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What is happening in the Zeughaus?

The Zeughaus is closed for necessary renovations and for the renewal of the Permanent Exhibition. The exhibition "German History from the Middle Ages to the Fall of the Berlin Wall" is not on display anymore.

The main reason for the closure is that the air conditioning technology in the Zeughaus has to be fully restored, which requires removing all of the objects from the exhibition area. The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning is in charge of coordinating the construction measures.


In the course of previous repairs in the Zeughaus, it was determined that the air conditioning technology in the exhibition area requires extensive renovation. In order to meet the high conservational requirements of the museum and to guarantee the safety of the valuable objects, two extensive measures are needed: the renewal of the air conditioning equipment and the renewal of all of the water pipes involved in the air conditioning. This is necessary because parts of the system do not live up to the current requirements and have reached the end of their service life.

Further renovation measures also include the surveillance equipment on the windows. At the same time, the IT infrastructure in the exhibition rooms will be modernised.

Renewal of the Permanent Exhibition in the Zeughaus

In the coming years, we will develop a new Permanent Exhibition. The exhibition will present German history in its international context and will set new accents. The chronological structure, for example, will be less rigid so as to allow the theme rooms to treat basic questions of German history from a diachronic and comparative perspective. A new area will take up questions that children and young people have about the past and will invite families to visit the museum. A segment of the exhibition will also be devoted to the eventful history of the baroque Zeughaus itself, our largest “object”.

The view of German history is in a constant state of change and is influenced by the interests of the respective present time. On the one hand, these transformations will be a subject of discussion in the new Permanent Exhibition, while on the other it will take account of the scholarly impulses and social discourse of the current time, thus shedding light, for example, on questions of global history, participation and natural resources from a historical perspective. The aim of the exhibition is to make visitors familiar with the principal accessibility of past historical developments and to invite them to form their own judgements.

It is hoped to further increase the visitor experience by offering more inclusive as well as multi-lingual and digital programmes. The Zeughaus will also have a second visitor entrance on the Kupfergraben side, only a few steps from the four exits of the soon-to-open “Museuminsel” metro station.

The point of departure for the new Permanent Exhibition is our unique, expanded collection, comprising a million objects, which has been enhanced in the last fifteen years through the addition of numerous valuable pieces. Which of the previously displayed objects and which of the newly acquired pieces will find their way into the new Permanent Exhibition will be determined in the course of the work on a new exhibition concept.

The project of the new Permanent Exhibition is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media by way of full financing.

Turning points in German history

Starting from turning points in German history, the exhibition “Roads not Taken” presents a look back(wards) at decisive historical events of the 19th and 20th centuries in the Pei Building.

The Zeughauskino goes on in the Pei Building

During the time when the Zeughaus is closed, all screenings of the cinema are shown in the Pei Building.

5 Questions for...

Our staff share their impressions and memories of the previous permanent exhibition and talk about the current work

Digital offers

On our blog and social media we will give you insights into the project and the work. We will also be present with further digital offerings in the coming years: We offer bookable digital presentations for groups and school classes on various eras and topics of German and European history. The film series #FokusDHM focuses on selected topics. The film series "A brief history" tells historical events based on special objects.

Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag