Couven Museum

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Couven Museum in the Monheim house on the chicken market in Aachen

The Couven Museum is a museum of the city of Aachen . It shows bourgeois living culture from the 18th and early 19th centuries from Aachen and the surrounding area on three floors. The rooms of the museum are also used for changing exhibitions. The name of the museum refers to the Aachen baroque architects Johann Joseph Couven and Jakob Couven . The museum was founded in 1929 in Haus Fey am Seilgraben and, after its destruction during World War II, reopened in 1958 in Haus Monheim am Hühnermarkt.


The museum goes back to the art historian Felix Kuetgens , who was director of the city museums in Aachen since 1923. He had the idea of ​​depicting the home decor of the 18th and early 19th centuries not through an exhibition of individual pieces of furniture, but in the form of appropriately furnished rooms.

House Fey

House Fey (around 1900)

Kuetgens was able to realize his idea in Haus Fey , which was acquired by the city of Aachen in 1925 and which was fundamentally rebuilt and supplemented by Jakob Couven from 1765–1767 . The oldest parts of the building, the two rear wing structures, were built in 1681. The rooms of the house and the Nuellens garden shed , which was transferred to the Fey garden in 1927 , were furnished by Kuetgens, who could fall back on fixed original holdings of the house such as chimneys , doors , windows , grilles , paneling , stucco ceilings , parquet floors etc. Individual room furnishings could also be taken over from the previous owner. The museum was opened on July 1, 1929. It was named after father and son Couven, who both had not only shaped the Baroque and Rococo architecture of Aachen as architects through their buildings, but also designed parts of the interior fittings such as chimneys, paneling and furniture for some of their buildings. Initially, the museum only extended over the central building and the right side wing of Haus Fey and comprised 18 rooms with the garden house. The left wing was still inhabited by the former owner Viktor Fey. After his death in 1935, this wing was also attached to the museum. With the summer house and two small rooms in the attic, the museum now had 28 rooms.

Floor plan of Haus Fey (around 1930)

The largest rooms in the house were the two halls in the central building and the adjacent halls in the right wing building. On the ground floor of the central building was the garden hall, from which glass doors led into the courtyard and the garden. It contained, among other things, an oven that was heated from the neighboring kitchen and a rococo display cabinet with Meissen porcelain on the opposite side. A garden path with a rococo outside staircase led to the garden pavilion, the stucco wall and ceiling of which was made from molds from the wasp house . The hall of the Ludwigs-Fey family, named after the owner family of the house, with portraits of the builder Andreas Ludwigs and his wife Constantia was located on the upper floor of the central building. Next to the fireplace was a gilded armchair, and on the other wall was a Liège glass cabinet with porcelain plates. The Beissel tapestry hall on the ground floor of the right wing was named after the tapestries of the Audenard Verdüren type, which the art collector Heinrich Beissel had donated to the museum. The hall of Joseph's legend above owes its name to depictions of the biblical story of Joseph in Egypt , which were painted on paper wallpaper , which was a cheaper alternative to tapestries.

Of the other rooms, the Burtscheider room stood out, the furnishings of which, dating back to Johann Joseph Couven, came from the home of the manufacturer Ludwig Kuehnen, the "Obersten Klotz" in Burtscheider Hauptstrasse, and all of this through a wooden wall with glass windows and doors Main room and an anteroom was divided. There were also two mantelpieces rescued from the Wespienhaus with portraits of Wespien and his wife in richly decorated Régence frames. The Bernarts room above with the furnishings from the Bernarts house on Adalbertstrasse was entirely in the style of the Empire . One room on the top floor was set up as an Eifel parlor with rustic furniture and household items, while another was a collection of peep boxes . In the pavilion to the left of the gate was the Alexander Battles hall, so named after the murals depicting this theme by Johann Chrysanth Bollenrath , the right pavilion served as a magazine .

During the Second World War , by order of the National Socialist government, the museum remained open even after the first bombing raids in 1941 in order to demonstrate and strengthen the will to persevere. Only the most valuable furniture was brought to safety in Bad Wildungen in May 1943 . After a bombing raid on July 14, 1943, Haus Fey burned down completely and much of the facility was destroyed.

House Monheim

Side facade of Haus Monheim on Rommelsgasse
Rear building of Haus Monheim and Haus zum Lindenbaum at the farm

When looking for a new place to stay for the Couven Museum, the choice fell on Haus Monheim , the only building by Jakob Couven to survive the Second World War , albeit with damage. In 1953 the city bought the house. It took about 5 years for the building, which had been greatly modified at the beginning of the 20th century, to be restored to its original state and the rooms to be furnished. Objects rescued from destroyed buildings such as B. Fireplaces, doors and wall paneling are used. On May 10, 1958, Felix Kuetgens was able to reopen the Couven Museum in the restored house.

