Knoblauchhaus Museum


Entrée/Raffael room

The reception room or - as it used to be called in French - the entrée is the middle one of three adjoining magnificent rooms. The room tuned the guests of the house to enter the living room, to which it goes on the left. Here the owner of the house, Carl Knoblauch, was waiting for his guests. Besides family members, friends, business partners and club colleagues had access to this living area. Larger social gatherings were held here on a regular basis.

Specialization living room - furnishings

The furnishing of a room - and even more so of an entire house - had great significance in the Biedermeier era. How a room was designed and furnished revealed a lot about its occupant. It was a mirror of one's own individuality. No wonder, then, that it was fashionable to have one's own four walls immortalized in small room paintings by specially commissioned artists. In addition to personal taste and level of education, the interior also revealed virtues such as modesty, simplicity, continuity and discipline. According to Goethe, the furnishing of the house and apartment itself became a formative force, or, as he himself said: "It compels us in the most pleasant way to recognize the measure by which and to which our innermost being is formed."

Living room/salon

When you enter the Knoblauch family's living room, you are standing on historical ground: on December 26, 1828, the house owner Carl Knoblauch met here with five notable personalities of his time. They were the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the sculptors Christian Daniel Rauch and Christian Friedrich Tieck, the private scholar Wilhelm von Humboldt and Peter Beuth, the Prussian state's industrialization commissioner. They all met in this room for a board meeting of the "Verein der Kunstfreunde im preußischen Staat," or Art Association for short. This association was founded in Berlin in 1825 for the broad promotion of art and culture and already had over 1,500 members a few years later. The graphic editions published by the association were extremely popular, as were the regular raffles of works of art. Carl Knoblauch once won a large-format painting by the painter Heinrich Dähling. This painting, entitled "The Minstrel," hung on the wall above the sofa for decades. However, it has been lost since 1945.

Dining room

This room was formerly the dining room. For this reason, there was a direct passage to the neighboring kitchen. This was located where now stands the large tiled stove. The furniture itself probably consisted of furniture veneered with birch wood. Although they have not survived, photographs from the pre-war period provide information about their design. The central element of the dining room was a large table.

Music of the flute clock

Even famous composers like Mozart and Beethoven wrote little pieces of music for flute clocks. These early music automatons were already coupled with the clock. So you could wake up in the morning with a light song with birdsong and go to bed in the evening with soothing alphorn music.

Blue room

In this blue room, which at times served as a living room and from 1835 also as a kitchen, we want to look at the significance of colors in the Biedermeier period.


From the staircase you have a view into the kitchen. Its present furnishings correspond to the condition around 1830. The walls and ceiling are painted in a reddish-brown color typical of the time. The kitchen had no daylight, but was always the warmest room in the house. In the Biedermeier period, cooking was still done on an open fire, so there were always embers in the stove. Above it was a large exhaust hood. In the past, there was certainly also a small oven.

Writing room

The writing room was the private retreat of the master of the house. For a businessman like Carl Knoblauch, it was indispensable. Here he devoted himself to his company documents, wrote letters to business partners, friends and relatives. And here the master of the house withdrew to read newspapers and books. In between, he could rest on the spacious sofa, which was part of the basic equipment of such a room.

Painting "The Living Room of Master Locksmith Hauschild"

This painting titled "The Living Room of Master Locksmith Hauschild" was painted by Eduard Gärtner in 1843. The artist and the master locksmith were friends. Hauschild successfully ran a workshop for artistic locksmithing as well as a small machine shop near the Nikolaiviertel. Carl Knoblauch was also a customer of Hauschild, who supplied the locks and fittings for the doors in the house.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Karl Friedrich Schinkel is considered the most important German architect of classicism and designed not only castles, churches, museums, theaters and homes, but was also active as a product designer, stage designer, urban planner and painter.

With Heinrich Heine through old Berlin

In this video walk with German audio commentary, the writer Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) takes you from the Nikolai Quarter to the Brandenburg Gate. And tells, quite incidentally, of the short, but to this day lingering Biedermeier era.

Berlin society

Whether in the private salons of Rahel Varnhagen or Henriette Herz, whether in numerous clubs or lodges or in the surroundings of the great theaters and the Singakadamie - everywhere in the city a culture of cultivated encounters developed that was typical for Berlin. The leading figures from business, art and culture, politics and science met and exchanged ideas in an open atmosphere.

The Humboldt Brothers

Wilhelm von Humboldt and Alexander von Humboldt are among the great personalities of German cultural history. The younger of the two, Alexander, became known primarily as a naturalist of the 19th century. His expeditions took him to Central and South America as well as to Siberia. The older of the two brothers, Wilhelm von Humboldt, was a private scholar of the humanities and one of the driving forces behind educational reform in Prussia. The founding of the oldest university in Berlin in 1809 can be traced back to him. Since 1949 it has borne the name of both brothers as "Humboldt University".

Letters of the Knoblauch family

The Museum Knoblauchhaus has received as a donation a whole package of original letters of the Knoblauch family from 1859 to 1862. [Link]( in German only.

The Raphael Cabinet in the Knoblauchhaus

From the recovery of a historic space. [Link]( in German only.


Excerpt from the Rondo of the Sonata op. 5, No. 1 for pianoforte and violoncello Composition: Bernhard Romberg (1767-1841) Baroque cello, lyra piano Concert recording from January 23, 2022


As with most of the rooms in the house, the furnishings in the library are no longer original, but have been recreated in an idealised form of the Biedermeier period’s style. But many historical furnishings are also present, having been made available to the museum by the Knoblauch family. This includes the bookcases and their contents that you see in this room. Education was considered very important by the middle-classes during the Biedermeier period and so reading was generally very popular! Behind the glass doors of the display cases are works by renowned poets and thinkers such as Schiller, Herder and Lessing or the founder of classical archaeology: Johann Winckelmann. But also ancient writers such as Homer, Herodotus and Aristophanes, and works on Christian matters are represented. The historical novels of Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott were very popular!

Corner room

While Carl Knoblauch had to forego his own career aspirations as a young man to take over his father's silk ribbon business, his son Hermann was able to study at the University of Berlin. In 1853, Hermann Knoblauch became a professor at the University of Halle, where he was rector for a time. He was also a member of various scientific institutions such as the German Physical Society in Berlin, which Hermann Knoblauch himself co-founded, and the Leopoldina Academy of Natural Sciences, whose president he eventually became. This all meant he enjoyed the highest social rank in his family.


Middle class bedrooms were usually to be found deep within the house and were very simple, in contrast to the bedrooms of noble families. The room where people slept was seen as a personal and intimate retreat, unlike in earlier times. Nobody else would have been allowed in here. As the room was unheated, even in winter, copper hot water bottles were used to warm the beds before they were occupied.