Buchstabenmuseum – Berlin, Germany - Atlas Obscura


A collection of abandoned typographic signs from Berlin and beyond. 


Many of Berlin’s lost letters fill this unique museum. And not letters as in notes sent through the post, but 3-D pieces of forgotten or abandoned signs.

The Museum of Rescued Letters (Buchstabenmuseum) was established in 2005 by Barbara Dechant and Anja Schulze. What began as their personal passions for and collection of typography has grown into a museum packed with a jumble of discarded letters and signs otherwise doomed for a dumpster. 

Typography enthusiasts are welcome to visit the museum to browse bits of the collection. Most of the letters come from Berlin, but a few were sourced from elsewhere in Germany and beyond. Old shop signs, logos, and letters fill the space. Some are arranged by color, while others are clumped together to form an eclectic alphabet soup. Abandoned neon signs buzz and glow within the darker corners.

The letters and words are more than just forgotten ghosts of cafe signs past. The museum aims to document, research, and restore the many signs scattered about to the space to preserve otherwise lost fragments of the cityscape. Many of the exhibits are accompanied by little notes that detail their histories and typeface.

Update June 2019: After a long renovation, the Buchstabenmuseum has opened its doors to visitors in its new location. Check the museum’s website further info.

Know Before You Go

Public transportation to Bellevue (S-Bahn) or Hansaplatz (U-Bahn).

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