In 1961, the city of Aachen bought the Lindenbaum house, which was enclosed in the gusset between the Monheim house and its rear building . After a renovation, this house was incorporated into the Couven Museum. In 1967, a tile collection was housed here, which the Aachen entrepreneur and art patron Peter Ludwig and his wife, the art historian and art collector Irene Ludwig , née Monheim, a descendant of the previous house owner, initially loaned to the museum and donated it in 1982.

From 1999 onwards, the museum buildings were extensively renovated and restored. First of all, the facades and roofs of the Monheim house were renovated, followed by the house on the linden tree and the rear house on the courtyard. The museum was closed in October 2000 and the interior was restored in 2000–2001. In addition to painting and varnishing work, the entire electrical installation was renewed and the wooden floors restored. In the summer of 2001 the museum was opened to the public again, but the restoration work continued. So received z. B. 2003 the inner courtyard of the museum a new glass roof. In addition, the large landscape paintings in the ballroom, in the glass corridor and in the landscape room were gradually removed and restored, and the previous installation via strips directly on the wall was replaced by a specially developed construction that allows the paintings to be ventilated from behind.

Since 2016, the Couven Museum has been integrated into the cultural-historical project Route Charlemagne , which connects the most important historical monuments and museums of Aachen city center.

Location and building

Location of the Couven Museum (left) on the Hühnermarkt, in the foreground Haus zum Apfelbaum, next to Krämerstrasse with a view of the cathedral's choir hall
View through Rommelsgasse past the Couven Museum (left) to the Granus Tower of the town hall

Today's Couven Museum is located in Aachen's old town at Hühnermarkt 17, very close to the town hall and cathedral in the former palace district of the Aachen Imperial Palatinate. The roughly rectangular property with a size of approximately 12.5 × 25 meters extends approximately in an east-west direction. The two narrow sides are to the west at the chicken market and to the east at the courtyard, at two of the old triangular squares within the inner wall ring , which were created by the different orientation of the Roman and Carolingian buildings and streets. Along the northern long side of the property, Rommelsgasse connects the two courtyards; on the southern property boundary, there is a fire wall to the neighboring houses, Hühnermarkt 19 and Hof 4 ( Haus zum Mohren ).

The building complex of the museum consists of several components that are grouped around an approximately 7 × 5 meter large inner courtyard (No. 9 in the schematic floor plan of the ground floor shown in the following section). The earlier individual buildings are z. B. to recognize at different ground levels and floor heights. The largest component is the L-shaped main building of Haus Monheim on the corner of Hühnermarkt and Rommelsgasse, which is on the west and north side of the inner courtyard. It combines the earlier buildings of Coeberghisches Stockhaus (No. 1–8 in the floor plan) and Haus zur Waage (No. 10 in the floor plan). On the east side of the inner courtyard is the rear building (no. 13-16 in the floor plan) of the Monheim house, the outer facade of which overlooks the courtyard. In the corner between the main and rear buildings of the Monheim house at the corner of Hof and Rommelsgasse, the Haus zum Lindenbaum (address Hof 2, no. 11-12 in the floor plan) is enclosed, which can also be seen from the outside as an independent building.

Permanent exhibition

The rooms of the museum show the development of the different bourgeois furnishing styles of the 18th and early 19th centuries from late baroque and rococo ( Régence and Louis-quinze ) through Louis-seize , Directoire and Empire to Biedermeier . Some collections are grouped together in individual rooms, e.g. B. the pharmacy equipment, the kitchen equipment, the tile pictures or the room furnishings in the Directoire, Empire and Biedermeier style. Others are spread over several rooms such as B. the rococo display cabinets in which porcelain is exhibited, which at that time was still a decidedly luxury item, and other furniture in the Aachen-Liège Baroque , a furniture style that was characteristic of the greater Aachen area at the time of the two couvés. The focus is not on the representation of as many individual exhibits as possible, but above all on ensuring that they form a coherent ensemble and thus convey a good impression of the living spaces of the time. This is why the Couven Museum is also known as “Aachen's good room” or “the city's living room”. In order not to disturb this impression, the individual objects are not labeled. Instead, there is usually a stand in one corner with a brief description of the room in four languages. There are only a few rooms with “classic” museum collections, e. B. in the glass corridor, in the peephole room and in the silver cabinet.

