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Diary of a New Würzburger: Museums for a Snowy Day

07.12.2017
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Museums for a Snowy Day

 

Last week at Babelfish as we listened to Wham!’s Last Christmas and lit candles inside; outside it started to snow softly. It continued to snow steadily for the rest of the day, settling on trees and the terrace, and when I finished work I couldn’t help but visit the Christmas Market for the full German December experience. It was then as I made my way to the bus stop that I realized I had forgotten my bus card and had to walk home. Though the novelty of a decent snowfall, unlike the light dusting of snow we have back in my hometown, didn’t quite wear off as I made my way up the hill it definitely started me thinking about things to do in Wuerzburg on wintery days – without the need for thick gloves and waterproof shoes!

 

Arguably, the majority of downtown Wuerzburg, including the Residenz and numerous churches is a museum in itself, but this city also has no shortage of official museums and galleries. Here are a couple to visit on a study break or a sub-zero afternoon.

 

Museum am Dom

 

The Museum am Dom is an art gallery behind the Wuerzburg Cathedral, affiliated with the Museums of the Wuerzburg Diocese. Though the museum itself is relatively contemporary, having opened in 2003, it contains religious artworks dating back to the tenth century until the present day from local and international artists. There is a real juxtaposition of modern and traditional art as well as different mediums and it is interesting to see how different artists have interpreted similar themes over centuries. I don’t have much of a background in art history but I was surprised to see names I recognized – Picasso and Haring to be exact! Until the end of this month, the lower level of the museum has an exhibition of nativity scenes dating from the middle ages – and if you’re lucky you might win a prize in their visitor advent calendar!

 

Siebold Museum

 

Slightly outside of the centre of town lies the Siebold Museum, a small private museum commemorating the life of Philipp Franz von Siebold, his family and their experiences in Germany and Japan. Philipp Siebold, a botanist and doctor born in Wuerzburg in 1796, was sent to the Dutch port of Dejima in Japan in the 19th Century. While he was there he made valuable contributions to the knowledge of Western medicine in Japan, and on his return to Europe brought with him a vast amount of information on Japanese customs and natural science. This was especially remarkable as during this time Dejima was one of the few points of contact that Japan had with the outside world. The collection at the Siebold Museum includes 19th Century medical instruments, as well as many souvenirs from Siebold’s time in Japan. Walking around inside the museum is a nice way to spend an afternoon – though my personal highlight is the unexplained carving of a man dressed as a bear, just outside the door.

 

 

 

Of course there are many more museums in Wuerzburg than this, and during my time here hopefully I can visit most if not all – but that’s enough for this week anyway!

 

Until next time,

Sam

  

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