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Cotta Haus: Goethe was here and drank honey and beer...

A house in Tübingen, where there was a Publishing House Cotta'sche until 1810, deserves special mention. It was founded in 1659, but it reached its full flowering at the turn of the XVIII and XIX centuries, thanks to the efforts of Johann Friedrich Cotta. He published such authors as Goethe, Schiller, Wieland, Herder, Hölderlin, Tieck, Kleist, Jean Paul, the Tübingen romantics, as well as published scientific, philosophical and theological works, created the influential newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung.

Cotta’s long friendship with Goethe played a part in turning the publishing house into a popular tourist attraction. It is known that in September 1797, on his way to Switzerland the poet stopped by Tübingen to pay Cotta a visit. This event is commemorated by the plaque installed on the house which says "Goethe stayed here". Later, local quipsters hung another plaque on the next building, touting that "Goethe puked here". Yet the authors of guidebooks split over the meaning of the plaque. Some believe that the inscription is to be understood literally, alleging that Goethe had a tremendous time in hospitable Tübingen taverns during his week’s stay in the town. Others believe that the authors of the plaque hint at somewhat unkind words Goethe had to say about their  hometown. Finally, some believe that Goethe has nothing to do with it, and the provocative inscription is the Germans’ self-irony about their habit of hanging  plaques commemorating any minor events. But even if the story of Goethe’s mysterious "illness" does not arouse your interest, the Cotta Haus is worth looking at, if only because it is one of the few buildings in Tübingen in baroque style.

Address
Münzgasse 17
72070, Tübingen
Official website
Opening Hours
Now - closed
Tue-Thu 09:00-12:00 & 13:00-16:00
Fri 13:00-16:00 & 09:00-12:00
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