Max Missmann, Märkisches Museum und Waisenbrücke, 1910 © Stadtmuseum Berlin

History of the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin

The Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin – Landesmuseum für Kultur und Geschichte Berlins – is a foundation governed by public law with its registered office in Berlin. It was founded on 23 June 1995 in accordance with the Law on Museum Foundations (Museumsstiftungsgesetz) and since then has been receiving grants from the Berlin Regional Administration. It now employs 116 people (as of June 2016).

East and West reunited

The reunification of Berlin following German reunification led to a reconfiguration of the museum landscape after 1991. The aim was to bring together into one foundation the two major historic museums in the Eastern and Western parts of the city, as well as several smaller ones. The core of the new Stadtmuseum Berlin was formed by:

  • the Märkisches Museum, which was founded in 1874, and was moved to the building erected in 1908 in the Köllnischer Park in Berlin-Mitte
  • the Berlin Museum, which was founded in 1962, and had been housed in the former Superior Court of Justice building on Lindenstraße in Berlin-Kreuzberg since 1969
  • 14 smaller institutions from all over the city

The former Superior Court of Justice building was handed over by the Berlin Regional Administration to the newly-founded Jewish Museum in 1999 – marking a clear break in the Berlin museum landscape and in foundation work. The Stadtmuseum Berlin was losing one of its two central exhibition locations, including its warehouse and office spaces. In 2001, the German Federal Republic became the funding body for the Jewish Museum, and since then it has been running it as the Berlin Jewish Museum.

Focussing on the centre of the city

Since 2006 the foundation has the mission of focussing on the museums in the centre of the city, and on the core themes of Berlin’s culture and history. The foundation has continued to develop over the years with this mission in mind. There are now five museums belonging to the Stadtmuseum Berlin: the Märkisches Museum, the Nikolaikirche, the Ephraim-Palais, the Knoblauchhaus and the Museumsdorf Düppel. The collections, which include over 4.5 million artefacts, were brought together into the “Poelzig-Halle” central warehouse in Berlin-Spandau.

Additional Berlin Exhibition in the Humboldt Forum

The Stadtmuseum Berlin is currently planning a comprehensive renovation of the Märkisches Museum – and a new permanent exhibition is being created. From 2018 on, an additional Berlin History Exhibition will be presented in the Humboldt Forum.



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