Museum

Ludwig van Beethoven's birthplace is of great importance for people throughout the world and the main attraction in the musical city of Bonn. The museum presents the largest Beethoven collection in the world. Its impressive authentic documents combined with new media bear witness to Beethoven's life and compositions.

Opening hours

Important notice:

Form the beginning of March to late summer 2019 the museum (Bonngasse 20) will be closed due to reconstruction works.

During this time we recommend to visit the exhibition "BTHVN" in the neighbouring chamber music hall (Bonngasse 24). The exhibition offers a preview of the 2020 anniversary year and Beethoven's core topics as Bonn citizen, music arTist, Humanist, Visionary and Nature aficionado (BTHVN).There is free admission; voluntary donations for the reconstruction of the museum are welcome.

Opening hours for the BTHVN exhibition:
13 March to end of August 2019 (except 11,12 and 26 May, 3-9 June, 6 and 19 July, 19-22 and 24-27 August): daily 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The permanent exhibition will be re-opened in late summer 2019. The re-opening of the complete museum will be on 16 Dezember, and on 17 December 2019 we will have an open day.


Location

The Beethoven-Haus (Bonngasse 20 und 24-26) is situated in the centre of Bonn on the edge of the pedestrian zone, not far from the river Rhine.
Bonngasse is within easy walking distance of the main station. Trams and buses stop at the nearby Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz, where taxis can also be found. The city car parks offer parking facilities: the closest are Stiftsgarage, Marktgarage and Friedensplatzgarage.

Width: 50°44'12.67"N
Lenght: 7° 6'4.50"E

Tram: 62, 65, 66 and 67
Bus: 529, 537, 540, 550, 551, 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 606, 607, 608, 609, 640
Stop: Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz / Beethoven-Haus

Admission


Guided tours:

Printed guides:
The Beethoven-Haus has a printed guide for its visitors, which is available in many different languages and will be delivered with admission. You may print out the text in the language of your choice so that you can read about the Museum before your visit.

Audio guides:
Audio guides for a 90-minute tour with explanations and lots of music examples cost € 2.50 (€ 10 deposit). The audio guide for adults is also availabe in English, French, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese, the guides for teenager and children in German only.

Birthplace

Beethoven's birthplace and dwelling

The house at Bonngasse 20, where composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December 1770, is one of the few remaining houses in Bonn built in the 18th century. Its baroque stone facade was erected over cellars dating back to the 12th or 13th century. The ground floor accommodated a kitchen and a utility room, underneath which was a cellar. On the first floor, there were two smaller rooms and a somewhat larger room. The bedrooms were in the attic.

Beethoven's parents, electoral court singer Johann van Beethoven and his wife Maria Magdalena, née Keverich, moved into the garden wing in November 1767. Other electoral court musicians lived nearby, among them Johann Peter Salomon in the front building, electoral court musical director Ludwig van Beethoven (grandfather) opposite of the street and hornist Nikolaus Simrock.

In 1774 the Beethoven family left their first house and moved to a place at the Auf dem Dreieck square. From 1776 on they lived for ten years with interruptions at Rheingasse in a house known as "Zum Walfisch", the so-called Fischer house, and from 1787 onwards at Wenzelgasse. None of the later Beethoven houses has survived.

The building in the 19th and 20th century

Permanent exhibition

Beethoven's birthplace and dwelling

On stepping into the inner courtyard, the historical atmosphere takes visitors back to Beethoven's times. A tour through the twelve rooms in the Museum afford deeper insight into the life and work of the great composer. Over 150 original exhibits reflect Beethoven's thoughts and emotions, work and influence.

Temporary exhibition

Our temporary exhibitions cover exciting topics on Beethoven, the historical background or reception history. The Beethoven-Haus has around three temporary exhibitions a year, often in cooperation with other museums and collections. Many of them are accompanied by books or catalogues.

Temporary exhibition
Future exhibitions
Past exhibitions

Internet exhibitions

As an accompainment to special exhibitions at the Beethoven-House several internet exhibitions were created. Certain topics can be accessed for further information:

Collection

The manuscripts, pictures, musical instruments and mementos displayed in the exhibitions form the core of the museum's collection. In the early years following the foundation of the Beethoven-Haus Association in 1889, important items such as Beethoven's last pianoforte (an instrument made by the Viennese piano manufacturer Conrad Graf), or the original manuscript of the "Moonlight" sonata and the "Pastoral" symphony were acquired. Today it is the largest and most diverse Beethoven collection in the world. It includes manuscripts, letters, pictures, busts, coins and medallions, musical instruments, furniture and everyday items used by Beethoven. The museum's collection is complemented by the library's holdings.

The collection is kept in a safe, built with conservation requirements in mind, which is under the stage in the chamber music hall. Many performers feel particularly inspired by this architectural symbolism.

Most of the Beethoven collection has been digitised. In the Digital Archives it is available to everyone. There are also catalogues for additional research.