Germany travel can be made richer when you head off the beaten track. BauhausLand, just south of Berlin, offers national parks, cycle routes and a mystical vibe.
Why fall is a perfect time to visit BauhausLand – brilliant yellow, gleaming copper and intense gold. BauhausLand(scapes) at their best. Add some color to your Germany travel itinerary with these stunning, lesser-known stops.
Fall colors are glorious in BauhausLand, the region encompassing Dessau and Weimar, just south of Berlin. In Hainich National Park, for example, towering trees stand out against a deep blue sky: Get a bird’s-eye view of their foliage from the 1,750-foot-long treetop walkway. But fall’s beauty can be seen all over BauhausLand, making it a great time to explore, discover more about the birthplace of the Bauhaus movement, and, as the countdown to the centenary approaches, have a sneak preview of the 2019 celebrations at GoBauhaus.
Fall is the festival season
Cycle through the countryside and chat with the locals over a beer. Stop by towns and cities with direct links to Bauhaus architects, artists, designers, and craftspeople. Take in the seasonal festivals, such as the 350-year-old Onion Fair in Weimar’s ancient heart (October 12–14). Try a “Zwiebelkuchen” (onion tart) with a glass of white wine, or a “Weimarer Zwiebelsuppe” (Weimar onion soup), a typical starter at one of the cozy restaurants in town.
Cycling: A great way to see the sights.
Fall offers ideal temperatures for active travelers! Perfect for taking in even more of the landscape along the cycling routes that take you past the Bauhaus highlights. After all, Germany is one of the world’s most bike-friendly countries, with a huge network of designated trails.
The Elbe Cycle Route, an old favorite, runs parallel to Germany’s second-longest river, passing through some 200 miles of BauhausLand: Not only does it take you right through the Bauhaus highlights in the city of Dessau, including the Master Houses and the Bauhaus School, it also links charming villages, cafés, and pubs such as the Kornhaus Restaurant.
Other sights nestled in the beautiful fall scenery along the route are the Technikmuseum “Hugo Junkers” Dessau (a museum of technology) and, for a little break from Bauhaus, the Lutheran city of Wittenberg and the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. Further north, the city of Magdeburg awaits, with its modernism and variety of architectural styles.
See breathtaking light installations
Shorter than the Elbe Cycle Route, the Feininger Cycle Trail starts and ends in Weimar. Named after the German-American artist and Bauhaus teacher Lyonel Feininger, this easy, 18-mile route starts at the Bauhaus School in Weimar, where he taught from 1919 to 1925. The trail follows the country lanes Feininger used to walk, linking a series of stations relevant to his life and favorite motifs, including his house in Gutenbergstrasse in Weimar and the small village of Gelmeroda, whose church became an icon of Cubist art thanks to his paintings. Discover more at the exhibition housed in the church, open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. TIP: At night, a stunning light installation illuminates the church.
In Gelmeroda too is the home and studio of architect Ernst Neufert, who worked in the office of Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus. Not surprisingly, this two-story wooden house shows Bauhaus influences.
For real Feininger fans, we recommend a half-day trip to the medieval town of Quedlinburg, which is incidentally also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, the Feininger Gallery exhibits 40 of his works: Before being forced into exile by the Nazis in 1937, Feininger handed over a collection of his works to his Bauhaus friend Hermann Klumpp, who kept it hidden in Quedlinburg, thus saving it from destruction.
Fall brings a creative buzz to BauhausLand
The atmosphere of the entire region is shaped by the Bauhaus schools: The streets come alive with boisterous young people. Especially in the fall, when the students go back to school, they bring their “creative buzz” to the historic city centers. Innovation in the early 20th century was not limited to the Bauhaus Schools in Weimar and Dessau. In Halle (Saale), for example, Benita Koch-Otte put the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle on the textile design map–today the “Burg” is still one of Germany’s leading art colleges.
Use the Weimar Card and Thuringia Card for discounted admission to the region’s main attractions, and the WelterbeCard to explore the Heritage Region around Dessau to make Germany travel easier and more budget-friendly.