Monday, April 28, 2014

The room in the Elephant

Visit Weimar and sleep with the ghosts of literature past;
The Hotel Elephant in Weimar has been a second home for political and cultural VIPs since 1696. ....
.... Germany's most famous man of letters [Goethe] is omnipresent in the small eastern German city. His quotes are painted everywhere on the perfectly restored walls of historical buildings. Even the kiosk offering one-euro glasses of pilsner is located on a square named after the literary legend. 
And the other guys;
The original building in which Goethe and his intellectual posse once held their more or less enlightened conversations and drank liters of wine no longer exists. Another big fan of the Elephant was a certain Adolf Hitler, who had it torn down and rebuilt in 1938 by the star Nazi architect Hermann Giesler. After World War II, Russian occupiers took over the building, using it for a while to house teachers of the Russian language. In 1955, the Elephant opened its doors once more as a hotel, after novelist Thomas Mann requested a room there when he was in Weimar for the 150th anniversary of Friedrich Schiller's death.
....After retreating to the Elephant for an afternoon nap, I got up refreshed and ambled over to the former house of Franz Liszt.... 
....The next morning, as I enjoyed my breakfast just off the Elephant's spectacular Richard Wagner Hall, I pondered what memories I would take with me from Weimar. I couldn't truthfully say I learned much of anything. There's a big difference between reading "Faust" and gawking at the room where Goethe wrote parts of it. 
It's all into the bargain.

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