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Munich's Top 10 : Deutsches Museum

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The Deutsches Museum, founded by Oskar von Miller in 1903, is housed on an island in the Isar River in a building dating from 1925. The world’s largest museum of technology and engineering is a tour de force – only a fraction of the exhibits can be viewed in a single day. The best approach is to plan your visit in advance.

  • Museumsinsel 1

  • S-Bahn: Isartor (all lines), U1/U2: Fraun­hoferstraße, Tram: 17, 18

  • 089 21 79 1

  • www.deutschesmuseum.de

  • Open 9am–5pm daily (some departments until 8pm Thu)

  • Closed 1 Jan, Shrove Tue, Good Fri, 1 May, 1 Nov, 21 Dec, 24–25 Dec, 31 Dec

Museum Guide

The museum’s 17,000 exhibits are displayed over six floors. The lower floors feature heavy vehicles and sections dealing with chemistry, physics, scientific instruments, and aviation. The middle floors are dedicated to the decorative arts, and the upper floors are devoted to astronomy, information technology, and microelectronics. The Zeiss Planetarium is located in the dome on the sixth floor.


Floorplan of the Deutsches Museum

The museum on Museums- Insel in the Isar River

A good alternative to the museum cafeteria is Café im Volksbad in the Müller Baths, a splendid Art Nouveau building across from the museum.


The museum shop sells model kits (including robots), games, building sets, instruments, posters, and books.


Laser shows are presented in the Zeiss Planetarium on the sixth floor; tickets for these events are sold separately.


NOTE

For details on Deutsches Museum see branch museums

Top 10 Sights
  1. Galileo’s Workshop

    In the Physics section, a reconstruction of Galileo’s workshop features a large collection of equipment used by the famous astronomer and physicist.

  2. Pharmaceuticals

    The highlight of this section, opened in 2000, is a model of a human cell magnified 350,000 times.

  3. Enigma Machine

    The Enigma encoding machine, built during World War II, is a fine example of early information technology.

  4. Zeiss Planetarium

    Projected onto the 15-m (49-ft) dome of the sixth floor are the sun, the moon, the planets, constellations, and nebulae, as well as the more than 5,000 fixed stars visible to the naked eye.

  5. Mining

    Exhibits on mining technology over five centuries are featured in the mining section.

  6. Musical Instruments

    Sounds for Hitchcock’s The Birds were created on the trautonium.

  7. Aviation and Space Travel

    Dozens of airplanes are on display, including an original by the Wright brothers and the famous Junkers JU-52. You can even board some planes. More exhibits on travel are housed at Flugwerft Schleißheim, a branch museum.

  8. Power Machinery

    Steam engines, motor engines, and turbines are to be found here. Some of these colossal machines, like the Alban high-pressure steam engine are veritable works of art.

  9. Telecommunications

    Superb exhibits such as the first 19th-century telegraph, Thomas Edison’s gramophone, and a 1913 AEG transmitter are displayed here, along with the latest in communications technology.

  10. Marine Navigation

    Along with countless model ships, the vast exhibition hall features several original sail- and steamboats, such as the 1932 steam tugboat Renzo and the wooden fishing vessel Ewer Maria.

Deutsches Museum Collections

  1. Physics & Astronomy

    The physics section features mechanical aids such as pulleys, pumps, and measuring and observation devices – including Foucault’s pendulum, which featured in Umberto Eco’s eponymous novel. A sense of the size and age of our universe is conveyed in the astronomy section.

  2. Clocks, Chemistry, Pharmaceuticals & Environment

    Examples of traditional craftsmanship are on display in the extensive clock and watch exhibit. In the chemistry section, famous experiments and a reconstruction of Justus von Liebig’s laboratory fascinate visitors. Rooms dedicated to pharmaceuticals show the evolution of drug research. Ecological issues are dealt with in the environment exhibit.

  3. Mining, Metallurgy, & Agriculture

    In the basement, a re-created mine is complemented by exhibits on the more than 12,000-year-old history of metallurgy. The agriculture section demonstrates the cultivation of cereals and grain, brewing, and sugar refining.

  4. Glass Ceramics, & Machine Tools

    In this section, materials and production techniques used in a variety of industries are on display. These include exhibits demonstrating glass and paper manufacture; the range of ceramics manufacture, from bricks to fine china; and tools from Stone Age drills to computer-controlled lathes.

  5. Energy Technology

    From original windmills to plasma- and fusion-technology, this section features inventions that facilitate everyday life. The huge steam engines and high-voltage experiments are not to be missed.

  6. Communications

    In addition to telegraph and radio equipment, this department includes sections on printing technology, photography, and film. Visitors can marvel at room-sized computers from the 1940s and 1950s.

  7. Marine Navigation

    Numerous models of ships illustrate several millennia of marine navigation. The rescue cruiser Theodor Heuss is displayed in the open-air exhibition space to the south of the museum.

  8. Aviation and Space Travel

    In the vast hall, 220 years of aviation history are re-created – from the Montgolfier brothers’ hot-air balloons to modern jets. The space travel section includes a replica of the Spacelab.

  9. Civil Engineering

    An authentic suspension bridge dominates the exhibition hall; wall-mounted screens track the oscillations as visitors venture onto and then cross over this swaying bridge.

  10. Kid’s Kingdom

    Reserved exclusively for children and accompanying adults, this section is designed for young scientists, ages three and up. Interactive exhibits let children experience phenomena such as communication, energy, optics, and acoustics. The Technical Toys section offers welcome relaxation after all the hands-on research.

This selection represents a fraction of the highlights – there are many more, such as a reconstruction of the Altamira cave.


For detailed information on the branch museums, visit www.deutsches-museum.de


The Branch Museums

Flugwerft Schleißheim, the Deutsches Museum’s branch museum on the history of aviation, is located in an old airplane hanger on a historic airfield in Schleißheim (

Effnerstraße 18, Oberschleißheim;
089 31 57 14 0). In addition to the old buildings and the airfield itself, this site offers 7,800 sq m (84,000 sq ft) of exhibition space housing over 50 airplanes, helicopters, and hang-gliders, as well as instruments and equipment. There are special exhibitions, children’s tours, and expert-guided tours. The museum also has a shop and a restaurant – Pegasus – that serves as a year-round venue for exhibitions by young artists.

The Verkehrszentrum, or Transportation Centre, was opened in 2003 on the Theresienhöhe (

Theresien­höhe 14a;
089 500 80 61 40). Three heritage-protected halls, once home to the Munich Fair, now house his­toric locomotives, automobiles, carriages, and bicycles. With this branch museum, the Deutsches Museum has created the largest transportation museum in the world, offering a detailed and comprehensive exploration of urban transportation, travel, mobility, and transportation technology. Special exhibitions and lectures round out the programme. Top 10 Aviation & Transportation
  1. Fokker D VII, fighter aircraft (World War I)

  2. Douglas DC-3, commercial aircraft, 1943

  3. Heinkel He 111, bomber aircraft (World War II)

  4. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

  5. Dornier Do31, vertical lift-off aircraft

  6. Puffing Billy (first locomotive in the world)

  7. Drais wheel

  8. Benz motorcar (first automobile in the world)

  9. Rumpler “Tropfenwagen” (aerodynamic car, 1921)

  10. NSU Delphin III motorcycle, 1956

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