Imhoff-Stollwerck Chocolate Museum, Cologne
A visit to Cologne is not complete without a trip to the chocolate factory/museum. It is quite interesting and the smell is divine.
You can wander around and look at the machinery (where chocolate is actually produced), learn about the history of chocolate production, sample the gloopy liquid chocolate on wafers (which is what's happening in this photo) and finally, spend a small fortune in the chocolate shop, try to resist this as it really is expensive and you can buy the same stuff elsewhere. A few bars of chocolate and a couple of postcards came to 10.70E.
A tiny glass-enclosed *botanical* garden with pond, lillies and cocoa trees is also on the premises and it's extremely warm in there on a hot day!
At the end of your trip there is a small cafe with terrace overlooking the Rhein where you can have a lovely drink in the sunshine.
Please see the website for details of prices and opening times. Our visit was part of an organised group tour. Oh and it is closed on Mondays.
The name Schokoladenmuseum suggests that it's just a museum but it's MUCH more than that. It's actually a complete history and tour through the world of chocolate production from bean to finished product. There's even a hot house where some cocoa plants are being grown.
The first section is an explanation of where and how the beans are grown and harvested. Then you move into the 'factory' part, which is my favourite. All the machinery is behind perspex screens so you can see how it works and watch the chocolate at all stages from grinding the beans at the beginning, to seeing the finished chocolate pieces packaged at the end. There is a 'chocolate fountain' at the far end of the floor where ladies give you a biscuit coated in warm liquid chocolate... delicious!
Upstairs are processes that turn liquid chocolate into hollow eggs, truffles etc. and it's fascinating to see how it's turned in moulds to achieve perfectly hollow shapes. I never before thought about how my chocolate Father Christmas came to be.
Go upstairs again and it brings you to the museum part... a wonderful history of chocolate through the ages, with many fine examples of old packaging, tins, boxes etc. Then on to another section of how chocolate was once used for its medicinal properties and how it became fashionable amongst the upper classes.
When you've completed the museum, go back down to the ground floor and visit the wonderful shop beside the entrance where you can buy every imaginable type of chocolate, all beautifully packaged. The shop is particularly colourful at Christmas time and my particular favourites are the brandy liqueurs.
Also on the ground floor is a cafe where you can relax and watch the river traffic through the glass walls.
Visit the website for full information and some delicious chocolate recipes too.
We found the museum very interesting and worth a visit.
There is information written in several languages telling you about chocolate production, uses and history.
There are also a lot of exhibits to look at but unfortunately any information on the displays is only written in German.
You proceed to an area showing the different machines used to produce chocolate bars. In this area is the chocolate fountain. Here a lady was dipping wafer biscuits in melted chocolate and handing them to us to sample. I love audience participation, especially when it involves chocolate! Mick went back 4 times!
There is also a shop where you can buy lots of different chocolates and a restaurant that looked as if it served a decent lunch.
It is also a good spot to get a very good view of the Rhine.
I’ve put a few extra pictures in the Cologne travelogue
Wow! Heaven on earth or what!!!??!
The smell of chocolate hits you as soon as you enter this building, and you pay the 6euro entrance fee just so you can find out where the chocolate is!!Lol....
Its actually a very interesting museum, and as you work your way around you will find out the story of where chocolate comes from, how the cocoa beans are selected, where they grow, how this company advertised throughout the years, there is a tropical garden so that you can experience the heat and humidity that the cocoa bean needs, eventually you will come to where the chocolate is produced, made into all different things, and a big chocolate fountain where you can enjoy the free taster!!
I visited Cologne's Chocolate Museum during my visit to the city in July 2006.
Having read that it was similar to "Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory", I expected to be lavished with free chocolate samples. Alas, the only samples were a small chocolate and a wafer dipped in the "chocolate fountain".
The first part of the exhibit provides various information about cocoa (where it is grown, how it is cultivated, what different types are used for making different chocolates...) and there is a temperature controlled tropical greenhouse containing cocoa plants.
Next was a special exhibit, coinciding with Germany hosting the World Cup, showing chocolate bar wrappers, tins and advertisements from around the world which incorporate football team logos and players into their designs.
