Bild: GoetheStadtMuseum im Amtshaus

Permanent Exhibition

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stayed in Ilmenau 26 times in his life. Over 180 m² of museum space, our exhibition provides an insight into a special part of his life that continuously influenced his work: his function as a local civil servant of the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and as commissioner tasked with the revival of the copper and silver mining business in Ilmenau. The reorganization of Ilmenau’s tax system was another of his many official duties. Goethe lived in the first floor of the city administration building, where our museum now resides; these rooms were used as a ducal residence until 1918.

Yet Goethe is not our only focus; insights into Ilmenau's rich past, with its interesting tradition of glass and porcelain production in the 19th century, can also be found in this permanent exhibition. Copper and silver mining in the area is another special focus.

What awaits you at the GoetheStadtMuseum?

I Foyer: the history and use of the city administration building

The original building was built in 1616 in the Renaissance style by order of Countess Sofie von Henneberg. It burned down in 1752 and was rebuilt according to the plans of the very famous Thuringian Baroque architect, Gottfried Heinrich Krohne, in the Rococo style. After the lineage of the Henneberger ceased to exist with the death of its last family member in 1583, the administration building came into the possession of the elected Duchy of Saxony and it served as the administrative headquarters for the dukes of Saxe-Weimar from 1634. In 1931 the museum of local history with its Goethe Memorial Room was initially located on the ground floor before it was moved into the five rooms of the first floor on the 200th anniversary of Goethe’s birth. Today, the administration building brings the cultural office, the tourist information office and the GoetheStadtMuseum together under one roof.

II Staircase

After the town acquired the administration building in 2002, a basic renovation project began and was completed in 2008. In the foyer there are only a few original components left; nevertheless, the well-preserved filigree banister of wrought iron testifies to the splendour of former times.