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Wednesday 1 January 2020

Internationales Maritimes Museum - A real gem in Hamburg! (Part A: general impressions)

The impressive IMMH building in Hamburg
The Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg (IMMH, International Maritime Museum of Hamburg) is a private museum in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany. The museum houses predominantly Peter Tamm's collection of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art, amounting to over 40,000 items and more than one million photographs on 12,000m2 (130,000 sq ft). It is the world's largest private collection of maritime artifacts. It opened in a former warehouse in 2008. The private collection was started in 1934 by Peter Tamm (12 May 1928 – 29 December 2016) - former editor for naval themes at the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper and chairman of the board of the Axel Springer AG - when Tamm was six years old. As Tamm retold the history, the initial event was when his mother presented him his first model ship. From his collection, he founded the Wissenschaftliches Institut für Schifffahrts- und Marinegeschichte (Academic Institute for Shipping and Naval History) located in a mansion at the Elbchaussee street and only open by appointment. Later, on December 10th 2002, the Peter Tamm Sen. Stiftung foundation was established, which is the owner of the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg. In 2004 the Hamburg Parliament approved a €30 million grant for a new museum in the HafenCity quarter unanimously. In 2005, the building was given to the foundation by lease for free for 90 years by the senate of Hamburg. On 25 June 2008, the museum was opened by the German president Horst Köhler. 

The IMMH founder and donator Prof. Peter Tamm in his office in Kaispeicher B.
Photo by Christian O. Bruch
The logo of the IMMH
16t large bronze Wärtsilä propeller
by the IMMH entrance
The building where the IMMH is located, the Kaispeicher B (quay warehouse B), is the oldest preserved warehouse in Hamburg, built in 1878 and 1879 by the architects Bernhard Georg Jacob Hanssen and Wilhelm Emil Meerwein. It was designed in neo-Gothic style. Constructed and used as a combination of a grain elevator and for ground storage for packaged goods. In 1890 the city of Hamburg bought the warehouse, which has been called Kaispeicher B ever since. In 2000 it was listed as a cultural heritage building but used as a warehouse for goods until the end of 2003. In 2008 the museum was opened after a period of renovation by Mirjana Marcovic (MRLV Architekten). The address of the IMMH is Kaispeicher B, Koreastr. 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany. The founder of the IMMH compiled a truly comprehensive collection on the subject of international shipping and naval history with the intention of preserving history and making it experienceable for future generations. I am quite sure he achieved his purpose successfully!

Three thousand years worth of maritime history are displayed on nine ‘decks’ with precious exhibits, model ships and paintings. There is an entire deck dedicated to marine research. That exhibit was developed in collaboration with leading scientific institutions and is constantly updated. The floors,
analytically, :
  • Ground floor: foyer, reception area, the restaurant and cafe "Catch of the Day" and (a great!) museum shop. An interactive multimedia table allows you to track ships around the world in real time!
  • 1st floor: explorers, navigation, communications and children's area. There is also an amazing ship simulator with full navigational equipment (including an ARPA radar) where you can stear various vessels, from a catamaran to a huge container ship or a cruise ship in 35 navigational regions!
  • 2nd floor: sailing ships from the beginnings to the early 20th c. - from antiquity to the Hanse Sail, Cape Horniers and piracy. Selected models show various strands of development in shipping: from Phoenician galley and Roman trireme to Viking dragon boats, from cog ships of the Hanseatic period and the explorer’s caravels to the last of the windjammers.
  • 3rd floor: The development of shipbuilding and engineering
  • 4th floor: life on naval vessels, ship's armament, historic weapons, uniforms, medals and insignia
  • 5th floor: navies of the world (from 1815 to present). A really huge collection of ship models, especially from WW II. Of course there I spent a great amount of time. You will enjoy my photos in Part B.
  • 6th floor: merchant shipping, technical developments, cruise ships and ports
  • 7th floor: marine research, energy and fisheries. There you can follow the work of oceanographers from the German Marine Research Consortium.
  • 8th floor: Maritime Art (art gallery and treasure chamber). Impressive collection of paintings (over 200 works from all over the world), decorations and other precious artefacts (ships made of gold, silver and amber as well as rare bone ships!)
  • 9th floor: The big world of little ships. Miniatures of vessels from around the world, sea battles and ports are all presented on the same scale.There are over than 45,000 1: 1250 scale ship models!
  • 10th floor: Cultural Forum "10th Longitude", special exhibitions 