ground floor

room designation description picture
5 Adler pharmacy The first room to the left of the entrance is set up as a pharmacy in memory of the Adler pharmacy, which was in the Monheim house from 1663 to 1878. Pharmacy utensils such as mortars, filters and scales are on a baroque counter. Painted medicine jars from the 17th to the early 19th centuries, including albarelli and majolica, are housed in display cabinets from the 18th century . An astronomical grandfather clock from 1780 shows not only the time but also the date, day of the week and the position of the sun and moon. To the left of the door hangs a four-part hourglass, to the right a portrait of Johann Peter Joseph Monheim by Carl Schmid and a picture of his wife Lucia Dorothea, née Emonts. A ceiling painting by Johann Chrysanth Bollenrath shows Aesculapius , the god of medicine. Adler pharmacy
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Fireplace room Gagini room
The fireplace or Gagini room is named after the fireplace that defines the room by Petrus Nicolaas Gagini from 1778. Its strictly symmetrical ornamentation, like the frame of the portraits hanging to the right and left of the fireplace, refers to the early classical Louis-Seize style. The Aachen writing cabinet, also in Louis-Seize style, decorated with fine carvings, consists of a chest of drawers with three rows of two drawers, a writing compartment with a retractable sloping flap and pull-out writing surface and a two-door attachment. On the wall facing the courtyard is a rococo console table with two Louis- Seize chairs, on a console above is a splendid pendulum from 1717 from Paris in Boulle technique , a combination of wood and metal. Fireplace by Petrus Nicolaas Gagini
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7th Courtyard room Like the paneling in the ballroom, the fireplace in the courtyard comes from the Mennicken house in Eupen . On a stone substructure stands a two-part wooden essay, which contains a mirror in its lower part and in the upper part a portrait of a lady from the Clermont family of cloth makers from Aachen , who emigrated to Vaals as Lutherans for economic and religious reasons. The Aachen rococo display cabinet from 1750 in this room is particularly large and has protruding corners on both sides. In one corner is a grandfather clock made by a Dutch watchmaker. A portrait of an unknown builder hangs on one wall Showcase cabinet in the courtyard room
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9 patio The small inner courtyard is covered with a sloping glass roof. The floor is laid out with smooth slabs of dark bluestone. On the south wall of the courtyard, the fire wall to the neighboring Haus zum Mohren , there is a stone fountain trough with the Monheim family coat of arms, three rising moons, above which a bronze fish hangs on the wall as a gargoyle. The tiled background of the fountain is framed by a dark stone border with white marble incrustations. To the right and left of the frame there are relief vases made of cast iron on stone plinths. On the east side of the inner courtyard, outer frames indicate the high cellar of the rear building. A staircase with six steps leads to the level of the kitchen in the part that was formerly the independent house "Zur Waage" and the Directoire room in the rear building. Fountain in the courtyard
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10 kitchen A cast-iron stove from the first half of the 19th century stands in a chimney lined with Delft tiles . An oven is built in on both sides. Next to the stove is a water pump with a stone water basin on a wooden substructure. A simpler oak showcase on the opposite wall shows stoneware dishes in an "Indian blue" decor. The other furniture, a table, chairs and a cupboard in one corner are also simple. The kitchen utensils such as kettles, sieves and ladles consist mainly of pewter, brass and copper and are often decorated with ornaments. Coffee roasters and coffee grinders indicate that this initially courtly luxury drink was now widespread in bourgeois life in the 18th century. Cooker niche in the kitchen
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11 Lower tile room From the kitchen level, a wooden staircase leads from a demolished house on Peterstrasse to the lower tiled room on the ground floor of the house facing the linden tree. There the walls are covered with tiles from the 16th to 19th centuries. Four tiles with the same or similar pattern and colors are arranged in a square. The oldest examples are Persian chandelier tiles from the 16th century. The tiles from the Dutch workshops in Rotterdam and Delft were initially blue on white in the 17th century, while manganese-violet patterns were very popular in the 18th century. Other tiles show strong yellow and green tones. Lower tile room
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12th Upper tile room The upper room has plinth paneling with a wooden frame and tile filling. Above this are larger tile pictures from the 18th century, including a cycle of the four seasons from the workshop of Jan Aalmis in Rotterdam, which are signed by the master himself. The pictures are 5 tiles wide and 9 tiles high (winter: 7 tiles high) and drawn in manganese color on a light background. Engravings based on paintings by Jacopo Amigoni and François Boucher served as models . Probably also from Aalmi's workshop there are two pictures in landscape format that show scenes from village life: “Raising the maypole” and “Return of the riflemen”. Also drawn in manganese violet, these pictures are 8 tiles wide and 6 tiles high. Drawings by Claude Saint Paul served as models for them. Upper tile room
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16 Directoire room Only part of the furnishings in this room date from the short time of the Directoire . These include a blend door frame around the tile field behind a furnace in which sphinxes in the Supraporte recall the enthusiasm for Egypt, Napoleon has triggered Egypt expedition. The furnace itself dates from the middle of the 19th century. Head profiles on the console tables, a stove screen and a veneered French chest of drawers point to the interest of this time in Roman antiquity. On the chest of drawers is a "Stutzuhr", which instead of a pendulum has a clockwork with a spring and a balance and therefore does not need a great height. It is flanked by two female figures in antique robes. Large-format paintings of ideal landscapes hang on the wall. Directoire room
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First floor

