The Total Wetzlar Experience
Join Bill Rosauer, LHSA President Emeritus and Viewfinder Journal Editor for a once in a lifetime experience visiting the home of the Leica, Wetzlar, Germany. Bill will personally guide you on this discovery tour of the new facilities at Leitz Park as well as the historic places important to Leica history in the old city of Wetzlar.
Leitz Park, Old Wetzlar and Haus Friedwart
From our home base at the Arcona Living Ernst Leitz Hotel, we will begin our week with a Tour of Leitz Park. Highlights of the tour will be the new Leica Factory, Customer Care Department and Museum, and an exclusive in-depth visit to the newly opened Archives with Monica Bock, Curator along with Jim Lager, world renowned Leica expert and author. In addition, we have many special events planned at Leitz Park. You will meet Stefan Daniel, Product Manager Photo and Peter Karbe, Head of Optical Design at Leica. We will also visit the newly opened Leica World Photo Exhibition Spaces and of course the Leica Store will be on our list as well. Join Leica employees for lunch at the Casino Restaurant at Leitz Park. Take a break for coffee and pastry at the Café Leitz.
In historic old Wetzlar, known for its picturesque half-timbered buildings and cobble stone streets, we will visit the places Oskar Barnack and the Leitz family knew so well. At the historic Eisenmarkt, you will stand on the same spot where Oskar Barnack took one of the first images with the Ur-Leica. We will visit the old Leitz factory Hochhaus and its adjacent Administration Building where the Leitz Museum is located. We will visit the historic Hausertor Werke, where the Leica camera was originally produced. as well as the original Leitz Administration Building, site of the famous Board Meeting of 1924 when Ernst Leitz II made the fateful decision to take the risk and make Barnack’s Leica camera. A visit with Lars Netopil, VP of Leica Historica is planned at his shop and gallery in Wetzlar. During this visit, you will have a chance to obtain a personalized copy of Lars Netopil’s new book, “Museum Leica”.
Located just up the Kalsmunt hill behind the old Leitz Hochhaus, is the home that Ernst Leitz II built for his family, Haus Friedwart. From the house, you can enjoy a view of historic Old Wetzlar and the old Leitz Factory. Exclusive for our tour, we will be the special guests of Knut Kühn-Leitz, grandson of Ernst Leitz II for a personal guided tour of Haus Friedwart. Knut and his mother, Elsie Kühn-Leitz, resided in the house for many years, and he will share his memories of those times. Haus Friedwart provided the Leitz family with a suitable space for a rich social life, and has hosted many notable guests over the years. The house is listed as a State of Hesse historic landmark site, and remains a venue for public events in the areas of music, literature and politics.
Bill Rosauer has been associated with Leica for many years, first as an enthusiastic Leica photographer and then as a stand-alone Leica dealer. Bill is a graduate of three Leica Akademies and has traveled to Wetzlar many times over the past 45 years. In addition to being President Emeritus of the LHSA and the Editor of its quarterly journal the Viewfinder since the year 2000, Bill has been a consultant to Leica over the past twenty years. He conceived and guided the execution of the highly successful LHSA Special Editions such as the Black Paint M6; the Hammertone MP with retro 35 Summicron; the MP3 camera in Black Paint and Chrome finish along with the special retro design Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH lens and most recently the Special Edition Classic APO Summicron-M 50/2 ASPH lens.