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PERMANENT EXHIBITION

As we take you through the main exhibition you’ll notice that we don’t tell you the story of each European nation. Instead we want to explore how history has shaped a sense of European memory and continues to influence our lives today and in the future. As in our own lives, some things we want to remember, some things we like to forget. And of course, the same event can be interpreted from different perspectives.

The content shown on our website is a small selection of the permanent exhibition.

Map floorplan second floor museum

SHAPING EUROPE

What is Europe? Geography shows us that Europe has never been a clearly defined space.  The continent’s name comes from the ancient Greek myth of Europa, a story that has been re-interpreted, like history itself, from various points of view over time.

Europe is described through its achievements and traditions but what distinguishes it...

EUROPE: A GLOBAL POWER

The 19th century was a revolutionary period for European history and a time of great transformation in all spheres of life. Human and civil rights, democracy and nationalism, industrialisation and free market systems, all ushered in a period of change and chance.

By the end of the century Europe had reached the peak of its...

Map floorplan third floor museum

EUROPE IN RUINS

As a consequence of World War I, old empires broke up and modern national states were created. Pacifism and the idea of European integration gained increased support but faltered in the face of rising nationalism and totalitarian aggression.

World War II is often described as a “total war”; abandoning the distinction between...

Map floorplan fourth floor museum

REBUILDING A DIVIDED CONTINENT

The period after 1945: Europe is in ruins, disempowered and divided between two opposing global forces, the United States of America and the Soviet Union.

United by fear of Communism, some Western European countries began the path of co-operation at a supranational level in order to tame nationalism and dismantle the risk of war....

Map floorplan fifth floor museum

SHATTERING CERTAINTIES

Global recession and inflated energy prices - Europe’s post-war boom comes to an abrupt end in the 1970s. New social movements challenge the political order.

Amid the economic and social turmoil, the European Community continued to build up the common market. Greece, Portugal and Spain became New Member states – all of which had shaken...

Map floorplan sixth floor museum

ACCOLADES AND CRITICISM

Now, it’s over to you! This gallery is about your opinions! What is Europe? What makes you feel ‘European’? What is our European heritage? If you’re a visitor here today from outside Europe, what are your perspectives of Europe and Europeans?

What is the relevance of our memories? Our memories of the past are important to us...