Another important chapter has now been reached in the construction of Frankfurt's new Old Town. One that is so special because it concerns a piece of the city's history: the Stoltze Fountain, which stood on Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz behind St. Catherine's Church from 1981 to 2016, has now returned to Hühnermarkt and thus to the central square of the new Old Town. However, this will not be the only honor that will be bestowed on one of the city's most famous Old Town sons in the future. In the immediate vicinity of the new location, in Haus Markt 7, the Stoltze Museum of the Frankfurter Sparkasse will also provide information about the life and work of the poet from 2018.
Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann and Bernd Jenne of Frankfurter Sparkasse inaugurated the Stoltze Fountain on the almost completed Hühnermarkt on Friday, 29 September. The Lord Mayor is happy that the fountain is back here and is sure that the people of Frankfurt will love this place. It is expected to be walkable from April 2018, and the old town should then be completely finished in September next year.
(kus) Friedrich Stoltze (1816-1891) is one of the best-known sons of the Main metropolis. Mayor Feldmann: "The poet and satirist is still considered an ambassador of the Frankfurt dialect as well as Frankfurt's cider culture and is known far beyond the city limits for his satirical weekly ‚Frankfurter Latern'." In it, he dealt critically with events in the Römer, as well as with current political and contemporary issues surrounding statesman Otto von Bismarck.
In the course of the reconstruction of Frankfurt's old town, the Stoltze Fountain, erected in 1892 and inaugurated in 1895, is now returning to the Hühnermarkt. For many years, the monument, designed by Friedrich Schierholz, was a major attraction for citizens and visitors until it had to be dismantled after the 1944 air raids.
"Friedrich Stoltze is still a role model for many people today," Feldmann said at the inauguration. "He stands in the liberal tradition of our Main metropolis and was a strong advocate for human and civil rights. He fought for freedom of the press and our traditional values such as cosmopolitanism and tolerance, which he also lived personally. I am very pleased that this personality, who was so important for Frankfurt's city history, will in future be remembered again in the centre of the old town. Our city history culminates in the new quarter. At the same time, the numerous shops, restaurants and cafés will make it a lively, exciting place - very much in the spirit of Stoltzes, who loved his home and often referred to himself as an ‚Altstädter'," explained Peter Feldmann, Lord Mayor and also Chairman of the Sparkassen Foundation.
Robert Restani, Chairman of the Board of Frankfurter Sparkasse and Deputy Chairman of the Frankfurter Sparkasse Foundation, which will set up the new Stoltze Museum in the immediate vicinity of the central square in the rebuilt Old Town in 2018, was also pleased about the inauguration: "With the Stoltze Fountain and the future Stoltze Museum, the dialect author, satirist and freedom poet is returning to the quarter where he spent his childhood and youth and where his political interest was awakened.“ Stoltze's verses from the poem "Frankfurt", which he wrote for the gymnastics festival in 1880, are still well-known in the Main metropolis and beyond:
"Es is kaa Stadt uff der weite Welt,
Die so merr wie mei Frankfort gefällt,
Un es will merr net in mein Kopp enei:
Wie kann nor e Mensch net von Frankfort sein!"
An appeal by the Alt-Frankfurt district association, written in 1891, shortly after Stoltzes death, underscores Stoltzes importance to his contemporaries:
"Fellow citizens! Everyone knows what Friedrich Stoltze was and will remain for us. To the loyal son and citizen of Frankfurt, to the outstanding poet and humorist, to the free-minded German patriot, a worthy monument shall be erected, to him for glory and lasting memory, to the father city for adornment and as a testimony to its veneration and gratitude." (Source: Frankfurter Sparkasse)
In 1893, various models for the monument were presented. On 21 November 1895, Stoltzes birthday, it could finally be inaugurated on the Hühnermarkt. For Lord Mayor Feldmann, the return of the monument closes a circle: "Next year, when the people of Frankfurt stroll along the bubbling Stoltze Fountain, meet friends there and enjoy the atmosphere on the Hühnermarkt, the old town feeling that we know from Stoltze's works will return to our city. Together with the Stoltze Museum, we are preparing a worthy memory for Friedrich Stoltze."