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Weimar  is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately 80 kilometres (50 miles) southwest of Leipzig, 170 kilometres (106 miles) north of Nuremberg and 170 kilometres (106 miles) west of Dresden. Together with the neighbour-cities Erfurt and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, whereas the city itself counts a population of 65,000. Weimar is well known because of its large cultural heritage and its importance in German history.

The city was a focal point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading characters of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism, the writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. In the 19th century, famous composers like Franz Liszt made a music centre of Weimar and later, artists and architects like Henry van de Velde, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger and Walter Gropius came to the city and founded the Bauhaus movement, the most important German design school of the interwar period. However, the political history of 20th-century Weimar was inconsistent: it was the place where Germany’s first democratic constitution was signed after the First World War, giving its name to the Weimar Republic period in German politics (1918–33), as well as one of the cities mythologized by the National Socialist propaganda.

Until 1948, Weimar was the capital of Thuringia. Today, many places in the city centre have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites (either as part of the Weimar Classicism complex or as part of the Bauhaus complex) and tourism is one of the leading economic sectors of Weimar. Relevant institutions in Weimar are the Bauhaus University, the Liszt School of Music, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library and two leading courts of Thuringia (Supreme Administrative Court and Constitutional Court). In 1999, Weimar was the European Capital of Culture.

Population: 65,000

Language

The official language of Germany is Standard German, with over 95 percent of the country speakingStandard German or German dialects as their first language.

Currency: Euro

Jun 16, 2014 – Children playing with stacks of hyperinflated currency during the Weimar Republic, 1922. Currency became worthless with kids using it like Lego bricks. … The German people regarded this stable currency as a miracle.

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Geography and demographics

Topography

Weimar is situated within the valley of Ilm river, a tributary of Saale river on the southern border of the Thuringian Basin, a fertile agricultural area between the Harz mountains 70 km (43 mi) in the north and the Thuringian Forest 50 km (31 mi) in the southwest. The municipal terrain is hilly; the height of the city centre in Ilm valley is approximately 200 m of elevation. To the north, the terrain rises to Ettersberg, the city’s 482 m high backyard mountain. The range of hills in the south of Weimar rises up to 370 m and is part of the Ilm Saale Plate Muschelkalk formation. The eastern, central and western parts of the municipal territory are in agricultural use, whereas the Ettersberg and some southern areas are wooded.

Climate

Weimar has a humid continental climate (Dfb) or an oceanic climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system. Summers are warm and sometimes humid with average high temperatures of 23 °C (73 °F) and lows of 12 °C (54 °F). Winters are relatively cold with average high temperatures of 2 °C (36 °F) and lows of −3 °C (27 °F). The city’s topography creates a microclimate caused through the basin position with sometimes inversion in winter (quite cold nights under −20 °C (−4 °F)). Annual precipitation is only 574 millimeters (22.6 in) with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Light snowfall mainly occurs from December through February, but snow cover does not usually remain for long.

Transport

By rail

Weimar is connected by the Thuringian Railway to Leipzig in the east and to Frankfurt/Kassel in the west. Furthermore, there are some regional railways to Gera via Jena and to Kranichfeld via Bad Berka. Today, there are long-distance trains to Frankfurt via Erfurt and Fulda and to Dresden via Leipzig and regional trains to Göttingen and Eisenach via Erfurt, to Halle via Naumburg, to Altenburg, Glauchau, Zwickau and Greiz via Jena and Gera and to Kranichfeld. When the new Erfurt–Leipzig/Halle high-speed railway will open (in 2015), Weimar will be disconnected from the German long-distance train network. However the regional train service will be augmented to connect Weimar with ICE-stops in Erfurt, Halle and Leipzig.

In freight transport exists an intermodal terminal in Vieselbach (Güterverkehrszentrum/GVZ) with connection to rail and Autobahn, 15 km (9 mi) west of Weimar.

By road

Weimar is located at the Bundesautobahn 4 (Frankfurt–Dresden). Furthermore, there are two federal roads to Erfurt and Jena (Bundesstraße 7) and to Rudolstadt and Kölleda (Bundesstraße 85) as well as some regional roads to Sömmerda, Oßmannstedt and Magdala. A bypass road around Weimar was built in the 2000s in the north and west; the eastern and southern continuation are in discussion, but not in definite planning because of some difficulties in routing.

By aviation

The Erfurt-Weimar Airport lies approximately 30 km (19 mi) west of Weimar. It was largely extended in the 1990s, but the anticipated rise in passengers did not occur so that there is only rare air traffic, mostly to Mediterranean holiday regions. Other flights are carried out via Frankfurt Airport, which can be reached in 3 hours, and prospective via Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which is scheduled to open in 2017 and is accessible within 3 hours.

By bike

Biking is getting more and more popular since the construction of quality cycle tracks began in the 1990s. For tourism serve the Ilm track and the Thuringian city string track (Radweg Thüringer Städtekette). Both connect points of tourist interest, the first along the Ilm valley from Thuringian Forest to Saale river and second near to medieval Via Regia from Eisenach via Gotha, Erfurt, Weimar and Jena to Altenburg. Additionally, there are some theme routes like the Goethe cycle track and the Feininger cycle track. For inner city every-day traffic exist some cycle lanes along several main streets. Bike renting is offered in city centre.

 Bus service

For a small city, Weimar is well served by city bus routes, which also serve all of the annex towns and villages. An hourly bus route serves the Buchenwald Memorial and oldtimer buses go in city’s historical centre. All bus routes are connected at Goethe Square in city centre, most run furthermore to the main station. Between 1899 and 1937 were trams in operation. Trolleybus service started in 1948 and was ceased in 1993.