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The Goethe House: "Stop, moment, you are wonderful!"


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The Goethe House: "Stop, moment, you are wonderful!"


Phrase: "Stop, moment, you are wonderful!" even those who have never read “Faust” by the great Goethe know. This is a "password": after uttering this phrase aloud, Faust's deal with the devil would have been completed, but Mephistopheles did not wait for this.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe, German poet, writer and playwright of the 18th and 19th centuries, world famous for such masterpieces as The Suffering of Young Werther and Faust, was born in Frankfurt am Main in the house of his grandmother Cornelia Goethe in 1749. These were two united houses built at the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries. When Cornelia passed away in the middle of the 18th century, Johann's father, lawyer Johann Kaspar Goethe, rebuilt the house, giving it the look it has now. The restructuring did not affect the double essence of the house - the address and now: Grosser Hirschgraben, 23-25.

The owner of the house, Johannes Kaspar: library, paintings, music lounge

Goethe's father was a big fan of reading: the house had a large library, more than 2000 volumes in different languages. Johannes Kaspar knew several modern and classical languages and taught them to children himself.

The whole family was musical, loved to organize evenings of classical music. Johann Wolfgang played the cello, the younger sister Cornelia played the piano, and her mother Katarina Elisabeth sang. The house had a music lounge.

Johannes Kaspar was also a big fan of painting. The walls of the house-museum are decorated with a collection of paintings, which speaks of the good taste of the owner of the house. Goethe inherited from his father a love of books and painting, he himself painted well. Next to the house-museum is the art gallery "Goethe Museum", where canvases of his contemporaries and several works of the writer himself are exhibited.

Silk-upholstered walls, solid furniture - everything speaks of the well-to-do existence of the family in which the founder of the "Storm and Onslaught" movement in German literature was born.

Johann Wolfgang: the games and suffering of young Goethe

As a child, my grandmother gave the future famous playwright a puppet theater. Goethe composed his first plays for this theater and played them himself with his younger sister. A small theater that remembers the hands and voice of the future genius is located in the Goethe house-museum.

The table at which Johann Wolfgang worked on the most important works has also survived:

  • "The Suffering of Young Werther"
  • The first version of "Faust".

The novel in letters "The Suffering of Young Werther" brought the writer worldwide fame - before that he was known only in Germany. The museum displays manuscripts, sketches made by the writer's hand. The story about young Werther, about the unrequited love of a young man who committed suicide, was so popular that this popularity had sad consequences: a wave of suicides of unbalanced young people swept across Europe. And he was inspired to this work by his own love story for Charlotte von Stein: his feeling at first was rejected, but after he was associated with this woman for years of difficult relationships. Her portrait hangs in Johann Wolfgang's office.

Grosse Hirschgraben 23-25: revival of the house where the great poet was born

After Johann Wolfgang and his sister Cornelia left their parents' house as adults, Goethe's mother sold it - it was difficult for her to maintain a large house alone. The house passed from hand to hand until the next owner of the house, Otto Volger, decided to arrange a museum for his great compatriot in it.

In 1945, the house along with the entire street was destroyed as a result of an air raid. The furnishings, books, paintings were taken out and hidden, they were preserved, but the house was restored from scratch, using materials for construction and interiors corresponding to those times. During the restoration work, they relied on various written sources, including the memoirs of Goethe himself. The restoration of the house-museum of the classics of world literature began in 1947, immediately after the war, when all of Germany was still in ruins. This is the attitude of the Germans towards their great compatriot.

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