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December 30, 2008

Fascinating museum

Today Mausi took me to a museum that is both fun and fascinating - the Teknische Museum in Speyer. It occupies a site that was once the home of the Speyer Garrison, flattened in WW2 and since partly restored and new structures erected to create a museum which celebrates the technical advances of the last two hundred-ish years. Naturally much of it is 20th Century, but the Wilhelmshaus section includes an amazing collection of mechanical music making equipment (No photographs allowed unfortunately) and a collection of dolls, toys and uniforms that is quite amazing.

The main section of the museum holds a mix of aircraft, cars, trucks, fire engines, locomotives and industrial machinery, most of it in working condition and tokens, bought at the ticket counter, allow you to set many of the exhibits in motion so you can see it working. The main collection is also home to three "player" show ground or "Cafe" organs that play a range of Jazz, traditional dance music or children's "Fair Ground" music. Again, a token gets it playing and if you think they're little protable jobs, you'd be wrong - these are big, lusty, permanent installations that fill the hall with their sound.

Prize exhibit is the Russian Space Shuttle. It never flew into space but it was flown in test flights and still has the jet engine pods mounted on it. The exhibition of the space exploration effort includes a full exhibition on the USA's efforts culminating with the lunar landings and continuing into the ISS. I must confess that the ESA effort with the Ariane 4 and 5 rockets made me feel proud - until I realised that the UK isn't part of that effort and I remembered that our wonderful government of w*nkers consider that the space race is too costly. In short they'd have to spend less on themselves and their layabout constituents.

Outside is a collection of aircraft and a U-boat, albeit a modern one, all of which are displayed so that you can go into them and see the controls for yourself. The centrepiece of that has to be the huge Antonov cargo carrier, but there is a fully equipped 747 for you to clamber through as well!

A long day, but a good one - and there will be some piccies later, when I can downlaod them and scale them to the blog!

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 30, 2008 06:30 PM

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