Tue to Sun: 10 AM to 8 PM
Berlin’s long-awaited Jewish Museum opened to great fanfare in 2001; it boasts an innovative design by Polish-born Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind (also creator of the Jewish Museum in Copenhagen), who designed the building to resemble a silver, shattered Star of David. Inside it has dark corners and irregular, shifting lines and is uneasily grafted onto the Baroque mansion that originally housed the collection. The Holocaust is represented by an empty, chilling, echoing concrete tower approached by underground tunnel; it’s 24m tall and lit through a slit in the roof, which symbolises the unbearable loss at the heart of the German nation. Although the events of WW2 understandably dominate in the museum, there are also exhibits tracing Jewish settlement in Germany since the ninth century; Hanukkah lamps; paintings representing scenes from the Old Testament; photos dating from the early 1930s showing the level of Jewish integration into German society; and a fine collection of German-Jewish arts and crafts. Libeskind added a glass courtyard to the rear of the museum in 2005; this is used for temporary exhibitions and private functions.