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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Museums in Germany Reply to topic
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Markus Fischer




Location: Germany
Joined: 14 May 2020
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Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed 08 Sep, 2021 5:23 am    Post subject: Museums in Germany         Reply with quote

I am planning to visit a few museums in the next two weeks, which display historical arms and armour.

Because I am living in Germany, the german museums are currently the only ones reachable for me as I do not have the time right now to go on a big journey to a foreign museum (which I am planning to do at a given time).

I will probably have time for maybe 2 or 3 museums, so I will have to pick the right ones in order to get as much out of the trips as possible.

And thats why I wanted to ask which museums in Germany are worth visiting the most.

I have already been to the Klingenmuseum in Solingen two times (last time just a few months back). So this one currently is of no great interest to me, even though I will definitely revisit it in a few years.

Also, even though the collection in Solingen was very fascinating, I was a little disappointed that they did not have terribly many examples of high-medival swords in which I am interested most.

They had a very wide exhibition of cutlery in general....everything from the bronce-age, over the romans until the cutlery of the 20th century and modern custom knives.

They also had many Renaissance weapons...at least 30 rapiers, about 4 Zweihänder and also lots of hunting knives from the late 16th to the early 18th century.
Appart of that, they also did not have much armour...well, they had a single suit of plate armour of the Maximilian style (which I am not a huge fan of) but definitely not as much as I would have liked (which you cannot criticise them for as their name litually means "Blade-Museum").


I am mainly interested in european swords, pole-weapons and armour from the 11th to the late 16th century...especially longswords from the 15th and 16th century as well as Gothic plate armour.

Could someone recomment a few german museums which would fit my interests?


Thanks,

Markus
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Sep, 2021 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Markus,
I've never been there, but want to visit the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin (https://www.dhm.de/en/museum/about-us/). Their collection is highlighted in two of my favorite books (one on helms, one on edged weapons) and I think you'd enjoy it.

Rothenburg is intriguing as well, though I hear a number of the items could be of questionable provenance/authenticity.

Churburg Castle is another one, though it's pretty far south, I believe. This one might be better for armour than arms.

Have a great trip and take lots of pics! Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Markus Fischer




Location: Germany
Joined: 14 May 2020
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed 08 Sep, 2021 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Chad for your kind suggestions.

I did have Rothenburg on my mind as well...as I understand it, the authenticity of museum collections is always a little bit uncertain.
I recently had a long chat with James Elmslie on Facebook about that topic, and he stated that basically every museum has at least one or two pieces which are very likely to be fakes...but this is another topic in its own right.

And be assured that I will be taking as many pictures as possible Happy ...I could also post a few here if that is of interest for anyone?
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Sep, 2021 5:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Munich there's the Bavarian National Museum. In Ingolstadt there's the Bavarian Army Museum. Those have important collections for your time period and they are close together. Some very famous swords.

It's in Austria, but maybe it can be part of your trip, the Kunsthistorie museum Wien....Massive collection of armor there. Just a straight shot east from Munich after all...Happy

Up north in Schleswig-Holstein, there's the Viking Museum of Haithabu and the Museum Fur Archaeologie Schloss Gottorf if you like iron age things.
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Kristjan Runarsson





Joined: 07 Nov 2015

Posts: 177

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2021 1:22 am    Post subject: Re: Museums in Germany         Reply with quote

Markus Fischer wrote:
I am planning to visit a few museums in the next two weeks, which display historical arms and armour.

Because I am living in Germany, the german museums are currently the only ones reachable for me as I do not have the time right now to go on a big journey to a foreign museum (which I am planning to do at a given time).

I will probably have time for maybe 2 or 3 museums, so I will have to pick the right ones in order to get as much out of the trips as possible.

And thats why I wanted to ask which museums in Germany are worth visiting the most.

I have already been to the Klingenmuseum in Solingen two times (last time just a few months back). So this one currently is of no great interest to me, even though I will definitely revisit it in a few years.

Also, even though the collection in Solingen was very fascinating, I was a little disappointed that they did not have terribly many examples of high-medival swords in which I am interested most.

They had a very wide exhibition of cutlery in general....everything from the bronce-age, over the romans until the cutlery of the 20th century and modern custom knives.

