Germanisches Nationalmuseum

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1 Kartäusergasse, Nurnberg, Germany - 0911 13310

Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nurnberg Reviews

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A ramble through German art history Aug 24, 2014
Germanisches Nationalmuseum (German National Museum) is an art museum in Nürnberg, Germany, which collects German art from stone age to 20th century. It is located in a former monastery, which was taken over by the newly founded museum in 1857. This museum started as a private foundation, it is still maintained by a foundation.

The entrance fee is quite expensive: 8 EUR for adults, 5 EUR for students and 10 EUR for a family with minors. On wednesdays, entrance after 6pm (18.00) is free. Each visitor gets a survey map, as the whole building is really huge and directions are confusing. It takes at least four hours to visit all the separate collections. The collection of ancient and prehistoric history is quite small, but contains some precious artefacts.

Medieval art is the main section of this museum. During the middle ages, paintings and sculptures always displayed religious (christian) messages. 16th century's reformation resulted in a motif change: ancient heros and still-life paintings have replaced christian saints. While the first floor presents medieval art, the second floor presents paitings from 16th to 18th century. One of the most remarkable artifacts is a globe from 1492 which does not display America (which was discovered in October 1492).

Small collections are presenting art from 19th and 20th century. Rising ideological differences resulted in different styles of painting. Nazis strongly promoted figurative art, whereas abstract art was strongly promoted after 1945. Both painting styles are presented with typical examples.

In this museum, craftsmanship and folk art have the same weight as professional paintings. This museum collected costumes and furniture from many German (and Austrian) regions as well as musical and scientific instruments.

Unfortunately, visitors need a strong historical background knowledge in order to understand all exhibits. Each exhibit has a short bilingual explanation (German and English) explaining the title, place and year of creation, but visitors still need to know which person is currently displayed. If you do not know St. Catherine, for example, you will do hard understanding her painting. For art mavens, however, this museum will be a paradise.

Graphical warning: Paintings include breastfeeding, crucification and decapitation, which may be inappropriate for American children.
Museum buildings
Church of former monastery
Mary breastfeeding Jesus
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photo by: tacco14