Hamburg - Of old masters and latest/modern photos
Clueless about culture? Philistines? Hamburg’s merchants were mockingly known as “Peppersacks,” but often enough, they were also keen art collectors. Nowadays an arts mile connects the Hanseatic City’s most important museums – and at the same time its two large bodies of water. Take a stroll from the banks of the Alster down to the Elbe and you will see not only some of the most beautiful spots in the city, but some world-famous artworks, too. Now the city plans to extend the culture trail into its new HafenCity district.
Hamburger Kunsthalle art museum
Perched atop a bare rock, casually leaning on his stick, he surveys the desolate landscape: “The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” is arguably Caspar David Friedrich’s most famous picture, and along with others of the painter’s works, one of the greatest treasures of the Hamburger Kunsthalle art museum. North German art is a central focus of the museum’s collection, although it also shows many famous works by artists from other parts of Germany and Europe. Its contemporary exhibition is housed in its new, white, cube-shaped annexe on the banks of the Alster (Galerie der Gegenwart – Gallery of Contemporary Art), while the exhibition in the old building and its new wing span a period from the late Middle Ages all the way into the 20th century. If you plan to visit further museums, it is worthwhile buying the Kunstmeilenpass combined ticket instead of a single ticket for the Kunsthalle.
Hamburger Kunsthalle: Glockengießerwall, Tel.: +49-(0)40/428 13 12 00. Open: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm, Thu (not before a public holiday)10am-9pm. Admission: €10 (reduced €5). www.hamburger-kunsthalle.de. Kunstmeilenpass: €29 (reduced €15), entitles the holder to a single visit in each of the altogether five museums belonging to the art mile. www.kunstmeile-hamburg.de
Museum of Art and Design
Design ist cool, chic, expensive – and an invention of the 20th century? Absolutely not! Objects were already being designed for daily use thousands of years ago, after all. The Museum of Art and Design traces the history of applied arts, from Antiquity to the present day, making fascinating excursions into the Far East and the Islamic culture. Some of its departments have even attained world fame, the Art Nouveau, ceramics, porcelain and poster collections, for instance. The museum is currently worth visiting chiefly for its changing special exhibitions, since large sections of the permanent exhibition are undergoing restoration and reorganized.
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe: Steintorplatz, Tel.: +49-(0)40/428 13 48 80. Open: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm, Thu (not on or before a public holiday) 10am-9pm. Admission: €8 (reduced €5, under 18s free). www.mkg-hamburg.de
Deichtorhallen art and photography exhibitions
Two mighty former market halls in brick, steel and glass above whose roofs a colossal hot-air balloon regularly floats up and down. The Deichtorhallen are difficult to overlook and count among the really big European museums of contemporary art and photography, featuring works by world-famous artists as well as first-rate private collections. At the same time, this complex provides a platform for shows on current topics (for instance, the winners of the LeadAward media prize) and those of talented artists who show early promise (for example, the winners of the renowned photographic competition “gute aussichten”). Just beyond the Deichtorhallen buildings, the new Hamburg district HafenCity starts with the Prototyp car museum, the International Maritime Museum and the planned interactive museum Science Center.
Deichtorhallen: Deichtorstraße 1-2, Tel.: +49-(0)40/32 10 30. Open: Tue-Sun 11am-6pm, first Thu in the month (except public holidays) 11am-9pm. Admissions: €9 (reduced €6, under 18s free). www.deichtorhallen.de.
Heißluftballon Highflyer: Tel.: +49-(0)40/30 08 69 69 (weather hotline). Open: daily 10am-10pm (weather permitting only). Admission: €15 for a roughly 15-minute balloon trip (reduced €8-10). www.highflyer-hamburg.de
Photos: Schulz/Mattes//laif (2), Zielske/age//Look-foto (2)