A mystic mishmash

You’d expect a magic museum to go one of two ways: kiddie cute or witch-hunt grim. The MAGICUM Museum does neither, but it's not just for children either. Those looking for an entertaining outing with your kooky aunt may have it just right here.

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Photo by Michael Asche

You’d expect a magic museum to go one of two ways: Harry Potter-style cute or witch-hunt grim. The MAGICUM Museum does neither. Its bright and mystical website (ghoulish owls and dressed up mannequins), as well as its frilly main entrance, complete with sparkly crystals and hanging carpets, points more towards a children’s attraction. Puzzlingly, as you walk through the brick-walled maze of five underground vaults, each with different bilingual English/German exhibits, you come across more serious spiritual traditions. African voodoo masks glare back at you through glass panels while poison cauldrons and sinister torture instruments from the Middle Ages are ominously lit. Not so child-friendly anymore. Plus there is a definite need for constant parental supervision to keep curious fingers from being poked by pointy contraptions and help read and understand the many sheets of magical instructions for the interactive games and puzzles. MAGICUM attempts to cover the full range of all matters mystical from oracle card readings to pagan Christian practices for an admission of €9.50 for adults, while children under six enter free. For a touch of the cliché, yet still entertaining, there also is Ben Blu’s magic show (€5 per person, every Sat and Sun) to satiate your need for floating tables and rope tricks.