Bild: GoetheStadtMuseum im Amtshaus

Permanent Exhibition

III Corridor: Ilmenau before 1776

In the entrance area of the exhibition, the history of the town on the “Ulm River” or the “flowing waters” is described, from its first documented mention in 1302 until its position as an exclave of the Saxe-Weimar Duchy. Special attention is paid to the coat of the arms with the “Hen on the Dreiberg”, a symbol of the former dukes of Henneberg.


IV Fireplace: “Treasury Chamber”

The former fireplace has been effectively repurposed as a treasury chamber.

V Ilmenau 1776

The first room of the exhibition shows the state of the town in the year 1776. When Goethe visited the town for the first time on the third of May 1776, the consequences of the devastating fire that struck the town in 1752 were still visible. A book of the bakers' guild with a list of victims, as well as burned shards of a house testify to this and a replicated bust by Klauer shows the likeness of the young Goethe. Duke Carl August of Saxon-Weimar-Eisenach, who had only just attained full age, was fascinated by the young poet and his novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther”. He gained Goethe as an energetic ally to help reorganize his lands and subsequently delegated official duties to him, such as mining, Ilmenau’s tax system, military affairs and road construction.