The Jewish Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind, was opened in September 2011 and is accessed via an underground passage leading from the former Berlin Municipal Museum which is adjacent. Within the Jewish museum, another passage leads to the Garden of Exile which consists of 49 tilted pillars with wild olive plants growing out of the top of them. A further passage leads to the Holocaust Tower, a bare 24 metre high tower who's only light comes from a small slit in the ceiling.
A thin coating of zinc covers the outside of the building, this coating is designed to oxidise and change to a bluish colour over time.
The museum, after being empty for a number of years, now contains a permanent exhibition covering 2000 years of Jewish history. There are also regular temporary exhibitions and displays on cultural history, and contemporary art.
This is the largest Jewish museum in Europe, and receives support from both the state and federal German Government.
Light enters the building through angular slits rather than traditional windows, this results in a striking experience that is intentionally designed to disorientate the visitor.
There are a number of art installations on display within the museum, one of which is by the artist Menashe Kadishman. Named “Fallen Leaves” or “Shalechet”, it consists of many thousands of coarsely cut metal faces that are ment to represent Jewish suffering. These faces cover the floor of a 20 metre high passage that cuts through the museum, visitors are invited to walk over them, the sound is then amplified naturaly throughout the passage.