Bell and City Museum (Apolda)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(name change: 2017)
main building
Main building of the museum
place Apolda
opening 1952
Number of visitors (annually) 12,000-15,000
City of Apolda
Rena Erfurth
ISIL DE-MUS-866117

A classicist factory owner's villa in Apoldaer Bahnhofstrasse houses both the bell museum and the city ​​museum . The bell museum was founded in 1952; The exhibition covers the topics of bell archeology, the development of the European tower bell, the technology of bell casting, the Apolda foundries and non-European bells.

The first city history exhibition was opened in 1951 in the new museum building. Since the late 1950s, the thematic focus of the city museum has been on the representation of the local textile industry. The ups and downs of this branch of industry are illustrated using the example of the career of a well-known company. A multitude of machines, patterns and items of clothing illustrate the development process that shaped both the city and its citizens.

The history of the house

In 1854 the publisher Wilhelm Junge had a large house built on Bahnhofstrasse, to which he added a warehouse in 1857. But as early as 1859, the building was offered for auction in a bankruptcy notice. A worldwide trade crisis had also gripped Apolda and caused numerous bankruptcies among publishers.

In 1860 Franz Kreiter, co-owner of what was then the largest publishing company in town, acquired the company “Chr. Zimmermann & Sohn ”, building and property. His daughter Pauline, married to the company's general manager, Anton Brandes, lived in the house with her family. In 1924, the year she died, her heirs sold the building to the city of Apolda.

The house was used for residential purposes. Tenants were u. a. also the mayor of Apolda . Institutions such as the city library, the 2nd police station and the office for Russian orders were temporarily housed. The Apolda address book from 1949 lists 16 tenants.

The development of the two museums

The beginnings in the municipal museum of local history

In 1930, the senior teacher Karl Engelhardt suggested the establishment of a local museum in Apolda. His idea found numerous followers, and so in 1933 the association “Friends of the Heimatmuseum eV” was founded. In the same year, the association opened the first Apolda museum in the attic of the "Gray School" in Ritterstrasse (the building was demolished in 1964).

Donations from the citizens of Apolda formed the basis of this museum. In the year it opened, efforts were made to find more suitable rooms. In 1934 the parish made the nave of the Martinskirche available rent-free, and in 1935 the museum association set up the new museum there. He presented a structured collection, with the topics of bell casting and textile industry in the foreground. Museum director was the chairman of the association, Richard Hanß (1890–1951).

The museum was closed in the spring of 1945 and reopened as the “Städtisches Heimatmuseum” at Easter 1947. At this point in time, the church council had already terminated the lease. A move of the museum seemed generally advisable, because the climatic conditions of the church had a negative effect on the exhibits. In 1951 the collections were relocated from the Martinskirche to the new museum building on Bahnhofstrasse.

In July of the same year the new local history museum was opened with the special exhibition “5 years of construction in Apolda 1945–1950”. After Richard Hanß's death in September 1951, Kurt Huebner took over management of the museum. He was already involved in the design of the first exhibition. Until the autumn of 1952, exhibitions of different themes changed. The last special exhibition in 1952 was entitled "Glockenuß und Glockenkunst".

Development of the bell museum

View of the main entrance

"Glockguß und Glockenkunst" met with a great response from the general public as well as from experts. It formed the basis for a permanent exhibition on the cultural history of the bell from its beginnings to the present - the Bell Museum.

In 1963, when an apartment was vacated in the house, four more rooms were added, which were also used to display the bells. As a training center, the museum quickly developed into an attraction for guests from home and abroad. As the only museum of its kind, it had significance beyond national borders. The number of visitors from the schools also increased. Furthermore, Franz Schilling suggested creating a collection of examples for the development of the bell jewelry in order to obtain possibilities for the art-historical evaluation of the material for study purposes.

The Apolda Bell Museum was and is a special museum for bells and bells. In order to present the exhibits with the greatest impact, structural changes were necessary. With the acquisition of modern showcases, a higher level of presentation could be achieved. Franz Schilling and Kurt Hübner's efforts were ultimately crowned with success.

