Encountering Goethe

Encountering Goethe

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A short guide to the Goethe House

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Welcome to the Frankfurt Goethe House

It was here that Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born "at the stroke of twelve" on August 28, 1749, and it was here tht he and his sister Cornelia grew up. The house as it stands today and its name "Zu den drei Leiern" (Three Lyres House) originate from the time of its reconstruction in 1755/56.

The interior of the comfortable building was furnished "brigt and cheerfully" with "Frankfurt gusto". The late Baroque bourgeois house still harbours the spirit of Goethe's early years, which he describes in his autobiography "Poetry and Truth".

Goethe's father, Imperial Councillor Dr. Johann Caspar Goethe, was an erudite lawyer who belonged to the upper social stratum of the Free Imperial City of Frankfurt am Main. His mother Catharina Elisabeth Goethe, née Textor, was often called "Rätin", the feminine form og her husband's title "Rat" (Councillor), or silmpy "Frau Aja". Johann Wolfgang and Cornelia received excellent private tution. The son was to become a lawyer, but he already displayed an outstanding talent for poetry in his early years. After studying law in Leipzig and Strasbourg, he returned to his parental home, where he set up a small lawyer's office. In quick succession, he then wrote those early literary works, which made him famous, characterizing him as a poet of the "Sturm und Drang" (Storm and Stress) movement (among them: "Goetz of Berlichingen" and "The sorrows of Werther"). He left Frankfurt in 1775, following an invitation from Duke Carl August of Saxony-Weimar to come to Weimar, the principality's capital.

By this broschure we would like to take you, floor by floor, on a tour through Goethe's parental home and the Goethe-Museum, providing you with the most important facts and information.

20 S. : Ill.