Eichsfeld border land museum

  - darkometer rating:  5 -

Yet another of Germany's border museums on the former Iron Curtain division line between the FRG (West) and GDR (East).

The Eichsfeld region used to be particularly heavily affected by the border, which cut straight through various communities so that even brothers and sisters were separated and unable to see each other.

The museum is entitled "Grenzlandmuseum", border land museum, i.e. it focuses not just on the border itself but also on the wider context of what it meant and to a degree still means to the surrounding lands, its people and nature.

The museum exhibitions are housed in a complex of buildings at a former border crossing checkpoint and customs station. Themes include: the history of the border and its fortifications, refugees, forced displacement of people, GDR society, opening of the border in 1989 and more – all with an emphasis on the Eichsfeld region.

In addition to the indoor exhibitions, the museum also has a few outdoor exhibits like border guard vehicles. The original checkpoint buildings add to the authenticity of the place.  

Adjacent to the museum proper is also a documentation and education centre (aiming primarily at German schoolchildren and students, though).

The museum as such is complemented by an open-air part: along a 'border hiking trail' of 2½  miles (4 km) length in total a stretch of border has been preserved (mostly original) with border fence, lights, observation bunkers, "Hundelaufanlage" ('dog-run installation' – see Point Alpha) and the obligatory watchtower, in this case actually a border guard command post (cf. Berlin Wall watchtowers).

In the other direction from the border crossing point, another hiking trail leads off along the "Green Belt" that the former border now forms – this is a nature trail, without any border installations.

Opening times: Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: 2.50 EUR (1.50 EUR concession)

Location: on the B247 at Teistungen, Thuringia, a couple of miles south of Duderstadt, Lower Saxony, Germany (some 25 miles / 40 km east of Göttingen); address: Duderstädter Straße 5, D-37339 Teistungen.

Google maps locator:[51.483,10.262]

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