The Museum der Arbeit (Museum of Work) is one of Hamburg’s lesser-known museums. But if you look a bit closer, it’s got quite a few unique qualities.
The theme of the museum is to document the work conditions of the last 150 years. Fittingly, it’s located at a former industrial site just next to the train station Barmbek. The most impressive (and famous) exhibit is actually free: TRUDE.
TRUDE is an acronym for Tief Runter Unter Die Elbe (Deep below the river Elbe). At that time it was the biggest tunnel drilling machine of the world. It was used between 1997 and 2000 for another tunnel beneath the river Elbe. The cutting shield was salvaged and has been moved to its current location.
The exhibits inside the museum are much smaller obviously. A large part of the permanent exhibition is dedicated to printing machine and tools. Do you want to know how giant letters were produced before the digital age? Never seen a large print machine? If it’s analog, it’s probably at the Museum of Work.
Many of the machines are actually still in use – and this is where it’s getting interesting. The museum has plenty of live demonstrations and you leave one of them with a souvenir. It’s also open to people doing projects with these machines. Just talk to the museum so staff is present to supervise you.
Still, if you’re not interested in printing, the museum might not be worthwhile. This is especially true if you arrive between special exhibitions. In that case, only three floors are accessible.