room designation description picture
8th Stairwell On the wall of the staircase between the ground floor and first floor there are photographs of the old Couven Museum in Haus Fey. Other photos show Haus Monheim after the Second World War. The wrought-iron stair gate with gilded leaf garlands is still the original lattice designed by Jakob Couven for Haus Monheim in 1786. Stairs to the upper floor
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17th Small salon The small salon still has a so-called Cologne ceiling from the time before the renovation by Couven with clearly recognizable deck beams and beams, which are plastered and stuccoed. The plinth paneling of the room was part of the baroque furnishings of the Aachen town hall. The two large Trumeau mirrors to the right and left of the door to the ballroom with console tables in front and portraits in their upper part come from the Mantels garden house . A showcase cabinet in Aachen already shows the stricter symmetry of the Louis-seize style in its carving ; porcelain from various manufacturers is on display in it. A combination piece of furniture from 1760 consists of a chest of drawers with four wide drawers and a clock attachment with a pendulum clock. Combination furniture in the small salon
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18th Ballroom The ballroom is the largest room in the house, it stretches across the entire width of the house on the Hühnermarkt. Mirrors between the five windows make the room appear even larger. The two doors with mirrored supraports with rococo carving on the opposite wall originally come from the Mantels garden house . Between the doors there is an Aachen-style bench from the mid-18th century. Large canvas pictures of idealized landscapes are attached to the wall above rococo wood paneling from a house in Eupen. On the fire wall to the neighboring house is a fireplace with carved wood paneling, on the opposite transverse side is a Liège cabinet with drawers between the base cabinet and the slightly recessed cabinet top. In addition to porcelain from various manufacturers, silver vessels from the Matthéy collection are exhibited there, as in the silver cabinet in the attic. Ballroom
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19th Chinese cabinet The small room shows evidence of the 18th century's enthusiasm for handicrafts from the Far East ( chinoiserie ). The shape of the chandelier is modeled on a pagoda. In two showcases, one from Aachen, one from Liège with a built-in clock, porcelain is on display that had to be imported from China until the beginning of the 18th century and was often referred to as “China” in the past. It was not until 1708 that the first porcelain production in Europe succeeded in Meißen , which led to the creation of Meißen porcelain . Items made from Japanese Imari porcelain are also on display. The grandfather clock from 1750 was made by the Liège watchmaker JM Marec. Showcase cabinet in the Chinese cabinet
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21st Glass corridor A collection of Bohemian glasses from the 17th and 18th centuries is on display in the corridor between the main building and the rear building. Various patterns are ground or etched into the glasses, including ornaments, coats of arms and figurative scenes. A painted canvas wallpaper from the second half of the 18th century is attached to the wall. In the hall there is a grandfather clock from 1735 with an alarm function. Here is also a door originally belonging to the Mantels garden house with ornaments in the Régence style. Glass corridor
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22nd Former bedroom The furnishing of the former bedroom dates roughly from the time the house was remodeled by Couven. This includes a wardrobe and delicate writing furniture. The stove from around 1800 in front of a tiled niche is shaped like a cast iron vase on a stone pedestal. On the wall hang an ivory crucifix, presumably from the school of Gabriel de Grupello , in a baroque case and a painting that is a scaled-down copy of the portrait of the Bavarian Electress Maria Anna by George Desmarées kept in Schloss Augustusburg in Brühl . Ivory crucifix in the bedroom
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24 Antechamber The Antekammer is the anteroom to the Green Salon. There are wallpapers painted with landscapes on the wall. The landscape paintings are framed by painted garlands. In the anteroom there is a showcase from 1775 with porcelain. The gradual transition from Louis-quinze to early classicist Louis-seize can be clearly seen in it. The two passages to the Green Salon have a curved lintel and wood paneling decorated with ornaments. Antechamber
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25th Green Salon The fireplace designed by Johann Joseph Couven originally comes from the Mantels garden house , which is now the Kerstenscher Pavilion on the Lousberg. The frame of the fireplace and the painting on the chimney top with Zeus and Ganymed by Johann Chrysanth Bollenrath have been preserved, the rest of the fireplace equipment has been lost. The base of the walls is covered with wood paneling with Régence carvings. A console table from around 1760 with rich carvings comes from Liège. The Aachen glass cabinet, in which the strips between the individual panes of glass are formed by richly curved carving, also dates from the Rococo period. Two paintings next to the fireplace come from the Clermont house in Vaals and show members of this family (see courtyard room). Showcase cabinet in the Green Salon
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room designation description picture
