The house was built in the style of a French late-baroque palace and housed the duke's sergeants. After being refurbished in 1777, the duke let it to the librarian Gotthold Ephraim Lessing who had been employed by Duke August's Library for eight years. He lived and worked in it till he died in 1781.
When Lessing moved in shortly before Christmas 1777, his wife Eva König was pregnant. Their son was born on Christmas Eve, but died shortly after that. On January 10th, 1778, Eva König also died from a fever. The room in which she died was transformed into Lessing's study. Here he wrote, amongst others, his famous play "Nathan the wise man".
In memory of this great German poet, these premises were transformed into a museum of literature to remind us that the finest pieces of literature were written in these rooms. Today, Lessing's life and work can be admired in this museum.