Jean Paul (1763 - 1825)

Jean Paul in Hof: where I wrote my finest...

“The thought of the small green area next to the Lorenzkirche will be the only bitter drop that will flow into the bloom of my spring.”

Johann Paul Friedrich Richter – formerly known as Jean Paul – is born in Wunsiedel as the son of a priest. His father takes over the small priest position in Joditz in 1765. Here, Jean Paul spends eleven formative years under very poor circumstances.

Weekly visits to the prosperous grandparents in Hof improve the family’s diet. In 1779/1780 he is student at the school that was named after him later – the Jean-Paul-Gymnasium. 

A flyer, which you can get at the tourist information, describes all the Jean-Paul locations in Hof. Among them is the legendary place at the Saale where he saw his “Gewürzinseln” and the redesigned Schloßplatz where once was the house that he lived in from 1786 to 97; at least from time to time. A memorial tablet at St. Lawrence Church remind of his mother’s grave, the “small green area”.

Jean Paul had an ambivalent relationship with Hof - possibly also influenced by the great poverty. Later he complained about the Hofer citizens being unenthusiastic readers and that you had to chase them and give them books but they wouldn’t read them even if you did. In his writings he made the respectable town of Hof the “Reichsmarktflecken Kuhschnappel” or Scheerau and Flachsenfingen as a punishment for this improper behavior.

In his time, Jean Paul was extremely successful. He is known to be the first German poet who was able to live off his writing and also, in his time, was read more often than Schiller and Goethe. In his works, he often writes about places where he worked and integrates joyful and painful experiences. He mainly describes his childhood hometown in “Das Leben des vergnügten Schulmeisterlein Maria Wutz”, “Siebenkäs”, “Flegeljahre” and “Selberlebensbeschreibung”.

View from the city hall tower

The view from the city hall tower ist worth the climb of 152 steps. In 32 meters you have a magnificent view over the city.
The tower is open during the summer months. You get the key at the tourist information.

Jean-Paul-Stätten in Hof

Eine Textversion des Rundganges auf den Spuren Jean Pauls durch die Stadt Hof können Sie sich hier herunterladen.
Den Flyer erhalten Sie in der Tourist-Information.


Jean Paul war ein leidenschaftlicher Wanderer und entwickelte bei seinen ausgiebigen Spaziergängen seine Romane.So liegt es nahe, sein Leben und Werk auch im Freien zu erkunden.

Hier geht es zum Jean-Paul-Weg.

Jean Paul kulinarisch

Im Werk Jean Pauls wimmelt es nur so von derben bis feinen Speisen, solchen, die heute keiner mehr kennt, solchen, die in Nischen überlebt haben und solchen, auf die wir täglich stoßen.

Einen Überblick darüber erhalten Sie im Flyer Jean Paul kulinarisch.

Einzelne Rezepte nach Jean Paul können Sie hier herunterladen.