the haus der deutschen kunst, (house of german art), was adolf hitler's first major building project in munich after the nazis took over the german government in 1933. this stark building was designed by nazi architect paul ludwig troost. troost died in 1934 and albert speer completed the project in july 1937. this museum was to house german art that was approved by the nazi regime. today, the museum is now called the staatsgalerie moderner kunst and houses a fine collection of 20th century art. open 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily except mondays. just behind the museum is the beautiful englischer garten. to see some before and after pictures of the haus der deutschen kunst see www.thirdreichruins.com
A few weeks ago I was leafing through an old New Yorker magazine in the lobby of my hotel in Bratislava (check out Hotel No. 16 on my Bratislava page!) when I came across an article about the recently opened Pinakothek Der Moderne in Munich. That article's description of the museum piqued my interest and planted the seed for my sojourn to Munich a couple of weekends later. A striking white monolith of a building housing collections of modern and contemporary art: I figured the visit here would be a highlight of my visit to Munich. I was not disappointed.
The Pinakothek Der Moderne actually houses four museums, focusing on art, works on paper, design, and architecture. The works are nicely spaced and many items are arranged in unique ways. Although when I saw my first computer (Apple Iic) displayed as a museum piece in the design section, I felt a bit old (and nostalgic)!
The building, designed Stephan Braunfels and opened in 2002, is held together by a large rotunda in the middle, with stairways and walkways leading to the various museums. This setup is a little disconcerting at first, as I found myself moving from one collection into another without warning. But the building itself is a marvel to look at, with the white curves of the walls and steps mixing with the glass of the windows and the art contained within.
Even if modern and contemporary art is not your thing, take advantage of the free Sunday admission to give this museum a look. And get there in the morning before the crowds arrive! (See my travelogue for more pictures.)
The Haus Der Kunst holds a number of rotating contemporary art exhibitions, in a building which was commissioned by Hitler in 1933 to replace the Glass Palace of the old botanical gardens, which burned down in 1931. The interior was renovated in 1994, and the austere exterior hides excellent interior viewing spaces, with skylights to allow natural light into the galleries during the daytime hours.
During my visit I saw an interesting exhibition by the musician Patti Smith, which unfortunately ends on February 29, 2004. Some of her poetry and artwork based on her 9-11 experience are touching, personal works. And I could have sat and watched the video of her recent Munich performance for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, you have to buy separate tickets for each of the various exhibitions. You can purchase a combination ticket for two exhibits at a lower price. So check the website and decide which exhibitions you would like to see in advance. You can also peruse the exhibit catalogues at the entrance before deciding what you would like to see.
Built in the late 1800s, the Bayerisches National Museum complex houses a large number of permanent exhibits on the history of Bavaria, which mimics various architectural styles so that the objects can be displayed in their original settings. For example, some beautiful stained glass windows are displayed in a small circular room reminiscent of a medieval cloister.
During my visit, I saw a wonderful temporary exhibit of toys, doll houses, miniatures, etc. from Bavaria through the ages. It is a delightful journey into the past through the toys and games of children of the period. Unfortunately, the exhibit is scheduled to end on February 29, 2004, but last I heard, it was going to be extended another month or so. Check with the museum.
I would never normally praise a hunting museum because I just think that hunting is a strange parttime activity. And I haven't had the time to visit this place neither. But I want to give ya a crazy tip for a rainy day anyway - in this museum you will find a collection of Wolpertingers. A Wolpertinger is a crossing of several Bavarian animals which only exist in people's minds. You can read more about them in my "Local Customs" tip.
Franz von Stuck (1863-1928) was a famous sculptor and painter. His villa was built according to his plans and it hosts a museum nowadays. The exciting part of the building, however, are not the exhibitions that take place here but the interieur design and the architecture of the villa itself. Unfortunately picture taking itself is not allowed inside so you have to believe me that this place is full of beautiful art nouveau stuff as well as tons of gold and fancy wood. Apart from that there are lots of pictures (of which I loved the frames best ;) and pieces of furniture by Stuck himself to be seen here.
6 small museums are located here under one roof.
Chamber Pot Museum
Museum of Scent
Easter Bunny Museum
Guardian Angle Musuem
Never heard of a Bourdalou before! It is a kind of a portable Chamber Pot for ladies which was very popular in the 18th and 19th century. Bourdalou is the name of a priest. It was said, that his preach was always very good and interesting. Nobody wanted to miss a word and therefore someone invented the portable Chamber Pot that the ladies don't have to leave the church for any urgent needs. No idea if they had used it in church but that was how it was explained in the museum ...
The museum is opened dainly from 10am till 6pm. Entrance fee for adults is EUR 4.
In addition to city history, this museum has sections on the history of photography, films, puppet theater and musical instruments. On the ground floor there is a permanent exhibition on the origins of the Nazi movement in Munich.
Opening hours for most sections are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Second photo: From war to war. Part of the permanent exhibition about the history and development of Munich from 1158 to the present.
Third photo: On the fourth floor there is a musical instrument museum with two thousand instruments from Africa, America, Asia and Europe, and a special section with mechanical musical instruments. Because of budgetary restrictions, this collection has shorter opening hours than the rest of the museum. On weekdays (Tuesday to Friday) they don't open until 12.00 noon, whereas the rest of the museum opens at 10:00 a.m.
Fourth photo: Budgetary restrictions are also presumably the reason that this outstanding collection of musical instruments is crowded into an unattractive display area without appropriate lighting or explanations.
Fifth photo: Café in the museum courtyard.
When it is complete, the transport museum in Munich should be world class. For now it has a small, but wonderful, collection of cars and other vehicles that you can access for a discount. Now you can see the main hall, which contains a host of amazing originals, including a Protos from the 1907 New York-Paris rally, a Puffing Billy locomotive, and my personal favourite, a car I thought I'd never see in real life: the NSU RO 80 with its unique rotary wankel (snigger) engine.
This is another modern art museum. I didn't know about it before going to Munich. I found it out once there because it's next to the alte pinakothek. The truth is that I liked the paintings here more than the ones in the neue pinakothek (here are also really good). Visit it if you like modern art. Besides paintings there are also some other exhibitions. It's 9 euros.
Open daily, except Mondays, 10-17
Thursday and Friday, 10-20
Don't be afraid of this cold and abandoned looking building. The inside has nothing to do with the outside. This is another modern art Museum in Munich. Here there are not permanent exhibitions anymore, but temporaries.
Based on a former airbase just outside of Munich, the Flugwerft Schleissheim is a delight for anyone who still has a remnant of their childhood fascination for aircraft remaining. There is a large and extremely well preserved collection here, all kept under protective roofing inside a converted hangar. The exhibits also include some extremely rare finds, even one that you probably won't see anywhere in the world, let alone Europe. All of this is located close to one of Bavaria's finest palaces, so although it's a little out of the way, there's plenty for all to see and do in the area.
The exhibits include a large number of planes from the modern West German airforce, but have recently been supplemented with relics from the East German airforce. So along with American Phantoms and Shooting Stars, you can see a classic Mig 21, a dual rotor Kamov Ka-26 and an unmistakeable Mig-15. In addition there are a few planes from other airforces, including the rare sight of a Saab Drakken, and the truly bizarre Hindustani Aircraft Ltd (HAL) Marut.
The Marut was intended to be India's first supersonic jet aircraft, only they could never buy an engine powerful enough to take it to those speeds, so it ended up being a bit of a white elephant. It looked ever so much the elegant futuristic fighter plane it was meant to be, but because of the lack of engine technology it simply limped through the air, a pale shadow of its designer's intentions. Its inclusion in the exhibits in Munich was a real surprise.
The museum has fascinating permanent displays about the history of the city, supplemented by changing special exhibitions. On the ground floor are the Waffenhalle, containing a magnificent array of historic weapons, and the wonderfully contorted set of morris dancers, carved as adornments for the ballroom of the Altes Rathaus by Erasmus Grasser. The upper floors house specialist displays on photos and films, brewing, musical instruments and one of the largest collections of puppets in the world, from Indian and Chinese paper dolls to the large mechanical European variety.
A great modern art museum with innovative architecture and a thoughtprovoking collection of paintings, sculptures, and installations. The most interesting part in my opinion is the "design" department where different historic design concepts are shown in relation to daily life - objects like vehicles, computers and furniture.
The "Haus der Kunst" ("House of Art) was built by the Nazis in 1935 and it was originally called "Haus der deutschen Kunst" (House of German Art). Only German artists were presented then.
Nowadays it houses many great art galleries with changing exhibitions of international artists.
Together with the Pinakotheken it's a must for art lovers in Munich.