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Zeughaus and German History Museum

Zeughaus and German History Museum (14)

The museum of German history consists of two buildings: one old and one modern, the latter being built as part of an enlargement project. 

The older building, a splendid baroque palace, was finished in 1730 and designed by the architect Johann Arnold Nering. It was used as an arms storehouse, a Zeughaus, until the end of the 19th century.   

As time went on, some of its rooms were remodelled and used to exhibit all kinds of objects dating from the Prussian war; these included weapons, flags and insignias. Around 1880 the building was completely converted into a military museum. 

The vestibule will surprise you with its darkness and the solemnity of its marble columns, while framing the windows of the interior courtyard are twenty two famous sculpted masks of dying warriors, designed by Andreas Schluter. The elegance of the glass ceiling and staircase will also grab your attention. In fact, the staircase is one of the few original baroque features that have survived the test of time. 

The modern building was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century for enlargement reasons, and can be accessed through an underground passage way. It was designed by the Chinese-American architect Pei, creator also of the Louvre’s famous pyramid in Paris. You will clearly see that limestone was a key material in its construction, and that the geometric lines and lightness radiating from its glass all contribute to its effect.   

This extension to the original museum is divided into four floors, perfectly designed so you can see them all at the same time. The spiral-shaped glass stairs outside are also spectacular.   

In the old building you will find an exhibition of objects dedicated to anything from the first Germanic tribes to the most recent events from contemporary history. Each floor is dedicated to a specific period, making the exhibits perfectly distributed for viewing purposes. 

 In the modern building you will find temporary exhibitions connected to German history, as well as valuable archive material. 

A visit to this museum is essential, for its collections will take you on a trip through the country’s history and help you get to know better the city you are staying in. You can be sure of the fact that its information on Germany cannot be found anywhere else.

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