We woke up our second day in Munich to cloudy skies and constant rain, so we decided to visit the Deutches Museum. We made our way to the S-Bahn, and took it a few stops east to Isartor, where a pleasant walk over the river connects the museum to the subway station.
Being the holiday of Ascension Day the museum was quite busy and a line snaked along the outside wall. We chatted with some nice people from Kansas who were in Munich visiting relatives. We joked about the number of people attending the museum during a holiday – and that too many people back in the states spend their holidays in furniture stores chasing down sales.
The Deutches Museum reminded me of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Exhibitions covering the last 100 years of technology, science, communication, engineering and transportation.
The Deutsches Museum possesses over 100 000 objects from the fields of science and technology. The large number of valuable original exhibits makes the Deutsches Museum one of the most important museums of science and technology anywhere in the world. The collections are not restricted to any specialized range of topics: they include objects from mining to atomic physics, from the Altamira cave to a magnified model of a human cell. They extend from the Stone Age to the present time. Collecting historically significant objects is still one of the Museum’s central tasks, so that the stock is constantly growing.
About a quarter of the objects are on exhibition – in the main museum on the island in the river, at the transport museum on the Theresienhöhe, in the hangar at Schleißheim airfield, and in the Deutsches Museum Bonn. These illustrate important developments in science and technology, right down to current research.
Among the particular highlights (besides many others!) are the first motorized aircraft built by the Wright brothers, the U1 submarine, the first program-controlled computer (Conrad Zuse’s Z3), and Diesel’s original engine on the island; the first motorcar by Karl Benz in the transport museum; the Douglas DC3 at Schleißheim; and the first Fischer wall plug in Bonn.
I found the exhibit of old computers and processing machines especially interesting, and being a map and geography geek I spent almost an hour in the historical and modern day cartography area. The upper floors of museum provides small alcoves with open dormer windows overlooking the river and city. It reminded my of the type of places you’d rappel into from the roof for a late night diamond heist. There are no diamonds there however, but if you’re into German and technological history it’s worth a day of your trip. Oh and the Hindenberg and Zeppelin are extensively covered in the aviation section.
Much more info on the Deutsches Museum is at www.deutsches-museum.de/en/