The museum then opens up into a large production area where you can see the chocolates being produced. These range from small individual chocolates on a conveyor belt to chocolates shaped as bunnies or Father Christmases or footballs using special moulds. Children can design their own pralines to take home with them.
One of the highlights in this part of the museum is the "chocolate fountain" - runny chocolate being produced in a small fountain - but it isn't nearly as impressive as it sounds!
Upstairs, the museum provides a detailed history of chocolate from its beginnings as a luxury drink for society's elite through to its commercialisation as a popular product for the masses. This part of the museum isn't as much fun as watching (and smelling) the chocolates being produced, but it does provide an extensive selection of exhibits. For example, there are displays of crockery from the early days of chocolate production in Central America, there are walls full of chocolate advertisement posters from years gone by and there are biographies of key figures in chocolate's history.
There is a chocolate shop and a cafe on site.
Photography is permitted throughout the museum.
&CBThe Imhof Schokoladen museum was opened by Hans Imhof in 1993. It is situated in the quarter of Altstadt - Sud on the Rheinauhafen peninsula. The museum exibits show of the entire history of chocolate, from its beginning with the Olmecs, Maya and Aztecs to the contemporary methods of the production.
The special attraction of the museum is the 3 metre high chokolate fountain, with the possibility to taste the fresh chokolate.
Thre world of chokolate is open monday to friday from 10am to 6pm, weekends and holidays from 11am to 7pm. The admission for single visitor is 7€.
The Museum is situated at the Rhine promenade upstream on the rotating bridge.
Great on a day out with the children or if you like me are a bit of a chocoholic :))) The museum includes what they call the world's largest chocolate fountain - a claim I have seen in Scarborough too so who knows, but it is rather impressive and you get to taste the chocolate. There is also a little "rain forest" in the part that shows you how the cocoa beans are produced! If you like old posters and chocolate mechanics, you shouldn't miss the exhibitions on the second floor either.
Opening hours: Tues. to Fri. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat., Sun., holidays* 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; closed on Mondays. Admission prices:
adults 7.50 EUR; groups of 15 or more: 7.00 EUR; visitors entitled to reduction 5.00 EUR; groups of 15 or more: 4.50 EUR
One of Cologne's famous museums, the Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum (Imhoff chocolate museum) was opened by Hans Imhoff on 31 Oktober 1993. Located on the Cologne quarter Altstadt-Süd on the Rheinau-peninsula. The Museum and exhibition demonstrates the whole history of chocolate, from its beginning with the Olmecs, The Maya, The Aztecs, up through the contemporary products and their production methods. The museum is run by the Schokoladenmuseum Köln GmbH and is partnered by the Swiss Chocolate producer Lindt & Sprüngli since the March of 2006. Prior to 2006 it was partnered with the Cologne chocolate producer Stollwerck, which was also shown by the former name of the museum (Imhoff-Stollwerck-Museum). Within the complex is a small tropiarium entered through temperature locks in a glass cube with 10 metres edge length showing cacao trees of the species Theobroma cacao and Theobroma grandiflorum. Also within are Several production machineries were built as miniatures, so that you can have a look at the production process of the small chocalate bars, which are given to the visitors at the entrance of the museum. A special attraction is the three metres high chocolate fountain, at which a woman dips wafers in the liquid chocolate and distributes them to the visitors. A museum lies upstairs with Olmec, Aztec, Mayan, and European artifacts from throughout the ages. Valuable collectables displayed are porcellain and silver bowls of the 18th and 19th century and pieces from pre-Columbian Mesoamerica for drinking chocolate. There are alsohistorical machines on display and hollow molds for casting chocolate figures. A small theater showing the comedical advertisements and films of chocolate through the ages in Europe. Also presented is a collection of historical chocolate vending machines and games for learning. A gift shop and tantalizing restaurant/cafe lie below and outside along the Rhine. For any chocolate fan, this is a must visit exhibit in Cologne. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
The museum lies on a former-island which is now connected to the City-centre by a Bridge.
The museum-building is in the shape of a big ferry-boat and it is a must to visit. It traces the history of chocolate, from slavery to modern industrial production and includes the chance to taste this sweet brown delicacy fresh from a fantastic liquid chocolate fountain.
