German museum

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German museum of masterpieces of science and technology
Central building of the Deutsches Museum
Central building of the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
In the foreground the Bosch Bridge over the Isar.
place Munich, Oberschleißheim and Bonn
Technology museum and scientific collection
architect Gabriel von Seidl (central building in Munich)
opening 1925 (first opening),
1948 reopening after the war,
1992 branch in Oberschleißheim ,
1995 branch in Bonn ,
2003 transport center in Munich
Number of visitors (annually) 1.4 million (2017)
ISIL DE-MUS-097410

The German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology (mostly just called the German Museum ) in Munich is the largest science and technology museum in the world in terms of exhibition space. In the museum, which is visited by around 1.5 million people every year, around 28,000 objects from around 50 areas of natural sciences and technology are exhibited.

The museum is an institution under public law . As a research institution, it is a member of the Leibniz Association .


The declared aim is to bring natural scientific and technical knowledge closer to the interested layperson in an understandable way. It also shows the historical development of the natural sciences and technology as well as their significance for technical and social development using selected examples. There is also a study collection with around 94,000 objects, a special library for the history of natural sciences and technology with around 850,000 volumes and archives with numerous original documents.

The affiliated research institute for the history of technology and science works together with the Ludwig Maximilians University and the Technical University . It was founded in 1963 as an institute for the history of the exact natural sciences and technology by the then chairman of the museum, Otto Meyer (1882–1969).

The Kerschensteiner College organizes advanced training courses for teachers and students on the history of natural sciences and technology.


Parent company

The German Museum on Museum Island
The Deutsches Museum as seen from the Ludwigsbrücke

The museum building is located on Munich's Museum Island , a former gravel bank in the Isar . The island has been used as a raft landing stage and material store since the Middle Ages , hence its old name Coal Island . Due to the constant risk of flooding , the island was initially not built on. It was not until 1772 that the Isar barracks became a permanent structure on the island for the Bavarian Army . After the floods of 1899 , the island was fortified and made flood-proof. After several plans for the use of the old coal island were available, including the construction of a train station, the Munich city council agreed in 1903 to lease the area for the new Deutsches Museum building : in 1906 the foundation stone for the museum building was laid, However, construction did not begin until 1909. Interrupted by the First World War , construction, based on a design by the architect Gabriel von Seidl , dragged on for almost twenty years. Even when the museum opened on May 7, 1925, construction work was not yet complete.

Since the mid-1930s, the museum has mainly consisted of three buildings that were completed one after the other:

The Deutsches Museum as seen from the Zenneck Bridge
  • The “collection building” is located on the part of the Museum Island upstream from the Isar between Bosch and Zenneck bridges in the north and the Cornelius bridge in the south. Part of it is the former railway hall, which today houses the Center for New Technologies .
  • The “ library ”, completed in 1932, follows in the direction of Ludwigsbrücke ;
  • before this, in turn, the “Congress Hall” was completed in 1935. Your congress hall was Munich's largest concert hall until the nearby cultural center on Gasteig was completed in 1985. A technical forum was then housed here, including an IMAX cinema. In 2008 the Deutsches Museum bought back the building, which then stood empty for years. While there was even talk of demolition in the meantime, it was announced in 2016 that parts of the building would be used as an event facility with catering for an initial five years from 2017 . After that, a decision should be made about further use. The Blitz Club has been located in the congress hall since 2017 .

Branch offices

German Museum Bonn
Visualization of the new building in Nuremberg

In addition to the headquarters on Museum Island, there are currently three branch offices and a depot with outsourced objects (as of 2017):

The German Museum operates in cooperation with the city of Freilassing the Railway Museum Lokwelt Freilassing . Another branch is currently being built in the old town of Nuremberg under the project name Augustinerhof , which is due to open in 2020.

National and international preconditions for founding a museum

On the history and meaning of the term museum : museum

With the secularization efforts of the Renaissance era, rulers and wealthy citizens began to create collections according to the most varied of organizational criteria, often in order to distinguish themselves culturally, socially and politically. These chambers of curiosities were not set up according to educational aspects; this criterion only emerged in the age of enlightenment from the 17th century and increasingly from the 18th century. The exhibitions of this age were intended to testify to the benefits of educational advances. In the middle of the 18th century the separation between exhibitions of fine arts and those of useful arts began. The last-mentioned exhibitions showed in particular handcrafted and manufactured objects.

