7/18/2013

Museums: Germany & Austria

It seemed like we were in a museum the whole time we were in Germany & Austria.  Probably because the whole area is one big museum!  As I looked through my pictures, I realized that we really only went to a few, not counting the castles and palaces.
In Austria, we went to the Ehrenberg Museum, which was at the base of the mountain where Ehrenberg Castle sits.  I touched on this museum in another post.  This was actually quite interesting.  Visitors can follow along with Heinrich, who was a knight.  We learned about the Crusades, jousting tournaments, the plague, alchemy, and long distance trade.  Parts of the museum were interactive, which kept it interesting.  The road behind the museum is the same road the Romans used to connect the north with the south.




 In Munich, we visited BMW World.  This picture is actually the building that houses the showroom:

 If you're a car/motorcycle enthusiast, you could spend all day in the museum.  The kids were not enthusiasts, so after about an hour (at the most), they were ready to leave.

In Berlin, we were able to visit the Stasi Museum, which is the museum of the Secret Police.  This was just creepy.
 Our guide was a French lady who has close friends that lived in fear of the SS.  This was a vehicle that was used as "holding cells" for those who had been picked up by the SS.  There were at least 4 cells in this little "camper".
 The uniform the school boys (Young Pioneers) wore:
Some of the offices were just as they were when the people working in them fled.  All in all, it was a very interesting museum.
Another museum in Berlin was the "Check Point Charlie" museum.  As soon as you walk in, there are numerous thick books that have the names of people who died in Concentration Camps and Russian Work Camps.  Out of curiosity, I opened the book with the K's, and turned to my maiden name.  I was a bit surprised when I saw 1 man with the same name.  I emailed an aunt when I got home to see if she knew anything about it, and she put me in touch with a distant cousin who has done some research on the family.  He said that he had heard the name, but couldn't tell me anything more other than to let me know that there we did have some ancestors who were Jewish.
In the museum, there were displays of how some people escaped over the wall.  Very interesting and very creative!
Part of "The Wall":
The Jewish History Museum was visited, too.
Within the building, there is "The Garden of Exile":
In the concrete columns are Russian Willow Trees (symbolizing hope), planted in soil from Israel. The floor of the garden is uneven, and will disorient you (believe me, it does).  This is so that the visitor can experience just a touch of what the Jews felt as they were driven out of Germany.

Then, we have "The Voids":
 The Voids are made out of bare concrete.  They are not heated or air conditioned, and are not lit.  The metal "faces" is a "sculpture" called "Fallen Leaves" by an Israeli artist.  When you walk on the "faces", you can just imagine the screams.  The Museum's Voids refer to "that which can never be exhibited when it comes to Jewish Berlin history: Humanity reduced to ashes." (Daniel Libeskind, 2000) 
One of the other structures within the museum is "The Holocaust Tower".
This is just an empty space that is accessed through a heavy door.  You walk in, and the only light coming in is through slits in the ceiling. When we were there, it was beginning to get dark, so there was very little light.  I had to lighten up the picture quite a bit to get the effect.  The architect describes the tower this way:
Daniel Libeskind says: "Inside this place we are cut off from the everyday life of the city outside and from a view of that city. We can hear sounds and see light but we cannot reach the outside world. So it was for those confined before and during deportation and in the camps themselves.
I have to admit, it was very uncomfortable standing in that space, imagining everything the Jewish people went through.

Eisenach gave us the LutherHaus.  Martin Luther only lived there for 3 of his school years.
It was amazing to walk through the house, knowing that Luther walked down those same halls as a boy.  
The BachHaus is also in Eisenach.  This is where Bach is believed to have been born:
We heard a man playing instruments typical during Bach's time:
Strolled in the garden:
The location of the well is where it was in Bach's time:

When MN & I were in Weimar, we visited the Town Palace (which is now a museum).  We went by the Museum of the Earliest and Ancient History of Thuringia as we were walking to & from town, but we didn't go in.  The last time we went by, there was some kind of children's fair going on.  There was a man making knives:

We went by a lot more museums, but didn't go in.  Guess I'll have to do that next time!






6 comments:

  1. Wow! Those sound like some absolutely fascinating places!

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  2. I am learning so much from you. Thank you.

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  3. Out of all the ones you visited, I think the Holocaust is the most fascinating because of the thought the artists put into them in order for the rest of us to get some "idea" of what they were going through.

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  4. I am keeping some of your posts tagged into a travel folder. This is all so interesting. I love the museums you visited. I would love to visit them someday. I am always interested in anything from the Holocaust.

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  5. When you said in an earlier post that Eisenach was up next, I wondered about Luther, and whether visiting any Luther connections would conflict with your RC upbringing!

    After seeing all your photos -- if need a chaperone next time, let me know! I'd love to go back and I'll even brush up on my German.

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  6. They are all very interesting and educational. The sadness is overwhelming to me though....I'm such a weak hearted person. :0

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