Leather Museum In Offenbach

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Deutsches Ledermuseum
Deutsches Ledermuseum

[ source: Wikipedia]

The German Leather Museum in Offenbach, Hesse, and close to the Frankfurt border, is one of the world's largest leather museums and the only one of its type. Founded in 1917, some exhibits are said to be over 3,000 years old. There are leather saddles, furniture, shoes, purses, photo albums, book cases, suitcases, trunks, toys, photo albums and more. Popular many years ago were shoemakers, tanners, harness and saddle makers and makers of luxury products and clothing. At one point over 10,000 people worked in the leather industry.

This 4,000-square-meter Leather Museum in Offenbach was reopened in March of 2011 after a rebuilding that lasted a year. There are three museums in the one building: the German Shoe Museum with international footwear and a small art gallery featuring shoes as well as a model of the shoes worn by the 5,000-year-old mummy "Otzi", the Museum for Applied Art with designs and crafts dating from the Middle Ages down to the present with a focus on leather, and the Ethnological Museum with American, Asian and African Departments.

The museum's director and initiator, Professor Hugo Eberhardt, wanted a high-quality leatherwork collection in an institution that featured the use of leather through the entire world. Locating it in Offenbach was no coincidence because of the town's prominence as Europe's leather capital. Unfortunately, small factories closed down in the 1960s, and the only producer left is the Gold Pfeil Company, which manufactures fine-quality hand bags, purses and wallets.

An entire display shows the process of making leather from the skinning of the cow to the finished products. A collection of Napoleanic leather goods includes items from Napolean himself. There are also U.S. American Native clothing and moccasins and items from many peoples of the world showing the use of leather, vellum and rawhide in everyday life and crafts. There is a small cowboy and gaucho exhibit and also a giant crocodile's skin.

At this leather museum in Offenbach, you will also find an Asian Shadow Puppet collection and the Treasure Room with the most valuable objects in the museum such as Renaissance cabinets and caskets, 17th and 18th century gilt leather wall hangings, Middle Ages love boxes, a portable radio made out of python skin, a baseball mitt, boxing gloves, African masks made of parchment and wood, a leather nomad tent and historic as well as contemporary garments including a long leather coat worn by a German officer in World War II. The German Leather Museum in Offenbach is a must see for anyone visiting Germany.

If you're looking for an affordable place to stay in Offenbach or surroundings check out our list of Offenbach vacation rentals on Live Like a German.

About this Article

Bettina Kraft

This travel guide has been written by
  Bettina Kraft.

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Frankfurter Straße 86, 63067 Offenbach am Main, Germany

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