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A building is on fire. There are people trapped inside. Flames are getting closer and closer. The smoke is becoming thicker. In the Firefighters Museum's panic room, you can see this situation close up in a simulation which is, of course, completely safe. Get a vivid impression of how smoke develops during a fire. Berlin's Firefighters Museum in Tegel gives an insight into the history and everyday work of the Berlin fire brigade. Once solely open to firefighters learning about their history, the museum now welcomes around 12,000 visitors annually. During the tour, you'll learn about everything from the earliest fire regulations to today's hi-tech firefighting techniques. Wartime firefighting and the period of a divided Berlin are also covered.
See and touch your way through history
The bright orange Firefighters Museum in Tegel is easily spotted. One of the first things you'll see is the yellow Christoph 31 rescue helicopter mounted on a platform and appearing to fly towards you. The history of the building itself is also interesting. As early as 1928, Suarez fire station holds an exhibition on fire history, and much of the collection still survives today. There are also many exhibits celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Berlin fire brigade. In 1983, the fire brigade museum opens in Tegel, and in 2009-2010 undergoes a total renovation. The exhibition features video footage and life-sized recreations of specific historical periods. See how firefighters in 1909 fight fires by pulling a fire carriage to the location. A reconstruction of a rubble-filled landscape will give an impression of the war years. A car accident lets you see the diverse situations firefighters face. Then take a look at the model collection, which is unique in Germany in both size and quality. You can also try out large parts of the collection for yourself. This is a lot of fun, especially experimenting with the first leather hoses and couplings. See how the fire brigade's uniform has developed over the years, with many original images illustrating the varied history of firefighting. The collection consists of photographs, slides, prints, glass pictures and paintings. The end of the exhibition is an extensive collection of literature, including specialist books and journals covering the period of 1890 to World War II. Traditional songs sung by firefighters are also presented here.
Firefighters Museum highlights
Room fire simulation in the panic room.
Archive featuring annual reports dating back to 1879.
Interactive exhibits for children to touch, smell and hear.
Original print of a Jan van der Heide fire protection advertisement from 1691.
Collection of information about the construction of Germany's first fire station in 1859.
Other attractions for children
If you have children who enjoy being active, there are two excellent attractions close by. The Labyrinth Children's Museum has the slogan "Learning by Doing", and here children can become builders, city guides or courtiers. Even the opportunities for play are active. It's only 30 minutes by public transport to the museum at Osloer Straße. About 4km away is the MACHmit! museum which has a soap shop, hall of mirrors and old-fashioned print shop and is also worth a visit. MACHmit's highlight: the seven metre high climbing frame for little ones.
Information about visiting the Firefighters Museum
Get to the Firefighters Museum using underground line U6 to Alt-Tegel or S-Bahn line S25 to Tegel. Alternatively, bus 133 will take you to Veitstraße. There is no on-site parking. Guided tours for groups have to be booked in advance.