Stairwell Jakob's wrought-iron stair gate in the stairwell continues between the upper floor and the attic. On the wall of the stairwell there are photographs of the new Couven Museum shortly after its reopening in Haus Monheim. Stairs to the top floor
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26th Silver cabinet Part of the corridor is separated by two glass walls and is designed as a large room showcase that can be viewed from both sides. Here is a selection of 18th century silver implements from the collection of the cloth wholesaler Teo Matthéy, which he bequeathed to the city of Aachen together with his house in Matthéy , Theaterstrasse 67. Below is a tea set by the English silversmith Samuel Taylor from 1749 with two tea caddies and a sugar bowl in a leather-covered wooden case. Other items include chocolatiers with a wooden handle, a large Empire coffee pot from 1780 and a Meissen porcelain jug from 1720 with silver elements. Stairs to the top floor
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27 Doll closet room The so-called doll's cupboard in this room is a rococo linen cupboard with curved feet and carvings. The contents of a doll's case are spread out in the cupboard: two dolls, doll's clothes hanging on a line, dishes, pots and a stove. In terms of style, the clothes belong to the period between 1840 and 1850, i.e. the Biedermeier period. The stove shows a new form of a closed system developed by Benjamin Thompson at the end of the 18th century with regulated air supply and smoke extraction. There is also an Aachen-style secretary and a French precision pendulum in the room . Linen closet in the dolls closet room
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28 Peep box room In the window niches of the large mansard windows there are peep boxes from the 18th century. When looking at the prints shown in them, they reinforce the impression of spatial depth. The Couven Museum has one of the largest remaining collections of peep boxes in Germany. The peep boxes that have been set up show, among other things, a “magnificent staircase”, the “Feast of Tabernacles” and “the Adoration of the Magi”, and even a “glimpse into a Masonic lodge” is granted. On the wall, a painting by Jean Alphonse Roehn shows a scene with children looking into a peep box. Peep box room
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29 Connecting room The rear of the silver cabinet can be seen from the small connecting room. In the room there is a figure clock from the early 19th century. Next to it hangs a self-portrait of the painter Johann Baptist Joseph Bastiné from 1812. Bastiné lived in Aachen from 1811 until his death and founded a drawing school here, at which the history painter Alfred Rethel , who painted the Aachen town hall with frescoes, and the portrait painter, among others Heinrich Franz Carl Billotte studied. Bastinés self-portrait
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30th Empire room The main furniture of this Empire period room is a mahogany writing cabinet and chest of drawers . The chest of drawers is covered with a marble top. Straight lines and right angles characterize this classical style, ornate bronze fittings replace the carved ornaments of the earlier Aachen-Liège style. The sofa, table and two corner cabinets, on the other hand, date from the later historicizing Louis Philippe period, where curved lines are used again. Above the sofa hangs a family portrait of District Administrator Friedrich Joseph Freiherr von Coels von der Brügghen , who had Frankenberg Castle renovated. On the other walls are portraits of the factory owner Philipp Heinrich Pastor, his wife Amalie and the merchant couple Beissel, painted by Johann Baptist Joseph Bastiné . Cupboard in the Empire room
Empire room
31 Landscape room Floor-to-ceiling landscape panoramas, from which the room owes its name, are hung above the low paneling. The painted river and mountain landscapes, however, are not real, but rather sprung from fantasy. The fireplace dates from the first half of the 18th century. A pendulum clock from Friesland hangs in a sloping wall corner, with ships and a fisherman moving through the clockwork below the dial. In front of the wall corner is a clavichord with fruit tree veneer and an inlaid pattern. Corner clock and clavichord in the landscape room
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33 corridor In the small corridor above the glass corridor there is a small sewing table with legs in the shape of a lyre and two chairs. Sewing tables and chairs date from the Empire. On the walls are portraits of Joseph Beissel and his wife Johanna, née Chorus, in the Biedermeier style, a picture by the Aachen painter Friedrich Thomas with a depiction of four children and a portrait of the Aachen city architect Adam Franz Friedrich Leydel by Johann Baptist Joseph Bastiné . Portrait of Leydel in the corridor
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34 Biedermeier room The retreat into the private sphere that took place in the Biedermeier period is reflected in a simpler and more functional furnishing style with a simple but solid processing of local woods such as cherry or ash. The sofa becomes a cozy gathering place for the family by adding a table and chairs. In a lower display cabinet than its Rococo predecessors and a corner cabinet, colored glasses and porcelain from the 19th century are shown. A small stove on four curved brass feet stands in front of a tiled wall projection. A self-portrait of Heinrich Franz Carl Billotte with his wife and children hangs above the sofa, and a family portrait of City Councilor Johann Wilhelm Janssen above a chest of drawers. Glass cabinet in the Biedermeier room
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Temporary exhibitions (selection)

