The Museum in the Imperial Palace Paderborn
Located at the back of the Cathederal, this museum is a collection of old relics found in the course of the excavation of the old Imperial Palace. The Palace itself houses the collection.
The exhibits are housed in smart glass cases but there just are not that many of them. All sorts of tricks have been tried but they cannot disguise that fact that the museum is woefully short of content. Of course, the reply would be that the main exhibit is the building. Sadly, that has been rather over-restored and the effect is more seventies UK church hall than medieval palace.
When we went, on a Sunday in April, the place was not empty but far from crowded.
Address: Ikenberg, Paderborn
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 dioscesan museum as well. This costs eight marks.
You can walk round and see all of the exhibits in under half an hour.
The toilets were apparantly an attempt at medieval realistic. Smashed bowls and broken door fitments included in the experience for no extra charge. The terminally fastidious should find a nearby alleyway or visit the dioscesan museum instead.
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 about as far as the front door. Unless you are acrobatic at getting your wheels up and down staris, don't bother.
There is no cafe in the museum so you will need to make a choice from the ones in the town.
There was no real museum shop but a few books and bits and pieces were for sale at the ticket desk. There was a guide book available in English. It was dated 1982 and was lamentably out of date with wrong address and phone info as well as having little data on the museum itself. Given that Paderborn has a huge English population thanks to the British army, I'd have thought that they could do better than that.
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.
The staff could do no more than refer me to audio-visual aids in German.
The JPOC review
The biggest problem with this museum is that there are so few exhibits. The scope is limited to old relics found on site and, as the excavation work now seems to have stopped, they appear to be a little stuck. Some of the display cases were positively dangerous. Below the height of the exhibits, they slope out towards the visitor and they have sharp metal corners at the base which can administer a nasty cut to anyone not wearing steel toe caps.
The captions on the exhibits were OK but no more. I was pleased to see an English guide but really they should do an up to date printing.
I can only give this museum one out of five. However, if you get the combi ticket and roll in a visit to the church (free and on the way from one museum to the other) then I'd give the whole ensemble two out of five.