From: Eisenach, Germany
Martin Luther may be Eisenach's most famous public figure, but Johann Sebastian Bach is an even more important personage for music fans. Bach was born and baptized in Eisenach, and he lived in the city until he was 10 years old. Today, Eisenach is home to the , or , which is the world's leading museum about the great composer and his works.
The Bachhaus Eisenach occupies a house on the Frauenplan that was purchased by the Neue Bachgesellschaft (New Bach Society) in 1906 and reopened as a museum in 1907. A modern wing, called the Penkues Building after the architectural firm that designed it, opened in 2007.
Together, the museum buildings will lead you through exhibits about life in Bach's time, musical intruments from the Bach era, the composer's works, and a few surprises (such as the step-by-step forensic reconstruction of Bach's head, shown in the first inset photo on this page, or an immersive movie that shows a rehearsal of the Thomaskirche Boys Choir in Leipzig, which Bach directed from 1723 to 1750.)
As a bonus, you'll be treated to a mini-concert of Bach's music on a clavichord, a harpsichord, and an organ during your visit to the museum. If you have time, you can sit in a "bubble chair" and listen to recorded music with headphones.
The Bachhaus also has a shop that sells recordings, books, and posters, and the "Café Kantate" will provide sustenance for your stomach after you've had your fill of history, forensics, and fugues.
Music museums are often static collections of instruments and manuscripts, but the Bachhaus Eisenach is anything but. If you have any interest at all in Johann Sebastian Bach and his works, allow an hour or two to visit the Bach Holuse during your stay in Eisenach.
Next page: Bachhaus visitor information
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