In 1987, the museum was temporarily closed because the rooms were redesigned and the tour was redesigned. The information in text and images has been expanded. In addition, new exhibits were added. In 1987 and 1989 this redesign could not be carried out under the given conditions, lack of balance sheets and capacities. On October 4, 1992, the museum reopened after extensive expansion and redesign by the then museum director Heike Schlichting. Since the redesign, visitors have also been able to touch and strike the bells on display. Rena Erfurth has been the museum director since January 22nd, 2009.

Permanent and special exhibitions, events

Permanent exhibition of the bell museum

Bells in the museum garden

The bell museum shows the cultural and technological history of the bell from its beginnings to the present. It is divided into five departments:

  • Bell archeology
  • Development of the European tower bell
  • Manufacture of bells, transportation and ringing
  • non-European bells
  • Bells in art, music, language and literature

Around 50 tower bells, hand bells, table bells, animal bells, clock bells and ship bells are shown in the exhibition. In addition, yokes, clappers, tools for casting as well as casts and graphite rubbings from bell decorations are presented. There is also information on the tasks of the bells, the Apolda bell foundries and the most famous bells worldwide. Most of the exhibits may be touched and struck. The tour is accompanied by bell music.

Permanent exhibition city museum

In its exhibition, the city museum covers the period from the first mention of a knitter in Apolda in 1593 with David, the knitter, to the political change of 1989/1990. Using the example of the company "Christian Zimmermann & Sohn", the ups and downs in the development of this branch of industry are particularly illustrated. Garments and fabric samples prove the diversity of the material as well as the creativity of the pattern masters and directors. A multitude of machines illustrates the technology of knitted goods and the preparation and post-processing of yarns and products.

In the first room the transition from hand knitting to work on the knitting chair as well as the development of the local knitting trade is shown. In rooms 2 and 3, the development of the place into the most important trading and manufacturing town of the Grand Duchy in the 19th century is documented. Between the years 1865 and 1890, locksmiths' workshops developed into the first textile machine manufacturing companies. The juxtaposition of workshop work or domestic industry on the one hand and factory work on the other hand in wool manufacture is described in detail. The fourth room deals with the periods from 1914 to 1945 and 1945 to 1990. The effects of inflation, the global economic crisis and war on the Apolda textile industry as well as the development towards a planned economy and mass production in the GDR era are shown. The documentation on the commissioning of Apolda bells for the ideology of the NSDAP remains a desideratum.

Special exhibitions

Sign at the main entrance

Since the year it was opened, special exhibitions have been held regularly in the museum, which complement or expand the visit to the permanent exhibition. Art exhibitions, private collections and particularities of local history are shown on an area of ​​approximately 100 m². Since 1993, the museum's exhibition concept has increasingly included topics relating to the history of the city. So there were, among other things, major special exhibitions on the subject

  • "From stockings to top tricot days - 400 years of the Apolda knitting trade"
  • " 150 years of the railway in Apolda "
  • "150 years of postal history"
  • "100 years of Piccolo from the Apollo works "
  • "To the history of the Doberman "
  • "Drive through Apolda"
  • "100 years of the Michel catalog "
  • "Apoldaer Schlager - cloths, fichus and" Indian hoods "from the museum's textile collection"

The bell museum and the “ Kunsthaus Apolda Avantgarde ” took part in the major themed years such as the “ Franco-German Year (2006)” and “ Bauhaus Year (2009) ” with appropriate exhibitions and events. The exhibitions of both houses have been advertised jointly since 2009. B. through flyers, posters and a combination ticket.

