Hölderlin alcove in the Gothic House
1. Hölderlin alcove in the Gothic House.
2. Books by Hölderlin and his friends, with a relief of Susette Gontard in the middle.
3. Bust of Susette Gontard.
4. Hölderlin's friend and benefactor Isaac von Sinclair.
The museum in the Gothic House includes a small but interesting display on the poet Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843).
The bust of Hölderlin's beloved Susette Gontard is a copy (the original is in the Liebieghaus in Frankfurt) of a bust by Landolin Ohmacht (1760-1834).
In the black frame next to Hölderlin's portrait is one of his best-known (and shortest) poems, Hälfte des Lebens ("Half of Life" or "At the Middle of Life"):
Mit gelben Birnen hänget
Und voll mit wilden Rosen
Das Land in den See,
Ihr holden Schwäne,
Und trunken von Küssen
Tunkt ihr das Haupt
Ins heilignüchterne Wasser.
Weh mir, wo nehm' ich, wenn
Es Winter ist, die Blumen, und wo
Und Schatten der Erde?
Die Mauern stehn
Sprachlos und kalt, im Winde
Klirren die Fahnen.
You can read a modern English translation of this poem on James Mitchell's website:
Hölderlin Path on the Riedberg
1. Looking back along the Hölderlin Path towards Kalbach.
2. New ponds to collect rainwater for flood control.
3. Magda-Spiegel-Weg with new apartment buildings
4. Claudia Becker's biography of Magda Spiegel, published 2003
After leaving Kalbach the Hölderlin Path goes uphill slightly to the Riedberg, which is not a mountain as you might think from the name, but rather just a somewhat high area in the fields where a lot of new construction has been going on in recent years.
In one of the new residential areas (third photo) there is a small street named after Magda Spiegel (1887-1944), a Frankfurt opera singer who was very popular here around 1920, but had to stop singing shortly thereafter because she made the mistake of getting married to an ardent admirer, and her new husband promptly forbade her from appearing on the stage. Later she was persecuted by the Nazis because of her Jewish ancestry, and finally murdered in a concentration camp in 1944.
1. The White Tower as seen from the palace park.
2. Looking up at the White Tower.
In the center of one of the palace courtyards is this freestanding White Tower, which all that remains of the medieval castle that once occupied this site.
The tower is 48 meters high and can be climbed, supposedly, starting at 9 a.m. any day of the week. (But don't count on it if you go in the winter.)
Bad Homburg City Hall
The Bad Homburg City Hall (Rathaus) is a modern building near the railroad station, with city offices, a shopping center, cafés and restaurants.
There is also an information office which is primarily intended for residents, not tourists, but in fact they gave me a better city map than the one I got later at the tourist information in the Kurhaus.
The Spa House and Springs
In the parc you will find the Kaiser Wilhelms Bad. It is a place where people enjoy wellness programs like massage, bathing etc. in a nice and relaxing atmosphere.
Here is a link to the pages of the bath.
In front of the building you will find the spa promenade, a large passage which leads along most of the springs. The water comes from deep down and has a very 'healthy' taste partly like iron or sulfor. But it is said to help people to get over illness. You can find information on the different springs in the sightseeing section on the homepage of the town Bad Homburg. So bring a little cup with you to get a taste...
Inside the Kaiser Wilhelms Bad.
In front of the bath there is a monument of Kaiser Wilhelm the first.
Some art on the building...
This spring is called "Stahlbrunnen" (steal spring), which has a high amount of carbonated iron in its water.
When going around in the parc you will see nice old trees calling you to take a photo of them.
This one is one of the saltiest spring in Bad Homburg. It is called "Landgrafenbrunnen".
The "Elisabethenbrunnen" is a medical spring helping against intestinal disorders.