Sessenheim Things to Do

  • Lutheran church - the interior
    Lutheran church - the interior
    by robertbaum
  • Lutheran church - the interior
    Lutheran church - the interior
    by robertbaum
  • The Path of Reconciliation
    The Path of Reconciliation
    by robertbaum

Best Rated Things to Do in Sessenheim

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    Goethe-Museum in the restaurant "Au Boeuf"

    by robertbaum Written May 11, 2008

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    Goethe-Museum in the restaurant
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    The Gothe-Museum is a small private collection and part of the restaurant "Au Boeuf" giving you the once in a time chance of combining German and Alsatian culture with French cuisine.

    As other people collect stamps the family has started decades ago to collect bits and pieces with a connection to Goethe.

    The benches in the restaurant are originally from the old church that was taken down in 1911.

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    In the steps of Goethe and Friederike Brion

    by robertbaum Updated May 19, 2008

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    Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Friederike Brion
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    You would like to explore Sessenheim "in the footsteps of Goethe and Friederike Brion"?

    The hiking association Club Vosgien has marked a route (see other picture). It is marked by a red circle and takes about 90 minutes for the 6 km.

    It starts at the town's centre (No. 1) with the Lutheran church, parish priest's house and the Goethe Memorial, then continues to (No. 2) the tumulus (or Goethehügel or Friederikensruhe) and the Goethe-Eiche, an oak tree (No. 3).

    When walking I suggest to read (or listen to) Goethe's "Dichtung und Wahrheit" ("Poetry and Truth") where he also describes his relationship to Friederike and Sessenheim.

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    Goethe barn

    by robertbaum Updated May 19, 2008

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    Goethe barn
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    This barn stands in the yard of the parish house (todays Lutheran parish.

    At the time when Goethe came to Sessenheim in 1770 it was the house of the family Brion, the minister of the church.

    It is said the Goethe helped in the house, as in October 1770 when he helped to store corn in the barn. Therefore the barn is called "Goethe barn". It can be seen on one of Goethe's own drawings (Link to Wikipedia).

    It was restored in 1927 and 1958.

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    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 6 - Goethe Memorial

    by robertbaum Updated May 11, 2008

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    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 6 - Goethe Memorial
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    The house No. 6 in Rue Albert Fuchs from 1820 was used by guardsmen during the time of Napoleon. It has a timber porch typical for the imperial time.

    In 1961 professor Albert Fuchs founded the Goethe Memorial to commemorate the connection of the young Goethe with Sessenheim, who fell in love with the pastor's daughter Friederike Brion in 1770/71 and visited Sessenheim a couple of times.

    The building has two public rooms, the front "bust hall" (described separately) and the "room of documents" in the back. In the latter you can immerse into the time when Goethe was visiting Sessenheim, the French and German people, friends, philospohers, statesmen and their visions he was exposed to and influenced by.

    It is open to the public throughout the year.

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    Goethe Memorial - Bust hall

    by robertbaum Updated May 11, 2008

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    Goethe Memorial - Bust hall
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    The front room of the Goethe Memorial building in Rue Albert Fuchs No. 6 is dedicated to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). He was a student in Strasbourg from April 1770 to August 1771. During this time he visited many Alsatian towns together with his friend Friedrich Leopold Weyland and for the first time in August 1770 also Sessenheim where he met Friederike Brion, the daughter of the pastor. He fell deeply in love with her but finished the relationship a year later.

    Centrally in the bust hall the bust of Goethe commemorates his connection with France. The bust itself was modelled by Pierre-Jean David d'Angers (1788-1856) in 1829. He sent it as a present to Goethe who welcomed it deeply moved as a sign of transnational human ties (during the times of rising nationalism). The bust exhibited here is a copy of the original.

    Below the bust on the base are two quotes catching the eye. "Vous étes un homme" ("You are a man") was said by Napoleon when they met in Erfurt in 1808. "L'inépuisable est dans sa nature" ("Inexhaustible he is in its nature") was said by Paul Valery in 1932 at the Sorbonne during a speech commemorating the 100th anniversary of Goethe's death.

    The quotes left and right of the bust are Goethe's: "Und dein Streben sei's in Liebe und dein Leben sei die Tat" ("Let love guide thy strivin and let action be thy life") and "Alle menschlichen Gebrechen sühnet reine Menschlichkeit" ("All man's failings are redeemed by the pure essence of his humanity").

    On the right wall the dates of Goethe's time in Alsace (2 April 1770 - 14 August 1771) is inscribed together with important people he met or whos ideas he heard about during his time as a student in Strasbourg: Herder, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Diderot.

    On the left wall his love Friederike Brion (19 April 1752 - 2 April 1813) is immortalised together with a line by Goethe: "Sie hat mich geliebt schöner als ich's verdiente" ("Her love was finer than I deserved").

