Monument Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths

GutsMuths monument - photo: QTM GmbH (NR)

Artist:  sculptor Richard Anders

Raised: 1904

Location:  Auf dem GutsMuths Platz / nahe seines Geburtshauses

Description: The monument was created for the founder of the German gymnastics movement and important reform educator Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuth. It consists of a larger-than-life depiction of GutsMuth and shows him as a hiker accompanied by his favourite student Carl Ritter.

The group of figures stands on a tall granite post. The base is octagonal on the ground and then changes into a cylindrical shape. Originally, the base of the monument contained scenes from the life and work of GutsMuth. These were redesigned in 1989.

In Quedlinburg, it is claimed that the monument still refers to two other personalities. GutsMuth’s coat is said to be a reminder of the poet Gerok and the stick in Carl Ritter’s hand is a symbol of the poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock.

Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths was born in Quedlinburg in 1759 and had to work as a house teacher at the age of 14 to finance his schooling and support his family. From 1779 to 1782 he studied theology in Halle (Saale). In 1793, he wrote the world’s first systematic textbook of gymnastics. The book was translated into several languages and reissued frequently until 1893. In 1839 GutsMuths died at the age of 80 years in Ibenhain (today’s district of Waltershausen).

GutsMuths was an important German pedagogue and co-founder of gymnastics. GutsMuth’s birthplace is the half-timbered house Pölle 39 in Quedlinburg. The GutsMuths High School in Quedlinburg is also named after him.

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