During the 12th century AD Slavic tribes as well as incoming Germanic groups occupied the area of the modern city of Berlin. Towards the end of the 12th century, a small village was established some 20 km to the south-west of the early villages of Berlin and Cölln on the River Spree. There is still ongoing debate whether the Village in Düppel was a Germanic settlement, or if it was also influenced by Slavic traditions.
The settlement in Düppel was discovered in 1939, when a boy called Horst Trzeciak found ceramic sherds on the site. It was only in 1967 that archaeologists from the Museum für Vor-und Frühgeschichte under Prof. Adriaan von Müller began excavating the site. The village was almost excavated to its full extent, which is why the idea was born to re-build the houses posthole by posthole. Today the reconstructed houses form a u-shaped village setup around a picturesque common. The Village Museum Düppel (Museumsdorf Düppel) is a hidden, green oasis within the territory of a modern capital city. The day to day running of the village is organized by the ‘Fördererverein Museumsdorf Düppel’, a non-for-profit society of Friends of Düppel set up in 1975. Today the society of Friends has about 1000 members. The Museumsdorf Düppel is part of the ‘Stiftung Stadtmuseuum Berlin’ (City Museum).
Düppel is renowned for its active volunteers, who bring the medieval village to life with a variety of craft activities and experiments through their longstanding commitment. At the weekends, visitors can experience how ceramic vessels are made, how the smith produces artefacts made from iron, how willow baskets are made as well as the production of pitch and tar. Over 100 articles have been published, containing activities and experiments carried out by the different groups in Düppel. Domestic animals, especially old breeds, are also a special research focus in Düppel. The ‘Düppeler Weideschweine’ are a recognized breed of pigs, who look similar to what medieval pigs might have looked like. The 16 hectares are also used to grow and experiment with different crops and forest types.
Special events around the year invite the visitors to experience festive occasions, themed workshops and living history groups. The products of the museum are sold in the Museum shop. Our kitchen offers simple but very tasty food.
The Village Museum Düppel is open for visitors at weekends and bank holidays between April and October. School groups can visit the Museum all-year round from Monday to Friday on pre-booked guided tours or workshops.
Responsible for content and experimental archaeology:
Dr. Julia Heeb