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- Tearoom in the Carthusian Garden
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Tearoom in the Carthusian Garden
Tel. +49 (0)3691 743 906
Information available from the Reuter Wagner Museum
Tel. +49 (0)3691 743 293
fax +49 (0)3691 743 294
To reach the Carthusian Garden tearoom with its Cupid and Psyche wallpaper, take Wartburgallee as far as the pump room, then turn into Waisenstrasse. Follow the path through the garden to the gardener's house and tearoom. On-street parking nearby.
Saturday 2pm to 5pm
The small tearoom is on the ground floor of the classical-style gardener's house in the delightful Carthusian Garden in south Eisenach. One of its walls is decorated with exquisite French wallpaper depicting scenes from the Cupid and Psyche myth. The gardener's house was built in 1825, but it is not known exactly when it acquired this splendid wallcovering. Its only original decorative feature is a stucco ceiling rosette.
"Cupid and Psyche" is the only "fairytale" to have been handed down from Greek/Roman antiquity. It is the story of an exceptionally beautiful princess, Psyche, with whom Cupid, son of Venus, falls in love. Cupid and Psyche are married and have a daughter named Pleasure.
This remarkable and timeless story from the classical era obtained its unmistakable character through Roman writer, philosopher and orator Apuleius (AD 138 - 161), who featured it in "Metamorphoses", his main work. It has been an eternal source of fascination for painters and sculptors throughout the ages.
In particular, it has all the qualities essential to Romanticism: apparent harmony troubled by ominous signs, emotions lurching from the heights of ecstasy to the depths of despair, the desired result achieved through higher understanding. It is not surprising that artists and sculptors of the 19th century, such as Canova, Thorwaldsen, Begas, Kaulbach and Moritz von Schwind, German Romanticism's favourite painter, were captivated by the Cupid and Psyche story.
The wallpaper in the tearoom at Eisenach was designed by Lafitte and Blondel of France. It was first printed in the Paris atelier of Joseph Defour in 1816, by hand and using some 1,450 blocks. News of the design spread and it quickly became popular. It was reprinted frequently - first in brown, later in green tones - for the interiors of palaces in France and Germany.
It was printed onto continuous paper rolls for the first time in around 1830. Eisenach's 12 large-scale wallpaper scenes were also probably created around that date.
They were first restored in the 1890s. In the 1950s, the Thuringian Museum saved the wallpaper scenes from fire damage by mounting them on canvas stretchers rather than leaving them glued to the wall. From the summer of 1959, the people of Eisenach and visitors were able to admire the renovated tearoom with its fine classical wallcoverings.
In summer 1992, more than three decades later, another lengthy restoration of the wallpaper became necessary, in conjunction with extensive architectural, structural and safety improvements. Once the work was completed in September 1998, the tearoom again opened to visitors.