Economic and technical exhibitions are known in France from the early 19th century. The presentation of modern industrial technology was intended to convey to the population how technological progress had a positive effect on living conditions (prosperity and comfort) as well as on the control of nature, and emphasized the importance of the nation state.

The impoverishment of large layers of industrial and agricultural workers was cited against the glorification of technology. A social aspect flowed into the presentation of the technological achievements - the aim was to convey how the “fight against nature”, for example in the hygiene sector , can be won through technological progress. At the London World's Fair in 1851 , a model for a low-cost workers' house was presented - a project that failed in England but was picked up in continental Europe. At the world exhibition of 1862 - again in London - the first workers' rights associations were formed. The Paris World Exhibition in 1867 consistently showed household appliances, teaching aids and clothing as new, “popular” exhibits. An industrial workers exhibition followed in London in 1868.

At the world exhibition in Vienna in 1873, the security and rescue services sector had the second largest number of exhibits after the large-scale industrial sector with exhibits on railways and steam engines . With the upheavals of the economic crisis of 1870, the concerns of the workers came even more to the fore. In 1876, the “International Exhibition for Health Care and Rescue Services” took place in Brussels ; In 1882 the "General German Exhibition in the Field of Hygiene and Rescue Services" was shown in Berlin .

At the end of the 19th century, national interests returned to the focus of museum designers. France celebrated the republic, the German Empire its efforts in the field of transport and telecommunications . The museum appreciation of the general technological progress on which industrialization was based had failed in Prussia as early as 1867. A world exhibition planned for 1879 in the German Reich did not take place either, because industry and the state argued about how far state intervention in corporate matters should go to protect workers. Otto von Bismarck's anti-socialist measures made these social questions a special concern of the young state; with them the inner cohesion of the empire should be promoted. As a result, social exhibitions were also shown in the German Reich, for example the “General German Exhibition in the Fields of Hygiene and Rescue Services” in 1882. An exhibition on accident protection followed in 1889; a permanent hygiene exhibition was set up in Berlin in 1886. Also in Berlin in 1891 the "Central Office for Workers' Welfare Institution" was founded, which set up a "social museum" as its task. On February 10, 1900, the Reichstag decided to set up such an exhibition, which opened in 1903.

Two rival technical museums emerged in Munich. Karl Poellath collected machines with industrial safety devices in his private house and in 1895 suggested a museum for accident prevention and industrial hygiene. The Polytechnic Association supported this, and in 1900 the efforts resulted in the establishment of the "Museum for Workers Welfare Institutions", which in 1906 was converted into a state institute and renamed the "Royal Bavarian Workers Museum".

As a contrast to this museum, the idea of ​​a scientifically based exhibition developed, which should present technology not on the level of social progress, but on the basis of scientific education. The leaders in this line were the engineers and their associations, who had experienced a considerable social appreciation with the right to award doctorates granted in 1899 . This line was also represented by Oskar von Miller , who presented his idea of ​​a science and technology museum in 1903.

Oskar von Miller

Oskar von Miller

The history of the Deutsches Museum is closely interwoven with its founder, Oskar von Miller. His ideas largely determined the conception and design of the collections. He used his organizational talent successfully to attract donors and supporters.

Miller, born in 1855 as the son of Ferdinand von Miller - a well-known Munich ore caster - had made a name for himself as a civil engineer. Equipped with a travel grant, he visited the Paris International Electricity Exhibition in 1881 , under whose impression he organized the first electrical engineering exhibition in Munich in 1882, where the first long-distance transmission of heavy current (57 kilometers from Miesbach to Munich) was successful. In 1883 von Miller went to Berlin to the then German Edison Society for Applied Electricity , from which the Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft ( AEG ) later emerged. Six years later he founded an engineering office in Munich. In Frankfurt am Main he organized the " International Electrotechnical Exhibition 1891 ", where the remote transmission of 20,000 V alternating current over a distance of 175 kilometers from Lauffen am Neckar to Frankfurt was presented for the first time. His engineering office planned large power plants such as the Etschwerke , the Pfalzwerke and the Brennerwerke . Miller became a sought-after specialist in the energy supply of cities.

When Miller first looked seriously at plans for a technical museum is unknown, as Miller's private home was destroyed in World War II and much of his correspondence was lost. When designing the museum, Miller was able to draw on his experience from organizing the two electrical engineering exhibitions in Munich (1881) and Frankfurt (1891). The structure and design of the museum were largely based on Miller's initiative and his organizational talent. He knew how to involve influential personalities from science and business. The way in which the exhibits were presented was also heavily influenced by Miller, while critics such as the Berlin professor Alois Riedler were largely ignored. The Deutsches Museum was shaped by Miller's creative will until his resignation in 1933.

