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The History of the House

Villa Wachholtz was built in 1903 by the coloured paper manufacturer Paul Ströhmer, based on plans by the church architect Hans Schnittger. The Art Nouveau building is part of Neumünster’s outstanding villa architecture, which reflects the economic rise of a Northern German industrial city which was known for a long time as the ‘Manchester of Northern Germany’. In 1924 the publisher Karl Wachholtz, nephew of Paul Ströhmer, became the owner of the villa.


In 1967 the founder Herbert Gerisch built an elegant modern villa in typical 1960s style on the adjacent plot. Today the Gerisch Gallery is located where the swimming pool used to be. When Gerisch-Stiftung was established, it made sense to extend the private plot to the area surrounding the neighbouring Villa Wachholtz.


In 2004 the City of Neumünster granted the Villa Wachholtz, nearly derelict at the time, to the Herbert-Gerisch-Stiftung as an endowment. In this way the foundation was able to merge both plots and turn them into the Gerisch Sculpture Park.


Since its refurbishment by Gerisch-Stiftung in 2006/7, the historic villa, which measures 700 sqare meter, has been able to accommodate non-permanent exhibitions of contemporary art, drawing, photography, sculpture and video art. It also houses a museum shop and a bistro café with a garden patio.