Due to the fact that the history of establishment was quite changeful, the Stadtmuseum (located at Franziskanerstraße) is now carrying a very heterogeneous stock. It is specially abounded in the rich inventory ranging from the 18th until the 20th century.
Guided tours / lectures
A team of voluntarily working staff members is regularly giving guided tours through the permanent exhibition and the special exhibitions in Franziskanerstraße and at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Haus.
In 1886 an association of historically interested citizens ("Bonnensia") was constituted with the purpose to assemble a collection by acquisitions to set up an urban museum by the city of Bonn. Due to unforeseeable incidents it still had to last more than hundered years until the opening of the Stadtmuseum came true at 15th January 1998. Back then this Bonn association was not the only society with historical targets. At the end of the 19th century societies with this purpose were built up in a lot of German cities, such as Cologne and Munich. The reasons why the city of Bonn more or less delayed the constitution of an urban museum had specifically financial background. After World War II a museum devoted to the city's history was founded as Bonn became important as the new capital of Germany. The focus was put on "Rhenish" expressionism as well as contemporary art.
The foundation of "Bonnensia" happened on purpose to initiate a museum of the city's history. Shortly before that, in 1882, the city received in a donation the art collection of the professor Dr. Franz Obernier, his mansion and also his assets in the amount of 130.000 DM (German marks). "Villa Obernier" as the city's museum was therefore constituted. Even though the Villa was open to the public already in 1884, it didn't succeed due to the missing of professional leadership to expand the inventory of mainly "Düsseldorfer" and "Münchner Malerschule" and early Dutch and Italian collections.
Most of the received collections - apart from some early imagery by Dutch or Italian masters acquired by Professor Obernier - put their focus on the 18th and 19th century. For this reason the Stadtmuseum owns hardly any exhibits from earlier centuries. One exception is the "Bonner Löwe" (Lion of Bonn) made out of sandstone, which since the 12th century used to be an oathing stone at the Münsterplatz, next to the Prangersäule. Since the 1950s it is located in the foyer at the Old Cityhall.
The collection of the 18th until the 20th century is - for lack of professional and conceptual acquirement, supplementation or enhancement - also very heterogeneous. This is also the reason why concerning some incidents there do exist a lot of evidences and on other incidents that aren't less important or in historical perspective even more significant, is the evidence missing. Permanent exhibits on loan would not compensate, even though we would have to pass on the exemplarily presentation of the history of Bonn beginning from Roman times until 18th century. At this point we would like to thank the "Kölnisches Stadtmuseum" and the "Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn".
As exhibits on loan only from preservation uncomplicated items are available. A big and for incidents in the past very important part is missing, such as textile and graphic arts. Since a museum is living from it's visual impressions and from presenting it's originals, the existing collection maintains also the conception, that for this reason the focus is set on the 18th and 19th century, although a lot of topics have to remain not discussed in absence of existing and representable objects.
In December 1994 the Bonn travesty artist Curt Delander committed his complete collection, clothes and memorabilia of Zarah Leander, Willy Millowitsch and Marika Rökk (well-known actors) as a gift to the Stadtmuseum Bonn. Further objects were added later on. In 2004 Curt Delander arranged a donation from the legal estate of Marika Rökk after her death on May 16th 2004.
Historical treasure from 1819 in the city centre of Bonn next to the university with special flair and in idyllic site. The Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Haus is a side building of the Stadtmuseum, where special exhibitions are taking place.
Opening hours during special exhibitions:
Wednesday to Saturday 1.00 pm until 5.00 pm, Sunday 11.30 am until 5.00 pm
An insight on the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Haus
From the entrance area in the ground floor to the right, you'll find the commemoration room of the house builder, the Bonn professor Ernst Moritz Arndt. In this room we show all of himself conveyed contemporary paintings respectively from his property originating objects (e.g. bookcase) that are now in possession of Stadtmuseum Bonn. The other three rooms on the ground floor are lying in direction to the Rhine and are concipitated for special exhibitions and events organized by the Stadtmuseum Bonn. These rooms and the terrace are also for rent for any kind of festivity, provided that there are no exhibitions. A staircase is leading to the upper floor. The Biedermeiersalon to the left was kindly furnished by the Stadtmuseum thanks to financial support by the Bonn Company Miesen. The ensemble of couch, stools and little commode with mirror frame made out of burl wood indicates early Rhenisch Biedermeier.
Renting the side building
The Stadtmuseum opens the side building for special occasions such as festivities or specific arrangements, provided that there are no exhibitions or events. For rent are three rooms downstairs, with view over the Rhine and equipped with contemporary prints. The rooms of this house in early Biedermeier and the only preserved professor's residence from the first years of the in 1818 founded university are hourly, respectively on daily basis (max. 9.00 -24.00) for rent. You can receive an impression on the Arndt-House in the virtual tour.
Additionally to use is the next to the Rhine located terrace, which gives an undisguised view on the river and the Siebengebirge. The renting requires a previous contract conclusion with the museum's management.