Chemistry is the basis of a modern affluent society. This is the message put out by the German Chemistry Museum which opened in 1993 in Merseburg. Its aim is to pay tribute to the outstanding economic and social importance of chemistry using demonstrations of historical and modern achievements. The exhibition is further enhanced by two participatory laboratories: "Hands-On Chemistry" and "Getting to Grips with Technology". The laboratories can be used by school students of all ages from every type of school. Since 1977 more than 55.000 school students from all over Germany have tried their hand at chemical, physical and technical experiments on subjects like synthetics, cosmetics and environmental protection. In addition the site contains a three hectare technical park displaying around 300 large-scale exhibits. The spectrum ranges from a completely reconstructed ammonia-synthesis chamber dating back to the very start of this process, via a distillation plant, all way to a historical chemicals train.
Two main bodies are responsible for securing a link between modern training courses and the preservation of typical regional industrial heritage. In this respect the two organisations – the "Sachzeugen der chemischen Industrie e. V." and Merseburg Technical College – enhance each other perfectly. The museum is ideally situated: as early as the turn of the 20th century natural resources like brown coal and salt deposits were attracting the first chemical industries to central Germany. Very soon a dense urban conurbation had been created to rival the economic clout of the Ruhrgebiet. Structural changes after German reunification gave the chemical industries in the area a further modernisation boost, and simultaneously offered a rare opportunity to save historically valuable sites from being lost forever.
Nowadays the museum collection comprises more than 5000 exhibits. But this is not the end. Amongst the planned extensions are exhibition areas on the history and development of the region’s industrial heritage, and the enlargement of the hands-on laboratories to a science centre. In this way the German Chemistry Museum is becoming a meeting place between chemistry and the chemical industries of the 20th and 21st centuries.
|Recommended duration of visit:||1,5 Hours|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||Available|
|Infrastructure for children:|
April to October:
Tuesday - Thursday 9am-2pm
Saturday, Sunday 10am-5pm
Guided tours all the year round by appointment