It stands for the educational, hands-on principle , i.e. exhibits invite you to small physical experiments, or automated miniatures run at the push of a button (for example a flow of goods from a bookstore - bar range on a scale of 1:20).

Miller's aphorism “Everyone can do what I want in this building” can be read in the entrance area of ​​the museum.


The history of the Deutsches Museum can be divided into several essential phases:

  • During the construction period from 1903 to 1925, the collections were housed in temporary rooms, mainly in the old building of the Bavarian National Museum on Maximilianstrasse , which today houses the Museum of Five Continents . From 1909 to 1918 there was also a branch in the Schwere-Reiter barracks on Zweibrückenstrasse opposite the Coal Island. During this period, the new construction of the exhibition building on the Coal Island, the acquisition of monetary and material donations to finance the new building and the collections as well as the development of the collection policy and the organization of the museum administration fall. This period of construction is marked by the influence of Oskar von Miller and is shaped by the First World War and the upheavals of the post-war period.
German Museum in the 1930s
  • After the opening of the new building on Coal Island, the second period began in 1925. The organizational structures were strengthened; in the politically unstable years of the late Weimar Republic and the time of National Socialism, it was a matter of maintaining the self-determination of the museum management. The board of directors around Oskar von Miller took the view that the Deutsches Museum had to remain apolitical, which already led to hostility from the National Socialists in the mid-1920s. A Bismarck statue, which was donated for the museum's hall of honor, but which Miller refused to erect there, turned out to be a special political issue. The internationally oriented collection policy was also sharply criticized by right-wing national circles. After 1933, this burden led to the relationship between the museum management and the political leadership becoming tense. The conservative elites on the board were able to assert themselves, however, only with Fritz Todt a personality of the NSDAP rose to the museum board in 1934. Bomb hits destroyed around 20 percent of the collection and around 80 percent of the buildings on Museum Island in 1944.
  • Reconstruction had started during the National Socialist rule in February 1945. In October 1947 a first special exhibition on the diesel engine was shown and on May 7, 1948 the museum was officially reopened. It was not until 1969 that the museum returned to the pre-war exhibition space. The buildings have been rebuilt to their original form while the presentation of the collections has been redesigned.
  • Since around 1970 the Deutsches Museum has been in "normal operation" for the first time in its history. With the appointment of a general director (also in 1970), the museum administration was professionalized. In order to be able to keep up with the technical change, new collections or special exhibitions were and will be shown regularly. The first branch was opened in 1992 with the Flugwerft Schleissheim on the site of the old Schleissheim airport . The Deutsches Museum in Bonn followed in 1995 and the traffic center on Munich's Theresienhöhe in 2003.

Foundation and development time

The founding phase of the Deutsches Museum should be scheduled between May 1, 1903 and June 28, 1903. On May 1st, Oskar von Miller sent out a circular about the establishment of a museum association. This letter was addressed to well-known personalities from science and industry with whom Miller had known since his school days - for example Walther von Dyck and Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen , as well as Carl von Linde , Georg Krauss , Hugo von Maffei and Rudolf Diesel .

From these personalities a narrow circle of 37 people was formed, from among whom a provisional committee, elected by acclamation, was formed on May 5, 1903, in the context of which 260,000 marks were donated. On June 28, 1903, in the run-up to the 44th general meeting of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) in Munich, the founding meeting of the "Association of the Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology" took place. Contact was made with Prince Ludwig through Oskar von Miller's brother, Ferdinand von Miller , who, like Kaiser Wilhelm II, was won as a " protector ".

Other well-known personalities such as Max Planck , Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach and Miller's former boss at AEG, Emil Rathenau , followed the call to establish the company and offered to help. The magistrate of the city of Munich under Wilhelm von Borscht made part of the old coal island in the Isar available as a building site for a new museum building. Foundations from industry and in particular the transfer of the collection of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences formed the basis of the collections .

The tender for the museum extension on the Coal Island was won in 1906 by the architect Gabriel von Seidl . Until the completion of the new building, the exhibitions of the Deutsches Museum temporarily moved into rooms in the old Bavarian National Museum on Maximilianstrasse (today the Museum of Five Continents is housed there), where the opening took place on November 12, 1906 in the presence of the German Emperor. The foundation stone for the new building was laid on November 13th on the Coal Island. From November 21, 1906, the provisional exhibitions were open to the public.

