A new museum has opened in a listed villa in Frankfurt's Westend district, just a few metres from Opernplatz. No, that's not quite right, because the exhibition could not be housed in the house due to the conditions associated with the preservation of historical monuments. So another solution had to be found, which in the end turned out to be a stroke of luck. For the underground galleries and chambers, which were created in just four years of conception, planning and realization, give the permanent exhibition in the Museum Goldkammer a truly spectacular character.
On around 480 square meters, visitors to the art and cultural history museum are taken on a journey through the history of gold in various exhibition rooms. 500 exhibits from the last 6000 years are presented. Through a blend of architecture, sound and digital technology, an exhibition experience has been created that quickly captivates visitors of all ages. The unique and valuable exhibits are always in the foreground, but are perfectly set off by the design of the rooms and the use of modern technology. This allows them to tell the story of the fascinating element gold - from its origin in space, to its importance as a status symbol of different cultures, to its use as a means of exchange and payment.
Visitors take an elevator down to the underground rooms. The experience already begins in the elevator, where video elements and a sound installation give the impression that you are riding directly into an old mine shaft. And indeed, when you arrive at the bottom, you immediately hear the sound of pickaxes hitting the rock walls. The first station shows the perfect interplay of digital video technology and the fascination of the exhibits, when the visitor suddenly witnesses a meteorite impact and gold deposits are revealed in the ground.
In the following, visitors are informed about the mining possibilities of gold, can cast a gold bar themselves at a digital station and then touch and lift a real bar. They learn how and where gold is recycled, why there would be no jeans without gold, or why gold leaf saved a boy's life.
photo: Hubertus Hamm. All rights reserved by Goldkammer Frankfurt GmbH
Followed by the "Early Cultures" area, where you almost feel like you are in a pharaoh's tomb. This is also where the oldest exhibit is on display: Gold jewellery from the 5th millennium BC. In addition, early means of payment made of gold such as ring money chains or small bowls are exhibited, followed by early gold coins of Croesus or from the time of Alexander the Great. In the "Ancient World", gold was used especially as a sign of power and strength, as evidenced by a few more impressive exhibits.
In the next room, visitors dive under the surface of the sea and discover pieces that were recovered there. These include contraband or pieces from the legendary ship Atocha, recovered by treasure diver Mel Fischer after 16 years of searching. In the last room, which can also be rented for corporate events and other functions after the end of regular opening hours, 300 gold bars from the Rothschild Collection are on display. These exhibits are also part of a fascinating video presentation that takes up the entire room and succinctly and very clearly conveys the connection between gold and the world of finance. A truly breathtaking finale.
Through the museum shop, you then head back up to the premises, which, in addition to the ticket office, also house the Aureus Café, day bar and restaurant. Here, the well-known chef Christian Senff provides under the roof of the museum for true culinary delights. The Aureus can of course be visited completely independently of the museum and will become a popular meeting place at lunchtime or in the early evening hours, especially thanks to the attractive outdoor terrace on the 1st floor of the building.
By the way, visiting the exhibition is not only interesting for adults. Children are also introduced to the element of gold in a special way. An elaborately designed, interactive fairy tale tour to join in is intended to help. Together with the museum mascot Aguila, the children are encouraged to follow a vein of gold embedded in the floor through the individual treasure rooms. At numerous stations, children can discover golden plaques. These can then be scanned with a smartphone or tablet, which can be borrowed, and the collection comes to life through animated video sequences. Aguila uses exciting tales and mysteries to introduce young visitors to the valuable exhibits. This is not only educational, but also a lot of fun!
The Goldkammer Frankfurt, led by director Dr. Nadja Tomoum, is a real asset to the city's museum landscape. One of the most modern museums in Europe lets visitors discover gold in many facets with a skilful combination of culturally and historically significant exhibits and modern technology. This is a fascinating as well as educational experience for young and old.
The Museum Goldkammer Frankfurt is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:00 to 17:00. School classes and larger groups of visitors have the museum beyond that between 9.00 and 11.00 o'clock completely for themselves. The regular entrance fee is 10,00 Euro, reduced 5,00 Euro. Admission is free for children and young people under 18.
For more info, visit www.goldkammer.de
Address: Kettenhofweg 27, 60325 Frankfurt am Main
Text from: Sebastian Betzold