Our museum

Since its foundation in 1888, Cologne’s History Museum has been collecting objects relating to the history of Cologne from the Middle Ages to the present day in order to preserve and present the city’s rich historical heritage for present and future generations. Join us and explore ever new, exciting journeys through time!

Our relocation from Zeughausstraße to Minoritenstraße 13 not only entails a change of scenery: In the former fashion house Franz Sauer, we are completely reinventing ourselves with unusual formats, modern stagings and many digital offers.

Look forward to a new, innovative permanent exhibition that emotionally narrates the past and present of the city of Cologne (grand reopening March 2024).

Our basic principle

We are Cologne!
We consider ourselves to be one of the key sites for Cologne’s history and identity.

We tell the story of Cologne with all its facets and contradictions in a new and modern fashion: interesting, exciting, original and well-founded.

We not only tell history FOR everyone, we also understand the city history of Cologne as a history OF everyone. Our goal is to reflect the diversity of the city’s society, regardless of age, gender, religion, sexual orientation or nationality. What unites us in this: We are ALL Cologne.

For us, history is not a static fact; rather, it is subject to constant change. That is why we are continuously asking new questions about the past, present and future of our city. In doing so, we avoid one-dimensional answers in favor of multi-perspective approaches. We see ourselves as a place that should stimulate thinking and shaping.

Das Foto zeigt das neue Museumsgebäude von außen.
Our new location, Minoritenstraße 13 (© C. Ehrchen)

A museum for everyone

The Kölnisches Stadtmuseum is an open place. Diversity is very important to us. We welcome any and all people.

Visitor orientation, accessibility, inclusion, integration and different perspectives are important points of reference in our work. Our museum can be visited without prior knowledge. We ensure equal access to our educational offerings.

Museum in the center of Cologne

We are not only a place for a critical examination of Cologne’s history, but also see ourselves as a forum for urban society.

Our museum is a place for discussions about the present and the future, about Cologne’s opportunities and perspectives in its development toward a socially and ecologically balanced metropolis.

With our participatory projects and events, we offer urban society an open platform and promote civic engagement. In this way, we encourage people to engage with the city and it’s identity, strengthen people’s identification with their home city and make an important contribution to Cologne’s future. Because everyone who lives here has their own stories to tell. We are all Cologne.

Education and mediation

We are a central location with an important educational mission for Cologne, which we want to fulfill together with the Museum Service of the City of Cologne.

In the area of education and outreach, we focus on a lively, exciting transfer of knowledge. Our topics are closely connected to people’s lives. That is why an open dialogue with visitors is important to us, which allows us to communicate with each other in a respectful manner.

In doing so, we make the fascination of the past tangible, convey complex interrelationships in an understandable way, and combine education with entertainment. Innovative digital media concepts support the transfer of knowledge.

Research and dialogue

We seek interdisciplinary professional exchange. We initiate an active dialogue with museums and universities, other scientific institutions as well as other partners.

Through this dialogue we enlarge our own horizon, our competences and our scope of action and are able to support each other.

We see our mission in researching the city’s history and our own collection. In doing so, we rely on close cooperation with external scholars and see ourselves as part of the network of national and international city museums.

Our path into the future

We see the Stadtmuseum as a laboratory in which experimentation is allowed and which constantly produces new developments.

For our work, this means that futurology, urbanity and sustainability also play a role.

We are aware that the wishes of the visitors, but also the methods and possibilities of mediation change in rapid succession. We evaluate the results of our work and systematically develop our goals and methods. To stay relevant, the museum will be an active part of the changes. This also means that we will reflect on how our work is performing, that we will continue to develop our methods and this vision and that we will adapt them to the new realities.