The population's response to the new museum was good; In the first 25 days of the visit there were over 26,000 paying visitors, plus at least 4,000 museum members, a total of over 1,200 per day, including school classes who could purchase 15 tickets for 1 mark. In the first full year of operation, 1907, the Deutsches Museum recorded around 211,000 visitors. The start of construction on the Coal Island was delayed until February 1909. On January 1, 1909, the Deutsches Museum opened a branch in the Schwere-Reiter barracks on Zweibrückenstrasse. The new construction was delayed because of the difficult subsoil on the coal island. Due to the alluvial sand soil, several thousand concrete piles had to be driven into the ground to stabilize the foundation . The topping-out ceremony for the new museum building took place on October 5, 1911. The opening was planned for 1915 in 1912 and was later postponed to 1916. Due to the war, however, construction work had to be interrupted in 1916.

The branch in the Schwere-Reiter-Kaserne had to be closed at the end of 1918, as space was needed for returning soldiers. The exhibits housed in the barracks were temporarily relocated to the second floor of the new building. The architect Gabriel von Seidl had already died in 1913, and Emanuel von Seidl , who had continued construction after the death of his brother Gabriel, died in 1919 . Emanuel von Seidl's successor was Oswald Bieber . With the political upheavals at the end of the First World War , the Deutsches Museum was deprived of a substantial part of its financial resources. Inflation wiped out the foundation's cash assets, while government and business support also declined and visitor numbers declined. Due to the desolate capital situation, the continuation of the new museum building was at times severely jeopardized. For these reasons, the building could not be completed by the planned opening.

Despite all this, the new building of the Deutsches Museum was opened on May 7, 1925 - on Oskar von Miller's 70th birthday - with a pompous celebration. Gerhart Hauptmann had composed a play for the stage, and on May 5th a parade took place in the style of the 19th century Munich artist festivals, in which the individual disciplines presented themselves on artistically designed wagons.

The Deutsches Museum was one of the first larger buildings to be constructed from reinforced concrete . The use of this then still new and progressive building material was deliberately chosen to show the state of the art and thus to make the building itself part of the exhibition.

World fame and destruction

The largest thermometer in Germany on the tower of the Deutsches Museum, 1930

From 1925 the Deutsches Museum became a crowd puller. The number of visitors, which since 1914, with two exceptions, has been less than 200,000 guests per year, rose suddenly to 787,523 in 1925 and leveled off at around 500,000 by the outbreak of World War II. Miller's Museum was the inspiration for a number of new establishments abroad, for example the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and the Tekniska museet in Stockholm based on the German model. Oskar von Miller's fame as an electrical engineer took a back seat to his fame as a museum founder. The Hapag and North German Lloyd ever gave him a world tour, which he used to work as a consultant for museum-ups abroad. In Munich itself, many well-known personalities visited the Deutsches Museum, such as Henry Ford , Robert Millikan and Niels Bohr .

The museum administration survived the upheaval years after the First World War almost unchanged. The governing bodies were not changed and were dominated by conservative elites. The museum management saw the Deutsches Museum as an apolitical institution that had to be kept out of daily politics. The Deutsches Museum looked for allies within the new democratic governments, but stuck to old traditions. The office of patron was retained and occupied by Crown Prince Rupprecht, which occasionally caused disagreements due to the unstable relationship between old monarchical and new democratic rulers. In order not to lose the financial support from the state, the museum administration offered representative offices to the respective rulers, for example every new Chancellor was also appointed honorary president.

When the museum was founded, it was decided to build a library and a congress hall. The library was set up in temporary rooms from 1907. The foundation stone for a new library building was laid in 1928. Despite limited financial resources, the library building was completed by 1932. The shell of the congress building remained in place until 1935.

Bismarck dispute

The controversial Bismarck statue on Boschbrücke, 2008

During a meeting of the board of directors with the board of directors, the industrialist Paul Reusch suggested that a statue of the former Chancellor Otto von Bismarck be erected in the hall of honor of the museum. Although the proposal seemed consistent in view of the conservative and mostly monarchist board members and board members, rejected it by Miller. His reasoning was that Bismarck himself had done nothing for science and technology, so that such an honor would be of a political nature, which would contradict the non-political position of the museum. It is likely that traditional Bavarian resentments against everything Prussian played a role in Miller's rejection - the idea that Bismarck had "tricked" Ludwig II was popular in Bavaria. The debate smoldered largely within the museum until 1931; only when the Munich city council dealt with the monument issue in 1931 did it become a political issue.

