A Very Merry Museum Christmas

December 24, 2012


It’s Christmas!! Well, it is in Germany at least, elsewhere in the world you may still need to wait another day to open your pressies ;-) Before heading off into the Christmas holidays and a well deserved blogging break, I wanted to leave you with a seasonally inspired post, and I have just the perfect thing for you!


The Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Museum of European Cultures) here in Berlin is currently showing an exhibition of around 100 Christmas Pyramids from their rich collection. Dating back to the early 20th century – the oldest pyramid is from 1900 – these beautiful decorations which come in all shapes and sizes are still popular today.


The rotating tiered wooden pyramids from the Ore Mountains region are probably the best known, and there’s even a deconstructed one on display showing the different parts, but the exhibition also includes other examples such as the the shadow theatres from Sebnitz.


Pyramid themed wall decals add to the Christmassy atmosphere.


The Museum Europäischer Kulturen also has a diverse collection of nativity scenes from around the world in its permanent collection.

Peru, 1979, plaster/cardboard/wood

Spain, before 1952, stones

Munich, 1977, paper

Peru, late 1970s, painted wood/ ceramic

One of the star attractions of the museum’s permanent collection is the mechanical “Weihnachtsberg: (Christmas Mountain), also from the Ore Mountains region. Christmas Mountains are a special form of nativity, showing not only the popular manger scene itself (see below) but also many other important scenes from the life of Jesus – from the Angel Gabriel’s annunciation through to the  resurrection.


The Christmas Mountain at the museum takes up a space of 14 square metres, with around 330 figurines, about half of which come to life through the mechanical drives it contains at the press of a button.


And with that I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks for reading Museum Diary, and I hope you will continue to enjoy reading it. The blog is going to go on a break now while we take some quality family time over the holiday period. As much as I love blogging, I want #MuseumBaby to know he always comes first, especially at this precious time of year. Perhaps we’ll even go and visit a museum together ;-) I’ll be back on 7th January with more museums. 



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  1. {Germany} Sterne Über Bethanien | Museum Diary - December 20, 2013

    […] By the way, the Museum Europäischer Kulturen also has a lovely selection of nativity scenes from around the world in its permanent collection as well as another, mechanical Christmas mountain measuring a colossal 14 square metres. You can see photographs of both in my previous post: A Very Merry Museum Christmas […]

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