At Home with Goethe
Leaving aside the accomplishments of its composers & engineers, Germany is seen as the land of poets & thinkers, and the greatest of them all is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). His first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, about a chap who falls in love with a young lady who is already betrothed and eventually shoots himself, was an instant success, and is considered a seminal work of the Sturm & Drang movement. The book attracted the attention of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar & Saxe-Eisenach, who invited Goethe to Weimar in 1775, and gave him a cottage & appointed him privy counsellor the next year. By the early 1780s, Goethe was running most of the ducal government, and in 1782 he moved into smart premises in the centre of town.
Today, Goethe’s residence is part of the Goethe National Museum. Eighteen rooms are open to the public, including his study, where he wrote his magnum opus Faust. The rooms, designed by Goethe himself to reflect the classical ideals of his time, were used to keep his ever-growing collections of artwork & scientific specimens, of which I found the plaster casts & maiolica the most eye-catching. Gardening addicts will enjoy the lovely garden at the rear of the house, which looks practically the same as it did in the 1820s. The large exhibition Flood of Life — Storm of Deeds, at the museum next door, explores Goethe’s fascinating life & sheds light on his vastly diverse interests beyond his literary creations. A visit to Goethe’s house & the exhibition takes three to four hours.klassik-stiftung.de