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A visit to the Amtshaus (Goethe Stadtmuseum) in Ilmenau, Thuringia, Germany
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born on August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt am Main. He studied in Leipzig and in Straßburg. In 1776 he was offered to work for the government in Weimar, Thuringia, by duke Herzog Carl August. Please check the Internet for more details about his life, his work and his journeys.
He visited Ilmenau many times. The "Amtshaus" was built in the middle of the 18 th century. Now the name has been changed to &quuot;Goethe Stadtmuseum".
The upper floor was used as temporary living quarters by the dukes of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach when they stayed in Ilmenau. Today it is used in memory of J.W. Goethe.
The best is to ask whether a guided tour is available. When I was there a friendly lady from the museum explained many things, such as this lighting device. It is amazing how it worked and replicas have been sold to collectors. It is certainly an item which will draw attention of almost everybody.
Please do not miss to ask for a demonstration when you are there.
Check some of the displayed documents if you can read German or ask for assistance. J.W Goethe was not only a writer and poet, he was a multi talent. He was asked to straighten out the financial mess in which Ilmenau was. He also tried to revitalize mining in this area. Obviously, he failed with this attempt. Nobody is perfect!
I also learned that little events are still taking place in this historical building.
The "Amtshaus" in Ilmenau
Except central heating the interior is historical and gives you an impression how the richer people lived at the time of Goethe.
Don't hesitate to ask if you need any explanations. If you are lucky, somebody speaks English.
Floor and ceiling are still original
Browse around and you may discover things of interest. Ask for assistance!
The view out of the windows is still nice, but it was probably more spectacular in the past. Buildings had been torn down and not everything which J. W. Goethe described when he worked here in this house exists any longer.
The museums provides also many information about the history of Ilmenau. I think to start with the visit of the "Amtshaus" which is also known as the " Museum of the town Ilmenau" is a good idea. You start your tour through this town with much more knowledge and you know what to look for.
Ask for the special signed walking trails if you want to follow the traces of Goethe. It is not as commercialized as the "Sound of Music Tour" in Salzburg, Austria.
I am confident when Elizabeth, my wife, will visit Ilmenau with me, I have to take the tour with her if the weather is nice. Certainly not a bad idea after too much good Thuringian specialities in the numerous restaurants and coffee shops.
Surprisingly, I did not see as many severely overweight people as in North America.
Unfortunately the advertised blue sky was missing
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