Bach lived here


In the heart of Weimar - European City of Culture

that’s how one could describe the location of the future Weimar Bach World. Centrally placed, right on the Weimar market square, which is today part of the UNESCO World Heritage, you’ll find the house that Johann Sebastian Bach lived in, with his family, from 1708 – 1717. Amongst all the places Bach used to live (Eisenach, Muehlhausen, Arnstadt, Koethen) only his place of residence in Weimar is still known and even officially documented. In Leipzig, his home was known but was completely demolished in 1906 and replaced by a new building. Consequently, where – if not in in Weimar, the European City of Culture and Bach – seems the best place to set up a charismatic meeting, event and memorial space, centred around Bach and with his immense international followership in mind?

The Bach House in Weimar has been through an eventful life – both in its own right in the Bach era, as well as in later days, when it was part of the neighbouring hotel “Zum Erbprinzen”, since 1803. On the 9th February 1945, it was destroyed in a bomb attack. Thankfully, the Renaissance underground vaults of Bach’s Weimar residency are still intact. They are now the only surviving constructional testimonies of a Bach residency, in the world.
It is in this unique place that you can literally feel Bach’s creative heartbeat. This place gives you a very authentic impression of what it was like when Bach used to live here and compose his music.


Everything is replaceable – except for authenticity

  • See HERE a list of pieces of music Bach composed in Weimar
  • Find out HERE how and where you can listen to Bach at authentic locations in Weimar

The Bach residence in Weimar before 1945

This picture (courtesy of the “Friends of Dresden”) shows the state of the building before it was destroyed by bombs on the 9th February 1945. The former Bach residency (see markings) was integrated into the adjacent Hotel “Zum Erbprinzen”, 1805. The destruction of these two buildings created a fallow of about 2200 qm, that has been utilised as a parking lot for the Hotel “Elephant”, for the past 25 years. The “Bach residency” occupies a mere 15 % of that fallow space.
It is in this very authentic space, that the future Weimar Bach World is supposed to be located. We are delighted that the new owner (since 2017) of the Hotel “Elephant” (including the parking lot and the Bach residency) is whole-heartedly welcoming and supporting the idea of this project. Various international sponsors and celebrity supporters from all over the world are excited about this simple yet enlightening idea.

  • HERE you can see the Bach estate from above
  • HERE we are already telling you Weimar Bach stories, even before the Weimar Bach World is finished!


The reconstruction of the only authentic place of residence and work of Johann Sebastian Bach

The reconstruction of the only authentic place of residence and work of Johann Sebastian Bach at the market in Weimar, which was destroyed by British bombs on February 9, 1945, as well as the development of this singular place into a living, sounding BachWorld Weimar is, in addition to the performance of works by J.S. Bach (BACH BIENNALE WEIMAR), the central goal of Bach in Weimar. This illustration shows a reconstruction of the state until 1945 ( Graphic: A. Hummel, Arte 4D 2011, Sponsored by Friends of Dresden New York).

This vision was supported ideally and materially for more than ten years by the Nobel Laureate in Medicine Prof. Dr. Günter Blobel, honorary member of Bach in Weimar, deceased 2018 in New York.

Bach's residence at the Weimarer Markt is centrally located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Weimar: Just like the rebuilt Frauenkirche in Dresden, BachWelt Weimar is intended to contribute to keeping ( musical) world cultural heritage alive, and thus to promote international understanding and peace.  A networking of these two places, whose destruction took place within a few days in February 1945, is a goal of our initiative to be supported.

This is all the more true as Johann Sebastian Bach's biography shows several close connections to Dresden: Anno 1717 he excelled "against" the famous French keyboard virtuoso Louis Marchand in an organ competition - but without the "opponent", for Marchand had for unknown reasons (among which one can assume his high respect for Bach as the most probable) already hastily departed from Dresden before the scheduled competition, leaving Bach the acclaimed victory at the Dresden court.

In 1733, Bach dedicated his Missa in B minor to the Elector Frederick August II of Saxony and King of Poland. On December 1, 1736, J.S. Bach played a two-hour concert on the new Silbermann organ of the Frauenkirche (not even completed) as a thank-you for the title of "Königlich-Pohlnischer und Sächsisch-Churfürstlicher Hofcompositeur" bestowed upon him by King August III.

The Bach charisma of the then predecessor building, also called "Frauenkirche", of today's Frauenkirche, which was destroyed on February 13, 1945 and rebuilt with the substantial support of Günter Blobel, continues to have an effect to this day: the original stone staircase leading up to the organ, which Bach himself walked on, has been preserved; Bach's works still form a focal point of the music program in the rebuilt Frauenkirche.

