The museum was opened on 10 May 1893 during the second chamber music festival. It was extended several times. Today, HP Pavilion dv7-1180eo Battery it houses the largest Beethoven collection in the world.
The house at Bonngasse 20 (formerly: 515) featuring a baroque stone facade was erected around 1700 on an older cellar vault. It is one of the few remaining middle-class houses from the era of the prince elector. HP Pavilion dv7-1165er Battery Back then it was in the neighbourhood preferred by the employees of the courts, in the heart of the town between the castle, the town hall with the market square and the banks of the Rhine river. Today, this is a pedestrian precinct with the Bonn Beethoven Hall and the opera close by. In the first half of the 19th century an additional, HP Pavilion dv7-1166eg Battery somewhat smaller, timbered house was built on the property behind the house. Five families temporarily lived in the multi-storey front and back buildings. Three tailors and one shoemaker also had their shops here. In 1836 the entrance door was widened and replaced with a gate entrance. HP Pavilion dv7-1169er BatteryAfter the back part of the house was identified as Beethoven’s birthplace around 1840 by Beethoven’s friend Franz Gerhard Wegeler, a physician, and Carl Moritz Kneisel, a teacher, the new owner opened a restaurant on the ground floor in 1873 with the name Beethoven’s Geburtshaus (Beethoven’s birthplace). A beer and concert hall was added in the yard in 1887. HP Pavilion dv7-1170eg Battery In 1888 a grocery merchant bought the house but sold it just one year later. Thanks to the Beethoven Haus association, founded in 1889 to preserve the house, it was spared from demolition. The following years were characterised by renovation and remodelling works to turn the house into a memorial site. HP Pavilion dv7-1170el Battery Back then, major parts of the building were still as they had been in the second half of the 18th century. In order to preserve spacious museum rooms, the floor plans of the main house were changed and an office for the association, plus a library and a flat for the janitor were installed. Construction changes in Beethoven’s flat were limited to the stairs and the passageways to the front building. The inner yard was decorated with trellises and sandstone slabs, HP Pavilion dv7-1170eo Battery and a garden replaced the place where the beer hall had been. It has not been remodelled since. In order to preserve the character of Beethoven’s birthplace in its contemporary environment and to protect the building, the association bought the neighbouring house number 22 in 1893. After installing a fire protection wall, the building was sold again. In 1907 house number 18 “Im Mohren” was bought to extend the property. HP Pavilion dv7-1170ez Battery At first it was used as an apartment building. In 1927 the newly-founded Beethoven archive moved in. In the mid-1930s both houses were extensively renovated. The Beethoven-Haus survived both World Wars almost unscathed. In the Second World War, Senior Building Officer Theodor Wildemann, later serving as the association’s chairman, HP Pavilion dv7-1170us Battery in his role as Deputy Provincial Curator, made sure that the collection was brought to an underground shelter near Siegen (Sauerland), thereby avoiding any war-related losses or damages. During the air raid of the Bonn city centre on October 18, 1944, a fire bomb fell on the roof of Beethoven’s birthplace. Thanks to the help of janitor Heinrich Hasselbach and WildemansHP Pavilion dv7-1172eg Battery, who were later awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit, as well as Dr. Franz Rademacher from the Rhenish National Museum, the bomb did not ignite a disaster. The damages were repaired in the early 1950s. In the late 1960s, the third renovation took place. For the fourth, HP Pavilion dv7-1173er Battery basic renovation of the buildings from 1994 to 1996 the Beethoven-Haus was awarded the Europa Nostra award for cultural heritage (awarded since 1978) in 1998 as the first institution in Germany.