Miller was the target of public polemical accusations on the part of the NSDAP faction and especially Hermann Esser , from 1923 onwards head of propaganda of the NSDAP. After the city council meeting mentioned above, the National Socialists published newspaper articles in which they accused Miller of a lack of patriotism; the fact that Bismarck was seen as a symbol against the republican order was played down. In particular, the Miller opponents tried to intervene through the Munich city council, as the city co-financed the museum. Due to the carefully balanced organizational structure, however, these efforts were unsuccessful. The city council only passed a resolution that the monument should be placed in front of the museum. The question was discussed in public since March 1931. The subject became even more explosive because the sculptor Fritz Behn , who had designed the statue, set it up in a night-and-fog action on the morning of September 12, 1933 and laid a wreath, thereby choosing this somewhat remote and less conspicuous place of installation than Bismarck wanted to brand unworthily.

Miller was able to prevail with his view. The statue had to stay outside the museum; today it is on the Bosch bridge. After the National Socialists came to power in Munich on March 9, 1933, the Bismarck dispute continued to affect the relationship between the museum and the new rulers. The proposed honorary presidency was rejected by Adolf Hitler , the traditional anniversary celebrations were canceled in 1933. On May 7, 1933, Miller announced his resignation, as the criticism was primarily inflamed by his person. In addition to his stance on the Bismarck dispute, the National Socialists did not forgive him for cooperating with the Munich Soviet Republic after 1918 and for exuberantly praising that country after a study trip to the Soviet Union . The swastika flag was hoisted on the museum tower in May.

Miller's successor was the Munich publisher Hugo Bruckmann . He was an early patron of Hitler with influence in the upper class of Munich. As expected, Bruckmann asserted his influence on Hitler and other Nazi figures. He succeeded in averting major damage to the museum, for example the removal of books by Jewish authors from the library under the undisguised threat of an SA attack. Some prestige projects, such as the expansion of the reading rooms, were able to partially conceal the tensions between the museum board and those in power, but concession to the National Socialist demands was necessary in order not to alienate donors. The Deutsches Museum pursued a rather cosmetic strategy, namely to historicize the criticized exhibits in terms of a necessary development stage that would have to be overtaken by progress.

In the spring of 1934, Fritz Todt, the only senior Nazi functionary, joined the board of directors. The museum management had suggested him because of his achievements as an engineer and hoped - like von Bruckmann - to influence the elites of government and party officials to the advantage of the Deutsches Museum. Unlike Bruckmann, however, Todt had a strong will to create. According to his understanding, technical devices have not only an economic but also a cultural value. He tried to integrate the museum into the National Socialist Association of German Technology , which he directed . He also promoted the representation of modern branches of industry, such as automobile construction .

Exhibition “ The Eternal Jew ”, November 1937
Interior of the anti-Semitic exhibition " The Eternal Jew "

Although both the museum management and Todt sought to expand the exhibition space, the positions in question were contrary. While Todt tried to achieve integration into party formations, the board of directors tried to maintain the museum's sovereignty to a large extent with an aggressive expansion policy. Among other things, through Bruckmann's interventions with Hitler, Todt was bypassed. For example, the use of the old Schwere-Reiter barracks on the side of the Isar opposite the museum towards the city was personally approved by Hitler. Todt recognized this problem, but his complaints had no consequences because the museum management was careful not to openly oppose him or the ideology he was propagating. At the beginning of 1939 he tried to clear up the discrepancies in an open conversation with Zenneck (who was particularly skeptical of him). With the beginning of the Second World War , Todt's ambitions became obsolete anyway, since from then on he had to concentrate on the arms industry.

The Deutsches Museum survived the air raids on Munich that began in 1940 unscathed for a long time. The first heavy damage occurred during a night attack on 24/25. April 1944. Incendiary bombs set off a large fire in the library building, which also attacked the concrete structure of the building. On July 12, 1944, an American attack hit the museum so badly that operations had to be stopped. Further hits followed in air strikes on July 16 and July 21, the latter being the heaviest attack quantitatively with ten direct hits. However, the greatest destruction was caused by four hits from a British night attack on 17/18. December 1944. The last bombs hit the Isar island in the night of January 7th to 8th, 1945. By the end of the war, 80 percent of the building structure had been destroyed, and the stock of exhibits had also suffered considerable damage. Although particularly valuable (and transportable) treasures were stored in air raid shelters or outside of Munich ( Benediktbeuern Abbey ), some (particularly large and immobile) works were lost. Among them was, for example, the Dornier Wal , with which Roald Amundsen had approached the North Pole up to 250 kilometers, a Junkers all-metal airplane and some locomotives.

