We hopped on the slow train at 5am to visit the birthplace of modernism in Weimar and see the roots of artistic radicalism. Weimar is a beautiful and historic city which enjoyed its golden age in the mid 1800s, therefore the buildings are old. From conception, the Bauhaus stood out like a sore thumb which is partly why it didn’t last very long there.
Our tour guide was a third year architecture student at the Bauhaus and did a great job explaining how a revolutionary school sprung up in a 19th century town. Touring Weimar is like looking at a first draft of the Bauhaus. The ideas were there but rough around the edges. We saw how Walter Gropius converted Van de Velde’s already progressive styling into a more radical and philosophical movement.
We also toured the English gardens and made our way up the hill to the Haus am Horn which was a precursor to the modern day single family home. Although beautiful on the outside, it was rightfully criticized for being too restrictive in its usage but that problem would soon be addressed when the school packed up shop and moved to Dessau in 1925. After our visit we stopped by Claudia’s favorite sweet shop called Gruppo Giancarlo for a snack. She has good taste. After a train snafu we somehow ended up making it home 30 minutes ahead of schedule. We will see the second iteration of the Bauhaus in Dessau tomorrow.