Die Goethehaus, Frankfurt, c.1880

Großer Hirschgraben

Theodore Creifelds

c.1880

frankfurt goethe haus

The stereoview shows Großer Hirschgraben in Frankfurt c.1880. Like so many late 19th century European stereoviews, the image doesn’t particularly work as an animated gif as there’s nothing in the foreground to provide a sense of depth. Initally at least, American photoographers were much better at exploiting the possibilities of stereoscopy than their European colleagues who tended to rely on conventional compositions. The large house nearest the viewer was the birthplace of Goethe in 1749, his grandmother having bought the house in 1733. It was a late medieval structure with a Baroque facade added in the 18th century. All of the properties on the street, including the Goethe House, were completely destroyed during an air-raid on 22 March 1944, the anniversary of Goethe’s death. After the war the house was reconstructed as an exact replica and is today a museum.

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