The Goldsmith's House in Hanau


Irina-Maria Manea
published on 02 May 2023
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The German Goldsmith's House (Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus) in Hanau, Hesse, is one of the most important historical buildings in Hanau's old town and initially served as the town hall. The construction of the building began in 1537/38. With the founding of the new town in 1597, the Dutch and Walloons settled there, including numerous goldsmiths. They joined together in 1610 to form the goldsmiths' and silversmiths' guild, thereby establishing the heyday of goldsmithing in Hanau in the second half of the 18th century. Last but not least, the "Hanau Academy of Drafting" founded in 1772 was also involved in this development, which made qualified training as a gold- and silversmith possible from 1889. As early as 1900, the use of the goldsmith's house as a town hall was given up and the Hanau Historical Association set up a museum on the town's history.

The building owes its current function as the German Goldsmiths' House to the Berlin jeweller and goldsmith Ferdinand Richard Wilm (1880-1971), who recommended that the city of Hanau set up a centre for precious metal art in the former town hall and actually received support for his project from the highest level of the NSDAP. In March 1945, the building fell victim to a bomb attack. During the reconstruction in 1958, the premises of the house were completely adapted for use as an exhibition space for German and international jewellery and device design. From July 1981, the museum underwent a major interior renovation. It was reopened on 23 October 1982 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the goldsmith's house.

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About the Author

Irina-Maria Manea
A curious and open mind, fascinated by the past. Historian with a keen interest in Norse myth and the Viking Age, as well as history teacher and language instructor. Originally from Bucharest, Romania, now residing in Hesse, Germany.


Cite This Work

APA Style

Manea, I. (2023, May 02). The Goldsmith's House in Hanau. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Manea, Irina-Maria. "The Goldsmith's House in Hanau." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 02, 2023.

MLA Style

Manea, Irina-Maria. "The Goldsmith's House in Hanau." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 02 May 2023. Web. 22 Apr 2024.