A new museum has opened in a listed villa in Frankfurt's Westend, just a few meters from Opernplatz. No, that is not quite correct, because the exhibition could not be accommodated in the building due to the requirements associated with the protection of historical monuments. So another solution had to be found which would prove to be a stroke of luck in the end. The underground galleries and chambers, which were created in just four years of conception, planning and realisation, lend the permanent exhibition in the Museum Goldkammer a truly spectacular character.
On around 480 square metres, 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 will be presented. A mixture of architecture, sound and digital technology created an exhibition experience that quickly captivates visitors of all ages. The unique and valuable exhibits are always in the foreground, but are perfectly staged by the design of the rooms and the use of modern technology. In this way, they can tell the story of the fascinating element gold - from its origin in space, its significance as a status symbol of different cultures, to its use as a means of exchange and payment.
The visitors take an elevator down into the underground rooms. The experience already begins in the elevator, as video elements and a sound installation give the impression that you are driving directly into an old mine shaft. And actually you can hear the sound of pickaxes hitting the rock walls when you get down there. The first station then shows the perfect interplay of digital video technology and the fascination of the exhibits when the visitor suddenly experiences a meteorite impact and reveals gold reserves 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. You 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
Then you enter the area of "early cultures", where you almost feel like in a pharaoh's grave. The oldest exhibit is also exhibited here: 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 especially used as a sign of power and strength, which is evidenced by a few other impressive exhibits.
In the next room, visitors dive under the surface of the sea and discover pieces that were recovered there. Among them are smuggled goods or pieces of the legendary ship Atocha, which the treasure diver Mel Fischer was able to recover after 16 years of searching. In the last room, which can also be rented for company events and other events after the 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 illustrates the connection between gold and the financial world very vividly. A truly breathtaking finale.
The museum shop will take you back up to the premises which, in addition to the cash desk area, also house the Aureus Café, day bar and restaurant. Here, the famous chef Christian Senff under the roof of the museum provides true culinary delights. The Aureus can of course be visited completely independently of the museum and will become a popular meeting point in the midday or early evening hours, especially due to the attractive outdoor terrace on the 1st floor of the building.
By the way, a visit to the exhibition is not only interesting for adults. Children are also introduced to the element of gold in a special way. A lavishly designed, interactive fairy tale tour to participate in is intended to help. The children are encouraged to join the museum mascot Aguila in following a vein of gold embedded in the ground through the individual treasure rooms. At numerous stations, children can discover golden plaques. These can then be scanned with a smartphone or a tablet that can be borrowed, and the collection comes to life with animated video sequences. With exciting fairy tales and secrets, Aguila introduces the young visitors to the valuable exhibits. This is not only instructive, but also a lot of fun!
The Goldkammer Frankfurt, directed by director Dr. Nadja Tomoum, is a real enrichment for the museum landscape of the city. One of the most modern museums in Europe, with a skilful combination of cultural-historically significant exhibits and modern technology, lets visitors discover gold in many facets. This is a fascinating and instructive experience for young and old.
The Museum Goldkammer Frankfurt is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm. School classes and larger groups of visitors also have the museum to themselves between 9.00 and 11.00 a.m.. The regular entrance fee is 10,00 Euro, concessions 5,00 Euro. Admission is free for children and young people under the age of 18.
Further information can be found at www.goldkammer.de
Address: Kettenhofweg 27, 60325 Frankfurt am Main
Text from: Sebastian Betzold