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Jena-Auerstedt 14 October, 1806



Here are some other sites linked to the twin battles of Jena/Auerstedt. They do not constitute a route in themselves but give details concerning various sites in Thuringia in general.
Audio visit
Visiteurs to the «1806 Museum» at Cospeda can also experience an interactive walk in the Emperor Napoleon's footsteps. Headphones and walkmen are available in the Museum.
Saxon Tomb
The « Saxon Tomb », 200 metres south of the church at Zwätzen, is at the Southern end of the old command centre park in the Zwätzen quarter of Jena. When fighting began near Rödigen, Von Berlepsch organised the installation of a military hospital in the command centre. 47 Saxon soldiers who died of their wounds were buried in the little wood at Zwätzen, and it was in remembrance of them that August Von Berlepsch donated the monument known as the “Saxon Tomb”. An inscription bearing the names of the fallen was placed in 2005, making the “Saxon Tomb” the only monument on the battlefields of Jena-Auerstadt that bears the names of private soldiers and not only those of officers.
Eckartsburg: Built by Ekkehard I of MeiBen in 998 to protect his empire. Today, the keep houses a diorama that reconstitutes the battle of Jena-Auerstadt with over 6000 lead soldiers. Visitors can also discover the turbulent history of the castle in the museum.
The town of Erfurt: The capital of Thuringia has many souvenirs of the passage of the Great Army, starting with the former governor's residence, Regiestrasse 73, built between 1711 and1720 according to plans by the architect Maximilian Von Welsch. It was the seat of the governor of Mainz and today houses the Chancellory of Thuringia. It was here, in the audience hall of the former imperial palace, that Napoleon met Goethe, on the 2nd of October 1808.
The imperial hall, 15/16 Futterstrasse, is part of a building that was built in 1715 as a ballroom for the University. During the famous Congress, the Comédie Française gave a performance here. The building, now a conference centre, hosted the meeting between Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I, the 27th of September 1808.
On the square of the cathedral, you can see the «Zur Hohen Lilie» House, one of the oldest inns in Europe. Since 1341, the inn has welcomed such famous names as Martin Luther or the king of Sweden Gustavus II Adolphus. During the Napoleonic era, French soldiers lodged here, as did the king of Westphalia, the youngest of Napoleon's brothers.
The splendid ensemble formed by the cathedral and church of St Severi is not to be missed, as a stunning example of medieval religious architecture. The late gothic style of the cathedral and the elements of flamboyant gothic are striking. In the centre, visitors can find the oldest medieval bell in existence, which, together with the church of St Severi is the town emblem. At the beginning of 1814, French troops fell back via the lower cathedral hill and the Petersberg.
Lastly, the Petersberg citadel is the only baroque citadel in Europe still conserved today. It dates from the period when Efrurt belonged to the kingdom of Mainz, and reflects the European military architecture of the era. During the French military occupation (1806-), the citadel became the theatre of various military operations and was the last bastion of French troops in 1813/1814.
The town of Weimar, although primarily marked by the poets Goethe and Schiller and the intellectual effervescence of German classicism, keeps several places of rembrance of the Age of Napoleon.
The residence and «office» of the editor Friedrich J. Bertuch, who had frequently published writings against Napoleon, and was obliged to flee Weimar for some time after the 14th of October 1806. Since 1955, the house is home to the principal museum, at n°s 5-9 Karl-Liebknecht Street.
At n° 23 Frauentor Street, you can discover the famous inn Gasthaus zum weiBen Schwann. A cannonball fired in October 1806 is still embedded in the south wall. Goethe’s house on the Frauenplan is just next door.
Further away, you can see a life-size bust of J. D. Falk, deposed here in 1913 in the trench in front of the building society. In 1806 Falk had effectively rendered great services to the town by serving as an interpreter and mediator with the French, although the monument was first and foremost set up to honour Falk’s social engagement in helping orphans of the campaigns of 1813/15.
Finally, on the southern side of the church of St Jakob, there is the tombstone of Melchior Kraus. This painter and drawing professor, nearly seventy years old, died on the 5th of November 1806, following the damage caused by pillagers and from sorrow at losing his workshop.

June 2006



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