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Brandenburg Museum – Museum of History and Culture of Berlin. The Berlin City Museum Foundation is located here.
The history of the museum is directly related to the history of the city, its formation and development from a small provincial town to a major industrial and cultural center. At the end of the 19th century, the population in the city increased sharply, in connection with this, the Red City Hall was built in 1861, whose tower towered over the City Palace, which meant the growth of the bourgeoisie. The face of the city was rapidly changing, the urban bourgeoisie became interested in the history of Berlin, an association of Berlin history lovers was formed, among whose members were photographers who captured the changes in the city. Later, their works were donated to the museum.
The city archives, stored in basements and vaults, were transferred to the museum, which became the first independent from the royal house, called the Brandenburg Provincial Museum. Then he was housed in the palace of Podewils, and later for several years moved to different temporary shelters. In 1904, a separate building was built for the museum. The construction was supervised by the chief architect of Berlin, Ludwig Hofmann. According to his project, the museum is a complex of structures reflecting different eras, recreating the atmosphere of these eras in the interior decoration. In the center of this composition – two courtyards over which there is a tower.
The interiors of the museum reflect the corresponding era and its peculiarities. For example, the prehistoric section of the museum is distinguished by rough walls and low ceilings, and simple window dressing. Medieval exhibits (altars, sculptures, etc.) are placed in a hall stylized as a medieval chapel. On the third floor of the museum, there are collections of Rococo porcelain and snuff boxes. In total, the museum has almost 50 exhibition halls, and they all differ from each other.
During the reign of the Third Reich, the museum acquired valuable exhibits at auctions where Jewish property was sold. Some of the art objects confiscated from the Jews remained in the museum's collection. But at the beginning of World War II, the museum was closed, and most of its funds were lost. The bombing of the last days of the war caused great damage to the museum building.
After the war, the territory on which the museum was located ended up in the sector of the Soviet occupation of Berlin. The first post-war exposition opened in 1946. The Brandenburg Museum was supposed to support the construction of socialism in Germany, based on a Marxist-Leninist worldview.
After the construction of the Berlin Wall, its Berlin Museum was erected in West Berlin. After the unification of the country, the Brandenburg Museum hosted the Berlin City Museums Foundation, which united 16 city museums.
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