Das Bild zeigt einen Globus und den Störer "Neue Adresse Minoritenstrape"

New location—New design

Our new permanent exhibition

From 23 March 2024, we will be welcoming you to 13 Minoritenstraße in the former Franz Sauer fashion house.
You can experience a museum in the heart of Cologne that tells the city’s history in a completely different way—surprising, innovative and entertaining.

Look forward to unconventional perspectives, modern presentations, elaborate interactive and inclusive offers and above all, of course: unique exhibits!

We retell the history of the city!

A former department store has been completely remodelled for the museum. Not only the modern exhibition design is new, but also the view of the city’s past and present. At the centre of the exhibition questions are posed such as “What do we love?”, “What frightens us?” and “What connects us?” in the Middle Ages, a century ago and today?

These questions provide completely new, personal approaches to the city’s history and reveal surprising parallels.

Cologne Cathedral in anticipated perfection, C. G. Hasenpflug, 1834/36 (KSM/ © RBA)

AFRI-COLA (Reprint), 1967/68 (KSM/ © RBA)

An emotional journey through time

The exhibition tour thus becomes an emotional journey through time. Impressive exhibits from all eras tell of love: for the city, for music or for Cologne’s global landmarks such as the cathedral; of uprisings and scandals that make people angry; of the fear of persecution, war and death; of moving or unifying moments and far more.

The whole of Cologne in one museum

Exciting and sometimes unknown stories stand alongside each other—there are medieval artefacts next to modern ones.

Are you curious?

The questions are broadly conceived: The “What do we believe in?” section, for example, is not just about religions, but also about money and football. While the “What frightens us?” section ranges from wars and the Nazi era to current events such as the Keupstraße attack and the coronavirus pandemic.

In the “What moves us?” space, Cologne’s oldest surviving car dating from 1902 stands alongside an armoured horse from around 1500 and a modern e-scooter, while in the “What connects us?” section, actor Dirk Bach’s tropical costume stands alongside a medieval Bible.

Crash course: “Cologne in 30 minutes”

Those who are not yet familiar with Cologne’s history will be given a brief overview beforehand. At the beginning of the exhibition, key objects from the collection and special loans summarise the most important developments in the city’s history in a compact and entertaining way—from the Roman colony and the medieval trading metropolis to the media hotspot and current events of our time. At the centre is the famous historical city model, which shows Cologne in 1571 and reveals completely new information thanks to augmented reality.

Model of the city of Cologne in 1571 (KSM / © RBA, S. Walz)

Fan waistcoat 1. FC Köln, around 2010 (Privately owned/ © RBA, T. Kreusler)

Join in and have fun!

At many points in the exhibition, interactive stations give you the opportunity to play, get involved and leave opinions or comments. Having fun is therefore highly encouraged!

Our MultiMedia Guide also ensures an exciting museum experience with many highlight tours and special offers.

A museum for everyone

Inclusion and accessibility were among the key objectives when redesigning the exhibition. In terms of both the spatial design and the content, we have orientated ourselves to contemporary standards in order to offer everyone a comprehensive museum experience. All floors are accessible; a lot of information can be experienced tactilely and many exhibits explicitly state “Touching allowed!” for visually impaired people. Our MultiMedia Guide offers numerous other barrier-free functions.

Get involved!

Participation is an important word in the new City Museum. Current answers to the questions posed were found as part of a participatory project with diverse people from Cologne. The objects in front of each question area set the mood for the topic and invite you to make personal associations.

From summer 2024, we will be exploring important contemporary issues and questions about the future in the publicly accessible “Open Space”. We will develop the changing exhibitions together with partners from the urban community, e.g. artists, associations, organisations, institutions and initiatives.

Design memorial plaque Angelika Bayer, C. Kaul, Cologne 1992 (KSM / © RBA)

We look forward to seeing you!