German Football Museum Highlights Nation's Love for "Beautiful Game"
Enlarge image German Football Museum in Dortmund (© picture alliance / dpa) That Germany is a football powerhouse is something that even travelers who are not interested in sports are probably aware of. But for those visiting Germany who love the "beautiful game" a stop in the city of Dortmund is a must in order to delve more deeply into Germany's role in the sport's history.
You likely won't get a ticket to a Borussia Dortmund match, since those are usually sold out well in advance - but you'll want to head to the dazzling new German Football Museum.
Just how dazzling the museum, opened in 2015, is can be seen in the fact that in an unusual move, the European Council's museum body has nominated it for the "Museum of the Year Award" (EMYA), an honor that usually goes to heavyweight institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Enlarge image The 1990 World Cup trophy is just one of the many treasures on display at the National Football Museum. (© picture alliance / dpa) "It is an absolute highlight for us to be playing in the Champions League of museums," museum director Manuel Neukirchner says. "It shows that football has arrived in the overall cultural life."
Visitors to the museum are treated to a multi-media tour of the milestones, highlights and superstars in Germany's rich football history that dates back to the German Football Federation's (DFB) founding in 1990, all under the slogan "We are football."
Special sections are devoted to the four World Cup titles of 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014. Legendary trainers such as Sepp Herberger and players like "Der Kaiser" Franz Beckenbeauer are given special attention.
Interactive screens offer visitors a chance to test their knowledge of the game and its rules, cinema rooms show clips of historic matches, and for youngsters unable to contain their energy, there's even an indoor miniature football pitch.
Food and refreshments are offered in three different hospitality areas.
EMYA, under the auspices of the European Council, is an honor awarded since 1977 to museums that either had been opened only shortly before or had undergone a complete modernisation.
This year's 40th award ceremonies are set for May 3-6 in Zagreb. Previously, the only other museum from the sports world to win the EMYA was the Olympics Museum in Lausanne in 1995.