Forces of Good

We onward go, “To do what is best”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote in 1815, when everyone was seeking ways to balance each other and remain at peace:

“Versäumt nicht zu üben Die Kräfte des Guten!”

Do not fail to practice the forces of good!

An English translation:

The mason’s trade Observe them well,
Resembles life, And watch them revealing
With all its strife,– How solemn feeling
Is like the stir made And wonderment swell
By man on earth’s face. The hearts of the brave.
Though weal and woe The voice of the blest,
The future may hide, And of spirits on high
Unterrified Seems loudly to cry:
We onward go “To do what is best,
In ne’er changing race. Unceasing endeavour!
A veil of dread “In silence eterne
Hangs heavier still. Here chaplets are twin’d,
Deep slumbers fill That each noble mind
The stars over-head, Its guerdon may earn.–
And the foot-trodden grave. Then hope ye for ever!”


Des Maurers Wandeln,
es gleicht dem Leben,
und sein Bestreben,
es gleicht dem Handeln
der Menschen auf Erden.

Die Zukunft decket
Schmerzen und Glücke.
Schrittweis dem Blicke,
doch ungeschrecket
dringen wir vorwärts.

Und schwer und ferne
hängt eine Hülle
mit Ehrfurcht. Stille
ruhn oben die Sterne
und unten die Gräber.

Betracht sie genauer
und siehe, so melden
im Busen der Helden
sich wandelnde Schauer
und ernste Gefühle.

Doch rufen von drüben
die Stimmen der Geister,
die Stimmen der Meister:
“Versäumt nicht zu üben
die Kräfte des Guten.

Hier winden sich Kronen
in ewiger Stille,
die sollen mit Fülle
die Tätigen lohnen!
Wir heißen euch hoffen.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)


After nearly 60 years of interruption of Masonic activity in Rudolstadt the Lodge “Günther zur Eintracht”, meaning “Günther concord” was established on 6 September 1992 in the Green Room of the Heidecksburg. In 2012, the Masons of Rudolstadt celebrated the 20th anniversary of this event.

“Decisive for the future will be whether Freemasons use their resources to preserve proven traditions and at the same time be open to innovations. This includes openness to people and the courage for human encounter in the bond of friendship of the lodge. These also include preserving the richness of old forms, but also eliminating unnecessary and outdated decoration. And that includes participation in the important discourses of the present. Many of these discourses have relations with the Masonic tradition, they may relate to the development of education, on the ethics issue, the appropriation and implementation of values or reflections on the art of living. Freemasonry saw itself always as the art of living”. Prof. Hans Hermann Höhmann

A lodge of freemasons was formed at Rudolstadt on 18 March 1785 named “Günther zum stehenden Löwen” after the reigning Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Ludwig Günther and the lion of Schwarzburg.


Prince Ludwig Günther (1708-1790) was a member of this lodge as was his grandson, Prince Ludwig Friedrich II (1767-1807). Other prominent members of this lodge included Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller and Johann Gottlieb Fichte.

During the first 50 years after 1737, when a lodge was formed at Hamburg, around 400 lodges were founded with the support of Friedrich the Great, who was attracted by the tolerant spirit of the freemasonry.

“Ode auf den zu Hubertusburggeschlossenen Frieden” and “Der Mensch” by Carl Gerd von Ketelhodt zum Unterricht were printed in 1763 at Rudolstadt.

During the visit of the young Duke Carl August of Weimar in December 1775, freemasons of Rudolstadt and Weimar met at the “Zur Güldenen Gabel” inn.

The bronze statue shows Carl August - duke and later grand-duke of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach - on horseback in a general´s uniform with a garland made of laurel, oak leafs and flowers. The heroic interpretation inspired by the antique works of art refers to his participation in the wars of liberation in 1814. This work by local sculptor Adolf von Donndorf was unveiled in 1875 in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carl August´s reign.
A bronze statue of Carl August , duke and later grand-duke of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach, on horseback with a garland made of laurel, oak leafs and flowers. The heroic interpretation inspired by the antique works of art refers to his participation in the wars of liberation in 1814. This work by local sculptor Adolf von Donndorf was unveiled in 1875 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carl August´s reign.

