Das Barocke Universum

The German Insurance Museum Ernst Wilhelm Arnoldi

The German Insurance Museum Ernst Wilhelm Arnoldi 

Gotha is considered to be the birthplace of German insurance.
The merchant’s son Ernst Wilhelm Arnoldi founded the first mutual fire insurance here in 1820 and the first life insurance on German soil in 1827. His company offices were first situated in the Guild Hall on the Untere Hauptmarkt until they were later given their own prestigious building on Bahnhofstraße.

The Gothaer Lebensversicherungsbank head office was finished in 1894, an eclectic building based on plans by Bruno Eelbo. The building was owned by the GDR’s state insurance after 1945, after reunification the “Gothaer Versicherung” insurance group going back to Arnoldi’s company bought it back and had extensive renovations carried out on it. In the meantime, it houses Thuringia’s fiscal court and Gotha’s social welfare court but also the German Insurance Museum Ernst Wilhelm Arnoldi.

In the insurance company’s historical management rooms, visitors can find out everything about the origins of modern German insurance but also Arnoldi’s accomplishments, who massively professionalised life insurance with statistics, mathematics and medical examinations. The “Stages of Life” relief in the spacious staircase created by Adolf Lehnert in 1904 impresses visitors as does the “SERENADE” series of concerts that are held here in the museum foyer.

Who can I ask?

Your contact

The German Insurance Museum Ernst Wilhelm Arnoldi
Bahnhofstraße 3A, 99867 Gotha
Phone: +49 (0) 17 1 / 352 293 7


Monday 10:00 a.m. – 04:00 p.m. (except on holidays; last entry at 03:30 p.m.)

Other dates are possible for groups on request.