• 001 - the logo.jpg
  • 002 - Hiroshima sunset.jpg
  • 003 - Auschwitz-Birkenau ramp.jpg
  • 004 - Chernobyl contamination.jpg
  • 005 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 006 - Berlin Wall madness.jpg
  • 007 - Bulgaria - monument at the bottom of Buzludzhy park hill.jpg
  • 008 - Ijen crater.jpg
  • 009 - Aralsk, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 010 - Paris catacombs.jpg
  • 011 - Krakatoa.jpg
  • 012 - Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Hanoi.jpg
  • 013 - Uyuni.jpg
  • 014 - DMZ Vietnam.jpg
  • 015 - Colditz Kopie.jpg
  • 016 - Glasgow Necropolis.jpg
  • 017 - Hashima ghost island.jpg
  • 018 - Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 019 - Arlington.jpg
  • 020 - Karosta prison.jpg
  • 021 - Kamikaze.jpg
  • 022 - Chacabuco ghost town.jpg
  • 023 - Eagle's Nest, Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden.jpg
  • 024 - Kursk.jpg
  • 025 - Bran castle, Carpathia, Romania.jpg
  • 026 - Bestattungsmuseum Wien.jpg
  • 027 - Pripyat near Chernobyl.jpg
  • 028 - Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 029 - Pyramida Lenin.jpg
  • 030 - Falklands.jpg
  • 031 - Majdanek.jpg
  • 032 - Soufriere volcano, Montserrat.jpg
  • 033 - moai on Easter Island.jpg
  • 034 - Sidoarjo.jpg
  • 035 - Hötensleben.jpg
  • 036 - Natzweiler.jpg
  • 037 - Polygon, Semipalatinsk test site, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 038 - Srebrenica.jpg
  • 039 - Liepaja, Latvia.jpg
  • 040 - Vemork hydroelectric power plant building, Norway.jpg
  • 041 - Enola Gay.jpg
  • 042 - Pentagon 9-11 memorial.jpg
  • 043 - Robben Island prison, South Africa.jpg
  • 044 - Tollund man.jpg
  • 045 - Marienthal tunnel.jpg
  • 046 - Aso, Japan.jpg
  • 047 - Labrador battery Singapore.jpg
  • 048 - Artyom island, Absheron, Azerbaijan.jpg
  • 049 - Treblinka.jpg
  • 050 - Titan II silo.jpg
  • 051 - dosemetering doll, Chernobyl.jpg
  • 052 - Holocaust memorial, Berlin.jpg
  • 053 - Komodo dragon.jpg
  • 054 - cemeterio general, Santiago de Chile.jpg
  • 055 - Tuol Sleng, Phnom Phen, Cambodia.jpg
  • 056 - West Virginia penitentiary.jpg
  • 057 - ovens, Dachau.jpg
  • 058 - Derry, Northern Ireland.jpg
  • 059 - Bulgaria - Buzludzha - workers of all countries unite.jpg
  • 060 - Sachsenhausen.jpg
  • 061 - Tiraspol dom sovietov.jpg
  • 062 - modern-day Pompeii - Plymouth, Montserrat.jpg
  • 063 - Pico de Fogo.jpg
  • 064 - Trinity Day.jpg
  • 065 - Zwentendorf control room.jpg
  • 066 - Wolfschanze.jpg
  • 067 - Hiroshima by night.jpg
  • 068 - mass games, North Korea.jpg
  • 069 - Harrisburg.jpg
  • 070 - Nuremberg.jpg
  • 071 - Mostar.jpg
  • 072 - Tu-22, Riga aviation museum.jpg
  • 073 - Gallipoli, Lone Pine.jpg
  • 074 - Auschwitz-Birkenau - fence.jpg
  • 075 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 076 - Atatürk Mausoleum, Ankara.jpg
  • 077 - Banda Aceh boats.jpg
  • 078 - AMARG.jpg
  • 079 - Chacabuco ruins.jpg
  • 080 - Bucharest.jpg
  • 081 - Bernauer Straße.jpg
  • 082 - Death Railway, Thailand.jpg
  • 083 - Mandor killing fields.jpg
  • 084 - Kozloduy.jpg
  • 085 - Jerusalem.jpg
  • 086 - Latin Bridge, Sarajevo.jpg
  • 087 - Panmunjom, DMZ, Korea.jpg
  • 088 - Ijen blue flames.jpg
  • 089 - Derry reconsilliation monument.jpg
  • 090 - Ebensee.jpg
  • 091 - Mödlareuth barbed wire.jpg
  • 092 - skull heaps in Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 093 - Nikel.jpg
