A wide hallway runs through the ground floor of Goethe’s family house from the street to the rear courtyard.
It is furnished with a large Frankfurt cabinet and a two-part strongbox. The strongbox stored valuables that could quickly be brought to safety in case of fire.
When the Goethe children were young the spacious hallway was their favourite place to play. Their grandmother Cornelia Goethe still lived on the ground floor at the time. After her death Goethe’s father, Johann Caspar Goethe, had the house thoroughly remodelled in 1755 and 1756. The original foundation stone, in Latin lapis fundamentalis, still exists in the basement. The two small, connected half-timbre houses were now replaced by a comfortable, spacious townhouse, as you see it today. Only the two basements still recall the old building.
We knew that our street was called the „Deer Close,“ and since neither deer nor enclosure were to be seen, we asked for an explanation of the name. We were told that our house stood on ground that had formerly been outside the town, and what was now a street had been a walled enclosure in which deer were kept.
Goethe: From My Life. Poetry and Truth, part 1 , book 1
© Foto: Jürgen M. Pietsch