"Simplicissimus House" Renchen Things to Do Tip by Nemorino
Renchen Things to Do: 5 reviews and 19 photos
No, this is not the house where Grimmelshausen lived when he was the Sheriff or Mayor or Magistrate of Renchen from 1667 to 1676. His house, wherever it was, was burnt to the ground by French troops in 1689 along with nearly everything else in Renchen.
The house that is now called the Simplicissimus House, next door to the town hall, was built in the 1730s and is one of the oldest still-existing houses in Renchen. The house was bought by the city of Renchen in 1984 and renovated for use as a museum.
The trouble was that they had absolutely nothing from Grimmelshausen or his time that they could have displayed in a museum, because anything that might have remained after his widow died in 1683 was destroyed in the great fire six years later. Also no one even knew, in the eighteenth century, that Grimmelshausen was the author of Simplicissimus, so interest in him was minimal.
Eventually a small group of dedicated people came up with a new concept for a museum, namely to display the illustrations, in some cases the originals, from the many illustrated editions of Simplicissimus that were published in the twentieth century.
Second photo: The Simplicissimus House is only open on Sundays from 3 to 6 pm (which is when I went), but at other times you can also ask Ms Sester at the Citizens’ Bureau across the street, and she’ll let you in so you can have a look around by yourself. (The Citizens’ Bureau is also the Tourist Office, not that they have many tourists coming through.)
Third photo: As I have mentioned in one of my Gelnhausen reviews, there is an opera called Simplicius Simplicissimus by the composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963). I asked my guide at the Simplicissimus House in Renchen if she knew the opera and she said she had heard of it but never seen it.
Fourth photo: The program booklet for the opera Simplicius Simplicissimus when it was performed at the Frankfurt Opera in 2009.
Address: Hauptstraße 59, 77871 Renchen
Directions: GPS 48°35'9.80" North; East 8° 0'42.60"
Phone: 07843 707-20
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