Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Museum of German History, Berlin

John and I enjoyed our visit to the Deutsches Historisches Museum. It's  housed in the Zeughaus (1709), the former arsenal,
set on the banks of the Spree River across from Museum Island where the Unter der Linden avenue meets the Schlossbrücke (Palace bridge).
The entrance hall features statues of Lenin (1925) from East Berlin and a Nazi personification of the Wehrmacht (1938).
We began our visit of their extensive historical displays with this mosaic floor from the period of Roman occupation.
A Romanesque fresco (c.1200) from the Müstair convent church.
This Turkish tent was war booty when the Siege of Vienna was ended in 1683.
More 17th century Turkish war booty. A full suit of armour.
These are what the Prussian cavalry wore as they battled the Turkish army.
The costume displays were terrific. This is Queen Louise of Prussia's outfit from 1776-1810.
18th century upper class clothing for both sexes.
Frederick the Great's uniform from the same period.
Here's an early automobile from 1898! The Mauer Union car.
A painting reflecting the new industrial urban landscape of the late 19th century.
There are some great Deco displays like this elegant furniture
and these movie starlets using the latest housekeeping devices. We love the Vampyr vacuum cleaner!
Deco design is so satisfying.
An Allied Forces propaganda poster for the Italian Campaign.
John seems to be taking a provocative pose beside this signage from the Berlin Wall of the 60's and 70's. That's of course the Volkswagen "bug" and West Germany merchandise of the period behind him.
East Berlin produce is also on display like the classic Trabant automobile
and this display of 1960's furnishings.
What is with Northern Europe and nudism? It always seemed picant for Puritanical North Americans in mid-20th Century.
We were treated to pieces of the fallen Wall at the finale. A very fascinating museum.
After visiting the main Deutsches Historisches Museum building, John and I crossed the covered courtyard of the old building
and crossed the underground passage way to I. M. Pei's classy addition to the museum.
The new addition is dedicated to temporary exhibitions. When we visited there was a show of the World of Frederick the Great and a show of period clothing and its care: Fashioning Fashion, 1700-1915.
But the real gem is Mr Pei's spiral architecture.
Do give the German History Museum a visit!


  1. Hi guys
    looks like you were blessed with more good weather on ths trip.
    Great exhibits, the clothes/costumes reminded me of the 18th century English period.
    I love the covered courtyard, it looks like our British Museum glazed roof - we probably pinched that idea too LOL

  2. Glad you enjoyed the museum, Simon. That courtyard covering was very cool, we wondered if it too was by I.M.Pei. Haven't seen Mr Foster's glazed roof yet but hopefully in the near future. Not during the Olympic crush though.

  3. Great post. Just came back after taking my students on a trip to Berlin; this was the highlight.

  4. Glad you enjoyed the postm Keir! The Museum of German History is very rich and evocative.