The Princely Crypt on the was built between 1823 and 1828 by order of Grand Duke Carl August of Saxe-Eeimar-Eisenach on the Historical Cemetery, which was inaugurated in 1818. The responsibility for the construction of the Princely Crypt was in the hands of the architect Clemens Wenzeslaus Coudray. In 1824, after completion of the work on the vault, the caskets of the ducal family, which had been burned down from 1774, were transferred to the Fürstengruft. The first burial in the crypt was the embedding of the alleged bones of Friedrich Schiller on 16.12.1827. However, a genetic test conducted in 2008 revealed that these were not the bones of Schiller; They were then transferred to the neighboring cemetery in an anonymous grave. Schiller’s coffin has since been empty. Even before the completion of the building, Carl August died on 14.06.1828. On 26.03.1832 the bones of Johann Wolfgang Goethes found their last retirement beside Schiller’s sarcophagus. After that, there were 14 more funerals until 1905. For Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, née Grand Duchess of Russia a russian-orthodox Chapel was built in 1862 on the backside of the building. A break through its foundation walls 1862 made it possible that she can rest aside by side to her husband Grnd Duke Carl Friedrioch but each of them god-houses of their religion.
A short time later, the chapel was redesigned in the sense of the historicist taste by the new arrangements which Queen Augusta of Prussia (later the first German Empress), the daughter of Grand Duke Carl Friedrich and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna had ordered.
In the Second World War the coffins of Goethe and Schiller were transferred to a Jenaer Sanitätsbunker in order not to drop them as trophies in the hands of the approaching Americans according to the national socialist conviction. hey were brought back into the Princely Crypt by the Americans on 12.05.1945
After the expropriation of the Grand Ducal Family , the Crypt became the property of Thuringia in December 1948. In 1952, the Princely Crypt was renamed “Goethe-und-Schiller-Gruft” by the Goethe National Museum. In 1992, this burial ground was restored to its original name.
The Princely Crpyt is open for Visitors each Day of the week (except for Tuesdays).