They also had many Renaissance weapons...at least 30 rapiers, about 4 Zweihänder and also lots of hunting knives from the late 16th to the early 18th century.
Appart of that, they also did not have much armour...well, they had a single suit of plate armour of the Maximilian style (which I am not a huge fan of) but definitely not as much as I would have liked (which you cannot criticise them for as their name litually means "Blade-Museum").


I am mainly interested in european swords, pole-weapons and armour from the 11th to the late 16th century...especially longswords from the 15th and 16th century as well as Gothic plate armour.

Could someone recomment a few german museums which would fit my interests?


Thanks,

Markus


I don't know where in Germany you are so I'm just going to reel off part of my Museum bucket list (also for the benefit of others who read this thread):

Germany:
Germanisches National Museum - Excellent arms and armour collection.
Bayerisches National Museum - Also a quite nice armour collection.
Bayerisches Armeemuseum - Kind of a "little bit of everything collection",still worth a visit (the whole museum is huge).
Müchen Stadt Museum - Small but has an excellent collection of early mass produced breastplates.
Kaiserburg Nürnberg - Arms and armour, firearms, crossbows.
Burg Altena - Kind of like the Kaiserburg, worth visiting.
Veste Coburg - They have three collections, one of them is mostly about jousting, the second about artillery and the third which is in the round tower at the end of the walk through the main building contains 16th-17th century armour and some really nice arms and firearms including an air gun collection.
Landesmuseum Emden - Haven't been there, it's on my list, seems to have a fine collection of 16th century armour.
Deutsches Historisches Museum - Kind of a "little bit of everything collection",still worth a visit, bigger than the Bayerisches Armeemuseum though.
Bernauer Zeughaus - This collection is small, it is housed in one of the old city gates of Bernau near Berlin. It contains unique infantry/commoner armour that used to belong to citizens of Bernau which is interesting because many other museums concentrate completely on the equipment of the aristocracy so I'd recommend going there.
Solingen Klingenmuseum - Solingen blade musueum (the name speaks for it self).
Schwäbisch Gmünd - Mostly worth the trip to see the only reasonable complete "alla tedesca" armour dating to the 15th century.
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Contains lots of 15th-16th+ century arms and armour. A lot is parade and luxury stuff but not all of it. They have a gigantic Danish Thingsværd, Thomas Müntzer's sickle sword and Martin Luther's Hauswehr among many other curiosities.
Suhl Waffenmuseum - Guns guns and more guns.

Austria:
Burg Hochosterwitz - An old 16th century armoury with lots of infantry harnesses and pole arms.
Hofjagd und Rüstkammer (Vienna) - Simply huge collection of arms and armour 14th - 18th century.
Schloss Ambras (Innsbruck) - Pretty nice collection of 15th-17th century arms and armour.
Landeszeughaus Graz - Unfathombably vast collection of 16th+ century arms and armour, enough to equip an army.


Choices, choices ...
If was under time constraints and had to pick 2-3 of these I'd go to Nürnberg and Munich (2+ hours by car) and take a look at:

Munich: Bayerisches National Museum, Müchen Stadt Museum,
Nürnberg: Germanisches National Museum, Kaiserburg Nürnberg

...and fit in the Bayerisches Armeemuseum in Ingolstadt if I had time.

That's about the densest package you can take a look at in about 5-6 days while getting the most 15th-16th (and some 14th) century stuff out of it. I've visited most of these museums and none of them was very heavy on High Medieval stuff (AD 1000 to 1250), that stuff is rare. Mostly the exhibits are 14th century and onward. It's also worhtwhile to take a look at the artwork if you are interested in Swords and Armour. The religious art, effigies and such are good sources the Bayerisches National Museum and Germanisches National Museum both have some.

    If I only had 2-3 days I'd (reluctantly) pick the Nürnberg museums over the ones in Munich. The GNM has a nice Gothic/15th century Landshut harness and some very early 16th century stuff while the Kaiserburg has some more Gothic stuff.

    If you can also spend a day in Vienna at the KHM you should do that, they have a whole room full of Gothic arms and armour. If you want 15th century Gothic armour the KHM in Vienna probably has the most of it.

Best places to get rapid Covid tests for border crossing with minimum hassle is at Munich and Vienna Intl. airports.
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