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Dessau – the city of Bauhaus

Starting next year DriverGuides Berlin will offer new private tours as excursions from Berlin to special destinations accessible as day trips. One of them brings guests to one of the most renowned sites of the area – the original school of Bauhaus.

Germany’s most successful contribution to the art and architecture of modernism was inspired to a large degree in Dessau, an emerging industrial town some 130 kilometers south-west of Berlin. People like Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer and Mies van der Rohe assembled a top-level team of artists and architects to staff a school of the avant-garde soon to achieve international acclaim. In the short time span between 1925 and 1932 furniture and buildings were designed and produced in the Bauhaus style, a style that fascinates to this very day.

I recommend beginning the tour with a brief visit to the historic town center, including the Johannbau – last remaining part of a former Renaissance castle – and the market square featuring St. Mary’s Church and the Old City Hall.

We then start the quest for the traces of the Bauhaus period:

First on the list is a visit the estate of terraced houses in Törten. Walter Gropius used this project to study the industrial fabrication of housing. The compound includes an experimental house made entirely of steel, the building of the Co-Op (Konsumgebäude) and the balcony access buildings (Laubenganghäuser) designed by Hannes Meyer. The building of the former Job Center (Arbeitsamt) designed by Walter Gropius.

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Housing in Törten settlement

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Originally the Unemployment Office of Dessau


The building of the Bauhaus Academy, opened in 1926, assigned to the schools of art, design and architecture. There is an exhibition and a tour of the building is available.

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The most famous front of the building

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Glas, transparancy and visible function throughout the inside


The Master Craftsmen’s Houses (Meisterhäuser), former homes to the likes of Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, can also be toured inside.

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One of the four Meisterhäuser, occupied by Georg Muche and Oskar Schlemmer


And finally there is the Kornhaus, an excursion restaurant built in 1929/30, still in operation today, beautifully set on the Elbe river embankment.

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A great spot to enjoy food and view in original Bauhaus architecture


Consider also a tour extension to the Wörlitz Park and to Oranienbaum:

A side trip to Wörlitz Park is highly recommended. One of the oldest and largest landscaped gardens in continental Europe, this UNESCO World heritage site is a mere 15 kilometers outside of Dessau. Prince Leopold III of Anhalt-Dessau created this enticing garden landscape, embedded in a natural riverside woodland, in the second half of the 18th century.

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The Great Lake leading to an arificial vulcano

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One of the many jewels in the park: the Gothic House

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Several of the DriverGuides Berlin guides went on a special research tour through the garden landscape of Wörlitz


Eventually, the itinerary from Dessau passes through Oranienbaum, a small town featuring a unique ensemble of castle, park and town in a Dutch-baroque style.

If you would like to enjoy a personalized day trip to the area don’t hesitate to contact us.

Posted by our guide

Matthias Stukenbrok





Top-Picture: Wiki Commons,

Picture 1: Wiki Commons, qwesy qwesy

Picture 2: Wiki Commons,

Picture 3: Wiki Commons, video2005

Picture 4: Wiki Commons, Hjochheim

Picture 5: Wiki Commons, spyrosdrakopoulos

Pixture 6: Lars Jokubeit

Picture 7: Wiki Commons, PeterDrews

Pictures 8/9/10: Lars Jokubeit

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