Haus Friedwart

Oct 9, 2019  By Bill Rosauer
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Haus Friedwart, the Wetzlar home built by Ernst Leitz II, is well known to students of Leica history. It stands on the hill above the old factory in Wetzlar, known as the Kalsmunt, at 4 Lauferdorfer Weg, with a commanding view of the factory, Wetzlar and the hills beyond. I had seen the outside of it many times during my visits to Wetzlar in the past 45 years, but had never been able to see the inside of it. I remember well one visit with my dad back in the mid-80’s, as we walked around the house and he told me of his first time there as a young GI in 1947 to try and get a Leica camera. Needless to say, he came away empty handed on that trip! As part of my “Total Wetzlar Experience” tour, I was determined to make a tour of Haus Friedwart a highlight of the many things my group saw while in Wetzlar. I had arranged for a personal tour of Haus Friedwart and its grounds by the grandson of Ernst Leitz II and son of Elsie, Knut Kühn-Leitz. Elsie returned to live in the house in 1940 after her marriage to Kurt Kühn, and Knut grew up here as a boy.

Front Hall with elaborately carved stair bannister by Emil Orlick and sculpture of Christ on the Cross by Ernst Barlach.

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