Freud Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Freud Museum

London, England, United Kingdom

Based in Hampstead, London in the house Sigmund Freud and his family occupied after escaping from Austria following the Nazi annexation, the Freud Museum provides a fascinating journey through the mind and life of the founder of psychoanalysis.

Lily Johnson

27 Apr 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Freud Museum

The Freud Museum in Hampstead, London is the former home of Sigmund Freud, one of the 20th century’s most famous psychotherapists. It contains a collection of treasures and antiquities, as well as the perfectly preserved study of Sigmund Freud himself with his psychoanalytic couch being the star attraction.

Freud Museum history

Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Freiberg in the Austrian Empire to Galician Jewish parents. In 1881 he qualified as a doctor of medicine and 4 years later completed a habilitation to undertake teaching, receiving a docent in neuropathology soon after. In 1886 he set up a clinical practice in Vienna, before in 1902 becoming a professor of neuropathology at the University of Vienna.

In 1938, Freud was forced to flee Austria to escape Nazi persecution, eventually moving to 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, North London. Here his Vienna consulting room was recreated in faithful detail, with his famous psychoanalytic couch joining him from Austria, and he continued to see patients and work on his final 2 books.

By mid-September 1939 however, Freud was dying of cancer and requested that his doctor and friend Max Schur ‘make an end of it’. On 23 September he died at 20 Maresfield Gardens after being administered several doses of morphine, following which he was cremated and his ashes placed in an ancient Greek vase he had kept in his study for many years.

Freud’s daughter Anna continued to live at the house in Hampstead until her death in 1982, following which – upon her wishes – it was turned into the Freud Museum, opening to the public in 1986.

Freud Museum today

Preserving both Sigmund’s and his daughter Anna’s psychoanalytic works, the museum contains their personal libraries and resources used by both; the research library in particular is rich with histories, theories and the culture of psychoanalysis.

The house itself is beautifully decorated and contains almost 2,000 Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Oriental antiquities as well as 18th and 19th century Austrian furniture. Whether you’re interested in the decor or the history of psychology, the Freud Museum provides a wonderfully entertaining afternoon.

There are regular exhibits celebrating varying aspects of the lives of the Freuds, a gift shop for all your psychoanalytical needs, a photo library and educational and research archives. Visit the Freud Museum in London to delve into the mind of one of the world’s greatest mind-delvers!

Getting to Freud Museum

The Freud Museum is located in Hampstead in North London, with pay and display parking available at the south end of Maresfield Gardens and on Nutley Terrace. The nearest Underground stations are Finchley Road, a 5-minute walk away, and Hampstead, a 10-minute walk away. The number 13, 113, 187, 268, and C11 bus services also all stop on Finchley Road.

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