The museum is open from Monday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The ticket price for adults is only €13. There are lower prices for students, children, etc. The prices are listed here. Note that there are no English translations for all exhibits (unfortunately!), therefore you should lease an audio guide in English for your self-guided audio tour. The cost is only 3.50. Or you can book guided tours in English (60 / 90 minutes). Learn more at the Museum's website.

Another view of the Internationales Maritimes Museum
Honestly, this is a tremendous museum which I will definitely visit again to enjoy it more thoroughly. I highly recommend it to everyone! It is not only for those who are interested in maritime history and art, but also for those who are interested about the environment, ocean resource exploitation, discoveries, industry and technologies, art, shipping, fishing, marine animals, models and dioramas, and many many others.  It took me approximately 3 hours to visit all the decks of which some I crossed them almost.. running because I had to leave Hamburg on the same day. If you do not have enough time available, you can pick and choose which aspects you are most interested in and view those. The collection is huge and demands plenty of time to enjoy properly the details and especially the navigation organs and ship models. Please note that you need many hours (or even a couple of days) to see everything displayed and their details. There were also drones, engines, thousand of ship models, cannons, guns, pistols, maps, dozens of various decorations and artifacts, letters (the museum's archive also possesses 47 original letters of Lord Horatio Nelson), cruise ship menus, navigation organs, paintings, photographs, precious stones, etc. There were even set ups of what a room in various ships would have looked like. There is so much to see and learn by visiting this world-class museum! I took about 500 photos which will enjoy here in two parts, 140 photos of general impressions in Part A and around 200 photos of ship models in Part B. This is just a small sample of what you can enjoy at IMMH. Enjoy Part A!

Ground floor: foyer, reception area, restaurant and museum shop.
View from the 1st deck. The busts of the great explorers are visible.
View from the 1st deck.
A mirror at the bottom reveals the use of these "objects"
They are compasses!
The magnetic compass was not, at first, used for navigation, but
for geomancy and fortune-telling by the Chinese!
Binnacle with iron correcting spheres at each side and clinometer below compass
International flag alphabet
International flag alphabet, close-up photo
The radar
The screen display of an ATLAS radar
Great explorers: James Cook
Great explorers: Ferdinand Magellan
Great explorers: Vasco da Gama
Great explorers: Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon)
Great explorers:Bartolomeu Diaz
Great explorers:Zheng He
Great explorers:Leif Eriksson
The ship handling simulator!
The control station offers the following functions: engine telegraph,
operating equipment for the lateral thruster, compass, typhon, helm, and indicators for
speed, rudder angle, turning speed, engine speed, and bow thruster output.
The active program offers a containership simulation
It is a professional ship simulator, which can only be operated under expert supervision
The impressive Queen Mary II ship model made from LEGO in 1:50 scale!
The Queen Mary II consists of about 780.000 LEGO pieces. Its length is close to
7 meters, the height 1.44 meters and weighs 870 kg!

Close-up photo of the huge LEGO ship

Another view of the huge LEGO ship

Another view of the huge LEGO ship docked in a shipyard

Another view of the huge LEGO ship

Another view of the huge LEGO ship

The shipyard of Blohm + Voss :-)
Another LEGO ship but quite small
The interior of Queen Mary II
Queen Mary II
Stern view of Queen Mary II
View of Queen Mary II
The details are simply amazing!
Jules Verne submarine Nautilus located in a small workshop
Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate located in a small workshop
USS Missouri ship model inside a small workshop
HMS Victory in the workshop for repair and restoration
Greek trireme model
Description of the ship model
Chinese ship model. Note the nine masts!
Description of the Chinese model

Kamikaze, the wind of the gods in Japanese art
Japanese art
Description of the paintings
English warship in the 16th-17th century
England's rise to naval power, 16th-17th c.
England's rise to naval power, 16th-17th c.
Frigate Friedrich Wilhelm zu Pferde
Frigate Friedrich Wilhelm zu Pferde, part of the Great Elector's fleet

