Goethestadt Bad Lauchstädt is a small town in the south of Saxony-Anhalt. In the appealing town centre there is a historical spa garden complex and the Goethe Theatre. Without the spa and the spring, theatre history would never have been made in Lauchstädt. The Dukes of Saxony-Merseburg ordered the development of the spa in 1710. In 1775 the luxury spa facilities, also called Sächsisches Pyrmont, became popular when the electoral court at Dresden moved its summer residence to Lauchstädt. J. W. Chryselius, the architect of the Merseburg Cathedral Chapter, was commissioned to design a modern spa, which was under construction from 1776 to 1787. Dresden late Baroque was unmistakably the inspiration for the building and it brought an unprecedented splendour to this small spa town. For almost 250 years Bad Lauchstädt was a health resort and it became a meeting place for local aristocracy, the bourgeoisie and the great intellectual minds of that time. Noteworthy visitors were the famous poets Gottsched, Gellert and Gleim, the von Stein family as well as Charlotte von Lengefeld and Christiane Vulpius. With the debut of the Weimar Court theatre in 1791, Bad Lauchstädt became a nationally recognised venue for theatre, opera and concerts. Goethe initiated the construction of the theater and after twelve years it was opened on 26 June 1802 with W. A. Mozart’s opera La Clemenza di Tito. With its charm and appealing design, the theater has attracted both national and international visitors to the former spa town for more than 200 years. Friedrich Schiller himself was even impressed with this unique theatre when in 1803 during a performance of The Bride of Messina a lightning storm inevitably made the audience shiver. A few years earlier in 1789 the poet stayed briefly in Lauchstädt and began a close relationship with the von Lengefeld sisters. What started as a correspondence ended up with Friedrich Schiller becoming engaged to the younger of the sisters, Charlotte. The spa’s golden age ended and it lost its popularity throughout Europe when Prussia acquired the territory as a result of the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In 1834 the theater in Lauchstädt reached another highlight in its history as the Magdeburger Stadttheater performed there: 21-year-old Richard Wagner visited the town as a conductor and met actress Minna Planner, whom he married two years later. The only premiere performance thus far at the Goethe theater was hosted in 1912: Gerhart Hauptmann’s play Gabriel Schilling's Flight with Tilla Durieux in one of the starring roles caused a sensation. Although the spa facilities have been in disuse since 1941, Goethestadt Bad Lauchstädt and the historical spa facilities still welcome visitors and offer an unforgettable theater experience. After their restoration from 1965 to 1968, the historical buildings can now be used for museum, public or cultural events. Extensive conservation measures have preserved the former glory of the luxury spa facilities. In 1994 the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt founded a GmbH (company with limited liability) in order to manage the former spa facilities and the Goethe theater. Each year from April to October, the leading local and national theater groups give up to 50 guest performances with a selected repertoire. More than 20,000 people visit Bad Lauchstädt every year to enjoy a performance in a historical atmosphere. The wooden Baroque stage machinery still works and still fascinates to this day. The annual Festspiel der deutschen Sprache (Festival of the German Language) attracts international visitors to the spa town. The festival initiated by Kammersängerin Professor Edda Moser has been hosted in the Goethe theater in Bad Lauchstädt since 2007. Since then it has presented a renowned series of events to preserve the German language.
Guided Tours (Historical Spa Gardens, Goethe theater, Neues Schillerhaus and special exhibitions)
May - September | Tues. to Sun. and on public holidays: 10:30 am, 3.00 pm (and by appointment)
October - April | Mon. to Sun. by appointment
Tours on event days at the Goethe theatre are only at 10:30 am. After an event a tour of the theatre is free of charge (for attendees of the event).
Minimum attendance for a guided tour: 5 persons or 20.00 €
Prices (year-round): 5.00 € per person | reduced price 4.00 €
Meeting place: Visitor centre, located in the spa gardens at the Quellpavillion
Historische Kuranlagen und Goethe-Theater Bad Lauchstädt GmbH
06246 Goethestadt Bad Lauchstädt
Tel. +49 (0)34635 | 782 - 28
Fax 034635 | 782 – 22