Under Carl August, Weimar became a literary centre in Europe. During the Napoleonic Wars the marriage of his son to the daughter of the Russian Tsar, Maria Pawlowna, guaranteed his political survival and at the Congress of Vienna earned him the title of a Grand Duke.

In 1857, Hofdruckereibesitzer G. Froebel gathered together Freemasons in this region to restore this lodge, which had not met since 1829. According to the constitution of 14 September 1859, the name “Günther zur Eintracht“, or “Günther concord” was chosen to honour Friedrich Günther (1793 – 1867), the reigning prince in Rudolstadt.


Schiller House

The transition from the courtly to the burgeois culture gradually took place at Rudolstadt, during the last third of the 18th century.

A change in culture and mind began slowly, influenced by the liberal parts of the nobility, and favoured by the wealth of the middle classes and higher revenues of the court.

A circle of well known scholars and nobles formed around Ludwig Wilhelm of Beulwitz, privy councillor at that time who had been in princely commission since 1774. The house of the Beulwitz couple and the ladies of Lengefeld, in the former “new newtown” (nowadays Schiller street), came regularly together for an unconstrained exchange of ideas. This varied circle – Charlotte of Lengefeld and Caroline of Beulwitz participated as young ladies – did not only conduct serious conversations but also amused itself with afternoon get-togethers at the bordering garden of the Lengefeld family.

When Friedrich Schiller met Charlotte of Lengefeld and Caroline of Beulwitz at the Beulwitz’ house in 1787 he was fascinated by the open minded mental atmosphere.

Since this first meeting the poet stayed at Rudolstadt several times until 1799. Especially during his first long term stay at the small residence from 19th May to 12th November in 1788, the so called “Rudolstädtian summer”, his passion for Caroline and Charlotte awaked. This period inspired his authorial work and provided him with courage and confidence.

Today the house of the Lengefeld and Beulwitz families is one of the rare authentic Schiller sites in Germany. Numerous findings discovered during the renovation of the house from 2005 to 2009 enabled a realistic reconstruction of the rooms and wall designs of the 18th century.

The museum was opened on 9th May 2009. The exhibition entirely focuses on Schiller’s time in Rudolstadt, his relationships with the sisters of Lengefeld and his first meeting with Goethe at this house on 7th September in 1788.

Famous people, such as Wilhelm von Humboldt, his brother Alexander and Novalis, were guests in the house. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe also visited the Lengefeld-Beulwitz family and met Schiller here for the first time on 7 September 1788.

Source: Schiller House in Rudolstadt

Schiller has been called the “poet of freedom”.

Three Words Of Strength:
by Schiller

There are three lessons I would write,
Three words, as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light,
Upon the hearts of men.
Have hope.
Though clouds environ round
And gladness hides her face in scorn,
Put off the shadow from thy brow;
No night but hath its morn.
Have faith.
Where’er they bark is driven
The calm’s disport, the tempest’s mirth
Know this:
God rules the hosts of heaven,
The inhabitants of earth.
Have love.
Not love alone for one,
But man, as man, thy brother call;
And scatter, like a circling sun,
Thy charities on all.

Beethoven said to his biographer “I have it! I have it! Let us sing the song of the immortal Schiller!” An unfinished novel, Die Geisterseher, and the “Ode to Joy” by Schiller was used for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

“Ode to Joy” (German: “An die Freude” first line: “Freude, schöner Götterfunken”) is an ode written in the summer of 1785 by poet, playwright, and historian Friedrich Schiller and published the following year. A slightly revised version appeared in 1808, changing two lines of the first and omitting the last stanza.