Letter from the famous Dutch Admiral Evertsen
The rise of the Dutch as a naval power
Ship model of Amerigo Vespucci training ship of the Italian Navy
Various wooden ship models including Sovereign of the Seas (second from the left)
and Royal Sovereign (third from the left)
Royal Sovereign (left) was built using some of the salvageable timbers from the
Royal Sovereign, which had been destroyed by fire in 1697.
The story of Royal Sovereign
Impressive details on the Sovereign of the Seas
The Sovereign of the Seas. Note that guns aim at the deck.
The Sovereign of the Seas
The Sovereign of the Seas
Stern of another ship model
Sovereign of the Seas
Sovereign of the Seas
Sovereign of the Seas
Sovereign of the Seas
A huge ship model was hanging in the middle of the deck.
This is a large model of the Hamburg coat of arms!
Reale de France, 1670 galley
View of the first decks. The amount of items displayed is enormous!
Navies from all over the world are represented by various items at IMMH.Cap tallies in the photo.
A large number of caps from Navies all over the world!

Naval caps from Russia and Sweden
A large number of caps from Navies all over the world!
The vitrine with the caps from sailors worldwide
Naval uniforms from all over the world!
A screen could help you know more about the uniform you are interested about.
You just had to select the number associated with the unform and then pictures and
information would pop-up in the screen.
Another view of the huge glass display case with the uniforms
Amazing collection of naval uniforms
Amazing collection of naval uniforms
Naval uniforms from various Navies
The uniform of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov
The uniform of Admiral Kuznetsov
The uniform of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov
Deutschland-class "Panzerschiff" Admiral Graf Spee
Superb photo of Deutschland-class Admiral Graf Spee
Epaulettes from Greek, English and Italian naval uniforms
The uniform of Great Admiral Erich Raeder
Great Admiral Erich Raeder
Großadmiral Erich Raeder
The baton of Great Admiral Erich Raeder
(24 April 1876 – 6 November 1960)
The baton of Großadmiral Erich Raeder. He holded the rank from 1939 to 1943
Naval uniform of King Paul I of Greece
Naval uniform of King Paul I of Greece

Details of the naval uniform of King Paul I of Greece
Details of the naval uniform of King Paul I of Greece

Naval uniforms of Imperial German Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine)
Various artifacts in a "ship's cabin". Unfortunately I did not have enough time
to learn more about them
Material from German Navy bands
Material from German Navy bands
Submarine periscope

Submarine periscope
The uniform of Admiral Johann Günther Lütjens. He commanded battleship Bismarck
which sunk HMS Hood in battle. Some days later, the battleship was sunk by the British.
Lütjens and most of the ship's crew lost their lives
Shell of Bismarck's 38cm (15in) SK C/34 gun
2cm twin anti-aircraft gun for submarines
Submarine torpedo DM2 A1 Seal
The naval uniform of Louis Earl Mountbatten
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten,
 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
The uniform of the Admiral of the Fleet Mountbatten
Another Nautilus of Jules Verne
Nautilus from the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Amazing details of the cabin

Amazing details of the cabin crew
Cabin crew and bridge of Nautilus
The museum exhibits dozens of prisoner of war bone ships
Bone ship model
Bone ship model
Santisima Trinidad bone ship model
The story behind some of the bone ships displayed at IMMH
The story behind some of the bone ships displayed at IMMH
British frigate bone ship model with mechanism to pull the cannons!
British frigate bone ship model
British frigate bone ship model
Description of the British frigate bone ship model
Description of the British frigate bone ship model
Depths of the oceans!

The shop at the ground floor had plenty of ship models for sale, books, magnets, puzzles and other interesting naval related items! Some of the miniatures...

Ship miniatures for sale
Ship miniatures for sale
Warship miniatures for sale
Warship miniatures for sale
Warship miniatures for sale

In the next Part B,you will enjoy more than 200 photos of ship models mainly from World War II and Cold War! Just a very small sample...

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