In addition to the permanent collections, the Couven Museum alternately shows exhibitions on arts and crafts as well as art and cultural-historical topics. However, there are no separate rooms available for this. Instead, showcases with the exhibits are set up in the rooms also used for the permanent exhibition.

A selection of past temporary exhibitions follows:

Period title content
02/26 - 04/30/1994 Early Meissen porcelain Exhibits from a private collection
16.05. - 05/28/1995 Small violins - great masters Exhibits from the Association of German Violin Makers and Bow Makers
30.06. - 09/30/2001 Cobalt blue - Meissen porcelain of the 18th century Exhibits from a private collection in the Rhineland
02/15 - May 18, 2003 European goldsmith's work 1560–1860 More than 300 high-ranking objects of European goldsmithing
04/12/2005 - 30/04/2006 13 × 13. The world in a square - Dutch tiles from two private collections in the Rhineland Dutch tiles from private ownership in addition to the museum's own inventory of historic tile ceramics
06.06. - 21.10.2007 Art Nouveau Dreams - The Giorgio Silzer Collection Selection from one of the largest private collections of art nouveau handicrafts
12/01/2007 - 02/03/2008 From grandma's Christmas parlor - historical Christmas tree decorations from private ownership A colorful selection of historical examples of Santa Clauses, angels, tinsel, sleds and nutcrackers
05/10 - 09/21/2008 The Couven Museum in Haus Monheim turns 50 A look back at the history of the newly established museum in 1958
11/01/2008 - 01/06/2009 fascination & myth amber room Presentation of the work of the amber workshop with icons, boxes, vessels, candle holders and other treasures
09.05. - 13.09.2009 Sweet temptation - from cocoa to chocolate History of chocolate from its beginnings to the 20th century
11/28/2009 - 01/31/2010 Nice and warm Heating between the Renaissance and the Imperial Era, splendid chimneys, graceful room stoves, elegant stove shades and shimmering brass accessories
February 20 - April 18, 2010 Of Easter eggs, rabbits and ancient customs Easter items from the Monika Lennartz collection and workshop, Mönchengladbach.
09.10. - 11/28/2010 Shine together for 500 years Historical secular gold and silversmithing on the occasion of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Aachen goldsmiths guild
04.12.2010 - 20.03.2011 The disillusionment of the West Coffee and tea conquer Europe. The cultural change and the new coffee and tea culture.
14.05. - 04.09.2011 La Beauté - On the history of cosmetics Beauty products from ancient times to the present.
24.09. - 10/30/2011 The secret life of ornaments - objects Animal figures made of paper and wire by the Aachen artist Odine Lang
November 19 - 02/12/2012 The Christ Child in a Glass Shrine - The Magic of Baroque Monastery Work Christ children, cribs and monastery work from the collection and workshop of Monika Lennartz
05/12 - 02.09.2012 Doll dreams The technique of making dolls at its peak
22.09. - 21.10.2012 Wolfgang Nestler : Inner life A photographic exploration. The artist's interest is directed towards the old Aachen house and its historic residents
04/09 - 06/30/2013 The new loans from the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation The lesser known aspects of the Ludwigs' passion for collecting
13.09.2013 - 12.01.2014 Sound worlds in couven rooms Musical instruments and musical culture between baroque and classicism
October 18, 2014 - April 12, 2015 A feast for the eyes: historical cutlery and place settings Cutlery collection of the Aachen museums
04/25 - 08/30/2015 Aquis Grani - The bathing city of Aachen: healing, pleasure, science Bathing culture in Aachen
07/11/2015 - 31/01/2016 Gallant and elegant: fans from Rococo to Historicism Collection from the Mainfränkisches Museum Würzburg
November 19, 2016 - March 26, 2017 Exploring nature Early Natural History Collections - From Hobby to Science
03.06. - 03.09.2018 The struggle for the right faith Gold and silver from monasteries in the border triangle - pious foundations of the bourgeoisie and the nobility
11/11/2017 - 25/03/2018 The miner and the white gold Exquisite porcelain from the Middelschulte collection
05/05/2018 - 09/09/2018 Wooden horse, doll, tin soldier - historical toys from five centuries 80 play objects from five centuries, from the Aachen- Raeren ceramic finds of the Renaissance period to the teddy bear and tin toys of the early 20th century
November 16, 2018 - March 24, 2019 Herbs, mortars, pill-makers - the Jena Collection is a guest at the Monheim house A large selection from the Jena private collection, such as a pharmacy from the 18th and 19th centuries. Century and what pharmaceutical equipment was used there.
October 26, 2019 - March 29, 2020 We post-war children The exhibition is dedicated to everyday needs, but also to the small triumphs in the "bad times" after the Second World War, when the old certainties of the country were in ruins and the new beginning began very slowly.


