Travellers on holiday in Prague are moving across the border to Dresden, Germany for a new museum opening.
The Military History Museum – less than two hours from Prague – has opened, giving visitors a glimpse of the past and tracing the evolution of the military.
The 150,000 square foot museum is now the largest in Dresden, and has an expansive collection of weapons, uniforms, paintings and documents that spans more than 700 years.
The museum is fittingly housed inside a decommissioned military complex. Designer Daniel Libeskind spent six years renovating the inside of the museum to make it fit-for-purpose, and added a striking symbolic expansion on the building as well.
A giant steel triangle rises 100 feet, emerging from the middle of the building. Made from concrete, glass, and steel, the extension appears to slice through the middle of the building.
Libeskind said: “This wedge deliberately interrupts the horizontal chronology of the building, exactly between exhibits on World War I and World War II. It is a fundamental interruption because history has fundamentally turned at this point.”
The wedge extends beyond the building’s exterior and penetrates the rooms of the interior as well, and the wedge fragments spaces inside, creating a juxtaposition between traditional gallery walls with Victorian paintings and modern, industrial spaces nearby.
The effect, created intentionally by the artist, is meant to call attention to turning points in military history over time and reflect the significance of war on human history.
Libeskind said: “It is a building grappling with issues that affect human life. It’s a serious thing to try to deal with the history in this museum – whether it’s the atomic bomb, shoes of those who died in the Holocaust, or the weaponry used to destroy the cities of Europe. It cannot be history in a box with four corners.”