Wunderkammer Olbricht at me Collectors Room
A remarkable cabinet of curiosities in an art space in the center of Berlin.
Everything can be found in Berlin, from medieval churches to the remains of World War II. The city is also famous for having its art and archaeological museums, including the art space me (“moving energies”) Collectors Room, located feet from the now-closed Clärchens Ballhaus. But apart from wonderful exhibitions and a really cozy café, the top floor of the space hides one of the most stunning wunderkammers one can find.
This collection is unusual for its variety—around 300 objects from the Renaissance and Baroque periods—with a special taste for memento mori antiques.
Such cabinets of curiosities started to appear in the 16th century, as collections of singular objects from all around the world, often rare and exquisite, often taken from other cultures, and usually kept by members of the aristocracy or for medical purposes. The items fall into five categories: artificialia (artworks), naturalia (rare phenomena found in nature), scientifica (scientific instruments), exotica (objects from exotic countries), and mirabilia (inexplicable items). All can be found in this cabinet of wonders.
The visit starts with a real unicorn horn (a narwhal tusk), then through corridors and filled with skeletal memento mori antiques, curious paintings that trick the eye, anatomical Venuses, carved wood statues of the death, shells and corals, exquisite ivory carvings, religious figures, and even a Fiji mermaid. Every room and every window are full of surprises. Many words could be written about every object, but it would spoil the fun, better to visit and be amazed for hours.
Know Before You Go
Subway U8 to Weinmeisterstraße
Subway U6 to Oranienburger Tor
Tram S1, S2, M1, M6 to Oranienburger Straße
Tram S3, S5, S7, S75 to Hackescher Markt
Inside there is a great shop and a nice and quiet café. Photos are allowed, and audio guide is recommended, as without it you will miss many curious details.
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