Bielefeld offers an interesting array of museums that will enlighten, entertain and educate you, sometime all at the same time.
The Bielefeld History Museum (Ravensberger Park 2) is a comprehensive overview of the city’s past, from the earliest settlements up to modern day.
Most of the exhibits focus on the Industrial Revolution and its effect on Bielefeld’s countryside. Some highlights include the restored Ravensberg Spinning Mill and the well-known sewing machines of Bielefeld.
Museum Wäschefabrik (Linen Works Museum)
The Wäschefabrik or Linen Works Museum (Viktoriastraße 48 a) is a unique addition to the Bielefeld museum scene. The linen works was constructed by Jewish businessman, Hugo Juhl in 1913.
Like many others of his ethnicity, he was persecuted by the regime in the 1930s and was forced to sell his factory in 1938 because of mounting political pressure. The new owners ran the factory through the 1980s, when it was converted into the museum you see today.
For a truly interesting experience, don’t miss the nighttime guided tour which takes you on a flashlight tour of the old building.
This Bielefeld museum is housed in a mansion that was once owned by the manager of the Ravensberg Spinning Mill. The Huelsmann Museum (Ravensberger Park 3) showcases the styles of Renaissance, Baroque, and Classicism in a variety of craft work.
The museum’s jewels include exhibits on silver, glass works, porcelain and ceramics.
Bielefeld’s Kunsthalle (Artur-Ladebeck-Straße 5) is home to some impressive art works of the this and the last century. This Bielefeld museum’s origins go back to 1968 when it was designed by Philip Johnson, the preeminent New York architect (and art historian).
The gallery’s permanent exhibition includes master works by master Expressionist artists like Max Beckmann and Cubists like Max Ernst and Anselm Kiefer. In addition to its impressive permanent fixtures, there are four major temporary exhibits each year. Past ones have included works from Picasso, Malevich and Matisse.
The Museum Waldhof (Welle 61) features more contemporary art as well as a sculpture garden. You can’t miss this historic building, decorated in Weser Renaissance style and located right in the middle of the Old Town.