Bild: Amtshausdetail

Administration Building

The administration building (Amtshaus) can be regarded as one of the most historically and architecturally important buildings in Ilmenau. With its Baroque appearance, it is the constructional highlight among the other building on Market Square. Remarkable are the Henneberger's coat of arms and the date of the first edification, 1616, in the pediment of the central structure. The construction is said to trace back to the widowed Countess Sophie of Henneberg and since 1634 it has served as a ducal residence and later as an administration building.

Greatly affected by the large city fire of 1752, the building gained its current appearance still standing on the old original base walls and the designs were made by the master builder Gottfried Heinrich Krohne (1703 – 1756). The sandstone tables with the coat of arms over the entrance portal refer to the master builder, carrying the initials of Count Ernst August Constantin (E.A.C.) and the Saxon-Weimar coat of arms.

The prestigious rooms on the first floor with its original stucco ceiling and plank floor served as the ducal family’s accommodation until 1918. Also, Goethe used it as his official residence while he was visiting Ilmenau.

After 1920 the building became the property of the Free State of Thuringia and was used as accommodation for court clerks. In 1931, the first small museum of local history with a Goethe memorial room was established on the ground floor. In 1949, the museum was enlarged to include the five rooms of the first floor, which were transformed into a Goethe memorial in 1967. Over 95m², Goethe's administrative work in Ilmenau is presented, especially his work in revitalizing the silver and copper mining industry and his rearrangement of the tax system. This well-composed educational exhibition existed until March 2007. In these 40 years, more than 380,000 guests have visited the Goethe memorial and from 1952 until 2001 the county and district court resided in this building. Since 2002, the building has been property of the city of Ilmenau.

After extensive restoration work, the new exhibition of the GoetheStadtMuseum was opened on 29th November 2008. On the complete first floor, a new and enlarged exhibition became available to the public. Over around 200m², further aspects of the town's history are presented, in addition to its main subject: Goethe in Ilmenau.

Today the administration building houses the cultural office, the tourist information office "Ilmenau-Information" and the GoetheStadtMuseum.

Administration Building on the Market Square
Administration Building on the Market Square
Goethe in front of the Administration Building
Goethe in front of the Administration Building
GoetheStadtMuseum - Historical Living Room
GoetheStadtMuseum - Historical Living Room