Unlike the rest of Krefeld, this imposing museum from the year 1897 managed survive the bombings in the Second World War with little or no damage.
In the 1960s, however, at the height of auto-mania, the street in front of the museum was widened to allow for more and faster cars. That meant the outdoor staircase at the museum entrance had to go, which did not exactly improve the appearance of the building.
The museum was closed for most of the 1960s and is now (since 2010) closed again for repairs. It was supposed to re-open at the end of 2013, but when I was there in 2012 I did not have the impression that any work was in progress. Nor have I seen any reports about what will be displayed in the museum if it is ever re-opened.
The museum was named after Wilhelm II (1859-1941), who reigned as Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia from 1888 to 1918. Reportedly Wilhelm II was cheered by the people of Krefeld when he visited the city in 1902, though they had boycotted the visit of his grandfather Wilhelm I thirty-nine years earlier.
Location of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum on Google Maps.
Aside from city offices, the City Hall (Rathaus) also houses a tourist information office, on the ground floor to the left of the main entrance.
Location of Krefeld City Hall on Google Maps.
The only unusual thing about this particular Adult Education Center (VHS) is its location, right on the same square with the City Hall.
I once visited the VHS Krefeld (a long time ago) to speak with their IT people about the data base system they were using, but I have no recollection of this building. Perhaps they were located somewhere else at that time.
When I went back in April 2012 the VHS was advertising a one-off English course called “English by Killing – an English Crime Dinner”. This consisted of an evening in a restaurant with a three course meal, during which an English actor, Andrew Charlwood, told a detective story while the course participants tried to figure out who the culprit was – all in English, of course.
Location of the VHS Krefeld on Google Maps.
This scruffy little brick building is one of the few I saw in Krefeld that seems to have survived the bombings of the Second World War.
The smaller entrance on the right seems to have been for people, whereas the larger entrance on the right was wide enough for horse-drawn wagons to pass through into the courtyard, where probably some sort of workshop or small business was located.
A plain and modest 1970s brick church in suburbia - who would expect a remarkable collection of late 20th century and contemporary art here, including many big names from Beuys to Uecker?
Pax Christi, the catholic parish church in Krefeld-Oppum, is a completely normal suburbian parish with a community of ordinary people - and an energetic priest who is in touch with both artists and galleries and money sources. In the early 1980s he started his collection which consists, so far, of 32 works of art. I'm presenting some of them in my 3 Pax Christi travelogue pages.
Most of these works were bought by the community with the help of sponsors and are their property. People have learned to live with contemporary art, although to some of them this must have been difficult at first. The church, the baptismal chapel, and the adjacent rooms of the community centre as well as the garden behind the building are full of art works. Nevertheless the church is no museum, although it can be visited as one.
Address: Glockenspitz 265, 47809 Krefeld-Oppum
The Haus der Seidenkultur (House of Silk Culture - the name's a bit unlucky) is a newly opened museum on the premises of the former parament manufacture Hubert Gotzes. The manufacture had to close down in the mid-1990s. Afterwards former workers founded an association and turned the manufacture into a museum.
The manufacture produced silk and gold brocades, velvet, and other precious fabrics which were then used to taylor church paraments. The 100 year old half-automatic looms are still there and in operation. The guided tours are done by retired weavers, patroneurs and other ex-employees who present all stages of the traditional craft of Jacquard weaving.
See my travelogue page to find out more.
Location: Luisenstraße 15 - 3 minutes from the central train station
Opening hours: 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, 14.00 - 18.00, guided tours every hour. Tours for groups can be arranged any time after appointment.
Entrance fee: adults 3 €, concessions 2 €
SEE MY TRAVELOGUE