Anna Amalia's famous library
© By Sheila
It is always a bliss to look at the work of unconventional women: Until today, Weimar is considered to be a center of culture and houses a world- famous library. Significantly contributing to that was a duchess, who broke conventions and brought culture. May I introduce: Duchess Anna Amalia of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.
We are in Weimar, a picturesque little town in the center of Germany. The streets are lined with commercials and invitations – for concerts and closing evenings at the local music academies. Art and culture wherever you look. If we compare this place to a garden, the sounds of the music today are only decorative plantlets. In the past, personalities such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller and many more worked here and shaped Weimar.
But now back to the Duchess herself and her greatest legacy: The Anna Amalia Library. Located at the “Platz der Demokratie” in Weimar, it is one of the most beautiful libraries I ever entered. The golden spirit and the sensuality of this educated woman clearly flowed into the design: The Rococo room in delicate blue is decorated with golden ornaments, capitals and Rocaille elements- typical of Rococo.
Since 1998, the “Duchess Anna Amalia Library” has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The library is part of the ensemble “Klassisches Weimar”. It consists of eleven historical places, that are linked to the cultural heyday of Weimar in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Duchess Anna Amalia Library is a research library for literary and cultural history, with a focus on German literature from the Enlightenment to the late Romantic period. It still contains a million books from the 9th to the 21st century. Stunning, right?
When we take a few steps through this rectangular hall with an oval interior, our gaze wanders to the ceiling. If we look above, a laurel-crowned young man, the “Genius of Glory” (after a painting by Carracci), appears in the oval opening. And everywhere we encounter portraits and heads of poets, researchers, scientists and patrons of the arts. Above all hovers Anna Amalia’s spirit. And we hover with her.
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