Wieselhaus

A house with an eventful history

The »Fugger and Welser Museum« is housed in the Wieselhaus (home of the Wiesels). This Renaissance building takes its name from one of its occupants, Johann Wiesel (1583–1662), who was probably the greatest German optician of his time and who lived and worked here from 1637 to 1642.
But Johann didn’t just make spectacles – he also developed telescopes and microscopes. His products were despatched to scientists and royal courts throughout Europe.
The house may also have been owned by one of the Welsers for a short time. What is certain is that the neighbouring garden, which has been part of St. Stephan's Monastery since1583, belonged to the humanist, Markus Welser.
The house was constructed in 1530 with arcades and loggias in the style of the Renaissance, and after 1550 the side building was extended. The arcades were walled up in the 17th century.
However, they were re-opened and glazed as part of the extensive renovation of the building, and as a result the monument has regained its Latin flair.