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Darmstadt Hessian State Museum, Copyright Pro Regio Darmstadt
The Hessian State Museum contains exhibits from pre-history and early history through to the 20th century. The Grand Ducal Porcelain Museum has rare examples of Hessen-Darmstadt Kelsterbach porcelain and items from the imperial Russian St. Petersburg porcelain factory.
Messel Pit Fossil Site
The Messel Pit Fossil Site near Darmstadt is one of the richest sources of fossil finds in the world. Since 1997 visitors have been able to see into the pit from a viewing platform. The excavation sites in the oil shale are open to visitors between April and October, but only as part of a prearranged tour. Individual visitors can join a group. Short guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays. Closed on Mondays. Open on Saturdays and Sundays only from November to March.
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Hessian State Museum
The Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt has universal appeal. With numerous extensive permanent collections on prehistory and early history, Greek and Roman archaeology, medieval ivory work and altar paintings, stained glass from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, paintings, sculptures and crafts from the Renaissance to the present day it offers something for everyone. There are also works by Joseph Beuys, the Simon Spierer collection “A forest of sculptures”, a physics exhibition and old musical instruments. One of the museum's true gems is the remarkable and extraordinarily diverse collection of jewellery. Many French goldsmithing masterpieces are on show here, along with works by the Darmstadt Artists' Colony. The archaeological section presents the eras from the Neolithic Age to the Merovingian-Franconian period in South and Upper Hessen. Closed on Mondays and on 1 January, Good Friday, Easter Monday, 1 May, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Corpus Christi, 24-25 and 31 December. Guided tours on request.
Palace Museum/Porcelain Museum
The origins of the Hessen Grand Ducal Porcelain Museum can be traced back to Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig von Hessen und bei Rhein, who opened up his private collection to the public in 1908 at the Prince George Palace in Herrengarten park. The collection documents the history of royal porcelain and faience from the early 18th century to the turn of the 20th century. It includes exhibits from every important period of European porcelain manufacture and from the porcelain works in Berlin, Ludwigsburg, Meissen, Nymphenburg, Sévres and Vienna. The pieces from the Imperial Russian porcelain works at St. Petersburg are of particular importance. Closed Fridays, 24 & 31 December, 1 January, Shrove Tuesday, 1 May, Good Friday, Whit Sunday and Christmas Day.
Artists' Colony Museum, Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt
Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hessen founded the Darmstadt Artists' Colony in with the aim of radically reforming the arts and crafts of his region. The museum is situated in the Ernst Ludwig House in Mathildenhöhe, the colony's former atelier building, whose main distinguishing feature is its omega-shaped portal. Works by members of the artists' colony are on display. The permanent exhibition documents the 15-year history of the artistic community from 1899 to 1914 and gives an overview of its members' artistic output, featuring pieces of furniture, interior design, glass, ceramics, textiles and metal objects. The collection also includes ornamental and goldsmith work, decorative designs, paintings, sculptures and architectural models. Closed on Mondays.
The Wella Museum
Visitors to the Wella Museum, which opened in Darmstadt in 1952, can learn lots of fascinating facts about beauty and hygiene and look back at five millennia of beauty care. Curiosities such as flea traps and moustache cups, as well as exquisite individual pieces such as the toilet case of Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon, are just some of the 3,000 exhibits that make up the collection. The pieces on display are a representative cross-section of the history of beauty care, from Ancient Egypt to the present day. The museum is divided into 5 subject areas: Hairdressing, Skincare and Personal Hygiene, Fragrance and Perfume, Beards and Shaving and Hair. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Guided tours and audio tours available.
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