E.T.A. Hoffmann-way

  • 1 House Nonnenbrücke (Nonnenbrücke 10)

First residence of E.T.A. Hoffmann and his wife Mischa in Bamberg. He travelled from Berlin to Posen, where he picked up his sick wife, and arrived on 1st of September 1808 in Bamberg. The address of the hose at that time was “Zinkenwörth 56” and belonged to Kaspar Schneider.

“After a long and stormy journey I have finally arrived in a port that gives me peace and security.”

  • 2 theatre (E.T.A.-Hoffmann-Platz)

Theatre of Bamberg or “royal privileged stage”: Here E.T.A. Hoffmann worked irregularly from 1808 to his departure 1813 in different positions. Even his debut failed because Hoffmann didn`t get along with the musicians. His performances were whistled off and he had to resign from orchestral leadership. Later he worked as a theatre composer, assistant director and stage designer. Under the direction of Franz von Holbein, with whom he worked closely together, the theatre of Bamberg experienced a heyday in those years.

As far as Hoffmann as a musician is concerned, the Bamberg period is very fertile: he composed composed the music of the ballet “Arlequin”, “Misere”, “Grand Trio” and the opera “Dirna”. His first music reviews appear and with the publication of the musical narrative, the first  literary success also sets in.

  • 3 Zum goldenen Löwen (Lange Straße 13)

House of the family Mark from 1795 to 1819. Due to the reduced activities at the theatre Hoffmann is forced to create a second source of income with music lessons. So he finds his way into Mark`s house and falls in love with his singing student, the 14 year old Julia. As his wife Mischa reads his diary, he encodes Julia`s name with “Ktch” (in reference to Kleist`s “Käthchen von Heilbronn”) or with a butterfly. His hopeless love increases to suicide thoughts and threatening madness, but also inspires his poetic spirit.

  • 4 Krackhardt-Haus (Grüner Markt 31)

Carl Friedrich Kunz, Hoffmann`s friend and publisher, rents several rooms of this house, designed by Balthasar Neumann, between 1808 and 1812. The apartment of Kunz is on the first floor and the wine shop is in the middle of the building, which has a cellar and serves as a drink store. Hoffmann and Kunz often come here together to have a drink. Hoffmann enthuses about the gothic elements, which the vault of the cellar contains.

Hoffmann often drinks, either with friends or in “Rose”, next to the theatre. He prefers wine and punch because these drinks inspire his poetic creativity. He is especially appreciated as a witty and humorous companion.

  • 5 Palais Rothenhan (Kapuzinerstraße 25)

House of the widow of the count Rothenhan:

Together with the countess Dorette her five daughters live in this property (construction time 1711-1718), who are all singing students of Hoffmann. The fact that not all daughters of well – situated Bamberg families have the desired vocal talent does not mean that their parents aren`t interested in music. However, the romanticist Hoffmann, for whom the art of music is the highest of all arts, perceives these appearances as torture: Hoffmann`s central artistic figure Kreisler said: “Truly, no art is so much abused than the glorious, sacred musica, which is so easily desecrated in its nature”.

  • 6 Dom, neue Residenz und Kurie St. Hippolyt (Domplatz)

E.T.A. Hoffmann rarely visits the cathedrale of Bamberg – but he is fascinated by the music of the catholic religion. The atmosphere of the old monastery arouses his interest and becomes the scenery for the novel Elixire des Teufels.

Hoffmann and other art-loving people often visit the kurie, the former residence of the baron von Stengel. Hoffmann looks here at the art collection of the landlord, which includes artwork of Callot. Enthusiastic about the way it is portrayed, Callot`s Manier becomes an important part of Hoffmann`s poetics. Fantasiestücke in Callot`s Manier and Prinzessin Brambilla are clear testimonials of Hoffmann`s confrontation with Callot.

  • 7 Türknauf Äpfelweib (Eisgrube 14)

Residence of Carl Friedrich Kunz from 1811: E.T.A. Hoffmann visits his friend here frequently. This house is literary significant, because the bronze doorknob inspires him to his figure “Äpfelweib”, which he writes after his time in Bamberg.

The hero of the fairy tale, Anselm, stood and “looked at the beautiful bronze door knocker, but when he wanted to seize the door knocker at the last stroke of the tower clock, the metal face distorted in the disgusting play of a glowing blue light to a grinning smile. Oh, it was the “Äpfelweib” from the black gate.”

(der Held des Märchen, Anselm, stand “und schaute den schönen bronzenen Türklopfer an, aber als er nun auf den letzten schlag der turm-Uhr den Türklopfer ergreifen wollte, da verzog sich das metallene Gesicht im ekelhaften spiel blauglühender Lichtblicke  zum grinsenden lächeln. Ach, es war ja das Äpfleweib vom schwarzen Tor!”)

  • 8 St. Stephanskirche (Stephansplatz 3/5)

St. Stephan, the only evangelic church in Hoffmann`s time: Here loses Hoffmann his love Julia Mark. On 3rd of December 1812 she marries the merchant Johann Gerhard Graepel and moves with him to Hamburg. But only three months earlier there was a break with the family Mark, when Hoffmann loudly expresses his dislike for the groom during the engagement ceremony.

  • 9 Berganza-Denkmal (Steg Hollergraben)

Inspired by walks in the grove (Hain?) the narrative “News of the latest fates of the dog Berganza”(Nachrichten von den neuesten Schicksalen des Hundes Berganza) at the end of his time in Bamberg, which he calls years of martyrdom. Because of that, the reports of the speaking dog Berganza can be seen as a bitter reckoning of the poet with the society and art scene of Bamberg and as a processing of his unfulfilled love to Julia Mark. For Berganza there is, beside the hero of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, a real role model: the black dog of the host of “Rose” named Pollux, who accompanies Hoffmann on a lot of walks.

  • 10 E.T.A.-Hoffmann-Haus (Schillerplatz 26)

Second home of E.T.A. Hoffmann and his wife Mischa. The couple rents the second floor and the attic (Mansarde) from the retired court trumpeter Kaspar Warmuth; the move from Zinkenwörth takes place on 1st of may 1809. “New apartment with beautiful view on mountain and valley. There is also a poet´s room.” The reason for this move is Hoffmann`s financial situation. The proximity to the theatre and to “Rose” has been maintained, both are even closer and determine his daily routine: “at noon at Holbein – then into the theatre – in the evening at “Rose””.