Our Collection

Sammlung des Kölner Schokoladenmuseums

5000 years of cultural history

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We provide insights: In the Chocolate Museum you embark on a journey through the 5000-year cultural history of chocolate. On more than 4,000 m² you will find the most comprehensive presentation of the history and present of cocoa and chocolate worldwide.

We have gathered the most diverse exhibits on the origin, history and cultural history of chocolate for you around the world. In total, our unique collection includes about 2500 objects.

Sammlung - Schokomuseum Köln

The conqueror and the cocoa bean

Christopher Columbus was reputed to be the first European, in 1502, to come into contact with cocoa bit didn’t take any further notice of it. At the end of the 16th century, chocolate became a popular drink among immigrant missionaries and settlers. From mesoamerica, chocolate then successfully spread around the whole world.

The Treasury

In the museum’s “Treasury” you will get a glimpse of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, the culture of the Olmecs, Maya and Aztecs, for whom cacao, which at times also served as currency over the centuries, was a drink of the gods.

Take a look at the extremely rare exhibits that clearly show the importance that cacao had among these peoples and how it was prepared. We will show you sculptures and objects used in ritual acts, as well as rubbing stones and drinking vessels.

Die Schatzkammer des Schokoladenmuseums Köln
Schatzkammer - Schokomuseum Köln
Wie die Schokolade Europa eroberte
Schokolade - Schokomuseum Köln

How chocolate conquered Europe

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The chocolate pleasure has a tradition almost 5000 years old. As a hot chocolate drink, cocoa conquered the distinguished salons of the nobility and wealthy citizens in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Chocolate was always prepared in the same way in the 18th century, the only difference was the taste due to the use of spices. The ingredients had to be of the highest quality. The preparation of chocolate fell within the remit of favorite maids and chocolate girls specially trained for this purpose. Their only task was to make sure that the precious cocoa beans were made into a drink and served.

The porcelain castle

In our porcelain castle you can admire valuable chocolate services. They illustrate the former importance of the luxury drink. For the befitting enjoyment one needed specially made chocolate services from the valuable materials porcelain, silver or gold. Our collection shows you chocolate cups and pots, which prove the feudal use of luxury goods at the courts. Feel yourself transported back to the time of the aristocratic society of that time, whose life was characterized by cultivated idleness.

Fascinating cultural history

Learn more about the development of chocolate into a luxury treat for everyone in our cultural history section. In the 19th and 20th centuries, chocolate slowly became more affordable as a result of industrialization and colonization. Nevertheless, cocoa and chocolates remained a gift for special occasions.

Whether on the radio or television, chocolate is omnipresent. Even in the past, the chocolate market spared no effort to impress us with beautiful packaging, enamel signs or posters. You can admire a wide variety of advertising materials, which were used especially at the turn of the century until the 1950s, in our exhibition.