Hello, well, this isn’t usually a tourist information site… But this is one place I want to strongly recommend you go to. (If you’re in Berlin.. Maybe don’t go there just to see this place…)
Here in Yorkshire we’ve got a museum called the Ryedale Folk Museum, it’s basically the local history from Iron Age up to the Victorian period. It’s a nice little museum, quite poshly done, with some interactive displays, some tractors a horse, some goats and some chickens. It’s also worth a visit if you’re up here by the way… But I’ve got side tracked now!
So, I was on holiday in Berlin with my girlfriend this summer, and she recommended a place with an unpronounceable name, (actually it’s quite easy, Museum’s Dorfs Dupple). She’d been there as a child, but not been back for many years, so we decided to give it a go.
What it is:
I’m gonna call it Dupple, it’s easier to remember, and I don’t have the u with the eyes on on my keyboard. Dupple is a reconstruction of a Slavic Village. I’m not going to pretend I know much about the Slavic people, I know they are from the east somewhere, and they came west to Berlin… That’s the extend of what I’ve picked up.
The village is designed around archaeological finds from the area, and the date they’ve gone for is 800 years ago (1200s). Well, on the surface it is your regular medieval village, they have some displays of finds in cases, etc. That didn’t really get me interested that much.
This was something on that track, but it was this wooden box ^
There were 2 big holes drilled on the front, labelled “Play” and “Stop.” So, I pressed play, and there was a whirring noise, then it started to tell it’s tale, but it was not some fancy high tech audio device, it was a tape player, and the holes were in line with the play and stop buttons
When it got to the end, it repeated, and you had to press the stop button. It was so primitive, but so effective, I thought it was absolutely great, and very sweet!
The thing I loved about all of the museum is that it is essentially how I would make a museum (If I had those skills…). The Ryedale Folk Museum is very professional, and suffers because of it, everything has a neat little sign on a plate, and is all very official. Dupple has little laminated tags that someone has probably just printed off and laminated themselves. All the “exhibits” are totally hands on.
Well Well Welll
A good example is this well, in the Ryedale Folk Museum, I imagine this would be padlocked so it didn’t move, and behind some sort of fence to stop you touching it. Here you are actively encouraged to use it, no warning about trapping your fingers in it, or a safety fence to prevent you from doing so.
There are often events on at the museum, and the morning of the day we came (We came in the afternoon) they’d been running a workshop on how to make tar from Birch bark, something I’ve since tried to do, and failed miserably at… But it was very hands on, they were using bean cans with a tube stuck in the bottom and collecting the tar in camera film cases.
We saw a green wood turner (Bodgers we call them) and he was very proudly telling everyone watching how he made his tools himself, it was very sweet. Sweet seems to be the key word here…
The museum is very armature, and that is, in this case, definitely not a bad thing. That doesn’t mean that if you’re a serious historian that you may not learn anything, I’m sure you would, but you need to be able to speak German, or have a translator… I was more interested in the practical side of what they were doing, how they were hand forging the sheep shears, how they were trying to recreate ancient breeds of sheep and pig and how they made tar. It is very strongly into Experimental Archaeology, which, besides Dr Daniel Jackson, is the best kind of Archaeology, recreating the techniques used back then.
I’d definitely recommend it, the entrance fee was €2, so really, you can’t go wrong. It is very nicely done, and well, very sweet! I hope it continues for future generations, I’d love to bring my kids there.
Get yourself there and support them, and know that if I had made a museum, it would look just like here!
The first issue we actually had was in getting there, so this is what we found:
The best, most direct route we found on the way back it is U3 to Krumme Lanke (It’s at the end of the line, otherwise take the S-Bahn S1 towards Potsdam and get off at Mexikoplatz (The station building is pretty cool looking)
Mexikoplatz S-Bahn Station
From there you are gonna have to hop a bus to get any further. The bus you want is 118, going towards Potsdam. Get off at Clauertstrasse, then head down Clauerstrasse, onto the funny cobblestone road thing until you find the sign!
But here is it on the map: