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Tactile model of Berlin’s Museum Island at Lustgarten
Tactile model of Berlin’s Museum Island © visitBerlin, Foto: Andi Weiland/

Tactile model of Berlin’s Museum Island

A cultural hot spot you can touch

If you want to touch the Bode-Museum, the New Museum and the other buildings on Museum Island, all you need to do is go to the tactile model in the Lustgarten.

In the middle of the Lustgarten you can see and feel the whole of Museum Island from above in the form of a tactile model. Particularly for people who are blind or visually impaired, the model is an opportunity to get to know the buildings without needing to see them.

An architectural and cultural ensemble

Everyone knows the the currently closed Pergamon Museum, the Bode-Museum, the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie. Nowhere in Berlin are the treasures of cultural history so closely concentrated as on Museum Island. The Neo-Baroque architecture of the museums, the Spree winding around the island and the colossal dome of Berlin’s cathedral draw fascinated looks from visitors every day. And what many sighted people take for granted is now (almost) as easy for visually impaired people to get to know.

The tactile model of Museum Island

The tactile model helps people who are blind, visually impaired or even sighted explore Berlin’s Museum Island. Sized 150 x 70 centimetres, it is a 1:450 scale model of the UNESCO world heritage site. It is set on a waist-high sandstone plinth, so everyone can feel the buildings, roads and waterways. Notes in sighted and Braille letters provide information on important orientation points and buildings. The bronze model was designed by the German sculptor and object designer Egbert Broerken, who has created a series of other tactile bronze works in more than 120 places around Europe.

The initiators of the tactile model

The artist Egbert Broerken was commissioned many years ago by the Rotary Club of Münster to create a bronze three-dimensional model for visually impaired people. He became famous for his bronze models of cities. However, the tactile model in the Lustgarten is his only work in Berlin. In late 2011 the finished model of Museum Island was presented by Berlin’s Rotary Club to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which runs the Berlin State Museums.

For another tactile tour of discovery you can go to the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, where you can find a tactile model depicting Berlin’s city centre and all its landmarks.