Schiller House Rudolstadt

About Schiller’s passions and his first meeting with Goethe

During the last third of the 18th century the transition from the courtly to the burgeois culture gradually took place at the residence of Rudolstadt. Favoured by a decent wealth of the middle classes and higher revenues of the court, influenced by the liberal parts of the nobility, a change in culture and mind of the city’s life slowly began.

A circle of well known scholars and nobles formed around Ludwig Wilhelm of Beulwitz, privy councillor at that time who had been in princely commission since 1774. The house of the Beulwitz couple and the ladies of Lengefeld, in the former “new newtown” (nowadays Schiller street), came regularly together for an unconstrained exchange of ideas. This varied circle – Charlotte of Lengefeld and Caroline of Beulwitz participated as young ladies – did not only conduct serious conversations but also amused itself with afternoon get-togethers at the bordering garden of the Lengefeld family.

When Friedrich Schiller met Charlotte of Lengefeld and Caroline of Beulwitz at the Beulwitz’ house in 1787 he was fascinated by the open minded mental atmosphere.
Since this first meeting the poet stayed at Rudolstadt several times until 1799. Especially during his first long term stay at the small residence from 19th May to 12th November in 1788, the so called “Rudolstädtian summer”, his passion for Caroline and Charlotte awaked. This period inspired his authorial work and provided him with courage and confidence.

The museum

Today the house of the Lengefeld and Beulwitz families belongs to the rare authentic Schiller sites in Germany. Numerous findings discovered during the renovation of the house from 2005 to 2009 enabled a realistic reconstruction of the rooms and wall designs of the 18th century. The museum was opened on 9th May 2009. The exhibition entirely focuses on Schiller’s time in Rudolstadt, his relationships with the sisters of Lengefeld and his first meeting with Goethe at this house on 7th September in 1788.


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