The Grocers’ Institute houses are located beside St. Michaelis Church in Hamburg, and they are the last remaining example of a formerly typical Hamburg residential complex from the 17th century...
In 1375, small retailers (grocers) who owned permanent stands or shops in the city, and primarily traded in spices, silk fabrics and hardware, joined together and formed the Grocers' Institute. This affluent professional organisation erected 20 free apartments for the widows of deceased members on the grounds near St. Michaelis Church.
The rows of houses with the narrow alleyway between them served the same purpose as a home for the elderly up until 1968. With the involvement of the office for the protection of historic monuments, the building was restored by 1974 and the individual homes have been let.
One of the historic houses has been preserved in its original condition and has been completely furnished by the Hamburg Museum with items from the period circa 1850/60. It conveys a living, "up close" impression of the simple and humble life of that period.