The original Leibnizhaus stood at Schmiedestraße No. 10. With its richly decorated facade of 1652 it used to be one of the most important town houses in Germany. Between its first mention in the early 14th century, the first stage of a gothic precursor, and its complete destruction during the Second World War in 1943, the house underwent a number of alterations and conversions. From 1698-1716, Leibnizhaus was the home of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), one of the last universal scholars and polymaths of the old Europe. In Paris and London, Leibniz had been in contact with the leading mathematicians, philosophers and natural scientists of his time. Yet he conceived his essential philosophical and mathematical ideas in Hannover. Moreover, he had a profound influence on the systematic organisation of culture and education and inspired the sciences of jurisprudence, history, and religion. At the Elector’s Court, open-minded and widely travelled Leibniz worked as advisor, Court Librarian and genealogist. The Court Library of Hannover, then situated in the historical Leibnizhaus, was a precursor of the present Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library (GWLB).
In 1753, the actor August Wilhelm Iffland was born in the historical Leibnizhaus. He describes Leibnizhaus at the stage of his childhood in his autobiographical scetches and letters. In World War II (1943), the original Leibnizhaus was destroyed in an air strike. In 1983, it was rebuilt at its current location in the centre of Hannover's historic old-town. Today it serves as the guesthouse and conference-center of the Universities, Colleges and Academies in Hannover. The facade was reconstructed after the model of the early baroque facade, dating back to 1652. Since 2010 Leibnizhaus is a member of the association of University guesthouses in Germany.
Today, Leibnizhaus serves as a meeting point for Hannover's scientists and offers visiting scientists from all over the world a pleasant and multicultural possibility of accomodation.
Remains of the baroque facade with coloring dating back to the 19th century