maintenance of the castle has been guaranteed. The renovation work includes the reconstruction of the paths through the park, the rejuvenation of the trees and shrubs on the southern slope and the parterres on both sides of the castle.
In 2009, the Bildungswerk BAU Hessen-Thüringen e.V. signed a 55-year lease on the Ettersburg Castle, at which association operates a seminar and conference centre. However, the castle gardens and park grounds remain under the management of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar.
Schloss Ettersburg is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of 'Classical Weimar'.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.