The Peace Museum
Please Note: The museum is currently closed due to renovation works.
The idea of establishing a memorial had occupied the mayor of Remagen, Hans Peter Kürten, for a long time. Negotiations with the Federal Railway took seven years until the former railway site could be acquired. Hints to official bodies to preserve the bridge as a memorial and to set up a place of remembrance for peace were not heeded.
Then, in the summer of 1976, when the bridge pillars were removed from the Rhine, Kürten had their stones brought to the Remagen river bank, for he had an idea: namely, to sell small chunks of these bridge stones, encased in cast resin and with a certificate of authenticity. On 7 March 1978, he presented this idea to the public. The success was great and beyond all expectations. Within a short time, far more than DM 100,000 in sales revenue was collected - the foundation stone of the museum was laid.
A job creation scheme was approved by the employment office. The towers were cleared out, doors and windows were added, the interior was painted and lights were installed. As early as 7 March 1980, only 2 years after the idea with the sale of the bridge stones, the memorial could be opened. More than 800,000 visitors have visited the museum since then.
One focus of the exhibition recalls the construction, the conquest and the heavy fighting in the bridgehead, in which German, American, Belgian and English soldiers were involved. A documentary video from the English Military Academy in Sandhurst shows the events in newsreel footage and eyewitness interviews.
Under the heading "Building Bridges - Messages for Peace", the second focus looks at developments after the Second World War and documents the more than 200 wars since 1945.