DDR Museum: life in GDR/DDR
GDR Artifacts at DDR Museum
Maybe you only know the GDR from the obvious GDR artifacts like Spreewald Gurken, stinky Trabants and Plattenbau, the DDR Museum truly shows you what life was like behind the German iron curtain. We had friends living in Dresden, so we already knew a bit about DDR life before the Berlin Wall fell. But if you haven’t been to East Germany, the DDR Museum will lift the curtain a bit and shows you what East German life was like.
You can play table football with East German figures, sit on East German couches and see all the East German products and what books they read. If you always wondered what a Trabant looked like, you are at the right place at the DDR Museum. They have one in their collection and visitors can steer the wheel themselves.
A lot can be touched. Not only the old Trabant. You can put on typical East German clothes and feel what is was like to be spied on by the Stasi with their bugs. We especially liked the old tv shows and the stories of young East German kids you can still read in the DDR Museum. And afterwards you can eat in the DDR Museum. They serve food made from East German recipes.
Cool GDR furniture at DDR Museum
You might not know what it was really like in the GDR after visiting this museum. But at least you will know more that the average tourist that thinks the GDR is only about Trabants and Spreewald Gurken. The clichés about the GDR that the people living in the GDR were depressed and wore stupid clothes are, well, just clichés. The GDR was so much more. If you know the stories of the school kids, seen the GDR tv shows and sat on the cool GDR furniture and wore a funky orange dress you know the GDR can not be caught in one word or sentence.
You love art and history and are in Berlin right now. Or you are planning a visit to Berlin soon. But you have no idea where you can find all those interesting Berlin museums. We will help you out with a short summary of all the museums we write about. Or just click on the photos of all the different museums and find all the info there. To make it even easier we hyperlinked subjects and museums that are similar so you can enjoy Berlin art even better.
Neues Museum is full of bullet holes. It opened a few years ago after being closed for decades. The architect combined new and old styles beautifully. Inside you will find great Egyptian statues. Like the beautiful Egyptian queen Nefertiti and her heretic husband king Akhenaten, to name a few.
Alte Nationalgalerei looks just like a Greek temple. But inside you will find romantic art and paintings by German and French masters like Caspar David Friedrich and Monet. It makes it the ideal place to be if you want to take your loved one on a romantic date, with painted flowers instead of the real deal.
When you stand in front of the Altes Museum on Museumsinsel you will feel like you are in Rome or Greece. The huge iconic columns look just like an impressive Greek temple. Although the ancient Greeks didn’t build this art temple, inside the Altes Museum you will discover the ancient artifacts created in the burning sun of Greece, Rome and Egypt.
The Bode Museum is one of the architectural landmarks of Museumsinsel. If you cross the river Spree you will see the round walls of the Bode Museum instantly. The collection of the Bode Museum is not so well known as the other museums on Museumsinsel. But the statues from West-Roman and Byzantium times, combined with great architecture make this a place to be.
Deutsches Historisches Museum is a great museum if you want to know about the history of Germany. It tells you how Germany came into existence, the religious fights between the catholics and reformers, World War One and Two and the Cold War. And it is situated at the former Berlin armory.
The scars of both World War Two and the Cold War are visible at Gropius Bau. This art museum still has bullet holes in the facade from World War Two. The Berlin Wall is very close too, leaving Gropius Bau in noman’s land for decades. But art revenged itself. Inside you will find work by international artists and exhibitions that have traveled the world.
You don’t have to use your imagination a lot to hear the trains hissing at former train station Hamburger Bahnhof. But the days of passengers running for their train are over. Inside you will find great art. Hamburger Bahnhof has great international artists like Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol, but they let the young artists shine as well.
The Jewish Museum is dedicated to the history of the German Jews. Inside you will find old artifacts, religious items, tragic letters from World War Two, family photo albums, jeans made by Levi Strauss, sad exhibitions on how the Jewish community suffered during the war. But also exhibitions on how creative the community and individuals were.
KW Institute for Contemporary Art can be found in gallery heaven Scheunenviertel in an unusual building. KW Institure for Contemporary Art is in a former butter factory, filled to the brim with modern art. The exhibitions are very interesting and they have a keen eye for controversial art.
The Neue Nationalgalerie is the place to be if you love modern art. This stunning museum looks like a very modern bunker but instead of concrete to fill this artbox, architect Mies van der Rohe used a lot of glass. On the first floor and the cellars you can find the frivolous colors of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, the kidlike art by Pablo Picasso, and the sad, colorful clowns of Max Beckman.
Pergamon Museum is dedicated to the excavation in Pergamon, modern day Turkey. They have large friezes depicting the divine fight between the Giants with snake legs and the impressive Greek gods. They also have a great Islamic art section. We especially like the blue tilled walls of ancient Babylon with ferocious looking lions.
We always walked by this old World War Two bunker without knowing what was happening inside. It looks hardly inhabited from the outside, but inside this old war bunker you will see it is filled to the brim with art by the Boros family. Hence the name: Sammlung Boros. It is not a normal museum, make an appointment to get in.
Always wondered where and how the first Berliners lived in the stone age, the middle ages and where the Berliners danced in the Wild twenties? At Markisches Museum they will tell you all about the history of Berlin. Expect interesting stories, great pictures of wildly dancing ladies and some large slabs of the Berlin Wall.
Gedenkstatte Hohenschonhause is now a memorial, in the Cold War you definitely didn’t want to be stuck here. Gedenkstatte Hohenschonhause was a Stasi prison. During a tour the former prisoners will tell you all about the grim reality they faced when they were held prison in this cold and lonesome place during the Cold War.
The Stasi Museum is a weird place to be. Especially when you realize the museum used to be the offices where the Stasi used to spy on it’s own people. You can visit the offices of Stasi leader Mielke as well and hear him say he spied on people because he loved them and his country so much.