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    Rue de la Paix

    by robertbaum Updated May 11, 2008
    Rue de la Paix No. 5 (left) and 7 (right)
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    The Rue de la Paix is another street lined with old timber frame houses. It leads to the Catholic church whose spire nicely landmarks the road.

    Pictures of houses include No. 1, No. 5, No. 7, No. 13 and No. 14.

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    Lutheran church

    by robertbaum Updated May 11, 2008
    Lutheran church
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    The Lutheran church was built in 1911/12 by the architect Jos. Müller. It is an extension of the old
    church building of which only the spire and choir (today the sacristy) remain.

    At the time when Goethe visited Sessenheim, it was the only church and used by both congregations, the Lutheran and Catholic who held services in the sanctuary. The minister of this church in 1770/71, Reverend Brion is the father of Friederike Brion (1752-1813), who Goethe fell in love with. On sundays they were both listening to the sermon of her father, which was "a deadpan but never too long by her side".

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    Lutheran church - stained glass windows

    by robertbaum Updated May 11, 2008
    Lutheran church - the Lutheran Reformation
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    On the south side of the nave three large windows with stained glass depict three stations of historical importance for the reformed Lutheran church: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Reformation.

    On the window about the reformation Luther can be seen standing at the Diet of Worms in 1521 defending his writings. His assumed closing words are also written below the painting "Hier steh ich. Ich kann nicht anders. Gott helfe mir. Amen." ("Here, I stand. I can do nothing else. God help me. Amen.")

    The windows where destroyed during the war but have been beautifully restored, as can be seen on the pictures.

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    Lutheran church - the interior

    by robertbaum Updated May 19, 2008
    Lutheran church - the interior
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    The new church of 1911/12 is built asymmetrical with a gallery on the northern wall where people can sit as well. The paintings along the gallery are done by artists and students of professor Reinhardt from Munich.

    When entering the church the aisle leads to the choir with a beautifully stained window in its back wall. On the south wall are three large windows also with stained glass (described separately).

    The ceiling and the wooden beams follow the roofline and thus enlarge the inner space of the church. Inside it feels much larger compared to the outside image.

    A large organ and a wooden pulpit complete the appearance of the church.

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    Lutheran church - the sermon on the mount

    by robertbaum Written May 11, 2008
    Lutheran church - the sermon on the mount
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    The artist Claude Braun has done a set of eight paintings "The Path of Reconciliation" that are exhibited in eight different churches in the South Palatinate of Germany and the North Alsace of France.

    No. 7 is placed here in the Lutheran church in Sessenheim.

    The Path of Reconciliation

    No. 1 in Bad Bergzabern "We are all children of God" (1 Moses 1,27) and "A world is collapsing" (1 Moses 3-7)
    No. 2 in Billigheim "The spiral of violence will be broken" (Isaiah 52ff)
    No. 3 in Hunspach "Such is reconciliation" and "An appeal to our responsibility" (2 Moses 20; 5 Moses 5)
    No. 4 in Steinweiler "Put in perspective" (Matthew 5,45)
    No. 5 in Niederbronn-les-Bains "Charity" (Luke 10, 25-37) and "An appeal to our conscience" (5, 38ff)
    No. 6 in Wissembourg "Jesus is put to the test" (John 8, 1-2)
    No. 7 in Sessenheim "Sermon on the mount" (Matthew 5,1-10)
    No. 8 in Klingenmünster "The love of God is a gift" (John 15, 12-17)

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    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 4

    by robertbaum Updated May 11, 2008
    Rue Albert Fuchs No.4 - left the Goethe Memorial
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    The house with the No. 4 in Rue Albert Fuchs is a timber frame house with infills plastered in a bright yellow colour. It stands right beside the Goethe memorial.

    It was built in 1765 by the family Binder Schoeplin as can be read nicely written on one of the corner timber posts (see pictures).

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    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 5

    by robertbaum Written May 11, 2008
    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 5 - Lutheran church behind
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    The house with the No. 5 in Rue Albert Fuchs is an old timber frame house.

    It was built in 1823 by Jacob Krautwasser and Carolina Hoen as can be read nicely written on one of the corner timber posts (see pictures).

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    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 14

    by robertbaum Updated May 11, 2008
    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 14
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    The house with the No. 14 in Rue Albert Fuchs is a further timber frame.

    It was built in 1819 by people with the initials HR + ML as can be read nicely written on one of the corner timber posts (see pictures).

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    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 16

    by robertbaum Written May 11, 2008
    Rue Albert Fuchs No. 16
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    The house with the No. 16 in Rue Albert Fuchs is another timber frame.

    It was built in 1821 by Jacob Vix and Katharina Heintz as can be read nicely written on one of the corner timber posts (see pictures).

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    Gravestone of father Brion

    by robertbaum Written May 11, 2008
    Gravestone of father Brion
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    On the outside of the southern wall of the church building you can find the gravestone of Johann Jacob Brion aged 70, the minister of the church and father of Friederike Brion whom Goethe fell in love with.

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