Germany’s highlight: museums in the Pfalz

People are passing between Malakoffturm tower and Chocolate museum in Cologne, Germany | Photo by dudlajzov via 123RF.
People are passing between Malakoffturm tower and Chocolate museum in Cologne, Germany | Photo by dudlajzov via 123RF.

Germany’s highlight: museums in the Pfalz

by Amanda Palumbo
Stripes Europe

The dark, dreary days of the German winter are upon us where daylight is a hot commodity that simply cannot meet demand. While there is a desire to lock ourselves away in the sanctuary of our warm and cozy living rooms with an endless supply of Netflix, it is good for both your physical and mental health to venture outside and see other humans. If the weather outside is frightful, head inside and explore your local museums.

Städel Museum - Frankfurt

If you want to get your art fix without having to go all the way to Paris or Rome, you can simply head to Frankfurt’s Städel Museum. Germany’s oldest museum has an expansive collection of European art from the early 14th century to the modern art of today. The museum owns well over 100,000 pieces of art and 115,000 books. You can feast your eyes on paintings from some of the heavy hitters like Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso. If you’re lucky enough to be there on one of those rare warm winter days, you can venture across the street and have a picnic on the banks of the Main.

Rheinisches Landesmuseum - Trier

The archaeological museum in Trier is one of my favorite museums in The Pfalz. The mighty Roman empire stretched into Germany, where the Romans built a military base outside of what is now Trier. Rheinisches Landesmuseum is considered to have the best collection of Roman sculptures, mosaics and frescoes in all of Germany. You can see how the Romans lived in the lap of lavish luxury. There are also exhibits featuring prehistoric artifacts through the Middle Ages.

Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum - Cologne

There are not many museums you can eat your way through, especially since Berlin’s Currywurst museum closed. (Something I’m still in mourning to this day.) 600,000 chocoholics flock to Cologne’s chocolate museum each year and for good reason.  This was the life-long dream of chocolatier Hans Imhoff. He finally saw that dream come to reality on October 31, 1993. That’s right. The museum opened on one of the best candy holidays of the year, though Halloween is not really a thing in Germany. This museum is so much more than just chocolate. Patrons will learn about cocoa’s 5,000-year-old history and how this decadent dessert has transformed over the centuries. Oh. Did I mention there's a 10-foot chocolate fountain with six-pounds of Lindt chocolate coursing through it? I’ve never met anyone who regretted going to the Chocolate Museum.

Bundesbank Bunker - Cochem

Cochem is one of those quintessential German fairytale towns that everyone should visit during their time here. While there, I highly recommend checking out a landmark with a very interesting and expensive history. During the Cold War, Germany had major concerns about a Soviet attack on its economy. One theory was that the Soviets would attempt to introduce counterfeit Marx into the German economy, which would have created a disastrous collapse. As a countermeasure, they printed billions of emergency notes that could replace the old currency. Germany needed somewhere to stash that cash, so they built a massive bunker in Cochem. The security was top-notch and looked like something out of a Bond movie. Luckily, the currency was never needed. You can tour the bunker and see all the complex and intricate security measures used to protect the bunker and its precious cargo.

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