ohann Wolfgang von Goethe

born on August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
died on March 22, 1832 in Weimar, Germany

Reference to the Goldener Adler

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was twice our guest at the Goldener Adler.

On September 8, 1786, on his journey to Italy, he arrived in Innsbruck at 11 o’clock in the morning, dined at the Goldener Adler and continued his journey south the same day. He had a conversation with the son of the innkeeper, in whom he saw the “incarnate Söller” from one of his works, “Die Mitschuldigen”. There is still an oil painting hanging in the house today, which reminds us of this encounter.

From June 5-7, 1790 was his second stay in Innsbruck.

Coming from Italy, he stayed at the Goldener Adler together with Anna Amalia Duchess of Saxe-Weimar and Eisenach and two other guests, and attended the dinner of Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria and a theater performance.

Not only room #209, one of our most beautiful rooms which offers a unique view of Innsbruck’s landmark, the Golden Roof, is dedicated to him, but also our Goethe Stube is named after the poet prince.

The Goethe Stube later became a meeting place for Tyrolean poets, painters and musicians.


xcursion tip

Where better to read a work by Goethe than on a bench in a green oasis of wonderful tranquility? Why not visit Innsbruck’s Court Garden today?

The grounds cover ten hectares and have been in existence for around 600 years.

There are still plants in the park that were planted by the Austrian monarch Maria Theresa herself. A game of chess at the pavilion is just as inviting as the palm house with a plant collection of about 1700 species.

Life and facts

Goethe came from a distinguished bourgeois family. Following his father’s wishes, he studied law in Leipzig and Strasbourg and then worked as a lawyer in Wetzlar and Frankfurt.

At the same time, he followed his inclination towards poetry, achieving early success and recognition in the literary world with the drama Götz von Berlichingen. At the age of 26, he was invited to the court of Weimar, where he eventually settled for the rest of his life. He held political and administrative offices there as a friend and minister of Duke Carl August and directed the court theater for a quarter of a century.

After the first decade of Weimar, the official activity with the neglect of his creative abilities triggered a personal crisis, which Goethe escaped by fleeing to Italy.

He felt the two-year trip to Italy like a “rebirth”.

He owed the completion of important works (Tasso, Iphigenia, Egmont) to it. Goethe’s literary works include poetry, drama, epic poetry, autobiographical, art and literary theory, and scientific writings. In addition, his extensive correspondence is of literary importance. Goethe was the forerunner and most important representative of the Sturm und Drang.

His novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther” made him famous in Europe.

Even Napoleon asked him for an audience on the occasion of the Erfurt Congress of Princes. In alliance with Schiller and together with Herder and Wieland, he embodied the Weimar Classicism. The Wilhelm Meister novels became exemplary forerunners of German-language artistic and Bildungsromane.

His “Faust” gained a reputation as the most important creation of German-language literature.

In his old age, he was also regarded abroad as a representative of intellectual Germany. Goethe died on March 22, 1832, probably of a heart attack. He was buried four days later in the Weimar princely crypt.


Prem. Goethes Fahrt durch Tirol. S. 13. 1458
Prem. Goethes Fahrt durch Tirol. S. 21. 1483).

(Goethe, Johann Wolfgang: Italienische Reise, 1992, S. 16)


data.cfm (innsbruck.gv.at) – Chronik von Innsbruck, zusammengestellt von Carl Unterkircher, Scriptor an der k.k. Universitäts-Bibliothek in Innsbruck. Druck und Verlag der Vereinsbuchhandlung. 1897. UB Innsbruck Separatabdruck der „Neuen Tiroler Stimmen“ 1892–1896.

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