Mönchengladbach City Library

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Mönchengladbach City Library
Mönchengladbach City Library

The Mönchengladbach City Library is located at Blücherstraße 6 in Mönchengladbach ( North Rhine-Westphalia ).

The house was built in 1960–1964. It was entered under No. B 175 on September 20, 2013 in the monuments list of the city of Mönchengladbach.


In addition to general literature for children and adults, the city library also offers media in foreign languages. The historical collection includes the International Ex-libris Center Mönchengladbach, the former library of the Cologne Franciscan Order Province with works from the 16th to the early 19th centuries in the fields of science and wisdom, and the former library of the former People's Association for Catholic Germany (1892 - 1933) on social and economic science. She is one of the participants in the initiative Germany - Land of Ideas of the Federal Government and the Federation of German Industry.


The city library is located northeast of the medieval city center in the Wilhelminian city expansion area on Blücherstraße / Kaiserstraße opposite Adenauerplatz.

The property of the city ​​library takes up about a quarter of the block between Albertusstraße, Kaiserstraße, Blücherstraße and Regentenstraße and extends in an L-shape deep into the middle of the block. The otherwise closed perimeter block development is loosened up by the greened open spaces in front of the city library along Blücherstrasse and on the corner of Kaiserstrasse. In the middle of the block, too, there is a green open space adjacent to the library building.

The building dimensions are arranged in the plan in the form of two L-shaped structures of different sizes and one rectangular structure in such a way that a square inner courtyard is created between them . The larger L-shaped structure in front of it forms the open space facing Blücherstrasse and Kaiserstrasse. The shorter wing of this component protrudes far towards Blücherstrasse. In terms of urban planning, the green and tree-planted open space on Blücherstraße and Kaiserstraße is effective as an extension of Adenauerplatz, whose perimeter block development will be broken up at this point.


The library is designed as an ensemble of cubic components with flat roofs of different sizes, with different surfaces . In accordance with the principles of functionalist modern architecture, this design method is based on the assignment of different functions to the individual components. At the city library, the principles of functionalist modern architecture have been implemented in an architecturally successful and varied way. The larger, two-storey L-shaped component contains the entrance foyer in its short wing and the former lecture hall on the upper floor.

The library is still accessed through the largely glazed ground floor of the entrance wing and the spacious foyer behind it . The original room layout is almost completely preserved on all floors.

The most frequented visitor rooms in the city library were originally all located on one level on the ground floor and were all accessible from the central foyer. A staircase behind the main wall of the mosaic counters leads from the foyer to the upper floor with the rooms originally not intended for library use but publicly used, the lecture and exhibition rooms, both of which are now used as library rooms. The lecture hall is distinguished by artistically designed etched glass panes in front of the other rooms. The library administration rooms can also be reached from the main staircase.

The building equipment (windows, floors, doors, wall mosaics, artistic glass design) of the city library has largely been preserved. The floors in today's open access areas (also the former reading room , lecture hall and exhibition room) and the windows in the children's and youth library area facing the atrium and the reading room facing the garden were renewed . The curtain walls that have been preserved from the construction period are particularly important for the appearance of the city library. The shelves in the storage tower and the wall cupboard in the former reading room have been preserved from the library furniture from the construction period . The wall unit also contains a passage to the magazine tower. In the same way as the passage to the magazine tower in the cupboard wall, the passage to the magazine tower in the former exhibition room above the former reading room is framed by a cabinet-like frame made of dark wood. These two wooden fixtures are part of the listed building equipment of the city library.

History of the city library

In 1904 it was decided to set up a city library in Mönchengladbach. It was opened to the public in 1905 and was located on the ground floor of the Abbey Town Hall . In 1926 Reinhold Brandts, the son of the textile manufacturer Carl Brandts, and his wife Paula donated his parents' stately home at Kaiserstrasse 47 in the city of Mönchengladbach to accommodate a city library. In the years 1927–1933 the city library was located in the building on Kaiserstraße.

From 1933 to 1964 the city library was housed at Bismarckstraße 99. The house at Bismarckstrasse 99, the former official residence of the Lord Mayor, was set up in 1933 as the “House for Science and Research”. With the accommodation in Bismarckstrasse, there was a division into the area of ​​the city or public library on the ground floor and the area of ​​the scientific collection on the upper floors. This dichotomy was later to shape the design of the new building on Blücherstrasse. In addition to a general reading room on Bismarckstrasse, there was also a separate room for undisturbed scientific work. 1933 the funds have been carrying out regular lectures and other events provided public education work. The terrace and garden were probably also open to users as reading areas when the weather was good. These two aspects were also taken into account when planning the new library building on Blücherstrasse.

