The Hameln Museum
Hameln of course means pipers, rats and missing children and, in part, the museum reflects this. There is a lot of pied piper material here including a collection of modern items that reflect the legend.
However the museum carries a lot of other material too. Paintings of the local area, old artefacts, locally found fossils and old toys all make up a varied display. In addition there is an extensive collection of old coins and a room devoted to a great battle fought nearby between the 15th and the 26th of June 1866 between the Prussians and Hannoverians.
The museum also carries changing exhibitions of various material.
While we were there, there was an exhibit of water-colours by Wolfgang Heinrich. One of two of his paintings might have been interesting but unfortunately, it seems that he really just paints minor variations on the same theme over and over again.
There was little information to be seen on the subject material for future exhibitions.
You can also visit the official website of the Hameln Museum (in English)
Making Sense of it all
There was no English guidebook and there were no English captions either. The German captions could have been more detailed also. Often I would read them and feel that they did not answer my questions.
In one room, I was buttonholed by an enthusiastic old German gentleman with a shiny blue jacket and an improbable haircut. He explained the exhibits to me in great detail. My German is just about good enough to follow most of what he said. I assume that he worked there because he was chatting to several other visitors. This is great if you can speak a little German because he really knew his stuff.
There is a small museum shop but no cafe. However, the local area is full of cafes as the town is, after all, a major tourist attraction.
It's a great place to take children. They will love the exhibits and you will not need to worry about them being able to destroy lots of fragile artefacts.
It's not so great for the disabled. Wheelchair access is limited.
The toilets looked clean but, as the decor was dark brown tiles with low levels of lighting, you never can be too sure. The real trouble is with that sort of thing, the cleaners can never be certain either.
The JPOC review
We liked this museum a lot and we shall be happy to make a return visit. There is a wide range of material on display and it is well laid out and pleasant to see. The fact that the exhibits could do with better labelling is a problem but it does not detract too much.
The staff were friendly and knew their stuff even though we didn't find anyone who spoke English. The admission price is a real bargain compared with some museums in other nearby towns and while the museum on its own would not merit three out of five, it gets this score in the context that, together with the town itself it is well worth a day trip to see.
Opening hours 10:00-16:30 Tuesday-Sunday.
Address: Osterstrasse 8-9, Hameln
Phone: 05151 202 215
It takes about one and a half hours to get round.
Cost: Three Marks for adults and one for the kiddies.