Bild: GoetheStadtMuseum im Amtshaus

Permanent Exhibition

VI Nature Poetry

This room, designed in a natural green, tells us about Goethe’s wanderings through the local nature, which inspired him to devote himself to poetry and research. Behind an illuminated glass pane you can regard a historical photograph of the original inscription of one of the most beautiful German poems, “Wandrers Nachtlied” (“Wanderer’s Nightsong”). Goethe wrote it in pencil on the evening of September 6th, 1780 onto the wall of a wooden gamekeeper lodge at the top of the local Kickelhahn mountain. An audio station for active listening and various boxes that stimulate the sense of touch, provide an impression of the deep connection to nature that Goethe experienced in Ilmenau. Those who want to climb up the 861m high Kickelhahn Mountain themselves can check the current weather via webcam beforehand.

VII Historical Living Room

Goethe lived and worked in the former ducal living space with its original stucco ceiling and plank floor during his numerous stays in Ilmenau. The antique furniture creates a salon atmosphere, just as it was in Goethe’s times. Social amusements of those times included card games like “L’Hombre”, which were played at a gaming table like the one in our exhibition.

The square piano also illustrates the musical pleasures of the time. The notes thereon were penned by Corona Schröter, a vocalist, actress and composer adored by Goethe. She set Goethe’s “Erlkönig” to music and played the eponymous heroine in the premiere of “Iphigenie” in 1779. Corona Schröter died during a stay at a health resort in Ilmenau, in 1802. A table lighter is one of the rarities of the exhibition. This gas lighter with electric ignition, a device developed around 1810, predated the invention of matches in 1832. The prestigious baroque style davenport at the front end of the room once belonged to Johann Friedrich Röhr, a superintendent in Weimar who wrote the speech for Goethe's funeral.

Detail Tischfeuerzeug