Ilmenau: Walking in the footsteps of Goethe

by Zac Steger

The small university town of Ilmenau sits at the edge of the Thuringian Forest in central Germany, taking its name from the River Ilm that flows through it. Though long known for its mining, glass, and porcelain industries, visitors to the town often come for its association with Germany's most famous writer and scholar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Today, the Goethe Trail takes visitors along the scenic pathways around the town that Goethe himself once walked.

Goethe's first of 28 visits to Ilmenau came at the request of the Duke of Weimar in 1776. His job was to inspect th...

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