Duchess Anna Amalia’s Dower House
The city of Weimar is noted for its cultural heritage, specifically because Johann Wolfgang von Goethe & Friedrich Schiller once lived there. When the Duke of Saxe-Weimar & Saxe-Eisenach died at the age of twenty in 1758, his 18-year-old widow, Duchess Anna Amalia, became the regent for her son Carl August. In 1772, she contracted the poet Christoph Martin Wieland to tutor her two sons, and subsequently Weimar gradually became an attractive place for the intellectual elite of the time: after Carl August succeeded to the duchy in 1775, he hired Goethe as privy counsellor, and one year later he welcomed the philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder to town. Together with Schiller, who moved to Weimar in 1799, Goethe, Wieland & Herder were the leading authors of Weimar Classicism, one of Germany’s most exalted literary periods.
Even though Anna Amalia was not involved in the appointment of Goethe, Herder & Schiller to Weimar, its late-18th-century cultural heyday can be attributed to her. After 1775 she devoted herself to her private interests and gathered a circle of artists, writers & scholars around her, with whom she regularly met. The baroque Dowager’s Palace, to which she invited them for social gatherings, is now a museum featuring her former parlours & staterooms. Its furniture & fittings are typical of upper-class mansions around 1800 and shed light on Anna Amalia’s wide-ranging interests. Numerous paintings & drawings depict members of her family and her many guests. Among the highlights of the palace are the furnishings of the Round Table Room, the ceiling mural in the Ballroom, and Anna Amalia’s almost entirely authentic parlour, the Green Salon.klassik-stiftung.de