The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

From groundbreaking to today

The history of the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig


01.09.2012 to 30.11.2014
1st floor
Type of exhibition: 
Special exhibition

Centenary! The museum celebrates the groundbreaking of its main building. The special exhibition documents the museum's fascinating and varied history.

Today's research museum owes its existence the founder and zoologist Alexander Koenig. With the groundbreaking of the new museum building on September 3rd 1912, also the birthday of his wife Margarethe, began a new chapter in the fascinating history of the founder. A new and large natural history museum was built in Bonn in order to house the fast-growing collections of the scientist.

Alexander Koenig was the son of the Russian sugar producer Leopold Koenig, who at that time owned the Villa Hammerschmidt - today still an official resitence of the Federal President. But as the birthplace of the Federal Republic of Germany the history of the museum itself is closely linked to Germanys history: In the large atrium of the main building, sheltered by the beautiful glass roof, on September 1st 1948 the opening session of the Parliamentary Council took place.

The exciting and varied history of Alexander Koenig and his museum builing is subject of this special exhibition. It focusses on topics such as "Alexander Koenig's research", "architecture", "confiscation", "museum's opening", "nazi past", "war time" and "collections", which are presented by original pieces from Alexander Koenig's time, large photographs and animations. A film clip from a field trip to Spitsbergen is shown for the first time - an expedition, which yielded the material and stimuli for building one of the dioramas, which even today you can be admired in the permanent exhibition.

Contact person

Former Custos and Head of Dept. Vertebrates
ZFMK Archive
+49 228 9122-261
+49 228 9122-212
r.hutterer [at]

Press relations

Sabine Heine

Tel.: +49 (0)228 9122 215
Fax: +49 (0)228 9122 213
E-Mail: s.heine [at]