The spaciousness and lavish design of the grand staircase and the large hallways on each floor are surprising. Goethe’s father had the staircase designed to be especially imposing to demonstrate his taste and affluence. In doing so he was highlighting his social position, for as a doctor of law and imperial counsellor he belonged to the highest of Frankfurt’s five social classes.
With the landing on the first floor, one has reached the so-called bel étage, where in the 18th century a house’s most stately rooms were located.
The open staircase descended through broad corridors, which were like rooms themselves, and we always used them as such during the warm season.
Goethe: From My Life. Poetry and Truth, part 2 , book 9