Hegel Museum and Birthplace
Whether or not the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was the greatest of Stuttgart’s native sons is still a moot point. One thing is quite certain, however: in the last years of his life in Berlin, he had become one of the most influential philosophers of his day – a »European phenomenon«, as Nietzsche put it. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born on August 27, 1770 in the house at 53 Eberhardstrasse – known today as the Hegel-Haus.
In his native city of Stuttgart, Hegel attended the Gymnasium Illustre, a grammar school which today is the Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium. At the age of eighteen he moved to Tübingen to study theology. As an undergraduate theologian on a ducal scholarship, Hegel lived at the famous seminary, the »Evangelisches Stift«, during his studies. Here he struck up friendships with two fellow students with whom he shared a room: Friedrich Hölderlin, his contemporary in age, and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling who was five years his junior. Hegel passed his Master’s degree examination in Tübingen in 1793.
His life in the years that followed was not particularly eventful. He was a private tutor in Berne and Frankfurt (1793–1800), a lecturer at Jena University (1801–1807), editor-inchief of a newspaper in Bamberg (1807–1808), headmaster in Nuremberg (1808–1816), and professor at the University of Heidelberg (1816–1818). There was no hint of the immense stature he would one day attain, nor the influence he would exert over the intellectual life of his times. When he accepted the chair of philosophy at Berlin University in 1818, that all changed overnight.
Hegel’s appearances as an academic teacher very soon became events of public interest. Numerous students and curious spectators from all over Europe travelled to Berlin to listen to Hegel, whose lectures from his professorial chair displayed the universality of his prodigious knowledge. He spoke about logic, the philosophy of nature, anthropology and psychology, and the philosophy of law, religion and art. His two lectures, »The Philosophy of World History« and »The History of Philosophy«, were the great attraction for Berlin’s intellectual and social circles on account of their clarity and breadth of content.
As well as lecturing, Hegel also wrote highly influential works – the first being »The Phenomenology of Spirit« which appeared in 1807, followed by »The Science of Logic« (1812–16) and »The Philosophy of Right« published in 1821 – to name but three of his many publications. Some of his works were published only after his death in 1831. Even beyond the academic world of Berlin, Hegel exercised an extraordinary influence, which persisted long after his death. Especially the revolutionary thinkers of the nineteenth century – Sören Kierkegaard and Karl Marx, for example – grappled with the monumental structure of Hegel’s thought. According to Lenin, Hegel was compulsory reading for anyone who wished to understand Marx. What Hegel had accomplished, and what still makes him so fascinating and relevant, was nothing more or less than the attempt to grasp intellectually and explain the whole of existence, past and present, including the knowledge of God. In an impressive intellectual structure, he integrated all of philosophy up to his day in one unified system. No one seriously concerned with philosophy today, no one who wants an intellectual grasp of the world and existence can afford to ignore Hegel!
The ground floor of the Hegel-Haus is set out as a historical tour of »Stuttgart in Hegel’s Lifetime 1770–1831«. The Hegel Museum is upstairs on the first and second floors. »From Stuttgart to Berlin – Stages in Hegel’s Life« is a six-room exhibition about the philosopher’s life and his progress from Stuttgart via the seminary in Tübingen to his appointment to a professorship at Berlin University. On display are manuscripts, pictures and documents, in an exhibition designed in accordance with Goethe’s theory of colours, which Hegel strongly supported.
The Hegel Haus regularly hosts literary and philosophical events in German language. For up-to-date event listings please check the event caldendar.
Weddings in the Hegel-Haus
The vaulted cellar of the Hegel-Haus can be used as a wedding venue. If you would like to celebrate your marriage or civil partnership ceremony here, please contact both the Hegel-Haus (or outside opening hours, Stadtmuseum Stuttgart) and Stuttgart registry office (»Standesamt«) and let us know the date you have in mind.
Hegel Haus +49 (0)711 / 216 964 10 (during opening hours) or Stadtmuseum Stuttgart +49 (0)711 / 216 964 00 or 964 06; Standesamt Stuttgart registry office +49 (0)711 / 216 888 42
Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 10–17.30
Entry is free of charge
Only the ground floor of the Hegel Haus (incl. WC) has wheelchair access
U1, U2, U4, U11 Haltestelle Rathaus
U1, U4, U14 Haltestelle Rotebühlplatz
Tel. +49 (0)711 / 216 25888
Guided Tours (in English) upon demand