Set within the family’s former residence, Goethe’s birthplace is now open to the public as a house museum celebrating the writer’s life and work. Goethe lived here until 1765 when, at the age of 16, he moved to Leipzig to study law. He de-scribed his childhood spent in the family home in his autobiography “Out of my Life: Poetry and Truth”, which was written between 1811 and 1833.
It was in this house that Goethe wrote “Götz von Berlichingen” (1773) and his first widely recognized novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther” (1774), as well as beginning work on “Faust”. Visitors can witness his former study and the writing desk as it appeared when he penned these influential works, as well as the living spaces and bedrooms.
In the 19th century, the house was inhabited by geologist Otto Volger who re-stored it to its original condition. It was then destroyed during the Allied bomb-ing of Frankfurt on May 22, 1944, but restored with original furnishings to offer visitors an insight into what life was like for Goethe and his family in the 18th century.
Adjacent lies the Goethe Museum, which features a gallery of paintings that illus-trate his relationship to art and the artists of his time. Just a short walk from Goethe House is the Frankfurter Judengasse or “Jewish Ghetto”, which existed from 1462 until 1811. Most of its original buildings were destroyed during World War II Allied bombings but some of the foundations and retrieved artifacts are displayed at the Museum Judengasse and the site of the destroyed Börneplatz synagogue has been marked out on the pavement nearby.