Childhood and Youth

1816 to 1834

Famous for Goethe, Schiller, Herder and Wieland, the four most important German poets of their time, and for the Court of the Muses set up by the erudite Duchess Anna Amalia – Weimar was deemed the cradle of national culture in the early 19th century.

Recent historical research has shown that this is an incomplete picture. In actual fact, Weimar was more a city of craftsmen. The city chiefly owed its economic prowess to its craftsmen.

The most affluent customers came from the ducal family and the appertaining court household, including the upper echelons of the civil service. Luxury goods were in great demand and this was reflected by the broad spectrum of skilled crafts.

This is the world into which Carl Zeiss was born on 11 September to Friederike Zeiss and the court wood turner August Zeiss.

Events from his youth in Weimar

City map, 1826. Source: Weimar Classics Foundation

Zeiss’s peers in Weimar

Image gallery