“What a heavenly profession art is!”

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Since when has the house existed?

Built in 1844/45

Opened as a museum in 1997


Which musician lived here?

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy


During which period?

From 1845 (first inhabitant) until his death in 1847.

It is the last existing residence of the composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy; he moved into the “bel étage” with his wife Cécile and four children in 1845. Elisabeth, the couple’s youngest daughter, was born in this house in 1845.

Occupant’s preferred instrument?

Piano / organ

Violin / viola

What did he compose here (selection)?

In his study, the composer wrote such famous works as his second oratorio Elijah, the Piano Trio Op. 66 and String Quartet in F-minor.

–  Oratorio Elijah Op. 70 MWV A 25

– Trio No. 2 (Second Grand Trio) in C-minor for violin, cello and piano Op. 66 MWV Q 33

– String Quartet in F-minor (Requiem for Fanny) MWV R 37




World premieres in Leipzig (selection):

Violin Concerto in E-minor Op. 64 MWV O 14

Mendelssohn was advised for this composition by Ferdinand David, concertmaster of the Gewandhaus Orchestra at the time, who followed both the composition and the printing process of the work with great interest. The concerto was premiered in Leipzig on March 13, 1845.
Any music friend strolling through Leipzig will find the beginning of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto echoed at Mendelssohn-Ufer right next to the Federal Administrative Court, where stools have been assembled by an urban landscaper to evoke its opening measures.

– Symphony No. 3 in A-minor Op. 56 (“Scottish”) MWV N 18

Mendelssohn dedicated this work to Queen Victoria of England.
The young composer received his first inspiration to write the work in 1829, when visiting Holyrood Castle in Scotland, where he also wrote the first brief sketch.
In Leipzig, Mendelssohn continued working on the piece and completed it; he conducted its world premiere on March 3, 1842.

– Symphony-Cantata Lobgesang / Hymn of Praise Op. 52 MWV A 18

Mendelssohn dedicated his Hymn of Praise, written for Leipzig’s festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press, to King Frederic August of Saxony. Its grand first performance took place at St. Thomas’ Church on June 25, 1840.

Who was among the guests / friends?

The following persons lived from 1845 to 1847 at the house at Goldschmidtstraße 12, formerly Königstraße 3: Felix & Cécile Mendelssohn Bartholdy, the children Carl, Marie, Paul, Felix, Elisabeth (born at the house)

Guests at this house include:

Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy from Berlin
Fanny and Wilhelm Hensel from Berlin
Ferdinand David
Conrad Schleinitz
Niels W. Gade
Ferdinand Hiller
Hermann Härtel
Raymund Härtel
Livia Frege
Robert & Clara Schumann from Dresden
Ignaz & Charlotte Moscheles
Richard Wagner from Dresden
Louis Spohr from Kassel
Hans Christian Andersen from Copenhagen
Joseph Joachim

Which foods and drinks were served most frequently?

Hospitality was excellent and depended on the reason for the visit; Mendelssohn liked opulent menus with many side vegetables, accompanied by good wines, from the Palatinate, among other regions. Sweets inspired the composer not just during work.


Strong beef broth
Goose liver pâté and mache salad
Shellfish salad and sole
Rice cake and nut cake

Special events, anecdotes or facts from the house’s history?

Birth of Mendelssohn’s youngest daughter Elisabeth in August 1845

International Mendelssohn Foundation (today, the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Foundation): purchase of the house in 1993 in order to establish a museum, opening of the permanent exhibition in 1997, extensions in 2014 and 2017, renovation and rebuilding of the garden house in 1996/97, 2002 and 2014, including new event spaces

What can today’s visitor expect at the museum?

Visitors to the Mendelssohn-Haus will find a highly modern and engaging combination of the worlds of the 19th century and the 21st: original rooms and contemporary means of explaining the life and work of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy create a comprehensive portrait not only of Mendelssohn himself, but also of the time he lived in.
The museum in the residence of the composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, where he also died, features original furniture, letter and score autographs, first editions, watercolours and portraits and an exhibition on Fanny Hensel. It invites the visitor to experience the world of the 19th century in an authentic location.

The Mendelssohn-Haus offers a broad variety of events: the museum is home to the weekly Sunday Concerts of the Musiksalon, the Leipzig Piano Summer Festival, the Mendelssohn Festival, and also to special Bachfest and other events. Special guided tours and workshops are tailored to children and teenagers, teachers and kindergarten teachers and senior citizens. In this way, the museum experiences a steady stream of new visitors and artists.