Dessau-Roßlau, Germany

Guide for the rail traveller


Local languageGerman
Country Germany


Formerly two towns to the north and south of the Elbe, Rosslau and Dessau annexed on 1 July 2007 to form Dessau-Rosslau of which Dessau was the much larger partner.

Dessau is best known for being home to the Bauhaus college of design, which moved here from its original home in Weimar in 1925. Bauhaus revolutionised architecture and art in the early 20th century and went hand in hand with surrealism. The school was forced to close by the Nazis but reopened in 1986, and remains operational to this day. There are numerous examples of Bauhaus architecture dotted around the town, including private residences and the local employment office. The Masters’ House is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has many works by Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky.

There are venues of historical importance such as the Oranienbaum Palace which dates back to the 17th century, with a unique Chinese garden in its grounds, the only one of its kind in Germany. Fans of the composer Kurt Weill will already be aware that he was born in Dessau, and that the Kurt Weill Centre in the town details his life and work.

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