For anyone with an ounce of romance in his or her soul, Hamburg’s Die Dachbodenbande is unmissable, and will stay with you forever.
In the same building as the (extremely popular) Minatur-Wunderland, near the old town, Die Dachbodenbande is a very simple concept – recreate an old attic stuffed with memories of yesteryear. But the intent is completely serious – as you wander around you find yourself not only marvelling at the vast collection of interesting objects but also starting to think about your own Dachbodenbande. And suddenly you’re back in your own childhood, in your grandparents’ attic or somewhere else that was special and safe. And that is the magic of this place – it can be whatever and wherever you want it to be, and all of the things are good.
The resident Dachbodenbande themselves (the name means ‘attic band’) are a fascinating collection of old stuffed toys, each with his or her own story, just like the ones you made up with your own toys (yes you did…). Otto the Penguin, the one-winged leader of the band, with his tales of a career as a racing driver (though they are but tales – the truth is more prosaic). Gerda the cat, a former opera singer, and her daughter, Mitzi, who wants to follow in her mother’s pawsteps. Hermann, the fireman bear and his wife Emilie, a stay-at-home Hausfrau who commands the respect of the other members. Karl the hare, a former champion swimmer. And Fritz the ape, whose skill is, perhaps not surprisingly, climbing.
On your way round be sure not to miss the Zaubertrommel (magic drum), the entrance to an unexpected place. Remember to borrow a copy of the Philosophie (they have copies in English) as you go in – it explains what the deeper intent of the exhibition is better than I can. And buy something in the shop before you leave – this is one attraction it’s well worth supporting.
As you can tell, we were thoroughly taken with Die Dachbodenbande and would urge you to visit – there are few experiences these days that can feed your soul in the way this place can.
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