Tel. +49 (0)3691 743 293
Fax +49 (0)3691 743 294
The Reuter Villa is home to the
Reuter Wagner Museum, after Bayreuth the most comprehensive collection relating to Richard Wagner.
Richard Wagner was so inspired by Wartburg Castle in 1842 that he made it the setting for Tannhäuser.
The villa's first Wagner exhibition opened in 1897.
Admission prices Opening times
Children, students, apprentices, senior citizens: 2,00€
Groups of 10 persons or more, per persons 3,00 €
(Reuter-Villa, Predigerkirche and Stadtschloss): 9,00 €
reduction 5,00 €
Tuesday, Wednesday 12 noon to
Thursday 3pm to 8pm
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
12 noon to 5pm
Closed on Mondays
The Reuter Villa is in Helltal valley, at the foot of Wartburg Castle, which is around a 20-minute walk away. From the market square (palace, town hall and St. George's Church), it is a 15-minute walk - past Luther's House and Bach's House - to the villa, which was built for Low German writer Fritz Reuter. There has been an important Richard Wagner collection here since the end of the 19th century.
Parking: car park behind Prinzenteich pond and on-street parking nearby
The neo-Renaissance-style villa was built between 1866 and 1868 for Fritz Reuter, the great Low German writer, who spent the autumn of his life here. His works include "Ut mine Stromtid" (From my Roaming Days) and "Kein Hüsung" (Homeless). While a student in Jena, Reuter joined the student fraternity movement. He was held for seven years at a number of prisons because of his political views.
Reuter became one of the most popular German authors in the second half of the nineteenth century, thanks to his abilities as a writer and his down-to-earth humour. In 1863 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Rostock University, and he moved to Eisenach, living here until his death. He bought a piece of land at the foot of Wartburg Castle and commissioned a house by architect Ludwig Bohnstedt, described by literary historian Herman Grimm as "a faithful reproduction of a Roman villa".
Fritz Reuter's death on 12 July 1874 was greatly mourned by the people of Eisenach. He was laid to rest in the local cemetery. When Reuter's widow, Luise, died in 1894, the villa was bequeathed to the Schiller Foundation.
A year later, it was acquired by Eisenach town council, who made it a museum to Fritz Reuter's memory.
Richard Wagner Museum in the Reuter Villa
The story of the Richard Wagner collection has its origins in Austria.
Nicolaus Oesterlein was one of Wagner's most ardent admirers. Believing in a great future for Wagner's art, he tirelessly assembled a comprehensive collection of images, busts, letters and writings, theatre playbills and a library of around 5,000 volumes, even during the composer's lifetime.
Oesterlein opened a private museum in Vienna in 1887, but was soon obliged to put the collection of around 20,000 items on the market. Professor Josef Kürschner of Eisenach, a respected publisher of dictionaries and literary catalogues, encouraged Eisenach Council to purchase the collection. The acquisition was made in 1895. The Oesterlein Collection was placed in Fritz Reuter's villa and presented to the public in 1897 as the Reuter Wagner Museum.
The presentation of the Oesterlein Wagner Collection was redesigned in 1997.