  • 094 - Fukushima-Daiichi NPP.jpg
  • 095 - Tital launch control centre.jpg
  • 096 - Dallas Dealy Plaza and Sixth Floor Museum.jpg
  • 097 - Auschwitz I.jpg
  • 098 - Stalin and Lenin, Tirana, Albania.jpg
  • 099 - Malta, Fort St Elmo.jpg
  • 100 - Peenemünde.jpg
  • 101 - Tarrafal.jpg
  • 102 - Kilmainham prison, Dublin.jpg
  • 103 - North Korea.jpg
  • 104 - Mittelbau-Dora.jpg
  • 105 - St Helena.jpg
  • 106 - Stutthof, Poland.jpg
  • 107 - Merapi destruction.jpg
  • 108 - Chueung Ek killing fields, Cambodia.jpg
  • 109 - Marienborn former GDR border.jpg
  • 110 - Mig and star, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 111 - Nagasaki WWII tunnels.jpg
  • 112 - Hellfire Pass, Thailand.jpg
  • 113 - Kiev.jpg
  • 114 - Grutas Park, Lithuania.jpg
  • 115 - Zwentendorf reactor core.jpg
  • 116 - two occupations, Tallinn.jpg
  • 117 - Trunyan burial site.jpg
  • 118 - Ushuaia prison.jpg
  • 119 - Buchenwald.jpg
  • 120 - Marienthal with ghost.jpg
  • 121 - Murmansk harbour - with an aircraft carrier.jpg
  • 122 - Berlin Olympiastadion.JPG
  • 123 - Bastille Day, Paris.jpg
  • 124 - Spassk.jpg
  • 125 - Theresienstadt.jpg
  • 126 - B-52s.jpg
  • 127 - Bledug Kuwu.jpg
  • 128 - Friedhof der Namenlosen, Vienna.jpg
  • 129 - Auschwitz-Birkenau barracks.jpg
  • 130 - mummies, Bolivia.jpg
  • 131 - Barringer meteor crater.jpg
  • 132 - Murambi, Rwanda.jpg
  • 133 - NTS.jpg
  • 134 - Mauthausen Soviet monument.jpg
  • 135 - pullution, Kazakhstan.JPG
  • 136 - palm oil madness.jpg
  • 137 - Berlin socialist realism.jpg
  • 138 - Okawa school building ruin.jpg
  • 139 - Pawiak, Warsaw.jpg
  • 140 - flying death, military museum Dresden.JPG
  • 141 - KGB gear.JPG
  • 142 - KZ jacket.JPG
  • 143 - ex-USSR.JPG
  • 144 - Indonesia fruit bats.JPG
  • 145 - Alcatraz.JPG
  • 146 - Chernobyl Museum, Kiev, Ukraine.JPG
  • 147 - Halemaumau lava lake glow, Hawaii.JPG
  • 148 - Rosinenbomber at Tempelhof, Berlin.jpg
  • 149 - Verdun, France.JPG
  • 150 - hospital, Vukovar, Croatia.JPG
  • 151 - the original tomb of Napoleon, St Helena.JPG
  • 152 - Buchenwald, Germany.JPG
  • 153 - Bhopal.JPG
  • 154 - Groß-Rosen, Poland.jpg
  • 155 - at Monino, Russia.jpg
  • 156 - blinking Komodo.jpg
  • 157 - inside Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 158 - Mount St Helens, USA.JPG
  • 159 - Maly Trostenec, Minsk, Belarus.jpg
  • 160 - Vucedol skulls, Croatia.JPG
  • 161 - colourful WW1 shells.JPG
  • 162 - Zeljava airbase in Croatia.JPG
  • 163 - rusting wrecks, Chernobyl.JPG
  • 164 - San Bernadine alle Ossa, Milan, Italy.jpg
  • 165 - USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.JPG
  • 166 - Brest Fortress, Belarus.JPG
  • 167 - thousands of bats, Dom Rep.JPG
  • 168 - Hohenschönhausen, Berlin.JPG
  • 169 - Perm-36 gulag site.JPG
  • 170 - Jasenovac, Croatia.JPG
  • 171 - Beelitz Heilstätten.JPG
  • 172 - Kremlin, Moscow.jpg
  • 173 - old arms factory, Dubnica.JPG
  • 174 - Pervomaisc ICBM base, more  missiles, including an SS-18 Satan.jpg
  • 175 - Cellular Jail, Port Blair.jpg
  • 177 - control room, Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 178 - Podgorica, Montenegro, small arms and light weapons sculpture.jpg
  • 179 - Vught.jpg
  • 180 - Japanese cave East Timor.jpg
  • 181 - Ani.jpg
  • 182 - Indonesia wildfire.jpg
  • 183 - Chacabuco big sky.jpg
  • 184 - Bunker Valentin, Germany.JPG
  • 185 - Lest we Forget, Ypres.JPG
  • 186 - the logo again.jpg

