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Kindergarten women


This then is the house of the prophet

Friedrich Froebel crowned his life's work with the establishment of the first training institute for kindergarten teachers at Marienthal, a hunting lodge of the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, near Bad Liebenstein in Thuringia.

Surrounded by old green trees, Marienthal was a pleasant building of two stories. On one side were very beautiful old lindens, which in flowering time spread their fragrance far and wide.

view of Marienthal

When he first saw Marienthal, Froebel remarked, "This would be a beautiful place for our institution. Marienthal, the vale of the Marys, whom we wish to bring up as the mothers of humanity, as the first Mary brought up the Saviour of the World." It was Froebel's idea that women be trained to become the educators of the human race.

It soon became a custom among many of the fashionable visitors to Bad Liebenstein to walk to Marienthal. If Froebel was engaged in teaching, he took no notice of visitors; afterwards he would enter into real discussion with such as cared to do so. The effect produced by the evident enjoyment of the children, by their intelligence and attentiveness, and by their intense fondness for Froebel, converted many to the Kindergarten movement.

Friedrich Froebel died at Marienthal on June 21, 1852.

background information:

Built in 1803-1807 by Mr. von Fischern, who was the Forester of the Saxe-Meiningen Duchy.

In 1833 it became a hunting lodge of Bernard II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen who named it Marienthal after his wife, Marie. Bernard's older sister, Adelheid was the wife of William IV of England. Queen Adelaide's private diary was written in German and charmingly illustrated with her own sketches.

It was used as training institute for Kindergarten Teachers by Friedrich Froebel and later as a private school till 1873. Then as a house for Wilhelm Heller. The Wilhelm Heller Family produced knives and other cutlery and from 1892 ball bearings.

Later it was a factory called Kugel und Rollenfabrik Schweina GmbH and a Froebel Historical Site.


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