ein Raum mit Exponaten
© SKD, Foto: Hans Christian Krass
The permanent exhibition at the Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut is currently being redesigned and is therefore closed. The exhibition TALANOA - Coming together is open to the public.

Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

In 1732, the missionaries of the Moravian Church in Herrnhut began to bring back objects from their remote journeys, building in this way the founding collection of the Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut. Today, the museum holds approximately 7,000 objects, most of which entered the collection between 1878 and 1940. 

  • Opening Hours Friday to Sunday 9—17
  • Admission Fees normal 3 €, reduced 2 €, under 17 free, groups (10 persons and more) 2,50 €


The permanent exhibition, which was opened in 2003, is entitled Ethnography and the Herrnhut Mission. At the heart of the exhibition are approximately 1200 objects from those peoples among whom the Moravian Church missionaries were active from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Also, individual missionaries are showcased with a view to their ethnographic activities and their valuable missionary writings. For example, in the south of Africa, the Herrnhut native Georg Schmidt was active as the first Protestant missionary among the Khoikhoi from 1738 to 1744.

Our permanent exhibition has been publicly presented to you almost unchanged since 2003. In the meantime, however, new academic research was conducted, additional knowledge was gained and new questions were asked. Political, social and cultural topics are discussed more controversially today than almost 20 years ago. We want to confront ourselves with these changed perspectives, explore creative avenues, and address social processes such as decolonization, climate change, and migration in a globalized world.

We invite you to renegotiate the position of the museum with us and to send us suggestions and questions. Join us in inventing, discussing and thinking a new museum!


[Translate to English:] Höhepunkte der Sammlung

Among the highlights of the collection are Buddhist ritual objects from a temple yurt of West Mongolian Kalmyks in southern Russia – a rarity in European museums – as well as 36 ethnographical objects from the South Pacific and from the northwest American coast, which were collected during the third voyage of the English captain and explorer James Cook (1728–1779).

To highlight particular themes, special exhibitions at the museum are developed using items held in storage. These exhibitions may also incorporate private travellers’ ethnographic collections and photographs, and they present opportunities for collaborations with other institutions. 

eine mongolische Tempeljurte

Weitere Ausstellungen

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