The elation at the Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte is boundless: Opening the new museum building in Regensburg for the first time one year before its official opening was worth the effort. By 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, 2018, around 31,000 visitors had streamed into the new building on the weekend of festivities and put up with waits of as long as one hour a times. They were impressed by the light-flooded foyer, the large temporary exhibition space and the 360-degree panorama, a spectacular multi-projection show with Christoph Süss, which is intended to introduce future museum visitors to the permanent exhibition as well as the sights to see in the city of Regensburg.
An official ceremony with Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder on Saturday afternoon kicked off the weekend. “The Museum of Bavarian History will become a beacon in Bavaria’s museum landscape. It is located in the center of Bavaria and primarily focuses on Bavaria’s people with their stories,” said Minister-President Markus Söder in the press release on the weekend of festivities.
The weekend directed attention inside the museum for the first time. Feedback frequently indicated that the openness of the spacious foyer, the glass roof with its lozenge pattern and the functional division of the galleries were very well received. The Mittelbayerische Zeitung ran the headline, “The Hotspot on the Danube’s Banks: The New Museum in Regensburg Attracts People in Droves”, and: “A New Kind of Celebration on the River: The City Is Living Again with Its Heart on the Danube”. In his article, Helmut Wanner describes the unique opportunity opened by the museum’s forecourt and the stairs down to the Danube. It is a place for lingering and celebrating. “Many people will sit here and watch the evening sun,” an attendee of the festivities was quoted as saying.
The museum preview program of film presentations, guided tours in and around the museum and offerings for children at the neighboring museum storage facility in the Österreicher Stadel were rounded out by the Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte’s culture partner BR’s center stage. The up-and-coming band Hadé from Regensburg and Bavarian pop musician Claudia Koreck warmed things up on Saturday. On Sunday, BR brought cabaret stars such as the Couplet AG and the Well-Brüder on the stage as well as Gstanzl singer Joseff Bäff Piendl and East Bavarian author Toni Lauerer. The absolute highlight on both evenings was the light show by Philipp Geist. He highlighted the new building with a homage to the future permanent exhibition. Details of individual exhibited objects and quotations about Bavarian history were projected onto the facade and uniquely provided a fascinating look at what the permanent exhibition in the new museum will present.
Along with the Bavarian State Exhibition “Forests, Mountains and Royal Dreams: The Myth of Bavaria” at Ettal Abbey and the Bavarian Exhibition “Beer Spies and Shrimp Cultivators” at Glentleiten Living History Museum, the museum preview on June 9 and 10 was the Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte’s third major contribution to the Free State of Bavaria’s 2018 centennial program “We Are Celebrating Bavaria”. What is more, it was a contribution to the city of Regensburg’ grand weekend of festivities celebrating the reopening of the Stone Bridge with a grand program of festivities on June 10, 2018.
The museum will keep its doors closed again for one year. The final finishing will be done inside. Equipment for the permanent exhibition will start being installed and the exhibited objects will start being brought in in the fall of 2018. The museum is scheduled to open in May of 2019 – then we will finally be saying, “Servus and Grüss Gott in Regensburg“.