Reconstruction and extensions

After the severe destruction in the war, the museum was reopened on October 25, 1947 with the exhibition "50 Years of Diesel Engine" under the direction of its administrative director Karl Bäßler, who had been in office since 1933 , and was expanded several times in the following years. From 1950 until 1996, Günter Voglsamer created a large part of the wall paintings and dioramas .

In 1983, a fire triggered by external influences destroyed large parts of the shipping and power plant departments. Some valuable exhibits were lost in the process. The fire had been noticed by a passerby, there were no smoke detectors or even sprinklers in these departments at the time.

In 1992 the Flugwerft Schleissheim was opened as a branch museum on the oldest preserved airfield in Germany. The Deutsches Museum Bonn was founded in 1995 as a branch museum to illustrate the development of science and technology in Germany after 1945. In 2003, the first hall of the traffic center of the Deutsches Museum on Theresienhöhe (the former exhibition center) in Munich was moved under the aegis of General Director Wolf Peter Fehlhammer .

Timeline to history

Postage stamp (1953) for the 50th anniversary
Postage stamp (1978) for the 75th anniversary
Postage stamp (2003) for the 100th anniversary
  • 1903 foundation of the Deutsches Museum
  • 1906 Opening of the provisional collections in the rooms of the former National Museum on Maximilianstrasse
  • 1909 Opening of further collections in the old Isar barracks on Ehrhardtstrasse
  • 1911 Topping-out ceremony for the collection house
  • 1925 Opening of the Deutsches Museum in the new building on Museum Island
  • 1928 Laying of the foundation stone for the library and hall building
  • 1930 Topping-out ceremony for the library and hall building
  • 1932 The library opens
  • 1935 Opening of the congress hall
  • 1944 Destruction of around 80 percent of the buildings
  • 1948 reopened after being destroyed
  • 1983 Destruction of the shipping and engine departments by a major fire
  • 1984 opening of the new aerospace hall; temporary closure of some departments after hail and water damage. (→  hailstorm from Munich )
  • 1992 Opening of the Schleissheim airfield at the Oberschleißheim special airfield
  • 1995 Opening of the Deutsches Museum Bonn as a branch museum
  • 2003 Opening of the traffic center in Munich
  • 2006 Opening of halls I and II of the traffic center on Theresienhöhe
  • 2014 Acquisition of a 20,000 square meter property in Erding on which a depot for 80,000 exhibits was to be built. Since the depot could not be built there due to a lack of funds, temporary warehouses were rented as depots instead.
  • October 6, 2015 A 250 kg bomb was found at the main entrance, the museum was cleared and the (broken) bomb was removed
  • October 17, 2015 Beginning of the first construction phase of a general renovation scheduled for 2025 with the clearing of several exhibitions
  • October 2018: 8,000 exhibits were damaged in a fire in a warehouse in Ingolstadt used as a depot.
  • November 2019: After the cost of the renovation increased, a further 300 million euros were approved in addition to the previous 445 million euros.

Exhibitions on Museum Island

Visitor and exhibit statistics 1905–2002 (gaps = no data available)

