Another sights in Germany

Weimar Becomes Germany’s Literary Capital

When Goethe wrote in hisstic cases. Wieland, Herder, and Schiller were often asked because of their reputations… now it is up to me, as the on 1815 member random about the “glory” of Weimar, he did so not with presumption, but with a sense of patriotic, even Pan European commitment. “It was quite common,” he continued, “to ask for advice and puzzling literary or artily surviving one, to cope with this fruitless heritage.” Weimar’s four giants are brought to our attention by this quote. Wieland, who came from Erfurt in 1772 to be the tutor of the prince; Goethe himself, who was summoned to Weimar in 1775 a few weeks after the young Carl August came to power; Herder, who, partly through Goethe’s recommendation became the leader of the church and the court preacher in 1776; Schiller, the youngest, who first came to the city in 1787.  Weimar was already a literary center and so attracted the impoverished author.  Weimar was issuing literary publications, magazines and literary almanacs, and there was an active publisher and entrepreneur Friedrich Justin Bertuch. All of this also supported the middle class literati financially.  Each new publication of the famous office rocked the city on the Ilm river to the attention of contemporaries.  The flourishing University of nearby Jena, home of the new critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, attracted many students and scholars.

The alliance of Goethe and Schiller, formed in Jena in 1794, was without doubt the peak of Weimar’s literary fame in Phil Schiller’s early death in 1805.  It was their combined work for the Weimar theater, more than anything else, that induced Schiller to move with his family in 1799 from Jena back to Weimar forever.  All of his master dramas, from “Wallenstein” to “William Tell” (with the exception of The Maid of Orleans) were premiered at the Court Theatre of Weimar.


The physical exterior of classical Weimar has been preserved in many ways over the centuries.  This brings guests and tourists to this place again and again.  Such a complete cultural atmosphere is rarely found.  “He in Weimar there are no such great distances.  Our size is based on intellect,” says the waiter in Thomas Mann’s “Lotte in Weimar”.

In 1792 Goethe had the wide staircase in his house on the Frauenplan modeled after the much admired Palladio.  With its classicist interiors and the artwork it contains, the entering visitor expects a magnificent mansion.  What he finds inside however is the functionally furnished house of an active man and art collector, who knew how to carefully separate prestigious front rooms from modest rooms at the rear of the house.  These back rooms include his study, private library, and his bedroom, where he died.  Goethe expressed to the Duke, who had given him the house in 1794, that he was not using a house for a “life of luxury, but to disseminate knowledge of arts and science.”  The official reception room of Goethe the statesman, named after the colossal bust of the Roman goddess Juno Ludovisi, hosted countless celebrities.  From about 1800 one of the main reasons for coming to Weimar was to obtain a personal meeting, and perhaps even have a fruitful conversation with one of Weimar’s leading intellectuals, particularly Goethe.

Visitors to Goethe’s house on the Frauenplan included not only German contemporaries like the brothers Humboldt and Schlegel, the philosophers Hegel and Schelling, and of course all the important citizens and literary figures from Weimar itself, but also the poets Hölderlin, Jean Paul, Novalis, Bettina and Achim von Arnim, Heine, and many others.  From other parts of Europe came the Austrian Grillparzer, the English Thackeray, the Polish Mickiewicz, the Russian Shukovski, and the French Madame de Stael.

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