{Germany} Schloss Köpenick

June 10, 2013

Kids in Museums, Germany

The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Engl: National Museums in Berlin) comprise 19 different museums, the majority of which are located in the centre of town. However, a couple of them are positioned on the outskirts of town, such as the Museen Dahlem in the south-west, and Schloss Köpenick in the south-east. Schloss Köpenick (Engl: Köpenick Palace), built in the late 17th century, is a branch of the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Engl: Museum of Decorative Arts) and was reopened in 2004 after some restoration work.

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There is a small gallery showing historic photograph of the palace, but the museums main displays are the room settings which jointly display decorative art from the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods. There are over 500 exhibits on display, embracing everything that can be considered as room decorations, from furniture, panelling and tapestries, to porcelain, silver an enamel works. And don’t forget to look up at the gorgeous restored ceiling paintings.

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It’s not exactly a museum that’s seems very appealing to kids at first glance, but as you know I’m of the firm belief that you can capture your kids’ interest in almost any museum if you take the time to try and engage them (see my previous rather passionate post on the matter for more). When we visited last summer, it took only a few pointers and we had #MuseumBaby looking out for all the tables with clawed feet and picking out familiar animals from the tapestries. And he proceeded to make the museum guards smile by loudly exclaiming “Wow!” every time he entered a room and spotted a painted ceiling. And if all else fails, there’s rainbows to be caught from the light breaking on the display cases.

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The district of Köpenick itself is also worth exploring, with its pictureque old town situated at the confluence of the rivers Spree and Dahme. Outside the city hall you’ll find a statue of Wilhelm Voigt, more famously known as the ‘Hauptmann von Köpenick’. Voigt was an ex-convict who, in 1906, impersonated a guard, held the city’s mayor to ransom and emptied the town’s treasury. His story is immortalised i Carl Zuckmayer’s play ‘Der Hauptmann von Köpenick’ (Engl: The Captain of Köpenick).

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