In addition to the regular museum tours, the Couven Museum also offers lectures and other events, which mostly provide more information on the museum's collections or the special exhibition that has just been shown. These include puppet and film performances, as well as practical craft courses for children and adults. Concerts are performed in the ballroom, e.g. B. the chamber concert series "Vier im Couven" by the Aachen Chapelle Quartet.

There are various programs for school classes, depending on the age and type of school, which usually consist of a guided tour and then an artistic or manual work to be carried out by the students themselves.

The rooms of the Couven Museum, especially the large ballroom, can be rented for festive events. The Couven Museum is one of the official locations of the city of Aachen for wedding ceremonies.

Museum guide

Felix Kuetgens wrote a guide through the old Couven Museum in Haus Fey as early as 1929. He wrote an art history introduction to an illustrated book published in the early 1940s. The first description of the new Couven Museum in Haus Monheim in the form of a tour through the rooms was written by Felix Kuetgens in an eight-page article that was published in the 1958/1959 double issue of the Aachener Kunstblätter (AKB) of the Aachen Museum Association . Felix Kuetgens also wrote a more detailed description of the rooms, which appeared in 1959 as a 32-page booklet in the Rheinische Kunststätten series of the Rheinische Verein für Denkmalpflege und Landschaftsschutz ( Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Landscape Protection) and which the museum used as a guide with an additional cover.

In 1971, the art historian Ernst Günther Grimme , who later became the director of the City Museums of Aachen and head of the Couven Museum, wrote his own museum guide describing a tour of the individual rooms. The guide appeared in 1971 as a special edition of the Aachener Kunstblätter and has been reprinted repeatedly. In 2010 this museum guide was replaced by a book written by Dagmar Preising and Ulrich Schäfer, which was published by Deutsches Kunstverlag . Also in 2010, the city of Aachen published a brochure with a brief description of the most important rooms in the museum as part of the Route Charlemagne project .

The exact names of these guides can be found in the literature section , the brochure for Route Charlemagne is linked as a PDF file in the web links section .


  • Ernst Günther Grimme: Donation of tile ceramics for the Couven Museum . In: Peter Ludwig (Ed.): Aachener Kunstblätter . tape 52 . Verlag M. Dumont Schauberg, Cologne 1984, p. 10-12 .
  • Ernst Günther Grimme: Guide through the Couven Museum of the city of Aachen . In: Peter Ludwig (Ed.): Aachener Kunstblätter . 4th edition. (Special edition). Aachen 1986.
  • Felix Kuetgens: Guide to the municipal Couven Museum . 2nd Edition. Publishing house of the Aachen Museum Association, Aachen 1932.
  • The Couven House . The parlor of the city of Aachen. Aachener Verlags- und Druckereigesellschaft, Aachen 1939 (illustrated book with an art-historical introduction by Felix Kuetgens).
  • Felix Kuetgens: The "old" Couven Museum . In: Hans Feldbusch, Peter Ludwig (Ed.): Aachener Kunstblätter . No. 16 . Publishing house of the Aachener Museumsverein, Aachen 1957, p. 7-10 .
  • Felix Kuetgens: The “new” Couven Museum . In: Hans Feldbusch, Peter Ludwig (Ed.): Aachener Kunstblätter . No. 17/18 (1958/59) . Publishing house of the Aachen Museum Association, Aachen, p. 17-24 .
  • Felix Kuetgens: The Couven Museum in Aachen . House Monheim, Hühnermarkt 17. In: Rheinischer Verein für Denkmalpflege und Heimatschutz (Ed.): Rheinische Kunststätten . 1959 (with an additional cover entitled Couven-Museum der Stadt Aachen. A visit to Aachen's parlor. Used as a guide through the Couven-Museum).
  • Eberhard Quadflieg: The house Zum Lindenbaum in Aachen . In: Aachener Kunstblätter . No. 34 . Aachen 1967, p. 266-268 .
  • Belinda Petri: The restoration of the Couven-Museum Aachen 1999 to 2002 . In: Aachener Kunstblätter . No. 62 . Aachen 2002, p. 334-337 .
  • Dagmar Preising and Ulrich Schäfer: Couven Museum in Aachen . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Berlin, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-422-02289-8 .