In 1933 the city library took over the library of the Volksverein for Catholic Germany . The association was dissolved in 1933 as part of the coordination of the state. The library, which originally comprised 86,000 volumes, already enjoyed supraregional reputation as a specialist library in the social sciences. After the end of the Second World War , the scientific use of the Volksverein library increased significantly. However, their holdings at Bismarckstrasse 99, which the library had to share with other municipal institutions at times after the war, could not be adequately accessed.

The general holdings of the city library, which had been decimated by around 3,000 volumes due to the destruction of the war - the Volksverein library had been relocated in 1944 - quickly increased again after the Second World War, so that a general lack of space soon became noticeable in Bismarckstrasse 99. She stood among other things, the desire for the implementation of innovative at that time in Germany model of open access library counter as found since 1951 in the branches of the City Library in Rheindahlen , Neuwerk and Hardt could be practiced.

Planning and construction history

Since 1958 the plans for a new library building became more concrete. In January 1960, the decision was made to use the site of the Brandts' house, which was destroyed in the war, as the location for the new city library. Construction work began on September 26, 1960. After the designer Fridolin Hallauer moved to Solingen for professional reasons , the further work was continued in close cooperation between the municipal building department under its head of town planning director Fritz Baresel and the freelance Mönchengladbach architect Konrad Bayer, who took on responsibility for the construction.

On April 9, 1964, the city library in Blücherstrasse was inaugurated.

The city library is largely original.


  • The foyer by dismantling the catalog (card boxes), dismantling the glass doors to the open access areas (left: youth area, right: adult library), setting up an automated book return system that can also be filled from the outside,
  • The use of the former lecture hall and the exhibition hall by including it in the general library use.

Justification of the monument value according to § 2 DSchG NRW

The city library (Blücherstraße 6 / Kaiserstraße 47) is important for human history as a structural testimony to the efforts to bring about social change in West Germany after the Second World War. Its structure, based on openness, clarity and transparency, which enables free access to all media for all users alike, expresses the values ​​of an open, democratic society with its library design.

The city library (Blücherstraße 6 / Kaiserstraße 47) is important for Mönchengladbach as an important testimony to the reconstruction of the city after the destruction of the Second World War and as a testimony to its urban design. There is a public interest in the preservation and use of the city library (Blücherstraße 6 / Kaiserstraße 47) for scientific reasons, here architectural and local history as well as for urban planning reasons.

Architectural-historical reasons

outer facade

The Mönchengladbach City Library is a well-preserved, architecturally high-quality example of a library building from the first post-war modern era in terms of the spatial program, which was to be used both as a public library and as a scientific library.

From what has been said so far, it follows that the city library is worth preserving for architectural and historical reasons as a well-preserved, high-quality, time-typical example of an ambitious new library building in Germany in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Local historical reasons

The building of the city library is worth preserving for reasons of local history as a clear and high-quality testimony to the efforts of the city ​​administration to modernize the reconstruction of the city of Mönchengladbach in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Urban planning reasons

The Mönchengladbach City Library is worth preserving for urban planning reasons as a clear testimony to the successful implementation of the central urban planning ideas of the post-war period, such as loosening up older city structures by creating open spaces, breaking up the block perimeter development and clearing individual buildings.

The scope of the monument includes the building of the city library in substance and appearance including the fixed equipment from the construction period (doors, windows, floors, wall mosaic by Joachim Klos), the group of figures "Conversation" by Peter Haak and the open spaces surrounding the building.

Web links

See also


Individual evidence

  1. Monuments list of the city of Mönchengladbach ( Memento of the original from October 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / pb.moenchengladbach.de
  2. ^ Historical holdings in the Rhineland. In: Rhineland Portal. University and City Library Cologne, accessed on June 26, 2018 .
  3. Early reading education with Borussia Mönchengladbach. Land of Ideas, accessed on June 26, 2018 : "In Mönchengladbach all children receive a reading package."

Coordinates: 51 ° 11 ′ 50.1 ″  N , 6 ° 26 ′ 13.1 ″  E