The Paderborn Diocesan Museum
Located between the market square and the church, this museum is a collection of old churchly relics. Mostly, these are in the form of statues and carvings. In the basement, there is a collection of old bishoply raiments and silver and gold chalises and the like.
Most of the statues are on open display. This is all very well but anyone visiting the museum with a small child will spend more time supervising their charge than appreciating the exhibits.
When we went, on a Sunday in April, the place was empty. For most of the time, it appeared that we were the only visitors there.
Paderborn Diocesan Museum (in German)
Address: Markt 17, 33098 Paderborn
Phone: (05251) 125-216 und 125-403, Fax: (05251) 125-470
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-18:00
Cost: Adults, five marks, small children free. (Y2k prices.)
There is also a combi-ticket that allows admission to the museum attached to the church as well. This costs eight marks.
You can walk round and see all of the exhibits in under one hour.
The toilets were amongst the cleanest and smartest that I have ever seen anywhere. The terminally fastidious would probably consider the admission price well worth it just for the opportunity to use them.
I have zero experience of wheelchairs and the like so you should read this with caution but, I think that a disabled person could get around most of this museum.
There is no cafe in the museum but there is one outside adjacent to the museum entrance.
There was no real museum shop but a few books and bits and pieces were for sale at the ticket desk. There was no guide book available in English. They explained that they had sold out. Given that Paderborn has a huge English population thanks to the British army, I'd have thought that they could do better than that.
(A subsequent visit showed the there is now an English language guide available. The generous would call this a pamphlet. I'd go so far as to note that it contains slightly more reading material than a Mars bar wrapper and little about the exhibits themselves. Still, it's better than nothing.)
Making Sense of it all
The exhibits were labelled in German but only with a brief description of the item. There was no background or other information. Some of the exhibits carried inscriptions in Latin. I could find no translation on display.
I tried to ask the staff a few simple questions about the exhibits but nobody that I spoke to knew anything beyond the cost of tickets. If there was anyone more knowledgable there, nobody volunteered to go and find them.
The JPOC review
The museum is smart, well laid out, airy and well lit. However, while a lot of attention has gone towards making it possible to walk around and look at things, little effort has gone towards making the museum informative or entertaining.
My German is good enough to understand the captions on the exhibits but often, I found that I wanted to know more about what I was looking at.
A museum with such a limited subject matter would always struggle to achieve a rating of three out of five but the lack of flair, child unfriendly layout and paucity of information about the exhibits mean that I can only give this museum one out of five.