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The birthplace of Peter Joseph Kentenich on Kunibertusplatz in Gymnich is no longer in its original state when the child was born in 1885.

The house had been bought by his grandfather shortly after his marriage in 1844. It is a small house, half of it is built over a cellar. There are four rooms on the ground floor, and the attic has not been completed. However, as was usual at that time with large families, it was probably used at times as a supplementary bedroom. It is possible that a corner was boarded off from the main attic for this purpose.

It is not possible to state with certainty in which room Joseph was born. In the weeks before his birth, it seems that Katharina lived in the attic. Whether the birth took place in the attic, or in one of the rooms beneath, cannot be known for certain any more, because the people involved are no longer alive.

Once all the children had left home, Joseph’s grandmother lived alone in the house for periods, although the Kranz family lived with her for a time. However, in 1906 or 1907 she moved to her daughter Sibilla in Noervenich. The Kentenich family no longer needed the house and so it was sold by auction in 1910.

The new owners, the Ansey family, made the first alterations shortly after they bought it. In 1949 further significant alterations were made, and in 1966 the dormer window was added to the roof.

In the meantime stairs were built in the house – originally there was only a trapdoor leading to the cellar and attic. The attic has been extended, and in addition to a room, which has been furnished as a memorial room, there is a small flat. On the ground floor next to the kitchen there is a larger room, which was created by removing a wall in the course of the alterations. It is used for smaller group functions.

All that remains of the original building are a few sections of wall and some of the rafters. One part of the cellar – the vaulted part – seems to be more than 500 years old; the other part was created when central heating was installed. The entrance to the cellar today is no longer through a trapdoor, but from outside stairs.

The model you can see in the house shows how it was in 1885, before the house was sold. It has been made from descriptions of people who were familiar with the house at the time and who can still remember it. From their descriptions we also know the details of how the house was furnished. This has been included in the model, which even shows the fireplace.

The house eventually returned to the Kentenich family. It was inherited by the final owner, Mrs Nussbaum, who was a distant relative of the Kentenich family. - The Website about Pater Joseph Kentenich, Foundator of the International Schoenstatt Movement.