off standard admission, incl. special exhibitions
History and art near the "agent’s bridge"
The Villa Schöningen sits by the Glienicker bridge, the site where agents were swapped in front of the world’s cameras during the Cold War. In its permanent exhibition, entitled "Spione. Mauer. Kinderheim / An der Brücke zwischen den Welten" ("Spies. The Wall. A Children’s Home / On the Bridge Between Worlds"), the private museum illustrates the history of the two Germanys by using the Glienicker bridge - the so-called "agent’s bridge" - as an example.
Using films, pictures, original objects and texts, the multimedia exhibit focuses on the witnesses who experienced the events at this very symbolic location. As a result, a lively mosaic of varying perceptions is presented.
The permanent exhibition that deals with Germany’s division and reunification is complemented by art exhibits that deal with these topics and present different perspectives on them. You can drink a coffee or eat a snack next to the works of contemporary artists in the sculpture garden.
The decaying Villa Schönigen was built by Ludwig Persius in 1843. It mirrors Germany’s varied history: Kurd Wolfgang von Schöning (1789−1859), the Jewish co-founder of the Deutsche Bank, moved in after Persius. The villa then remained vacant for some time before becoming a socialist child education institute under the GDR. The ruins were sold in 2007 and the private museum and art gallery were opened.
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