The original Renaissance vaults of the Bach residency in Weimar…

The original Renaissance vaults of the Bach residency in Weimar…

…literally form the basis for the future Weimar Bach World (visualised here, according to historical photos and building designs).
“Another museum in Weimar?” No - our slogan is: “Bach – in a new light”! Living music means to be in the here and now. Here, where Bach lived and composed music for 10 years of his life, we want to create a sounding and innovative Bach centre.

What can the visitor expect? At this point, we can only give you a few glimpses into our ideas and aspirations “Bach – in a new light”:
A concert hall planned for an audience of about 150 people has been predestined for top-class concerts of any kind, as well as for daily Lunch time concerts with students of the neighbouring excellent University of Music “Franz Liszt” Weimar. The young Bach and his beloved Maria Barbara, together with their first-born (in Weimar) sons Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel, who later became famous in their own right – will all be present in a contemporary and creative, hands-on way. Not only will designers, musicologists and music teachers mould this space – practising musicians will be an essential part of the Bach World team. These “colleagues” of Bach, who have been in daily conversation with the Maestro, with their expertise and enthusiasm for concerts or teaching that will all be taken into consideration when it comes to the planning of this new centre. It’s impossible to “represent” Bach – his music itself has to lead the way: the perfect synthesis of soulful harmony and the highest spiritual passion.

Bach’s world: his sounding world, his spiritual world, his music, his family, the reality of the world around him, his rich musical environment and widespread network – all of this is supposed to be brought to live in a hands-on and artistically multi-facetted way that involves the ears and eyes and stimulates the soul and body. Bach has inspired and influenced a multitude of artists for centuries, including the Weimar Bauhaus. We want to continue this interdisciplinary dialogue, this artistic firework that Bach ignited and give it a new space in the Bach World Weimar; part of this being varying exhibitions.

Future generations also have a right to Bach: the International Youth Centre for Bach and Baroque Music, called JUNIZEBB is a creative “Think-Tank” of the Weimar Bach World that generates exciting new formats for concerts, workshops and other activities for the youth. Weimar Bach World also offers creative Music-Craft-Workshops for children.
Bach is a global musical language. The Weimar Bach World strives to be a centre for this “universal Bach language” – as much for native Bach speakers as for novices in the Bach foundation course.
Weimar Bach world – this is where Bach is alive! We hope it will magnetically attract the global Bach community. It’ll give musicians and artist of all genres a space to exchange ideas and last, but not least it will be a place of well-being and sensuous relaxation for ears, eyes, taste and the soul of the visitor – Here is Bach the sea.


  • You can find out more about the Weimar Bach World’s ideas and concepts HERE!
  • Listen to Bach and baroque music already, directly from Bach’s residency – HERE!
  • Look at a computer animation (Copyright: Geoplan /Ulf Köhler) of the underground vaults HERE

We have re-defined Weimar as a Bach location.

We have re-defined Weimar as a Bach location.

Since 2006, the aim of the “Bach in Weimar” society - with its more than 200 members – is to increase Weimar’s reputation as a Bach location, at international level. Weimar has been a “Bach town” for 300 years, but few people have been aware of it. Relentless efforts, over the past 14 years, have helped to “spread the word”.
Wide ranging campaigns, an online petition with more than 15 000 signatures, presence in national and international media (“Der Spiegel”, “The Guardian” and “The Sueddeutsche Zeitung” amongst them), public events at the authentic Bach location, several prizes for high achievements, various fundraising concerts and special events, a competition to generate ideas on “How to compose a Bach house!”, discussion groups, seven very successful festivals and 6 KIBAs – Children’s Bach Biennales, the foundation of the JUNIZEBB (International Youth Centre for Bach and Baroque Music) and the first International Competition for Music Ensembles of Old Music : BACH’s MAL SELBST (Play Bach yourself), which had to be postponed to 2021 due to the Corona pandemic, are all milestones on the path to the Weimar Bach World in its unique and authentic location.

We have been tremendously supported in our efforts by our members, by Bach fans all over the world (as shown in the more than 15 000 signatures on our online petition), by connoisseurs and famous artists, by people “like you and me”, by local and national institutions, by politicians, by the supporters of our festivals and last but not least by our prestigious sponsors, the Nobel Prize laureate Günter Blobel (+2018) und John Coetzee amongst them.
We managed to activate and excite thousands of people around the globe – thanks to them all!

Bach’s life in Weimar is no longer hidden in the shadows. The need to identify a distinct Bach location has been recognised. The realisation of the Weimar Bach World is now welcomed and supported by all decision makers involved.


  • Take part in live events HERE!
  • For the most important activities and achievements of our society, see HERE
  • See the board of management of the society HERE
  • Proclamation of the Weimar Bach World, read on the 2nd December 2017, on the occasion of the anniversary “300 years since J. S. Bach’s liberation from arrest in Weimar”, HERE