City of Enlightenment and Modernity

Home to the world's most famous architecture and art schools

The former residence of the state of Anhalt was mentioned in a document in 1213. Under the leadership of Prince Johann Georg II (r. 1660–1693), Dessau became of growing cultural and economic importance. Through his wife, Henriette Catharina of Oranien-Nassau, a treasure trove of Dutch and Flemish painting came to Dessau as part of the “Oranic Heritance”. This is now the basis of the collections of the Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie, which will reopen in May 2021 after the renovation of Schloss Georgium.

From 1925 to 1932, the city was home to one of the most famous architecture and art schools in the world: the Bauhaus. Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe succeeded in bringing artists such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Lyonel Feininger to Dessau. Since 1996, Bauhaus and Masters’ Houses have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The newly built Bauhaus Museum was opened in 2019 and presents the outstanding collection of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

With Hugo Junkers, one of the most important German engineers and entrepreneurs of the 20th century worked in Dessau, which made Dessau one of the most important industrial cities in Central Germany. Dessau gained international renown in the 1920s through junkers’ gas appliances and aircraft as well as through the settlement of the Bauhaus.
With the Anhaltisches Theater, Dessau-Roßlau is home to a nationally important 4-genre theatre that combines spoken, music, dance and puppet theatre.

Prince Leopold I, who went down in history as the “Old Dessauer”, dominates the square in front of the city and castle church of St. Mary. Once the church, in which Luther also preached, was decorated with works from the Cranach workshop. Three of these paintings are exhibited in St. John’s Church.

Kurt Weill, the composer of the “Threepenny Opera”, the poet Wilhelm Müller and the scholar Moses Mendelssohn are among the famous sons of the city.

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Visit the world’s second largest collection on the subject of Bauhaus and discover the approximately 50,000 exhibits.

More information

Please contact the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation or the Dessau Tourist Information for your planning, consultations or booking of guided tours.

Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
Gropiusallee 38
D-06846 Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
Phone +49 (0) 3 40.6 50 82 50

Meisterhäuser Dessau
(Information can be obtained from the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau)
Ebertallee 63–71
D-06846 Dessau-Roßlau, Germany

Tourist Information Dessau
Ratsgasse 11
D-06844 Dessau-Roßlau
Phone +49 (0) 3 40.2 04–14 42
Fax +49 (0) 3 40.2 04–2 69 11 42