Molsdorf Palace and Gardens are located in the town of Molsdorf near Erfurt. A moated castle already existed here in the 16th century, which was then rebuilt as a splendid Late Baroque palace in the 18th century.
When Gustav Adolph von Gotter, a commoner whose career as a diplomat had gained him noble status, purchased the estate in 1734, he had it converted into a Baroque pleasure palace. The garden facade was redesigned, and plans were made to remodel the interiors as well. The plans were presumably the work of architect Gottfried Heinrich Krohne, who was engaged at several princely courts in Thuringia.
The Banquet Hall and auxiliary rooms on the bel étage boast opulent stucco ornament along with wall and ceiling paintings of a high standard. Portrait paintings integrated into the wall panels show rulers and high-ranking figures with whom Gotter had come into contact in the course of his diplomatic duties, meant to demonstrate his claim to a high social standing. Alas, Gotter was compelled to sell the palace again already in 1748.
With its erotica collection, compiled in the early 1980s, the palace can offer visitors an attraction unique in all of Thuringia, and one that lives up to its setting in Gotter’s erstwhile pleasure palace.
On the mezzanine, works by painter and graphic artist Otto Knöpfer (1911–1993) are displayed. The estate of this artist, whose landscapes and still lifes earn him a special place in the history of 20th-century Thuringian art, was acquired by the museum in 1998.