A Travellerspoint blog

Medical history, UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Berlin Wall

Berlin


View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

First up for me today was the fascinating Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité.

6f659330-950e-11ea-bcf6-c585deae5cd3.JPG

This is not one of the most well-known museums in Berlin but is extremely interesting for anyone with an interest in the history of medicine; not just due to the artifacts and specimens in the display rooms, but also to the human stories brought to life in the historical patient's ward and to the history of the Charité itself. It was founded as a plague hospital in 1710 and is now one of the largest university hospitals in Europe.

The first thing I saw was a Cabinet of Curiosities from the Enlightenment, which contained such intriguing objects as a puffed-up porcupine fish, a cow bezoar (used as an antidote for various ailments in the past), polished turquoise abalone, a chicken head with chickenpox, the upper jaw bone of a walrus with tusks, a juvenile land tortoise, a mummy of a juvenile turtle and the mouth of a quillfish.

Other fascinating objects in the room included a human skeleton with scoliosis, another with severe syphilitic bone malformations, and a special moulage collection from 1900 - wax casts of diseased faces, with an emphasis on diseased eyes - very gruesome.

There was also a very interesting yet sobering display on the terrible aberrations of German medicine under National Socialism, such as human experimentation in concentration camps.

The specimen room next door was also fascinating. The specimens included deformed human foetuses, a human skeleton damaged by plasmacytoma, and skulls showing microcephaly (underdevelopment of the brain, causing a shorter-than-usual head) and anencephaly (absence of the brain). It was good to see the great lengths the museum have gone to acknowledge with respect the people behind the specimens over the last 200 years.

In addition to the historical patients' ward, which in an informative and touching manner told the case histories and the hospital treatment of several patients at the Charité over the last 300 years, I looked round the preserved ruin of a historic lecture hall which was bombed during the war.

From the medical museum I took the U-Bahn to a UNESCO World Heritage Site - one of the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates. Although I don't know much about Modernism I enjoyed wandering round.

452113e0-9605-11ea-a766-cbc402ba03ce.JPG44d31af0-9605-11ea-9243-5f67e97c0edb.JPG44a442c0-9605-11ea-a766-cbc402ba03ce.JPG43bf6100-9605-11ea-a766-cbc402ba03ce.JPG43bdda60-9605-11ea-9243-5f67e97c0edb.JPG42e2bca0-9605-11ea-9243-5f67e97c0edb.JPG2e35c4a0-9605-11ea-9243-5f67e97c0edb.JPG

From there it was another U-Bahn trip to the East Side Gallery, a stretch of the Berlin Wall covered in a graffiti project from street artists.

1f457b90-960d-11ea-8af3-11b4bf64ed28.JPG1f564470-960d-11ea-ac1d-716d45305be8.JPG1f027f20-960d-11ea-8af3-11b4bf64ed28.JPG204a1a50-960d-11ea-ac1d-716d45305be8.JPG1fecb810-960d-11ea-ac1d-716d45305be8.JPGIMG_9411.JPG2bfee340-960c-11ea-8ffa-577572a2f2f3.JPG2bc20150-960c-11ea-8af3-11b4bf64ed28.JPG29905440-960c-11ea-8af3-11b4bf64ed28.JPGIMG_9397.JPG2aa12800-960c-11ea-8af3-11b4bf64ed28.JPG2c4c8e10-960c-11ea-8af3-11b4bf64ed28.JPG

The sun was starting to get low as I left the East Side Gallery and made my way back to my hostel via the U-Bahn and a supermarket.

Posted by 3Traveller 09:36 Archived in Germany Tagged art buildings germany museum berlin berlin_wall unesco_world_heritage_site

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comment with:

Comments left using a name and email address are moderated by the blog owner before showing.

Required
Not published. Required
Leave this field empty

Characters remaining: