Germanisches Museum, Nürnberg
Albrecht Dürer was born, worked, and died in Nürnberg; he is one of Germany’s most famous artists with thousands of people still traveling to Nürnberg to see his paintings and engravings. Although his works are spread out around Europe, Nürnberg and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum have quite a few of his works on permanent display. In 2012 the museum had a special exhibition of Dürer’s life and works which brought in many of these works from around the world to the museum.
Works by Dürer on permanent display at the GNM include Emperor Charlemagne and Emperor Sigismund, Portrait of Michael Wolgemut, Portrait of Barbara Dürer, and Emperor Maximilian I. More of Dürer’s more famous works are located in Munich’s Alte Pinakothek.
While this particular exhibit is no longer on display, the museum has a plenty of special exhibits planned for the upcoming years (see the website below for a downloadable brochure). I was impressed at how well the exhibition was done, with very thorough audio guides, and signs. I would not hesitate, based on this experience, to attend any future special exhibitions done by the Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
Our first trip to Nürnberg was primarily to go to this museum to see the special exhibition of works by Albrecht Dürer. The German National Museum is houses in a very modern looking building (the original one was destroyed during World War II), although the building does a great job at incorporating part of an old Carthusian abbey within the permanent exhibition halls, which is most notable as you walk around the former cloisters.
After spending a couple hours at the exhibition, we took some time to explore the rest of the museum which houses a lot of historical artifacts for Germany. There was quite a variety of artifacts of German cultural history spanning the centuries with sculptures, paintings, decorative objects, furniture, clothing, musical instruments, home life, and military history. Time periods covered in the museum begin with pre-historical objects and continue through the 20th century. There is a nice section of medieval objects placed very nicely within the former abbey ruins.
Of specific interest to me were the paintings by German artists. Many of the works by Nürnberg’s local favorite son, Albrecht Dürer, are on permanent display at this museum, although during my visit they had been placed in the special exhibition that I had come to see. Other artists in the galleries include Albrecht Alltdorfer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Tilman Reimenschneider, Konrad Witz, and Hans Baldung Grien.
Even without seeing a special exhibit, you will want to plan on several hours in the museum. It took me a little bit to figure my way around the various levels of the museum, even with the maps that are placed around the buildings.
The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday 1000-1800, Wednesdays 1000-2100 (1800-2100 free admission!). Closed Mondays.
The lower level has a café for those who would like to relax and have a bite to eat. This was a good meeting spot to wait for others in your party.
Admission fees (2012) are €6/person with discounts for students and families. Wednesday nights are free admission (1800-2100). Note that the entrance in at the new modern looking side, not the older brick and stone side of the building (see photos).
This is a large museum with numerous departments devoted to art works and historical artifacts from various periods of German history. The museum is spread out over several interconnected buildings, some new, some old and some very old.
There is a department of Pre-History and Early History, for example. Also painting and sculpture from the Middle Ages, Stained Glass windows, Medieval Household Furnishings, Decorative Arts of the Baroque, Farmhouse Interiors, Rural Household Furnishings, you name it.
On the third floor there is also a department called Popular Piety. Somehow I have never found my way up to the third floor yet, but maybe next time.
Admission is 8.00 Euros regular or 5.00 Euros reduced. Wednesday evenings after 6 p.m. admission is free. (Prices as of 2013.)
Their opening hours are a bit complicated, but basically you can expect that they will be closed on Mondays and will open other days at 10 a.m. Closing time is 4, 5, 6 or 7 p.m., depending on which department you want, except for Wednesdays, when the whole place is open till 9 p.m.
The Germanisches National museum, is the largest museum of cultural history in Germany and said to be "one of the most outstanding museums in the World!" I just saw the Museum as I was walking around Nuremberg.
The Museum was founded in 1852 and has on display a large collection of items relating to German culture and art extending from prehistoric times through to the present day. There are about 1.2million pieces on display, so if you like this type of Museum, it may be an interesting one to visit.
OPEN...Tues. – Sun. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wed. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
All upper floors, the Garden Hall, and the Weaponry Collection close at 5 p.m.
The Museum Shop and Cafe Arte are also open at these times.
ADMISSION IS...Adults 6 euro
4- € discount
9,- € small groups/families
1- € per student in school and youth groups
Fully wheelchair accessible.
Wed. 6 – 9 p.m. FREE ADMISSION - Worth remembering!
This museum was established in 1852 as a comprehensive collection of art and cultural artefacts from all German-speaking countries. It is now the most extensive cultural history collection in Germany (over 1,3 million items). The original location of the museum - a Carthusian monastery - was overbuilt, but the monastery atrium is still integrated within the museum. The collection encompasses paintings, medieval sculpture, religious glass art, archaeological and historical artefacts (clothing, furniture), musical & scientific instruments, and coins.
I was very impressed by this museum which contains wonderful cultural artifacts from the entirety of Germany's history. Its collections span from ancient archaeological finds to Renaissance wood carvings to musical instruments to traditional clothing to decorated dressers to modern paintings. As you can see, this collection is enormous! I would not recommend trying to go through this museum in one hour; you will need several hours if you want to really go in depth and sadly that will probably not even suffice. One nice thing is that you're sure to find something to interest you - kids might enjoy the armor, for example, and I really liked the artifacts of objects you'd find in a Renaissance home. There is a small cafe there; however I think it was fancier and would recommend structuring your visit so that you eat elsewhere.
...Albrecht Dürer! The great German Renaissance painter is the most famous Nürnberger. Here you see two of his portraits. If you like his paintings, you cannot miss visiting the Albrecht-Dürer-Haus, located near the Burg.
The museum owns a great collection of German paintings from the 15th-17th centuries. Worth remarking are those by Lukas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein the Younger (author of some famous portraits of Martin Luther), and others.
But the star of this collection is...
The museum has a section about the German history and culture from the origins to the modern times. Among the exhibited things there are pieces of furniture (look at the pharmacy in the first pic), ancient clocks, armours, jewels and much more. However, I must admit that this section was not my favourite one. What I was eager to see were the German paintings. Follow me and I'll introduce you to some great painters!
When I visited this museum in 2005, some collections were located in what once were a church and a cloister. In the former cloister, I saw many religious stuff mainly from the Middle Ages, like the saint carrying "his" cathedral in the third photo.
Germanisches Nationalmuseum is the biggest museum of the city and is a must if you are interested in, or would like to learn more about German history, art and culture.
Unfortunately, when I visited this museum in 2005, it was being reorganized, so many works were not at their right place and I didn't know where I could see what. I could see a lot anyway (I think I spent there at least two hours).
The masterpieces of the museum will be dealt with in the following tips. Here, I would like you to notice how the architect(s) of the museum seat were able to realize a harmonic fusion of an ancient Romanesque church into a modern building. It is never easy to combine the old and the modern, isn't it? Well, here it has been done very well.
The Germanisches National Museum has to be one of the top museums in the country. Housed within its huge, labyrinthine halls are around 20,000 exhibits, making this the largest museum of Germanic art and culture. The exhibits span a period of prehistoric times to the present day and contain toys, musical instruments, sculptures, paintings, scientific instruments and weapons. The scope of the museum is immense and it housed partly in modern buildings and partly in the meandering rooms and corridors of an old church. It's very easy to get lost, and very easy to find yourself spending hours looking at everything on show. I was there for three hours, and I barely had time to glance at everything I saw. I swear I missed a few sections too.
The highlight of the museum are the old masterpieces. Unfortunately sections of the museum are currently undergoing reconstruction, and the masterpieces have been moved out. Thankfully while this is going on the museum has a special exhibition called the Faszination Meisterwerk which shows off the best of these in a couple of halls out the back of the museum. These halls are massive, and would take a good hour or two just to walk around themselves. You may have difficulty locating them, and I nearly left without seeing it, but if you take a left on entering the building and walk through the museum's restaurant you will find the exhibition on the far side.
Admission is only €4 - a bargain.
This museum has all things German, and since it was founded in nationalistic times, this includes Austrian and Swiss collections too. What you will see is quite a mix of art (some Dürer and Witz etc), the famous Echternach Gospel book from the 10th century, musical instruments, dolls houses, folklore and archaeology, as well as a section on the goldsmith tradition in Nürnberg throughout history. We simply didn't have time for this museum this time (as we had to prioritise amongst sights that the six-year.old could at least stand, if not enjoy), but it has a very good reputation.
Founded in 1852, the GNM is the largest museum of the art and culture of the German-speaking world.
Its 1.2 million objects illustrate not only high points of German art and history but also everyday life and culture from prehistoric times until the present day.
Paintings, sculpture, arts and crafts, domestic furnishings, doll houses, historic musical instruments, folk culture, guild history, rural life, weapons and hunting equipment, scientific instruments, healing arts.
Cabinet of prints and drawings (300,000 sheets), research library (ca 500,000 volumes, 1500 scholarly periodicals), numismatic collection (60,000 coins, 20,000 medals).
Highlights of the collections include works by Albrecht Dürer, Veit Stoß and Adam Kraft, Martin Behaim's globe (the world's earliest) and a Rembrandt self-portrait.
The Museum Education Center (KPZ) offers a wide variety of guided tours and courses (in German and foreign languages; regular tours in English twice monthly).
Frequent special exhibitions focus on selected aspects of German art and culture. Of note, the "Way of Human Rights" by the Israeli artist Dani Karavan at the museum's entrance.