former 'Sielmuseum' sewer museum, Hamburg

  
NOTE: the museum is closed – thus it is now catagorized here under lost places.
 
The text below, now slightly abridged and adapted, was originally written after my visit to the museum several months before the unexpected closure. Consider it a reminder, or rather an 'obituary':
 
  
What was it? Hamburg's 'sewer museum', housed in a working sewage pumping station, was more a weird than a dark attraction, really. Although in a quite literal sense a dark element was included too, because it's more than a museum: a glimpse into the dark depths of the underground was included in the tour …

More background info: For many years employees of Hamburg's waterworks/sewers have collected items they found in the city's sewer system and which they deemed interesting enough to go in a collection that they eventually put on display.
  
This collection was then turned into a kind of small-scale semi-public museum. However, visits had to be incorporated into educational tours giving insights into how the public services of water supply and wastewater management in the city of Hamburg work. The place was run by the company responsible for this, so they had an interest in such public relations efforts. Today, however, this has been transferred to a new modern museum called "WasserForum" ('water forum' – or 'experience'). But as this lacks the darker aspects, it was not deemed worthy of an entry of its own here.
  
What there was to see: (…and smell …) The bizarre collection of items in the museum part proper included dentures, various toys, glasses, identity cards, tools (including a hammer and a sickle – which in the display were cheekily arranged in the old Soviet style) and all manner of clothes. Female underwear was disproportionately represented – reflecting a predictable bias in the invariably male sewer workers' selectivity.
  
Before you could actually see the collection, though, you had to sit through an introductory lecture, given by an employee of the water treatment company. In this talk the basics of water sourcing, water treatment, and sewage disposal, etc. were outlined. Much of this was clearly geared rather towards school groups than tourists. Nevertheless, there were some interesting things to be learned too. (For instance, I didn't know that the solid residue of sewage can be compressed into an extremely hard and sturdy kind of 'rock', used for example on the river Elbe's embankments to prevent erosion. In the Q&A session after the main talk I asked whether that doesn't run the risk of dissolving harmful chemicals in those rocks – having been made from sewage waste – into the river, but only got the "officially" reassuring, and thus not entirely convincing answer that they're taken to be "harmless".)
  
After the rather long introductory talk and Q&A session, you got fitted out with a protective helmet, and then led down, first to the museum, where our group spent about 10-15 minutes. Then it was down to the real thing: the sewer. First you walked through a short iron tunnel leading to one of the system's main screening rakes (where many of the items in the museum's collection will have been fished out).
  
Beyond lies a chamber at the confluence of two of Hamburg's main sewers. In the past this was the spot from which boats departed on inspection tours into the sewers.
Before you ask: it was less stinky than you'd expect. OK, rose petal fragrance is not to be expected either, but my apprehensive expectations of far worse a stench were not fulfilled. It was really tolerable.
  
Before visitors were allowed to enter, however, everyone had to sign a declaration saying that you've understood the health warnings they gave you (to let them off any liability). These mainly concerned the comparatively minor risks involved in being in a confined space where there is raw sewage (unless you have any special health issues, these can normally be ignored), and, more precisely, the instruction not to TOUCH anything other than the railings. (… but then again, how likely is it that you would want to rub your hands along those grimy walls in here anyway?) As another safety precaution we were required to wash our hands thoroughly after the tour.
  
The tour finished with a glimpse of some further separating machinery, then we were spewed back out onto the street and the (at least comparatively) fresh air …
  
All in all the tour lasted about 90 minutes. It was free of charge, though advance booking and joining a group was required, so access was already rather restricted.
  
What's become of the exhibits in the little museum, which was located at the western end of the Landungsbrücken complex, I cannot say – my enquiry regarding this was not honoured with a reply. I fear it may be lost for good.  
 
  • Sielmuseum Hamburg 1 - museum entranceSielmuseum Hamburg 1 - museum entrance
  • Sielmuseum Hamburg 2 - tour meeting pointSielmuseum Hamburg 2 - tour meeting point
  • Sielmuseum Hamburg 3 - into the museumSielmuseum Hamburg 3 - into the museum
  • Sielmuseum Hamburg 4 - exhibitsSielmuseum Hamburg 4 - exhibits
  • Sielmuseum Hamburg 5 - dressed in sewer findsSielmuseum Hamburg 5 - dressed in sewer finds
  • Sielmuseum Hamburg 6 - towards the sewerSielmuseum Hamburg 6 - towards the sewer
  • Sielmuseum Hamburg 7 - sewerSielmuseum Hamburg 7 - sewer
  • Sielmuseum Hamburg 8 - a bit spookySielmuseum Hamburg 8 - a bit spooky
  • Sielmuseum HamburgSielmuseum Hamburg

  

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