  • "The noses, the baddies, the colorful ones - homage to the Bauhaus stage the weimar puppet theater mercilessly chic" (2009)
  • " Margaretha Reichardt's pupil" (2009)
  • "LABELS CULT" (2011)
  • "Heavenly Messengers - Angels as Bells" (2011)
    Bell & cannon
  • "Iceland - mythical, musical and exciting" (2012)
  • "Art, ore and sound" (2012)
  • "Golden Myanmar - Faces of the World" (2013)
  • "Campanula - the bellflower " (2013)
  • "my" Hermitage "drawings, paintings and objects by Christine vd Heide-Schneider" (2014)
  • "Fantastic, impulsive, curious - Perspectives on female fashion" (2014)
  • "The brazen" sisters "- bell and cannon " (2014)
  • "Fascination Africa" ​​(2015)
  • "Four Appolds in Apolda" (2015)
    Four Appolds in Apolda
  • " Change ringing - a special way of ringing bells" (2015)
  • "Bold, colorful and cheeky in shape, color and decor - the modern flower vase of the 1950s" (2015)
  • "Men, women and other images - photographs by Monika Neumann and Matthias Eckert" (2015)
  • "Diva hat pin - an almost forgotten accessory" (2016)
  • "How does the cactus come into fashion" (2017)
  • "Gray becomes green - gardens and parks in Apolda" (2017)
  • "A touch of Hollywood - what once belonged to the stars" (2017)
  • "News from the Apolda artist studios - Sabine Brodowski, Gerd Buschendorf, Gerd Schnetter and Rüdiger Bahr-Liebeskind" (2018)
    News from the Apolda artist studios
  • "" Driven to the (mountain) top - Apoldaer on the mountains of the world "(2018)
  • "UhrZeit - no cog will turn without Apolda / clocks from Ruhla-Glashütte-Weimar" (2018)
  • "Dream City" (2019)
  • "Tracking Talents" (2019)


Summer concert in the museum garden

Themed events for the special exhibitions, lectures and concerts in the museum garden complete the exhibition program. The “Yellow Mondays” have been an integral part of the city's cultural calendar since the first event.

Friends of the Museum

On July 2, 2011, the first meeting of the new circle of friends took place in the museum. All interested citizens and companies from Apolda were invited. The main concerns are to support the museum in the planning and implementation of traditional and new events, to expand and process exhibition content and to increase the awareness of the museum regionally and nationally through advertising and public relations work.

Since the Freundeskreis does not have a fixed membership structure like an association, the composition always changes a little from meeting to meeting. This means that interested parties always have the opportunity to take part in the meetings, which always take place on the 1st Saturday of the month. With the “Yellow Monday in the Museum” (referring to the traditional closing day in museums and the color of the museum building and the event room), a series of events began in February 2012 in cooperation between the Friends of the Museum and the Circle of Friends. Lectures, city tours, film screenings and the like are offered, everything relating to the topics of bells, textiles and city history.


See also


  • Ernst Fauer: The GlockenStadtMuseum in Apolda / Thuringia . In: Stiftung Mitteldeutscher Kulturrat (Hrsg.): Central German yearbook for culture and history . tape 23 . Monumente-Publications, Bonn 2016, ISBN 978-3-86795-116-6 , p. 272-274 .
  • Manfred Hofmann: The Apoldaer bell foundry - old and new secrets. Weimar 2014, ISBN 978-3-86160-415-0
  • Heike Schlichting: Kurt Hübner for his ninetieth . In: Apoldaer Geschichtsverein e. V. (Hrsg.): Apoldaer Heimat - Contributions to the nature and local history of the city of Apolda and its surroundings . Issue 12. Apolda 1994, p. 12-14 .
  • Margarete Schilling: Construction of the Apolda Bell Museum . In: Apoldaer Geschichtsverein e. V. (Hrsg.): Apoldaer Heimat - Contributions to the nature and local history of the city of Apolda and its surroundings . Issue 10. Apolda 1992, p. 1-2 .
  • Apolda home. Contributions to the nature and local history of the city of Apolda and its surroundings. Born 1992/1996/1997/2001 Ed. Apoldaer Kulturverein e. V.
  • Gollrad, Eva: History and description of the city of Apolda 1871–1990 , Apolda o. J., ISBN 3-00-002012-8
  • Margarete Schilling : Bells from Apolda (in German, Russian, English and French), Apolda 1986 and 1987, 47 pages, without ISBN
  • Wirker- und Strickermuseum Apolda (Ed .: Museum Apolda), Apolda 1980

Web links

Commons : Bell Museum (Apolda)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The Apoldaer Bell Foundry ( Memento from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  2. DNB 1036702596
  3. Link to the German National Library

Coordinates: 51 ° 1 ′ 37 ″  N , 11 ° 31 ′ 9 ″  E