The Extension and the New Exhibition Concept

At the end of October 2017, the Bavarian government laid the foundation stone for the new building at Dokumentation Obersalzberg. The extension will enable the documentation center better to accommodate the ever-increasing number of visitors to this place of education and remembrance near Berchtesgaden. Every year, around 170,000 people come to see the exhibition about the history of Obersalzberg and the Nazi era.

The new building was designed by the Austrian architects Aicher Ziviltechniker from Vorarlberg. The Traunstein State Construction Office is responsible for the construction work. The new building’s design, which won the international architecture competition held in 2014, blends in harmoniously with the landscape. Since 2020, the Munich architects LMJD have joined the project. Our Bautagebuch, a diary of the progress on construction, conveys some impressions of the building site.

Idyll and Atrocity – the New Permanent Exhibition at Dokumentation Obersalzberg

At 800 square meters (with another 230 square meters allocated to temporary exhibitions) the new exhibition space will be considerably larger than the old one. This allows a completely new concept to be realized for the permanent exhibition. 

Responsibility for the content of the new exhibition lies with the Institut für Zeitgeschichte München–Berlin (IfZ) – the Leibniz Institute of Contemporary History – which also authored the concept for the previous permanent exhibition. Scholars and museum professionals from the IfZ have curated the exhibition on behalf of the Bavarian government since it opened in 1999. The team at the IfZ has now developed an ambitious concept for the new exhibition under the leitmotif “Idyll and Atrocity”, which will convey the history of Obersalzberg in a new way, displaying more than 350 objects and using many multi-media elements. The spatial concept and design are being developed and realized by the Berlin design bureau ramićsoenario Ausstellungsgestaltung.

A Board of Trustees consisting of political and social representatives is advising the work on the new exhibition together with a Scientific Advisory Board.

The concept for the new permanent exhibition was presented in early 2021 in the prestigious Journal of Contemporary History (Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte). The text (available in German and English) can be downloaded as a PDF:

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Almost 3.2 million people have visited our old permanent exhibition. In the meantime, we have taken it down after 22 years of existence. But that doesn't mean it has disappeared completely. You can now visit the old exhibition online in a virtual 360° tour – including audio guide files and videos with our guides. Have fun clicking through! Here is the link to the tour:

The State Building Department Traunstein handed over the extension building of the Dokumentation Obersalzberg.

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