Eingang zum Deutschordenshof
Eingang zum Deutschordenshof © Peter-Jörg Albrecht

A branch of the Knights of the Teutonic Order was established in Wetzlar in 1285 to administer the order’s local properties. The main building was used to accommodate knights of the order who were passing through the town on their travels. Today the municipal museum is housed in this building. There was once a small garden where one can now sit in the shade of chestnut trees.

The former tithe barn, built in 1530, was destroyed by bombs in 1944. Tithes in form of farm produce, especially grain, was stored here. It was rebuilt in 1976 and today houses a small industrial museum.

Charlotte Buff was born in 1753 in what was then the house of the administrator of the order’s local affairs. She was the second oldest of 16 children. Twelve were living when Goethe first entered the house on June 9, 1772. As her mother had died, Charlotte ran the household and took care of her siblings. From the summer of 1772 on, she was bound in friendship with Goethe. In 1863, a Lotte Room was opened. Since 1922, the house has been dedicated to the memory of the encounter of the young lady from Wetzlar with Goethe. Her name gained worldwide recognition thanks to Goethe’s epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.

The Viseum is housed in a restored 18th-century home. Local industries exhibit developments in optics as well as giving visitors a chance to experience optics firsthand.

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