During the reconstruction of Aachen into an 18th century Baroque bathing resort, Johann Joseph Couven (1701 - 1763) and his son Jakob Couven
(1735 - 1812) achieved a mastery of their craft that made them famous far beyond Aachen. From 1739 until his death, Johann Joseph Couven was active
as an architect, an engineer and as civic secretary.
Couven‘s first major sacred building, the abbey church of St. John the Baptist in Burtscheid, built from 1730 to 1754, is considered to be one of the most important Baroque churches in the region between the rivers Maas and Rhine.
The only surviving building by his son Jakob Couven is Haus Monheim. It is used today as a museum, and is dedicated to the work of both architects.
Haus Monheim lies in the historic town centre, close to the Cathedral, the Town Hall and the old bathing and spa centre at Büchel. After the town fire, the apothecary Adam Coebergh bought the plot of land in 1662 and had a pharmacy built there. The importance of the pharmacy for Aachen as an emergent spa and bathing resort is clearly evident in the support
willingly provided by the city, which supplied 8,000 bricks for the new building.
|Aachen Style Furniture (Carved in Oak)|
In 1786, Andreas Monheim, who had acquired the house in 1783, commissioned the architect Jakob Couven with its renovation. It was Couven who gave the building its familiar, present-day appearance.
Andreas Monheim left the house to his only son Johann Peter Josef Monheim, a man destined to become one of the most influential figures in 19th century
Aachen. He played a crucial role in shaping the fortunes of his home town and, by building hospitals and nursing homes, strove to ease the social problems
arising as a consequence of industrialisation. As a token of gratitude, he was made an honorary citizen of Aachen.
In 1958, the former Director of Civic Museums, Felix Kuetgens, established the Couven Museum in the house. There had already been a museum with this
name in House Fey on Seilgraben, but it had been destroyed during an air raid in 1943. In 1967, the museum was extended by Peter and Irene Ludwig, née
Monheim. They had the former neighbouring house “Zum Lindenbaum” decorated with more than 6,000 precious tiles, which they donated to the museum in 1982.
Today, Aachen‘s very own “front room” offers a permanent exhibition of domestic culture and home decor of the 18th and 19th centuries, supplemented by interesting temporary exhibitions on cultural and art history themes.
Tuesday – Sunday
10.00 am – 6.00 pmThe whole building may be closed to the public due
Hühnermarkt 17, 52062 Aachen
Telefon +49 (0)241 / 432-4421 or
+49 (0)241 / 47980-20 (guided tours)
Source: Couven Museum
tekst: Michael Prömpeler