Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg
Former warehouse, now the museum (2009)
|Established||25 June 2008|
20457 Hamburg , Germany
|Public transit access||Meßberg|
The Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg (abbr. IMMH, International Maritime Museum) is a private museum in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany. The museum houses Peter Tamm's collection of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art, amounting to over 40,000 items and more than one million photographs. It opened in a former warehouse in 2008.
The private collection was started in 1934 by Peter Tamm—former chairman of the board of the Axel Springer AG—when Tamm was six years old. As Tamm retold the history, the initial event was when his mother presented him his first model ship. Prior to the opening in the HafenCity, the collection was called "Wissenschaftliches Institut für Schifffahrts- und Marinegeschichte" (Academic Institute of Shipping and Naval History) and located in a mansion at the Elbchaussee street and only open by appointment. In 2004 the Hamburg Parliament approved a grant for a new museum in the HafenCity quarter unanimously, with an abstention from voting by the GAL party parliamentary group. On 25 June 2008, the museum was opened by the German president Horst Köhler.
The Kaispeicher B (quay warehouse B) is the oldest preserved warehouse in Hamburg, built in 1878 and 1879 by the architects Bernhard Georg Jacob Hanssen and Wilhelm Emil Meerwein. It was built with a supporting structure of wood and steel columns, the outer walls of bricks also supporting the building. It was designed in neo-Gothic style. Constructed and used as a combination of a grain elevator and for ground storage for packaged goods. In 1890 the city of Hamburg bought the warehouse, which has been called Kaispeicher B ever since. In 2000 it was listed as a cultural heritage building but used as a warehouse for goods until the end of 2003. In 2008 the museum was opened after a period of renovation. Mirjana Marcovic (MRLV Architekten) planned the renovations and received an award from the Architekten- und Ingenieurverein Hamburg. The bridge crossing the Brocktorhafen—a steel construction of 80 t (79 long tons; 88 short tons) in the shape of a boomerang with a length of 60 m (200 ft)—by architect Dietmar Feichtinger (Paris) and WTM Engineers (Hamburg) also received an award in 2008.
Interior and contents
The collection contains predominantly samples from the private collection of Peter Tamm and was severely criticised in the media for the lack of distance and historical awareness toward the German U-Boat war, the German sea war during World War II, and German colonial history. Some critics changed their opinion later.
The walkabout starts with a 3,000-year-old dugout, which was found in the Elbe river. Another exhibit is the baton of Großadmiral Karl Dönitz (1891–1945), displayed in an article about the Nuremberg Trials in the newspaper Berliner Zeitung of 1946. This article describes the sentences against the Nazi war criminals. The exhibition of the baton was often taken as an example of the lack of historical awareness about Nazi propaganda and the lack of distance toward Nazi symbolism, without challenging it. Further the exhibition consists of paintings with a naval or marine theme, model ships made of whale bones or ivory, weapons, uniforms, and decorations. Also the reproduction of the James Caird, the small lifeboat of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, used by the German explorer Arved Fuchs in a relived journey in 2000, is displayed. The museum's archive also possesses 47 original letters of Lord Horatio Nelson, famous for his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, and 15,000 cruise ship menus.
- 10th floor: Cultural Forum "10th Longitude", special exhibitions
- 9th floor: The big world of ship models, water sports
- 8th floor: Maritime Art (art gallery and "treasure trove")
- 7th floor: marine research, energy and fisheries
- 6th floor: merchant shipping, cruise and ports
- 5th floor: navies of the world (from 1815 to present)
- 4th floor: life on naval vessels, ship's armament
- 3rd floor: The development of shipbuilding and engineering
- 2nd floor: sailing ships - from antiquity to the Hanse Sail, Cape Horniers and piracy
- 1st floor: explorers, navigation, communications and children's area
- Ground floor: foyer, reception area, restaurant and museum shop
In 2008 the museum participated for the first time in the Tag des offenen Denkmals (Day of the Open Heritage Site), an annual, nationwide event sponsored by the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz, that opens cultural heritage sites to the public. It also takes part in the Long Night of Museums of Hamburg.
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