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Mannheim Regional Museum, copyright m:con
Visitors will find a variety of cultural attractions at the city's numerous museums and galleries. The Regional Museum of Industrial Technology and the Reiss Engelhorn Museums are fascinating places to visit. The municipal art gallery presents modern paintings and sculptures. The Kunstverein art association, the planetarium and numerous galleries round off the selection.
Regional Museum of Industrial Technology
Opened in 1990, the Regional Museum of Industrial Technology is housed in an avant garde building at the edge of the city. Stretching over 8,000m², it charts the history of industrialisation in southwest Germany, from the 18th century to the modern day. With historical exhibits, hands-on experiments and 50 interactive terminals, it's a fascinating experience. There are also demonstrations of machinery, industrial processes and testing and monitoring equipment. See how paper was made by hand in pre-industrial times, and use the historical printing press to make your own greeting cards. The largest exhibit, the 1929 paddle steamer Mannheim, is anchored in the city's Neckar river. Closed on Mondays, guided tours available.
Reiss Engelhorn Museums
An internationally acclaimed museum complex in Mannheim, a city known for its neat "chessboard" layout, the Reiss Engelhorn Museums are one of the foremost museum complexes in Germany. Covering an exhibition area of around 11,500m² and approx. 1.2 million exhibits, the complex consists of the following museums: Museum of World Cultures, Armoury Museum, Schillerhaus Museum, ZEPHYR – Space for Photography, Centre of International History of Art and Culture, the Archaeometry Centre and special exhibitions on cultural history, past and present. Closed on Mondays, guided tours available.
Kunsthalle art gallery, Mannheim
Housed in a art nouveau building designed by Karlsruhe architect Hermann Billing, Mannheim's Kunsthalle was founded in 1907 as an art gallery devoted to the 19th and 20th century. Alongside the focus on modern painting, there is an emphasis on contemporary sculpture, evident from the wide-range of international pieces on show from the 20th century. This includes major works from the Art Informel movement in France and Germany. Much of the gallery is taken up by modern art from the 1960s onward. The highlight is an unparalleled collection of New Realism works by artists such as Arman, Yves Klein, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely. Since 1999, the Kunsthalle has also been home to a ceramics exhibition. Closed on Mondays, guided tours on request.
Mannheim Armoury is now part of the Reiss Engelhorn Museums. After five years of considerable renovation and rebuilding, it reopened in time for the town's 400-year anniversary in 2007. Situated in the city centre, the baroque building houses a gallery of art and cultural history in around 6,000m² of exhibition space. The key theme of "Eyes Open – Senses On" is expressed in the interactive, multimedia approach of the diverse collections. Exhibits range from artefacts dating back to mediterranean antiquity and porcelain to the faience earthenware of the modern age and the superb artworks in the museum treasury. Also on show are sculptures, a gallery of paintings and prints, and various displays of applied art. Other highlights include the historical clothing collection, a section on music and theatre tradition, an international photography forum and exhibitions illustrating the city's history and natural beauty. Closed on Mondays, guided tours available.
Mannheim Palace
Mannheim Palace is a baroque masterpiece and a work of art in itself. It was built in 1720 at the behest of Electors Carl Philipp and Carl Theodor, who enlisted the help of acclaimed architects such as Johann Balthasar Neumann, Nicolas de Pigage and Cosmas Damian Asam. Because its the sheer size, with 500 exquisitely decorated rooms containing paintings, Gobelin tapestries and statues it is known as the "Jewel of the Palatinate", still one of the complete largest baroque sites in Germany. After lengthy restoration work finished at the beginning of 2007, the palace is now back to its former glory. Its museum sheds light on the history of the site and the Electors who resided there. Visitors can also view the library of Electress Elisabeth Augusta. Other highlights include Grand Duchess Stephanie's Blue Salon with paintings and furnishings from imperial times, the throne room with the throne used by the Grand Duke of Baden, wall hangings depicting Jason and Medea, the Coursaal reception room with its fine tapestries, a magnificent staircase and around 100 historical objects such as furniture, paintings, tapestries, porcelain and clocks. Closed on Mondays. Audio guide in several languages. Guided tours on request.
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