Ozeaneum

Diana Quade

Public relations

Ozeaneum

Hafenstr. 11, D - 18439 Stralsund

www.ozeaneum.de www.meeresmuseum.de

Stralsund, Germany
European Museum of the Year Award 2010

A declaration of love to the oceans - the OZEANEUM Stralsund




 
On July11th 2008 the German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the OZEANEUM on Stralsund's harbour island - yet another branch of the German Oceanographic Museum and Germany's largest federally supported new museum construction - open. The panorama of the harbour of the UNESCO-World Heritage city Stralsund received a contemporary emphasis with the spectacular new building of Behnisch Architects.

In May 2010 the OZEANEUM Stralsund won the European Museum of the Year Award.

The OZEANEUM Stralsund developed into a visitor magnet of first rank. Therefore, with annually more than one million visitors, the German Oceanographic Museum was able to jump among Germanyacute;s most visited museums. The aquaria of the northern seas in the OZEANEUM and the colourful tropical and Mediterranean aquaria in the traditional MEERESMUSEUM make Stralsund a frontrunner among the ocean aquaria in northern Europe.

Partly giant sea water aquaria in the OZEANEUM make a Europe-wide unique underwater journey through the northern seas possible: The exploration of the Baltic Sea starts with the Docks of Stralsund. Through the bodden waters and seaweed meadows along the chalk coast and through the skerry sea of Scandinavia the visitor will experience the diverse flora and fauna of the sea on our doorstep. The biggest fish in the Baltic Sea round tour are the sturgeons, which are shown in the river mouth tank.

The basins in the building "North Sea Aquarium" present habitats of the North Sea, the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. An elaborately designed tunnel tank is dedicated to Helgoland, Germany's only rocky island. A tidal tank simulates low and high tide and also the surge tank is full of vivid movement. The largest tank in the OZEANEUM contains 2.6 million litres of water and displays shoals of fish, rays and nurse sharks in the open Atlantic. The two acryl panes weigh more than 20 tons and are more than 30 cm thick, offer 80 msup2; of see-through surface on two levels.

The aquaria of the OZEANEUM contain in total 6 million litres of water. For the first filling 150 tons of salt were needed. Rigorous ecological criteria apply to the technique and the animals are kept species-appropriate.
In 2010 the North Sea aquarium was enlarged by the large "Scottish coastal cave" basin and various smaller tanks. In those 150 litres containing aquaria single filigree sea animals are highlighted and invite the visitor to marvel and pause.
The concept of the exhibition designers was to use the aquaria as a vibrant addition to the expositions, which display several rare originals and mounted animals and plants. The OZEANEUM houses the biggest Baltic Sea exhibition in whole Europe with a plankton installation, an interactive Baltic Sea table, a relief table, and large triangular showcases. Further expositions are "The World Ocean - Diversity of Life" and "The Children's Sea". The new exhibition "Exploration and Utilisation of the Seas" with a virtual diving tour will be opened in early summer 2011.

Truly breathtaking is the exhibition "1:1 Giants of the Seas", which was developed in cooperation with Greenpeace: In the whole room whale replicas in their original size float under the ceiling. The biggest exhibit is the imitation of a blue whale with a length of 26 meters. Furthermore, one can see a diving sperm whale fighting with a giant squid, an orca, and a humpback whale together with its young. A dramaturgic highlight is the multi-media production with the deep, hundreds of kilometres reaching tunes of the blue whale, the songs of the humpback whale or the clicks of the sperm whales, with which they are able to trace their prey up to a deepness of 3,000 meters. Since summer 2010 further, lifelike replica of a manta ray and an ocean sunfish are on display. In 2011 an oarfish and an 8.5 m long basking shark join the exhibit about the giants of the seas.

A new main attraction are the Humboldt penguins that moved to their new home on the roof terrace of the OZEANEUM during the summer 2010. Through big panes, the feathered swimmers also can be seen under water. With cameras in the caves it will be possible in the future to observe the penguins during nesting and breeding.

The OZEANEUM is a group-friendly house and offers several pedagogical programs. In 2009 the museum was certified as family friendly and barrier-free. The design of the exhibitions was also rewarded with the red dot award. Besides the time-proven presentation program of the German Oceanographic Museum also classical and rock concerts under the whales as well as theatre, movie shows and even weddings take place in the OZEANEUM. One of the adjoining historical storehouses is equipped like a convention centre to host conferences. 

History of the German Oceanographic Museum

This year the German Oceanographic Museum celebrates its 60th birthday. In 1951 a small collection known as the city's museum of natural history moved into St. Catherine's monastery in Stralsund which was used up to then as a school. The house developed to the internationally accredited museum for oceanography and fishery of the GDR. Because of the touring exhibition "Ocean and Museum" in 1981, the most visited museum of Eastern Germany was able to present itself to former Western Germany and Denmark. After the reunification of Germany the house was transferred into a foundation and was renamed to German Oceanographic Museum.

Besides the main location in the old town of Stralsund, Germany's only museum for oceanography and fishery had so far two more branches. In the national park "Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft" - at the Darszlig;er Ort - the NATUREUM informs since 1991 about the landscape and fauna of the Darszlig; peninsula. In 1999 the NAUTINEUM opened up on the island Dauml;nholm between Stralsund and Ruuml;gen as an exhibition centre for fishery, scientific marine research, hydrography, and sea waterways. Since the summer of 2008 the OZEANEUM Stralsund displays the underwater worlds of the northern seas as well as exhibits of marine research. With the OZEANEUM the German Oceanographic Museum has become one of the few German museums with annually more than one million visitors. It belongs to the most important cultural institutions of Eastern Germany (Blaubuch).

Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar - a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002

The sea and the harbour are the source and lifeblood of their emergence and wealth of both towns. At one time, potbellied cogs ran from Stralsund and Wismar across the North Sea and Baltic Sea, and merchants maintained connections all over the world. Monumental brick churches and beautiful merchant's houses characterise the fabric of these towns, which have remained virtually unchanged since the middle Ages. Although able to flourish thanks to the protection afforded by offshore islands, both towns fell to the King of Sweden after the Thirty Years War. He transformed them into fortresses of European standing. Today they remain as evidence of a cosmopolitan attitude and the political influence of the Hanseatic trading power.