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Best History Museums in Munich

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Staatliche Münzsammlung

This is more than a collection of old coins. The State Coin Collection, the largest of its kind in Germany, illustrates the development of different forms of payment over the centuries. The huge collection (250,000 in stock; 2,500 on display) was begun by Duke Albrecht V, who started collecting Roman coins in the 16th century. Greek and Celtic coins were later added, as were antique intaglios. There is also a huge library containing over 14,000 books about money and coins.

Munich, Germany
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Museum Five Continents

Although located in the heart of Europe, the Museum Five Continents provides a fascinating insight into non-European cultures. Its collection of over 350,000 exhibits mainly hail from Asia, but Africa, Latin America and Polynesia are also represented. Some of the most intriguing exhibits at the museum include the world's oldest surviving kayak from North America, as well as Incan treasures and Amazonian historical objects. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.

Munich, Germany
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Deutsches Theatermuseum

Deutsches Theatermuseum, Munich's first museum dedicated to the history of theater was inaugurated in 1910. The collection is a bequest of Clara Ziegler (1844-1909), a famous Bavarian court actress, who gathered the pieces in her villa in the English Garden. The house was destroyed by bombs in 1944, and the museum was relocated to the Hofgartenarkaden after the War. In 1979, the museum was taken over by the Bavarian state and a collection of posters, costumes, records and photographs were added, as was a Richard Wagner collection (the second largest in the world after Bayreuth). There is no permanent exhibition, but regular temporary exhibitions.

Munich, Germany
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Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum

A wild boar and catfish greet visitors at the entrance to Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum's unusual collection. The former Augustinian Church (secularized in 1802) is now home to hunters trophies, weapons and large-scale installations of animals in their natural habitat. The museum also contains a section depicting all you need to know about fishing and fresh water fish. There is also a unique collection of nearly 500 stuffed animals, as well as mythical creatures from Bavarian folklore that are also worth perusing.

Munich, Germany
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Munich Stadtmuseum

The Münchner Stadtmuseum (Munich City Museum) shows exhibits pertaining to the city's history as well as special exhibitions, such as the history of international civilization and culture. The multifaceted permanent exhibition "Typically Munich!" covers three floors and shows the city's culture from the Middle Ages to the present day. A central theme in the museum is Munich's evolution from a municipality, historically dominated by the royal court towards a newly independent and self-assured city. A museum highlight is the famous Morris Dancers designed by Erasmus Grasser.

Munich, Germany
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Bavarian National Museum

Excellent sculptures (from the early Middle Ages to the 19th Century) meet old armor, tableware and furniture, while ethnological and religious objects are displayed next to china from Nymphenburg. These well-organized exhibitions are housed in the marvelous fin-de-siècle building (1894-99) known as the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum. The pride of the museum, which boasts a collection of over 180,000 objects, is the exhibition of Christmas cribs which is dubbed as the biggest collection of its kind in the country. Also found here are a shop and a cafe.

Munich, Germany
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State Museum of Egyptian Art

Featuring exhibits that span a period of over 5,000 years, the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst fascinates visitors with its incredible exhibits. Mummies, sculptures of pharaohs, religious statues, jewelry and household items from ancient Egypt form the core of this riveting collection. Originally founded by Duke Albrecht V in the 16th Century, the collection was continually expanded by Albrecht's successors to make it what it is today. The museum is situated in the magnificent Residenz Palace.

Munich, Germany
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Antikensammlungen

Whereas the next-door Glyptothek concentrates on large antique sculptures, the State Collection of Antiques specializes in smaller objects, glassware, gold and silver. The internationally renowned collection of antique and Etruscan vases, based on King Ludwig I's collection, is outstanding. It was Ludwig who, in 1838, instructed architect Georg Friedrich Ziebland to design this temple-like building. Destroyed during the War, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1967. Check website for more information.

Munich, Germany
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