Market Square in Weimar, Germany

Rathaus (town hall) on the market square

When Weimar was founded around 1250, the main town square was where the present Herderplatz is located, but as the town expanded around 1300, a new market square was laid out in the present location. Some of the buildings date back to the 16th century.

The typical layout of German towns includes the town hall and a fountain on the main square and Weimar is no exception. The town hall (Rathaus) was first mentioned in 1396 as being located in its present spot on the market square. It was destroyed by fire in 1424, but rebuilt in the same location in 1431. The present building was built on the west side of the square in 1841 in neo-Gothic style. It contains the offices of the mayor and houses the Town Archives and other municipal offices.

Neptune fountain in front of pharmacy with bay window

On February 9, 1945, the market square was hit in an Allied bombing raid, and all the buildings on the north side were destroyed. The photo below shows the bomb damage; the former court pharmacy (Hofapotheke) with its distinctive bay window is on the left. Rebuilding work began in 1988, and the buildings were restored, as shown in the photo above. Located in front of the pharmacy is the town fountain (Neptunbrunnen) with a statue of Neptune.

Bomb damage in market square on February 9, 1945

Pictured below is the Stadthaus, a Renaissance building on the east side of the square which was built between 1526 and 1547. It was badly damaged in the bombing raid during World War II, but it was rebuilt between 1968 and 1971.

Stadthaus (Town House) on the market square

Cranach House on the right, where famous artist lived

Pictured below is the Elephant Hotel which was built in 1938 on the site of an old hotel which had been there at least since 1696, although it was first mentioned in 1561. It is now a very expensive four-star hotel with 170 beds. The most famous guest of the hotel was Adolf Hitler who used to stand on the balcony and give speeches to the crowds in the market square in front of the hotel. The picture shows a cutout of the famous statue of Goethe and Schiller, placed on the balcony where Hitler used to stand.

The Elephant Hotel where Hitler used to stay in Weimar

Goethe's Home and Garden House

Schiller's Home

Liszt's Home

Famous buildings in Weimar

Bauhaus movement in Weimar

National Theater Building


This page was last updated on March 23, 2007