Bavaria is a place of legend. With a fabled king and fairy-tale castles. With mountains, beer and people with their very own way of life. An unapologetically Free State, crowned with a heraldic people’s crown. The question was: How to present all this in a museum, the new Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte (House of Bavarian History) in Regensburg?
Ideally with a concept that enables visitors to immerse themselves in this rich history. No forced march past important events, but a narrative approach that incorporates many popular stories, memorable presentations and varied interactive tools. In cooperation with architectural firm hg merz, jangled nerves was responsible for the exhibition design and for the concept of cultural cabinets, media productions and interactive stations.
High inclusivity standards
The Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte documents the history of democracy in Bavaria, frequently in a playful manner. This approach sharpens the eye for interconnections and appeals particularly to children and young adults. The building provides barrier-free access and sets high quality standards for inclusivity: including wheelchair-accessible tables, media guides in simple language and sign language, inductive hearing systems, and texts in braille that can be found throughout the building.
Multimedia journey through the millennia
Step into the light-flooded foyer and visitors are greeted by a larger-than-life Oktoberfest lion. The adjacent showroom shows a 360-degree panorama film documenting the history of Regensburg, specially produced by jangled nerves. In the film, cabaret artist Christoph Süß takes visitors on a journey from the Romans to the Napoleonic era in 39 roles and only 20 minutes – humorous, erudite and typically Bavarian.
Cultural spaces that communicate
The media presentation in the foyer offers a perfect introduction to the permanent exhibition on the upper floor. It traces Bavaria’s path to becoming a modern state across 2,500 square metres: from the beginning of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806 and divided into nine generations. Exhibit ensembles on 40 daises bear testimony to formative events.
Aside from the chronologically ordered tour through the generations, visitors will find eight extraordinary cultural cabinets that have been interactively designed by jangled nerves. They deal with particular cultural phenomena that unite Bavaria: dialects, festivals, religion and architecture. The rooms deliberately play on clichés, but they also address the important question of what is typically Bavarian. Visitors immerse themselves in a sound installation of all the different dialects you can encounter in the Free State, moving through the course of a year with its many local festivals, marvelling at its famous buildings, and enjoying legendary stage spectacles from the Nockherberg to the Grüner Hügel.
‘Heimat in small format’ in AR
‘Heimat in small format’ is dedicated to local municipalities with their many thousands of villages and towns, and is a monument to the diversity of Bavaria. With the help of augmented reality, multiple visitors can investigate the history of their homeland in detail: At a media table with a space-filling map of Bavaria, visitors can use a tablet to locate all of today’s 2,056 parishes with views from around 1900, including statistical material, coats of arms and much more. If you have always wanted to know which parish can lay claim to the most cows, then this is the place for you!
The cultural room for architecture deserves a particular mention. It displays detailed 3D models of Bavarian architecture. Moreover, a high-tech production process enables the ceilings of the buildings to be projected onto an architectural ceiling sail. As all the ceilings were photographed from below for the installation, the viewer feels as if he were standing in the building itself.
From Euskirchen to Chicago
The cabinet ‘Ois Chicago’ recreates the showcase for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 to show how Bavaria earned its legendary status. Back then, Nuremburg company Schuckert not only presented the largest searchlight in the world – Bavarian breweries exported commemorative beer to the exhibition in special ships! The collective world exhibition intoxication transported the legend of Bavaria out into the world. Since June 2019, the legend lives on in an erudite yet entertaining way in the Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte in Regensburg. Your very good health!