JEWISH MUSEUM, Introduction

Audio File length: 2.34
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Rick, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the Wonders of the World: the Jüdisches Museum.


The Jüdisches Museum, or Jewish Museum, is a celebration of the history of German Jews.

It is one of the most popular museums in Berlin, drawing in some 700,000 visitors a year.

The visitor route comprises two buildings, skillfully linked with one another. The entrance is located on Lindenstrasse, in a magnificent Baroque building designed in 1735 by the German, Philipp Gerlach, as the seat of the Supreme Court of Prussia. From here, a steep, dark staircase leads to the modern building, designed by the American architect, Daniel Libeskind.


The entire outside of the structure is covered in zinc panels that intersect at sharp, acute angles, allowing light in through long, narrow windows reminiscent of the arrow slits in medieval castles.

Inside, there are three intersecting corridors known as “axes”, which create a sort of labyrinth. Each axis is dedicated to an important theme in Jewish history: Exile, the Holocaust and Continuity.


The Jewish Museum first opened its doors to visitors in 2001. Just six years later, Libeskind decided to add a glass-covered inner courtyard to the Baroque building.

The pillars supporting it branch out at the top, continuing to intersect on the roof. The architect’s intention was for this nest-like structure to symbolize the sukkah, the Jewish booths in which the faithful would gather during pilgrimages.


A further extension in 2001 saw the creation of the Michael Blumenthal Akademie, located just opposite the museum, on the other side of Lindenstrasse. The structure, also designed by Libeskind, is composed of three tilted cubes set into one another, housing an auditorium, a library, archives and educational facilities. The two wooden cubes on the inside are designed to symbolize Noah’s Ark: just as God’s creatures were saved by the Ark, Jewish history has been saved within these spaces.


An interesting fact: the building was constructed on a design Libeskind called Between the lines, made up of broken axes reminiscent of a distorted Star of David.

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