Bauhaus Museum in Dessau from the outside
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau/ Thomas Meyer

3 museums in Germany you should visit

Marie Tysiak

Attention art lovers: Germany awaits you with first-class museums – fascinating works by grandiose artists are displayed in the various museums of the country presented. We introduce you to 3 art houses, that you shouldn’t miss! 

Barberini Museum, Potsdam 

Opened: 2017 

Permanent exhibition: In 17 halls on a total of 2,200 square meters, the Hasso Plattner Collection is dedicated to two main areas of classical painting: paintings by artists from the GDR and French Impressionists are exhibited here. Monet fans can look forward to 34 of his works in the Museum Barberini. From the old masters to contemporary art, the full range of paintings can be admired here.

Current special exhibition: From June 2022, “The Form of Freedom. International Abstraction after 1945” will be a special exhibition dedicated to transatlantic expressionism.

Paintings by Claude Monet in one of the best museums in Germany
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau/ Thomas Meyer

Digital offer: Art lovers can take part online in 360-degree tours, filmed curator tours and live talks from anywhere in the museum’s offerings. 

Most famous exhibit: Monet’s “Grainstack” is one of the most famous works of the collection. But also works of art by Edvard Munch, Auguste Renoir or Alfred Sisley leaves the heart of fans for classical art beating faster. 

Annual number of visitors: Approx. 390,000 visitors back in 2019 (before Corona

The building: The original Barberini Palace, which was built on this site, was destroyed in the 1945 air raid on Potsdam. The façade of today’s building is based on this classicist-baroque building and was completed when the museum opened in 2017. Both Bill Gates and Angela Merkel were guests here.  

Special tip: Potsdam is so full of great culture that it’s best to stay for a whole weekend. 

Bauhaus Museum Dessau, Dessau-Rosslau 

Opened: 2019 

Permanent exhibition: 49,000 objects from the Bauhaus era. It is the youngest and at the same time, the second largest collection in the world.

Current special exhibition: There are so-called interludes, changing exhibitions throughout the year. Until June, the museum is showing the works of the three resident artists, Rita Evans, Hannes Bajohr and Alexis Lowry in this context. 

Digital offer: On the website, you will find various workshops and conferences that you can attend online! It’s worth checking out. 

Most famous exhibit: Imposing replica of the spatial geometric figures from Oskar Schlemmer’s “Triadic Ballet”. It premiered in Stuttgart in 1916.

Annual visitors: around 100,000 visitors came in the first six months of opening but then, Corona came. 

The building: Spanish architect, Roberto González, designed one floating, dark concrete building, supported by a glass and steel surrounding. In the “Black Box”, the permanent exhibition is stored, as if it were in a time capsule. Events take place on the light-flooded lower floor with a view of the city park. 

Bauhaus Museum in Dessau from the outside on a sunny day
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau/ Thomas Meyer

Special tip: Lovers of Bauhaus can stay in the Bauhaus studio building, in which great artists like Josef Albers, Alfred Arndt and Franz Ehrlich have slept. 

Kolumba, Cologne

Opened: 1853 

Permanent exhibition: On 1,750 square meters of exhibition space, 16 gigantic rooms through 2,000 years of art history. Even when the museum is supported by the Archdiocese of Cologne, all types of work can be found here. Works of art ranging from Romanesque sculptures to medieval panel paintings to everyday objects of the 20th century. 

Current special exhibition: Until August 15, 2022, the exhibition “Into the Wide – Aspects of Jewish Life in Germany” commemorates Jewish life in Germany over the past 1700 years and creates a connection to the present in 100 works of art, writings and objects.

Exhibition at Kolumba Museum in Cologne

Digital offer: None

Most famous exhibit: The late Gothic “Madonna in the Ruins”, which is impressively framed by the glass choir in the old chapel, shines between the colorful windows, which were designed by the expressionist glass painter, Jan Thorn Prikker. Also, the museum has the world’s largest collection of the American artist, Paul Thek.

Annual number of visitors: Approx. 60,000 visitors 

The building: Since 2007, the museum has been located in a square new building on the remains of the eponymous church, not far from the main train station. The concept of the museum, which stylishly contrasts old and new, flows into the architecture of the Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor. The smooth transition from the old ruins to the brick building is impressive.

Architecture of the Kolumba Museum in Cologne

Special tip: It is definitely worth taking a guided tour here. Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. otherwise, almost all works are presented without an object description and in a constantly changing arrangement in order to retain the character of the “living museum”.