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GERMAN TECHNICAL MUSEUM BERLIN
Trains, Planes and Silverware

Berlin Airlift C47 photoThe Candy Bomber is a familiar symbol of Berlin, to Berliners. During the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 when piston powered Douglas C47s and DC4s flew missions to supply the residents of West Berlin trapped behind the “Iron Curtain” during the blockade meant to force the remaining city into East German socialist control (see DDR Museum). The planes came to be called “candy bombers” or “raisen bombers” for the small packets of goodies the pilots would drop to the children as they swooped low over the city to land at Tempelhof Airport. One of these "Rosinen Bombers" from the Berlin Airlift still flies over Berlin, suspended over the entrance to the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin (German Technical Museum).

Beuth Stem Locomotive Berlin photoThe Berlin Museum of Technology not far from Potsdammer Platz located in a sprawling museum park of the former works building of the Anhalter Bahnhof rail way station. Most impressively, the main historic building houses a magnificent collection of railway engines. Germany is known for its railway system and any model rail enthusiast who has played in youth with a Märklin scale model train (see Marklin Museum Goppingen) will find familiar old German Steam Locomotive photofriends here in massive full-sized original gleaming glory, in exhibit halls in the rail works roundhouse with the rich remaining authentic aroma of diesel and creosote. The samples range from a first wooden railed mule hauled mining train, to the beautiful Beuth workhorse of the golden early day to the massive 4-8-2 black and red steam giants that fueled Railway dish collection photoGermany’s pre-war industrial might and sleek gleaming diesels. Kaiser Wilhelm's personal Imperial Rail Car is here, currently being renovated. A step outdoors is a roundhouse turntable and wandering through the park will take you to wooden windmills a blacksmiths works and a brewery. For particular rail enthusiasts there is a unique one-only collection of German railway Mitropa china and silverware from the last 100 years of meal service on Germany’s National DB railroad.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 photoIn the modern section of the main museum are the aviation and maritime nautical collections. The collection consists mostly of models and demonstration exhibits of maritime history from small sailing vessels to river and ocean shipping. Children can take a hands-on demonstration sailing lesson while safely landlocked on the museums floor. Rising in staggered levels the aviation collection covers eras from the first wooden designs toMonoplane photo examples of Germany’s development of rocketry and space flight, including the infamous " buzz bomb" or the London Blitz. Perhaps not quite as impressive for the aircraft on display as can be found in Munich (see Deutsches Museum Munich) the aviation exhibit at Berlin has its charms, in an open airy display that gives the feeling of planes still in flight. Inside a Messerschmitt, outside, the Berlin Airlift C47 spreads its wings spreading over a terrace intended for gala events with a view

Maritime exhibit Tecnik Museum photoOn the grounds of the Technik Museum of Berlin is the oldest and largest public observatory in Germany, the Archenhold-SternWarte, founded in 1896 with the world’s longest moveable refractor telescope and a Zeiss Projector Planetarium along with exhibitions of the history of astronomy and dimensions of space and the solar system. The Zucker-Museum is a rather unique look into German sugar production and the Science Center offers 250 hands on experiments of chemistry and physics for visitors to learn through play. The collection is founded on the Berlin “Urania” which marked the first science museum when it originally opened in 1889. The Vintage Car Depot displays automobiles from Germany and the world including a collection of public transportation vehicles. There is also a library and historical archives for serious researchers.

The museum has a very nice full service restaurant and bar for a stop for lunch in a museum visit likely to last a few hours at the least, perhaps even worthy of more than one days visit if technology is your thing. Take the U1 or U2 subway to Gleisdreieck or S-Bahn to Anhalter Bahnhof. © Bargain Travel Europe

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Deutsches Technikmuseum

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