In Germany – Deutsches Technikmuseum

Given that we have over 10 days in Berlin this Christmas, we’ve had the opportunity to take in a lot of the sites, including the Deutsches Technikmuseum. This museum is dedicated to various modes of transportation, including trains, aircraft and boats, as well as other areas of technological innovation such as printing, photography and radio and TV broadcasting.

The museum is made up of a series of old railway buildings and a new open-plan building set over several floors, which makes up the rest of the exhibition space. Two large engine-sheds facing a rotunda house the most impressive exhibits – railway engines, carriages and street cars from the earliest days of steam locomotives up to experimental high-speed trains from the late 20th century. At the far end of one of these spaces you’ll also find something to delight children young and old – a massive model railway!

Several floors of the railway offices house fascinating displays dedicated to jewellry making, paper making and pharmaceuticals, with the top two floors being the major draw for me – a chronology of photography from the earliest silver bromide plates via classic cameras from Leica and Polaroid, to the latest specialist digital cameras for underwater and high-altitude imaging, and above that rooms cataloguing the history of radio and television broadcasting and receiving – one particularly impressive display consists of a mock-up of a Berlin TV Studio from the 1960s!

Go through the reception area into the new building and you’ll find yourself amongst all sorts of ship miniatures, including the massive clipper ships of the late Victorian period, and also come across huge boiler rooms from early steam ships which have been deposited right into the middle of the exhibition space. Head up the stairs from here and you’ll take to the air, with examples of early aircraft, passenger planes and even a corner dedicated to the sinister output of the Third Reich – guided bombs and rockets as well as an full-sized model of a V1 ‘Doodlebug’, which menaced London during World War II.

From Technik Museum December 2010

The Deutsches Technikmuseum is another great place to visit in Berlin, and particularly good to keep the kids amused due to the number of interactive displays and demonstrations that you’ll find here.