Experimental setup that Otto Hahn and Fritz Straßmann used to discover nuclear fission in 1938
Foucault's pendulum
  • Foucault's pendulum (currently closed due to renovation work)
  • Geodesy
    The department presents the methods of geodesy and their developments in order to measure the surface of the earth and to determine the shape of the
    earth . With the measuring methods you can see devices with which you measure lengths , angles and heights in order to determine the position of a place. Measurements using astronomy or satellites are also presented. A special area deals with the cadastre , the land register and the land
    map . The methods of engineering surveying of buildings, technical systems and sporting achievements are also discussed. Finally, the different representations of the earth are illustrated using examples using globes and maps . In the area of orientation with a map and compass you can learn how to use it to find your way in nature.
  • Glass research
    laboratory The aim of the laboratory is to give museum visitors an insight into the process of scientific research. The mediation is carried out directly by employees of the working group of the laboratory, in which they work on topics in the field of "Molecular Nanostructures". The concept of the Transparent Research Laboratory helps not only to present the results of scientific research and technical development in the Deutsches Museum, but also to convey to museum visitors the procedures, processes and working methods that lead to these results.
  • Glass technology
    The department is divided into the four areas of glass as a material, hollow glass , flat glass and special glass . In the first part, the components, important properties of glass and the historical development of glass production are shown in models. The manufacture of hollow glasses can be seen from the glassmaker's pipe to modern mass production. The manufacture of flat glass can be learned through the ancient techniques of manufacturing hollow glass and mass production, which was only invented in the 20th century. The different basic materials and properties of special glasses are illustrated using examples from the fields of optics, electrical engineering, chemistry and pharmacy.
  • Computer science
    In this department, a replica of the Z3 and the original Z4 by computer pioneer Konrad Zuse are presented. The Z3 is considered to be the world's first fully programmable calculating machine.
  • The children's realm is a relatively new exhibition in the semi-basement. Here children should be introduced to physical principles through play. In addition to a water system with locks and water wheels, there are large Legos, a running bike, an old fire engine, computers with games and cameras and a musical instrument department.
  • Ceramics
historical steam engine
Junkers F13
Faraday cage in the high-voltage system
  • Pharmacy The
    focus of the exhibition and dominating the room is the walk-in model of a human cell , enlarged by a factor of 350,000. This gives the visitor an insight into the structure and biochemical processes of the smallest unit of life. The exhibition covers ten subject areas, ranging from cardiovascular and infectious diseases to pain relief and contraception to the manufacture and development of pharmaceuticals . The conclusion is the reconstruction of the historical pharmacy of the St. Emmeram monastery in Regensburg, which has been on view in the Deutsches Museum since 1925.
  • Physics (closed to a large extent until 2020 due to the renovation work (optics, atomic physics, electricity and magnetism))
    The exhibition shows physics with the subjects of optics, mechanics, vibrations, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism as well as atomic physics.
    The exhibits consist to a large extent of experiments that can be observed and carried out by the visitor in all areas, but also include simple representations and historical apparatus and instruments of physics.
  • Planetarium , see also: List of planetariums in Germany .
  • Planet path
  • Space (closed until 2019 due to renovation work)
U 1 of the Imperial Navy
Bathyscaph Trieste (mostly original parts)
  • Shipping , including the first submarine of the Imperial German Navy, U 1
  • Heavy current engineering
    The exhibition deals with the generation, distribution and use of electrical energy on a large scale. In addition to many exhibits from high voltage technology, the department shows a. the original generator of the first high-voltage transmission from Lauffen am Neckar to Frankfurt am Main (claw pole runner) and the original of the first electric generator from Werner Siemens (dynamo-electric principle). Several exhibits illustrate the functionality of the electrical machines, rectifiers, inverters and converters as well as the construction of overhead lines . The high-voltage system, which is the most popular demonstration of the high-voltage system among museum visitors, takes place three times a day in high-voltage technology - visitors learn about the behavior of alternating voltages of up to 300,000 volts and surge voltages of up to 1.2 million volts.
  • Technical toys
  • Telecommunications (closed until 2020 due to renovation work)
  • Textile technology (closed)
  • Tunnel construction (closed until 2020 due to renovation work)
  • environment
  • Hydraulic engineering (closed until 2020 due to the renovation work)
    This department deals with structures in the water, such as locks , dams and river course design, as well as over the water, namely bridges . There are vivid models of river bridges on display , from Caesar's Rhine bridges to modern motorway bridges. A cable-stayed bridge leads through the entire exhibition space, on which visitors can walk and the current bridge fluctuation is also displayed.
  • Machine tools
  • Scientific instruments
  • Timing
  • Center for New Technologies

In addition, special exhibitions on current topics are offered, including the exhibition @HOME - Our Society in the Digital Age, designed in the Stapferhaus Lenzburg .


In many departments, guided tours are offered at certain times of the day, which visitors can take part in without prior notice.

Guided tours for school classes, specialist tours and tours in foreign languages ​​can be carried out by appointment.

One of the most famous demonstrations is the high-voltage system on the ground floor, in which spectacular experiments are shown such as the demonstration of a Faraday cage in which a person sits or lightning strikes in a miniature house.

In preparation for a museum visit and for a first impression of the collections, there is a virtual museum visit with three audio guides on shipping, aviation and space travel and tours through some collections.

Filming and photography

Filming and photography is only permitted for private purposes. Publishing the pictures on the internet is not permitted.

The use of tripods (whether monopod or tripod, whether private or commercial) is only permitted for safety reasons if an official photo and / or film permit has been obtained from the press office. Otherwise, tripods must be left at the cloakroom. Flash photography for private purposes is permitted.

