ugust Friedrich Ferdinand von Kotzebue

born on May 3, 1761 in Weimar, Germany
died on March 23, 1819 in Mannheim, Germany

He was a German playwright, writer and librettist.

Reference to the Goldener Adler

On the journey of his honeymoon in Italy (Rome and Naples), he stayed at the Goldener Adler from October 4-9, 1804. He visited the local theater.

In a room of the hotel a plaque with the following inscription has long commemorated the poet murdered by Ludwig Sand:

“Kotzebue stayed here through five days, he lived by ink and paper and died by Sand.”

The inscription in question has unfortunately not survived to this day but is still mentioned by Hugo Klein in 1962 in his detailed description of Innsbruck inns.


xcursion tip

August von Kotzebue would certainly recommend our Tyrolean Landestheater to others. To recommend, there is something for every taste. Whether opera, theater or the Tyrolean Symphony Orchestra, book your ticket today and take a piece of cultural high pleasure with you.

Information at: https://www.landestheater.at/

Life and facts

The young Kotzebue, son of Carl Christian Kotzebue, grows up as a half-orphan in Weimar, where he attends grammar school. Like his father, he then studied law. During his school and university years, August spends a lot of time as an actor and starts his first literary attempts.

He marries the noblewoman Friederike von Essen – this marriage considerably strengthens his social position. His professional breakthrough came with the performance of the family drama Menschenhass und Reue (1789) at the Royal National Theater in Berlin.

But his wife died after the birth of their 4th child in 1790, which was a heavy blow for him. In 1795 he resigned from the civil service and devoted himself increasingly to literary activity, enjoying great success at the Burgtheater in Vienna. He also worked for 3 years in St. Petersburg in the German court theater until he became a member of the Berlin Academy in 1803.

After the death of his second wife Christiane von Krusenstern, August von Kotzebue married her cousin in 1804. Their honeymoon trip took them via Tyrol to Rome and Naples. Kotzebue was disappointed by Italy, as he later wrote down, but his description of Tyrol contains words of praise and appreciation throughout.

He praises the sublime Tyrolean landscape and the

“staid, loyal and yet somewhat proud”

Tyrolean population.

Kotzebue is one of the most prolific German writers; he wrote about 220 plays, as well as novels, historical accounts, autobiographical writings, and countless journal articles. In 1804, for example, he took a trip to Paris, where he met Bonaparte.

In the 19th century, August von Kotzebue was the most frequently performed playwright in Europe; his plays were even performed in New York.

In the last years of his life, he served as Russian consul general and fell victim to the assassination attempt of the Burschenschafter Karl Ludwig Sand in 1819.

His assassination influenced the Carlsbad Resolutions.


Verfasserin Christine Oberthanner, Website Stand 22.07.2021 22:53

Website Stand 22.07.2021 22:53

Website Stand 22.07.2021 23:03

August von Kotzebue: Erinnerungen von einer Reise aus Liefland nach Rom und Neapel. Erster Theil. Berlin: [s .n.] 1805.

Fischnaler, Konrad: Innsbrucker Chronik. Mit Bildschmuck nach alten Originalen und Rekonstruktions-Zeichnungen. Bd. IV: Verwaltungs-, Wirtschafts- und Kultur-Chronik. Innsbruck: Vereinsbuchhandlung 1930.

Klein, Hugo: Alt-Innsbrucker Gaststätten. Historische Plaudereien von Hugo Klein. Innsbruck: Wagner 1962 (Schlern-Schriften, 222).