It also show modern production methods of various chocolate products. And ofcourse there is a shop where you can buy souvenirs . . . and a refectory!
When I visited in May 2005, there was a Chocolate Art exhibition on as well.
A wonderful and unusual museum contributed by the Imhoff-Stollwerck chocolate company. You learn lots about the cocoa plant, the history of its cultivation and the production of chocolate products; there is even a working factory hall where you can see how chocolate St.Clauses or Easter Bunnies are made! There is also a higly interesting part on chocolate brands and advertising and even a botanical garden with cocoa plants. Be aware though that you are likely to lose lots of money in the museum shop where you can virtually shop till you drop .
iWhile on vacation many of us tend to visit museums and mostly those are art museums. Koln has a diferent idea of a museum - chocolate.
The museum shows the process of chocolate production, tells about history of chocolate, has a big gift store, and even offers a nice view on the river.
This place is a real paradise for kids, just imagine the amount of chocolate they get to taste on this tour. And even if you're like me, absolutely dislike chocolate, you'll still have a great time.
We went to visit the chocolate museum one morning - it was great for those of us who love chocolate (seriously, I've never understood people who don't like chocolate...). The first part of the tour shows the history of chocolate and how it was used in the olden days.
Later, we saw some machines that were in the process of making and shaping chocolates, and some workers (oompa-loompas? hehehe...) pouring melted chocolate into molds shaped like the Cologne Cathedral. We also saw the chocolate tree/fountain and enjoyed the free samples - some of the oompa-loompas were dipping wafers into the chocolate fountain and giving them out, and I ate 3. I am now convinced that the cocoa bean was the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden...
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see Willy Wonka, but we did enjoy some good world-famous German chocolate! Then, when we finished our tour we bought some at the gift shop.
Sitting on a little island in the Rhine is the chocolate factory and museum. An hour tour around this building will give any chocolate lover much to think about as they follow the history of their favourite food from the jungle to the shop. Great fun for kids of all ages.
"Food of the Gods" - and a museum for its addicts. Life is all about chocolate.
History, botanical background, myths and stories and legends, production of the raw material and chocolate easter bunnies, bars, and candy. Machines making miracles, and a heavenly chocolate fountain - and yes, you may have a taste! A whole room is dedicated to hot chocolate - how to make it (with chilli!) and which china to drink it from. Old posters and advertising, boxes and wrappings, a cafe and a ( very expensive) shop. I loved the little rainforest with cocoa plants and of course all the stories about Mexico, the Maya, the Aztecs and Olmecs.
Try not to visit on a rainy cold public holiday. It's too full... families and small childs freaking out ;-) First sign of addiction!
This place was right on our doorstep, as we were staying in the NH hotel by the river. Firstly, it wasn't exactly 'charlie and the chocolate factory' although some of the staff did look a bit like umpah-lumpahs.
Like many museums, it tries to be educational at the front...you'll view some history about how chocolate was discovered, when the first bars were eaten and other dry stastistics. The most important fact to learn there is that chocolate is a kind of fat mixed with sugar. That's why we love it. Fat and sugar are a damn good combination. We were yawning a tad when we moved on to the tropical garden bit - where it shows the environment for growing the beans. This is quite a hot, relaxing place...would be better in swimwear.
Other notable sections include the factory, where you see production and get to taste from a chocolate fountain (a very small taste). You also get to see some chocolate creations and moldings that are fairly interesting, but nothing spectacular. I was hoping for a chocolate T-rex... all I got was an easter bunny. After the tour, you end up in the shop where the chocolate is a bit expensive, but most people are so desperate by this point to eat some, they'll be elbowing old women and booting children out of their way for the last pack of Mozart balls.
We noticed one group of german girls there had some special trip going on. They were actually making chocolate which would be more fun I think. They were all dressed in brown and their leader was dressed up as the chocolate queen. I don't know if they worked there or if it was some weird hen party. Either way, I really wanted to be the chocolate king.
Best part of the place was the outside cafe seats, where you can face the river and have a beer and a cake. If someone can combine fat, sugar and beer successfully, it'd make a better food then chocolate.