A treasure trove
The Museum's "treasure trove" gives you a look into pre-Columbian mesoamerica and into the cultures of the Olmecs, Mayas and Aztecs for whom cocoa was a drink of the Gods while also serving as a form of currency over the centuries.
You can view extremely rare exhibits which reveal the status that cocoa had for these cultures and the ways in which it was prepared. We show you sculptures and objects used in rituals, as well as milling stones and drinking vessels.
Fascinating Cultural History
You can find out more about the development of chocolate into a luxury treat for everyone in our cultural-historical exhibition. In the 19th and 20th centuries, industrialisation and colonisation slowly made chocolate more affordable. Nevertheless, cocoa and chocolates remained a gift for special occasions.
Whether on the radio or television, chocolate is omnipresent. In the past, the chocolate market has spared no effort to impress us with beautiful packaging, enamel signs or posters. In our exhibition you can admire the most diverse advertising media, which were used especially in the time around the turn of the century up to the 1950s.
A luxury product becomes affordable
During the 19th and 20th centuries, chocolate slowly became affordable through industrialisation and colonisation. Cocoa and pralines remained, however, a gift for special occasions.
Two historical shops set-ups from the period show how cocoa and chocolate products were presented in highly decorative packaging. More information on how chocolate developed from a luxury product to a product for the masses can be found in the section on cultural history.
Marvel at the precious chocolate services within our porcelain palace. They clearly show the status the luxury drink once held. In 1887, a ground-breaking attraction was invented: the chocolate vending machine. Our collection includes one of these historical items which you can admire and even operate just like they did 100 years ago.
Early advertising boom
Chocolate is everywhere whether on the radio or in TV. Even in the past, the chocolate market spared no effort in impressing us with delightful packaging, enamel signs and placards. A look back at the early history of advertising and PR is provided by around 30 impressive chocolate vending machines held in our collection. These could be found at the end of the 19th century in the railway stations of New York, on the Zugspitze (Germany's highest peak), and along the Champs-Elysées. Many people are sure to recall the picture cards that could be collected and kept in specially produced albums. These were originally intended as promotional material for sample packages but became so successful that there were soon being used for regular sales. All this promotional material, which was mainly being used from the turn of the century until the 1950s, can be seen as part of our exhibits.