WE ARE CLOSED! The MEK will be temporarily closed due to preparations for the upcoming remodelling work. We will be back in 2025.

The Arcaded House

The museum is a typical arcaded house which extends from the southern arcade to Silbergasse, or Via Argentieri. Originally there were three separate buildings: a shop, a warehouse attached to the southern side, and a separate house on Via Argentieri. The building as we now know it gradually grew into its current form with three courtyards.

The original Romanesque buildings dating back to the 13th century were expanded and developed in the following centuries. In the late Middle Ages, the house on Via Argentieri reached its current size. While the first Gothic additions are no longer visible today or can only be seen in older openings in the façade, the later Gothic and Renaissance additions give the building’s exterior its distinct appearance and the unique impression of the inner rooms. For example, the rooms on the ground floor of the house were vaulted around 1500 and typical accommodations were constructed on the upper floors including a living room, kitchen, and rooms. Subsequently, the arcaded house was impressively expanded and furnished with characteristic elements of a bourgeois home from Bolzano, complete with forecourt and kitchen facing the courtyard.

Between the 17th and 18th centuries the furnishings in the living quarters underwent several renovations and additions. Significant structural work did not take place again until the 20th century.
In the second half of the 20th century, the attic stories were adapted for residential purposes. One of these was planned by South Tyrolean architect, Othmar Barth. The rooms on the upper stories offered space for the growing art collection.

With its structure and furnishings, the museum building is an impressive example of a typical residential and trade building from Bolzano that has largely retained its medieval and gothic structural elements. Since its construction as a commercial building, the house has served as a furniture store and art gallery under the ownership of the Eccel mercantile family. Just a few weeks before his death in 2017, Josef Kreuzer, who had owned the house and collection since the end of the 1990s, left both to the State of South Tyrol with the express wish to create a museum.