Open since 1934, the Alexander Koenig Research Museum (ZFMK) in Bonn is a museum of natural history and zoological research. It’s named after the scholar who was generous enough to donate his entire collection of specimens. Incidentally, we chanced upon his place of burial during a stroll through Südfriedhof cemetery at Dottendorf a few days later.
Five of Bonn’s best museums hosted the Museumsmeilenfest 2018 from 31st May to 3rd June. During this time, entry was free to most of the exhibitions and since we’d had our eyes trained on Museum Koenig since a while, we decided that we couldn’t let this opportunity go by!
The museum’s impressive permanent exhibition is titled ‘Unser blauer Planet – Leben im Netzwerk’ (Our blue planet – living in a network). Extremely realistic dioramas of the African savannah, Central Europe, deserts, polar regions and rainforests demonstrated the marvels of planet earth’s ecology.
The museum showcased 80 species from the African savannah in its 3D representations and it was the first thing we saw. After that, we entered the rainforest based on an African lowland rainforest at Ivindo National Park in Gabon. But the most striking dioramas for us were those of marine life, featuring pelicans, cranes and crocodiles among other seaside birds and creatures.
Equally breath-taking was the architecture of the main museum building – featuring a mesmerising glass roof and huge, arched windows on each floor. While the original building was designed by Gustav Holland, it was redeveloped in keeping with the Monuments Heritage Act between 1998 and 2003.
We also visited a special exhibition on the history of the museum itself. Apparently, Dr. Koenig laid the foundation stone on the birthday of his wife Margarethe. A man of intelligence as well as romance – how fortunate the world was to have him!
Want to visit the museum for yourself? Here are the opening times and ticket prices.