German Technical Museum
Lifeworld Ship”, “From Ballooning to the Berlin Airlift”, “Trains, Locomotives and People”: any technological developments that Berlin witnessed during the past 120 years are showcased in the capital's Deutsches Technikmuseum (German Museum of Technology). Greeting travellers from a distance there is a "raisin bomber" (Rosinenbomber) right on top of the contemporary glass and steel structure. A charming contrast provides the large museum park with its windmills, historic engine shed, brewery, and the prominent water tower. Inside this building complex visitors can experience not less than 15 museum departments covering an exhibition area of 26.500 square meters and examining all aspects of the city's technological and industrial history, always connecting it to mankind's cultural history. That's particularly thrilling when machines are suddenly set in motion – for instance a towing locomotive that once used to drag ships, or the technical equipment of a historic print shop. Elsewhere modern multimedia facilities spur the imagination. A special German audio guide for children focuses on the topic “movement”. Meanwhile the adults can follow another audio guide going back in time to the Industrial Revolution. Thus, every visit to the museum rapidly turns into a fascinating expedition.
Landscape out of iron and steel, the end of which no human eye sees”: this is how, in the 1920s, the novelist Joseph Roth described the place occupied today by the German Museum of Technology (Deutsches Technikmuseum). Up to World War II you would see trains manoeuvring here on the site of the former Anhalter Bahnhof. Right next door were Potsdamer Bahnhof, Postpaketbahnhof and the station Gleisdreieck of the Berlin underground railway. Following the division of Germany this busy transport hub turned into a deserted urban wilderness, with several buildings lying dormant for decades – and surviving mainly for this reason!
A more appropriate place for the German Museum of Technology is hard to imagine. Whatever remained of the nearly 100 technical collections located in Berlin before World War II has found a new home here. Only two years after the opening an annex paved the way for the first major enlargement of the exhibition area. Another 20.000 square meters were added in 2001 when the present main building was inaugurated. On top of it sits a Douglas C-47 B "Skytrain", one of those "raisin bombers" that sustained the city during the Berlin Airlift. The spectacular architecture of the new building has made it the main institution of the Stiftung (Foundation) Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin. Right opposite is the Science Center Spectrum, another museum in the property of the foundation. It is flanked by the so-called Technoversum which is currently under construction and whose exhibitions will cover the current state-of-the-art technology and its possible further development. The first of these exhibition units – The Network –should open in August 2015. Thus, the historic grounds, evolving since decades, form high-contrast museum grounds in which the museum park with its wind- and watermills acts as a close-to-nature resting point in the middle of the bustling metropolis. In all this, the museum unfailingly manages to understand the history of technology as a cultural process – with all its implications on people's everyday lives.
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Tuesday - Friday 9am-5.30pm
Saturday, Sunday 10am-6pm
- Guided tours optional
- Tours in other languages
- Guided tours for children