When leaving Gottingen Station, you might come across a well-hidden statue of a kneeling woman that is often overlooked by passersby. It’s an effigy of Charlotte Müller, who local tradition claims was the oldest street vendor in the world.
Müller’s life was one of hardship, as the Hilwartshausen-born woman began her career as a house servant at age 15, working for a Göttingen professor’s family. She worked there for seven years until she could afford her own house, and then moved back to her hometown and married.
Thirty-one years later her husband died, leaving her alone with her two children and forcing her to find a new job. She sold fruit and sweets to travelers as a roadside vendor near the Gottingen station. Müller worked at this stand from 1889 until she died in 1935 at age 94.
She was a beloved part of the city, and many were saddened by her death. The city erected a monument in her honor in 1937. The statue still stands there today, slightly hidden between a tree and a bicycle rack. Sometimes people place items near her statue to make it seem like she’s still selling goods.
Know Before You Go
The statue is freely accessible.