Radio owl

In order to convey the basics of broadcasting, the museum operates its own medium wave transmitter "Radio Eule" on 1500 kHz. Trial operation started in October 2018 during the Long Night of the Museums . In the summer of 2019, the provisional transmitter was replaced with a more powerful one.

See also


  • Treasury of the Deutsches Museum - giants of history. (= From life - The report. Episode 80). Report, 30 min., Script and direction: Andreas Dorner, production: Südkino Filmproduktion, ServusTV . First broadcast: August 10, 2012.


Web links

Commons : Deutsches Museum  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. Federal Office of Administration ( Memento from October 24, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
  3. According to his own statement, "probably the largest technology museum in the world" -
  4. Robert Braunmüller: The congress hall becomes an event location: Gaudi and Tralala , Abendzeitung , January 27, 2016
  5. Congress hall - conversion or demolition? In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 15, 2012.
  6. Party in the venerable walls: Fresh wind for the Deutsches Museum , , September 10, 2016
  7. ^ Deutsches Museum: Deutsches Museum: Depot fire. Retrieved April 2, 2020 .
  8. Lokwelt Freilassing. In: Retrieved April 10, 2019 .
  9. The vision becomes reality. Deutsches Museum Nürnberg: Financing agreement and rental agreement have been signed. (PDF) In: June 2, 2017, accessed April 10, 2019 .
  10. ^ A. Kaspar: The German Museum and the Association of German Engineers . VDI-Zeitschrift Vol. 95 (1953) No. 13, pp. 369-372
  11. Ferdinand Werner : The long way to new building . Volume 1: Concrete: 43 men invent the future . Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, Worms 2016. ISBN 978-3-88462-372-5 , pp. 322-330: Walhalla of Technology - The German Museum in Munich .
  12. German Museum . In: Süddeutsche Bauzeitung . No. 3 , January 17, 1907, ZDB -ID 240385-7 , p. 24 .
  13. Eve M. Duffy: Beyond Adaptation and Autonomy. On the institutional development of the Deutsches Museum between 1933 and 1945. In Elisabeth Vaupel, Stefan L. Wolff (ed.): The German Museum in the Time of National Socialism , Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2010, p. 58.
  14. ^ Otto Mayr: Reconstruction: The German Museum 1945-1970 , Deutsches Museum, Munich 2003, p. 50.
  15. Expansion (1968–2002) - Sustainable Events ( Memento of February 29, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Gabi Zierz: Deutsches Museum building depot in Erding. In: Münchner Merkur , April 6, 2014.
  17. a b Martina Scherf: German Museum fears for valuable exhibits after fire. November 23, 2018, accessed November 24, 2018 .
  18. Air bomb paralyzes operations in the Munich museum. In: ORF , October 6, 2015, accessed on October 7, 2015.
  19. Refurbishment costs rise to 745 million euros. In: November 15, 2019, accessed November 16, 2019 .
  20. ^ Deutsches Museum: A breath of fresh air in the energy technology exhibition. Press release from February 4, 2013.
  21. ^ German hunters reunited. In: Klassiker der Luftfahrt , January 11, 2016, accessed on March 17, 2016.
  22. Eckart Roloff and Karin Henke-Wendt: A cell, immensely enlarged, shows (almost) everything. (Deutsches Museum München) In: Visit your doctor or pharmacist. A tour through Germany's museums for medicine and pharmacy. Volume 2, Southern Germany. Verlag S. Hirzel, Stuttgart 2015, pp. 116-118, ISBN 978-3-7776-2511-9 .
  23. ^ Deutsches Museum: @HOME - Our society in the digital age. Press release of October 30, 2012.
  24. Guided tours without prior reservation
  25. virtual museum visit with three audio guides on shipping, aviation and space travel for the visually impaired to listen to ,
  26. House rules of the Deutsches Museum, see point 7: "Filming and Photography". (PDF) As of 2012 (PDF; 17 KB).
  27. ^ Application for a photography permit in the Deutsches Museum.
  28. ^ Deutsches Museum: Deutsches Museum: Permission to film. Retrieved August 18, 2017 .
  29. ^ Deutsches Museum: Deutsches Museum: Press. Retrieved August 18, 2017 .
  30. On Air: "Radio Owl". In: July 30, 2019, accessed November 16, 2019 .
  31. ^ Treasury of the German Museum - giants of history. In: Retrieved July 8, 2020 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 7 '48.4 "  N , 11 ° 35' 1.7"  E