Web links

Commons : Picture collection for the Couven Museum  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Photo album with selected pictures from the Couven Museum  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

The full names of the literature sources given here can be found in the literature section .

  1. Preising, Schäfer 2010, p. 4.
  2. On the history of the Fey house and the first Couven Museum, see above all Kuetgens 1957, pp. 7-10.
  3. Felix Kuetgens: The Couvenhaus to Aachen. In: Rheinischer Verein für Denkmalpflege und Heimatschutz, Rheinische Kulturstätten, Series 1: Aachen and the Jülich Land, No. 11/12, Düsseldorf, 16 pp.
  4. a b c Kuetgens 1932, p. 10.
  5. Grimme 1986, p. 23.
  6. Kuetgens 1932, pp. 15-37.
  7. Kuetgens 1939, p. 10.
  8. See the floor plan in: Kuetgens 1939, p. 14.
  9. The description of the rooms in the old Couven-Museum in Haus Fey follows mainly Kuetgens 1932, pp. 15–38, and Kuetgens in Couven-Haus, early 1940s, pp. 11–13.
  10. a b c Preising, Schäfer 2010, p. 5.
  11. Kuetgens 1957, p. 10.
  12. Kuetgens 1959, p. 4.
  13. Kuetgens 1959, p. 2.
  14. On the inclusion of the Haus zum Lindenbaum in the Couven Museum and the donation of the tile collection by the Ludwig couple, see inter alia. Quadflieg in AKB 34 (1967), p. 266 and Preising, Schäfer 2010, p. 30.
  15. Petri in AKB 62 (1998-2002), pp. 334-337; see also the Couven Museum restoration project. In: Couven Museum, accessed March 7, 2015 .
  16. Michael Schmitt: "The urban development of Aachen in the Middle Ages, taking into account the shaping factors." Aachen. Diss. 1972, p. 140.
  17. For a detailed description of the buildings and their history, see the articles Haus Monheim and Haus zum Lindenbaum .
  18. Aachen was culturally strongly influenced by France at that time and was under French occupation from 1792–1815. Therefore, the style epochs are given here with their French names.
  19. The following brief description of the museum rooms essentially follows the current museum guide by Dagmar Preising and Ulrich Schäfer from 2010. The room numbers refer to the floor plan, in which the individual components of the museum (Monheim House, Rear House, House zum Lindenbaum, House zur Libra) are separated from each other by thick lines.
  20. a b c More pictures can be found in the photo album of the Couven Museum on Wikimedia Commons.
  21. The portrait is a copy of a section of a larger painting that shows the builder of Wickrath Castle with his master builder. While it used to be taken for a portrait of Johann Joseph Couven (see e.g. Kuetgens in Rheinische Kunststätten 1959, p. 32) or Jakob Couven (see e.g. Grimme 1986, p. 30), today it is assumed that it rather represents one of the brothers François and Matthieu Soiron (see e.g. Preising, Schäfer 2010, p. 18). No other pictorial representation of Couven's father or son is known.
  22. The original portrait is shown here .
  23. Exhibitions in recent years. In: Couven Museum, accessed March 7, 2015 .
  24. Jochen Amme: Historical cutlery . Ed .: Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aachen. Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aachen, Aachen 2014, ISBN 978-3-929203-72-1 , p. 326 .
  25. Current exhibition. In: Couven Museum, accessed March 7, 2015 .
  26. Our extensive range for adults, children, young people and school classes. In: Couven Museum, accessed March 7, 2015 .
  27. Why not just rent a rococo hall in a spectacular location? In: LocationsAachen. City of Aachen, accessed on June 15, 2012 .
  28. ↑ Wedding rooms and appointments. In: Stadtportal City of Aachen, accessed on June 15, 2012 .

Coordinates: 50 ° 46 '32.7 "  N , 6 ° 5' 5.5"  E

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on October 6, 2012 in this version .