Eight questions for...

Kristin Knebel, art historian

When I visit the World Heritage Site of Weimar, what should I definitely not miss?

Weimar is particularly rich in World Heritage Sites. You should not miss a visit to Goethe's house, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library with its Rococo hall, the City Palace, and the Park on the Ilm with Goethe's Garden House and the Roman House.

What do you particularly like here?

The combination of Classical Weimar and early Modernism creates a fascinating juxtaposition. You can dive deep into the world of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Weimar, but you can also occupy yourself with early Modernism - through the influence of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composer Franz Liszt, or architect Henry van de Velde and Bauhaus. The Buchenwald concentration camp and the Nazi-constructed "Gauforum" administration building in the north of the town are not part of the World Heritage Site, but are very much part of Weimar. They represent the dark side of German history, and bring you face to face with the cultural politics of the past.

Do you have an insider tip?

My insider tip is the City Palace. From the outside it looks like a rather austere box, but closer inspection reveals that it's a true gem - and most of all it's a place with a very authentic feel. Its architectural highlights are the Neoclassical banquet halls, with their grand Heinrich Gentz staircase, and the ballroom. The Classical Weimar trust displays part of its eclectic art collection in the palace, ranging from Dürer, Cranach and Caspar David Friedrich all the way to Monet, Rodin and Beckmann. Really worth it. But you should bring plenty of time to make sure you fully appreciate everything the City Palace has to offer.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

As I child I first came across Goethe's house, and of course the parks and gardens. To this day, Goethe's living quarters on the Frauenplan road still make a big impression on me. You feel very close to him in this house, because so much of his legacy is on display in the rooms. Goethe's study moves me time and again. Scholars know precisely what was where and which documents and mementoes were in which drawer. Next door is Goethe's private library. The house gives you a real feeling of the atmosphere he worked in.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

Spring and summer, and also early fall, are particularly nice in Weimar. The parks, which form a green belt around the town, contain a huge variety of plants. These include the Park on the Ilm, Tiefurt Park and most of all the Belvedere Parks. The parks are complemented by the private gardens of the Goethe House and Garden House. Everywhere you go, you find a place to sit and while away the time amid old trees or by the numerous small park buildings or water features. Winter shouldn't be underestimated either. It's a little quieter around the poet's houses at that time of the year, and you have time and space to concentrate on the collections in the palace or in the Bauhaus Museums.

What else should I see here?

I highly recommend the Bauhaus Museum on Theaterplatz. It isn't very big, but you get a very lively insight into the history of Bauhaus, and above all the works created by the Bauhaus masters and their students.

Visiting World Heritage Sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

Well, you can get the proper Thuringian specialty, the Thüringer Bratwurst sausage, anywhere round here - the only place it tastes right. There are also other meat dishes like the Thüringer Klößen meatballs. In the summer it's great to just sit at a nice café and let the beauty of the town wash over you.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

I really can't decide. In the not too distant future I would really like to go to Italy and see the Etruscan necropolises in the Latium region close to Rome. I have been interested in Tarquinia for ages, but the ancient town of Herculaneum at the Gulf of Naples is also on my to-do-list, along with many others.

Kirstin Knebel

has known the World Heritage Site of Weimar since her childhood.

She grew up in Classical Weimar, also the home of Bauhaus, and has spent most of her working life here. She studied art history and theology in nearby Jena, and since 2009, she has been personal assistant to the general director of the museums of the Classical Weimar trust.