Around the world

Übersee-Museum, Bremen

Bremen, Germany, has a long tradition in seafaring and trading – therefore it is no surprise that you can find the Übersee-Museum (overseas museum) directly next to the main railway station. It dates back to the year 1875 and is an ethnologic, natural history and trading museum covering different territories and cultures overseas in Asia, Africa and the Americas. It uses multimedia technology and also presents daily life (like local nutrition) in the discussed geographical areas.

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Grenzmuseum Schifflersgrund

Grenzmuseum Schifflersgrund, Uder

When you’re exploring the area around Göttingen, Germany, you will soon find traces of the former inner-German border. South of the city – near Friedland – three occupation zones met: the American (including Kassel), the Russian (including Heiligenstadt) and the British (including Göttingen). When Germany was separated into the FDR and the GDR the border was therefore also close-by: only 18 km south of the city (between Friedland and Kirchgandern).

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Museum Friedland

Museum Friedland, Friedland

Friedland is a place that plays an important role in German history – a place in southern Lower Saxony that is deeply connected to migration. It all started after World War II when the Grenzdurchgangslager was opened and people from the lost former eastern parts of Germany as well as prisoners of war arrived here. They started their new lives in this place, were registered, provided with food and housed until they could travel onward. Still more than twenty years after the war people arrived from camps and prisons in the east. Even after that, the Grenzdurchgangslager remained open and welcomed Germans migrating back from Soviet Russia and asylum seekers.

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Museum der bildenden Künste (MdbK), Leipzig

The Museum der bildenden Künste (or short MdbK) is an art museum at the city centre of Leipzig, Germany. It already dates back to the year 1848 but only in 2004 it could move into its current location: a large cube with 10,000 square metres of exhibition space between old houses. It is one of the largest art museums in Germany and has a lot of exhibitions per year: when I was there they had a funny social media exhibition in the cellar and a great exhibition of impressionists. But the MdbK isn’t a museum for contemporary art – it’s a continuous mix. Since its foundation, it collected pictures and statues and has a fine collection starting in the late medieval times.

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Grassi-Museum, Leipzig

The Grassi-Museum is my most favourite museum in Leipzig, Germany. In fact, it is a combination of three museums: one for applied arts, one for ethnology and one for musical instruments. The museum of applied arts (Museum für angewandte Kunst) shows design history from ancient Egypt and Greece until today. It is a mix of old and new, light is used in a fantastic way and the different epochs are explained very well. I even enjoyed the section for sacred art that I normally pass very fast.

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Europäisches Hansemuseum, Lübeck

In the North of Europe everybody knows the Hanse – an association of merchants that organized itself between the 12th and the 17th century, collectively agreed on trading rules and supported each other. It began with merchants travelling together in the direction of Sweden and Russia to share knowledge and be better protected. The Hanse left many traces still visible today; especially throughout the countries along the Baltic sea. They also met regularly and most often this Hansetag happened in Lübeck – a good reason for opening a museum here.

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National museum

National museum, بيروت

The national museum was the first point of interest I visited when coming to بيروت, Lebanon. Having seen nothing of the city before I was really surprised how modern and well designed this museum of archaeology is. The museum was founded after World War II and contains around 100,000 items from excavations in Lebanon. Highly decorated sarcophagi, fantastic mosaics, ancient coins, statues and also some mummies can be found in the exhibition – with items also dating back to the bronze age.

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Kunsthalle, Hamburg

The Hamburger Kunsthalle is a fantastic art museum close to the railway station of Hamburg, Germany. It consists of three buildings dating back to 1868, 1921 and 1996 and also the art shown here covers a long time period from the Middle Ages to modern and contemporary art. The collection is presented on 13,000 square meters throughout the interconnected buildings and you can walk there for hours enjoying fine art.

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Maritimes Museum

Internationales Maritimes Museum, Hamburg

You can’t get to Hamburg, Germany, without learning something about seafaring. It is a necessity like eating fresh fish or visiting the Reeperbahn. A very good place for this is the Internationales Maritimes Museum (IMMH) located in an old storage building at the Speicherstadt. It was opened in 2008 and exhibits on nine floors nearly everything about people crossing the sea on a boat. This includes 50,000 miniature boats, numerous paintings about seafaring and special things I never heard about before like ship models made from bones.

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Städtisches Museum

Städtisches Museum, Hann. Münden

I’m always a bit hesitant when it comes to local museums in small towns. They’re often seen as a must-have independent from the question whether there is something to exhibit or not. The Städtisches Museum of Hann. Münden, Germany, is a place I would nevertheless recommend if you’re interested in local history. It feels like a wild mix of topics and some sections look very old-fashioned but it offers enough content for an informative visit.

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