The history of this house built in neo-classical style goes back to the time of the last elector of Cologne, Max Franz. In those days it served as the country seat of the electoral chamber councilor and mayor Matthias Joseph Kaufmann. In 1844 it became part of a mental institution run by psychiatrist Dr. Richarz, to whom Schumann turned for treatment in 1854. Schumann’s mental illness had
started during his successful work as director of music in Düsseldorf. Robert Schumann remained in Dr. Richarz’s mental institution until his death and was only able to leave it very occasionally for walks in the vicinity.
On the occasion of one of the visits by young Johannes Brahms, his way also took him to the Beethoven monument on Bonn’s Münsterplatz. By an ardent appeal for donations published in the ‘Neue Zeitschrift für Musik’ (New Music Journal) in 1836, Schumann had greatly contributed to the setting up of this monument. After a brief reunion with his wife Clara, Schumann died in the afternoon of 29 July 1856. His body was laid to rest in the Old Cemetery in the presence of a large gathering of friends and local citizens.
In 1880 the monument to Schumann, designed by Adolf Donndorf and donated by friends and admirers, was unveiled here during a Schumann festival in the city. As early as in 1926, medical consultant Dr. Kellner had suggested the creation of a Schumann memorial at the house in which the composer died in Bonn-Endenich. A plaque donated by the Schumann Society in Zwickau, Schumann’s birthplace, was placed there. The building was severely damaged during World War II. After some fierce public discussion the demolition of the house was prevented and the building was restored. On 12 May 1963 the two Schumann memorial rooms on the first floor containing documents, pictures and letters from Robert and Clara Schumann and from their friends were opened to the public.
Music library and cultural space
As a significant link with these rooms, the rest of the house is devoted to the Bonn municipal music library. With its roughly 50,000 books, music scores and recordings, this library is immensely popular with musicians and music lovers in Bonn and the surroundings.
The house today has become both a memorial to a great composer and a center of learning. It has a vivid influence on the musical life in the city thanks to the house concerts held here for the promotion of Schumann’s piano and chamber music. Schumann’s house is a much frequented center of music in Bonn.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
11 a.m. – 1.30 p.m. | 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.