The Stadtmuseum Lindau (Civic Museum Lindau) is one of the central institutions within the cultural programme of the eastern region of Lake Constance. The museum building dominating the market square is called "Zum Cavazzen" and counts as one of the most beautiful baroque townhouses of the region near Lake Constance. Built during the years of 1729/30, the residential building-cum-company premises of the patrician family Seutter von Loetzen is the work of the Swiss architect Jakob Grubenmann (1694–1758), who is famous for his rather innovative wooden constructions in the history of architecture.
As many other comparative institutions, the Stadtmuseum Lindau can trace back its origins to a communal initiative of the late nineteenth century: wishing to document and to disseminate the history, intellectual life and culture of the former imperial city, the museum association (founded in 1889) started to gather together appropriate objects.
Only a year later, a first museum of local history and culture could be instituted in the Altes Rathaus (Old Townhall). 40 years later, the collections were moved to their present location. The Lindau industrialists Ludwig and Lydia Kick bought and renovated the Cavazzen in 1929 and bestowed it as a foundation to the city, with the obligation to maintain the museum as "an evident and permanent monument of love and faithfulness to the fatherland". In July 1930, the Cavazzen was reopened as municipal museum.
The Stadtmuseum Lindau preserves numerous testimonials concerning the history of Lindau, which tell about the development of the former imperial city and about the lives of her citizens. Its collections, which were assembled over the course of decades, make it a treasure trove of irreplaceable cultural heritage. Among the treasures of the museum is an outstanding example of painting in the Lake Constance region during the time of the Council of Constance. The "Lindauer Beweinung" (Lindau Lamentation) of c.1420 was probably painted by a Swabian artist belonging to the circle of Stefan Lochner. The funerary hatchments originating from the old cemetery at Aeschach are unique testimonials of Protestant burial culture.
Nonetheless, the collection with its nearly 8,000 single objects presents itself as highly heterogenic. The collectors did not always adhere completely to their voluntary mission of gathering "things from Lindau". There was no further specialisation on particular eras, subject area or thematic field. Even though certain key points can be recognised overall, the overwhelming impression is that of the "universal museum" or of a "wunderkammer".