Open-Air Gas Lantern Museum

About the Museum

This open-air museum (Gaslaternen-Freilichtmuseum Berlin) was founded in 1978 at a time when electric lanterns were increasingly taking over the task of brightening Berlin's streets. At that point, it was decided that the discarded gas lanterns would be kept as reminders and witnesses of historical street lighting technology. Today, the museum has over 90 gas lanterns – both originals and replicas – and boasts the most comprehensive collection of its kind in Europe. The lamps originate from the era between 1826 and 1956 and were once used to brighten sidewalks and streets in 25 German and 11 other European cities. The sheer diversity of lantern designs is impressive and includes everything from an ornate, five-arm Wilhelminian candelabra to an upper trim cast-iron lizard and a simple and clearly structured concrete mast. The open-air museum is found in Berlin's Tiergarten Park and is thus always accessible to visitors. As soon as dusk falls, the lanterns are switched on and light up the park's paths with their warm yellow glow.

(Photo: Frank Lindemuth)

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