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About the jenisch house

19th century art and cultural history

The long table has been set for a banquet, and you can almost believe that the Senator and his guests will come through the door at any moment. This neoclassical country house built by Hamburg Senator Martin Johan Jenisch 1831 – 34, stands in its own extensive park next to the Elbe and, with much of its original interior intact, it gives us a vivid impression of the grand lives led by well-to-do Hanseatic merchants in the middle of the 19th century.

Senator Jenisch’s country house in Flottbek, lithography, unknown artist, about 1850. Photo: SHMH/JH

This three-storey house is a white cube with a Doric portico facing out over the river Elbe. Jenisch commissioned the architect Franz Gustav Forsmann to design the house, but had the plans reworked by Carl Friedrich Schinkel. The prestigious reception rooms with their opulent plasterwork, parquet flooring, furniture, paintings and sculptures from Empire and Biedermeier times are to be found on the ground floor. The first floor is where the owner’s family resided, and the low-ceilinged second floor was for the staff.

The chair is part of a seat group designed by „Percier & Fontaine“.

The upper floors are now used for special exhibitions, mostly covering art or architecture from the early 19th century or about the relationship between landscape design and architecture. Every year in September, the special exhibitions in this branch of the Altonaer Museum are accompanied by a summer festival offering an attractive programme of events for children and families. It also hosts a series of chamber music concerts held in the White Hall of the Jenisch House, continuing the tradition of the music salon started during the lifetime of Senator Jenisch.

Summer festival in the Jenisch House. Photo: SHMH Susanne-Dupont
Puppet theater “Kleine Hexe”
Ensemble Obligat