Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb

WRITER, POET (GERMANY)
BORN 2 Jul 1724, Quedlinburg, Sachsen-Anhalt - DIED 14 Mar 1803, Hamburg
GRAVE LOCATION Hamburg-Altona: Friedhof an der Christianskirche, Klopstockplatz, Ottensen

Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was educated at the humanistic school in Schulpforta from 1739 until 1745. Before he left school to study in Jena (1745) and Leipzig (1746) he had already conceived his work "Messiah". In Leipzig he met Cramer, Schlegel and Rabener and he published the first three cantos of "Messiah" in their periodical "Bremischer Beiträge". He never finished his studies.

"The Messiah" led to controversy in literary circles because of its stern Christianity. King Frederick V of Denmark offered him a pension for life to complete it in Kopenhagen and between 1751 and 1770 he mainly lived there. In 1773 the last five cantos were published. His later work would be less succesful, but his fame would last during his life.

In 1754 he had married Magareta Moller, but she died in childbirth in 1758. Initially she was buried at the cemetery of St. Nikolai, but Klopstock preferred a grave near the Elbe and on 14 Jun her remains were transferred to Ottensen. Klopstock visited the grave on 19 Jun. Much later, in 1791, he would marry Meta's niece Johanna Elisabeth von Winthem.

After king Frederick died he lived in Hamburg and his presence there was a main factor in putting Hamburg on the map as a literary city. When he died, thousands joined the funeral procession. He was buried at a small churchyard in Ottensen. Ottensen, now part of Hamburg, was in those days a beautiful spot in the country near the Elbe. Initially his followers would travel to his grave, but ten years later his fame was already in decline.

Family
• Wife: Klopstock, Margaretha (1754-1758)
• Wife: Winthem, Johanna Elisabeth (1791-1803)

Related persons
• influenced Hölty, Ludwig Christoph Heinrich

Events
19/6/1759Klopstock visits the new grave of his wife in Ottensen. On 4 December 1759 Meta Klopstock was buried in the family grave of her parents at the cemetery of St. Nikolai in Hamburg. She had died on 28 November 1758. On 14 Jun her remains were transferred to the a small church cemetery in Ottensen. Klopstock preferred a quiet location near the Elbe for his wife and himself to be buried. He visited the grave on 19 Jun 1759 and travelled to Kopenhagen the next day. On 6 December 1759 her two sisters planted two linden trees near the grave. One of them is still there. [Klopstock, Margaretha]

Images

The grave of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock at the cemetery of the Christianskirche in Ottensen, Hamburg.
Picture by Androom (27 Jan 2006)

 

The grave of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock at the cemetery of the Christianskirche in Ottensen, Hamburg.
Picture by Androom (27 Jan 2006)

 

The tombstone of his second wife Johanna at the gravesite of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock at the cemetery of the Christianskirche in Ottensen, Hamburg.
Picture by Androom (27 Jan 2006)

 

Sources
• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973
• Leisner, Barbara & Norbert Fischer, Der Friedhofsführer, Spaziergänge zu bekannten und unbekannten Gräbern in Hamburg und Umgebung, Christians Verlag, Hamburg, 1994
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Literary Encyclopedia | Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock


Klopstock, Margaretha

Published: 1 Apr 2006
Last update: 8 Apr 2018