On 31 October 2018, the chocolate museum in Cologne will turn 25, and will celebrate the whole year round with special offers and a programme of events. To start off the celebrations, the museum on the Rhine will be lit up, and become part of the exhibition project. From 22 to 24 March, the museum will be one of seven locations in the city to be lit up with artistic illuminations. From 18 to 24 June, there will be a campaign week focussing on sustainability and fair trade. Besides a special programme for schools, as well as presentations and guided tours for adults, there will be a large number of information and activity stands in the foyer of the museum. To complete the anniversary year, 70 chocolatiers from Germany and abroad will present their products and skills at the “Markt der Chocolatiers” in front of the museum.
The museum, which was founded by the Cologne businessman and “chocolate king” Dr. Hans Imhoff, attracts around 600,000 visitors every year, and is one of the most visited cultural institutions in Cologne. By its 25th birthday, the museum had, according to its own calculations, welcomed over 14 million visitors. In area of over 4,000 square meters, the exhibition presents the history of chocolate, from the “ambrosia” of the Aztecs through to the modern industrial product. As well as information about the cocoa plant, exhibits from the pre-Columbian cultures of Central America are shown, together with an important porcelain and silver collection from the Baroque period and numerous old machines from the industrialisation period. The exhibition highlights are the tropical house that visitors can enter, where a cocoa tree is growing among the other vegetation, a large chocolate fountain and the glass-fronted chocolate factory.