Insel Hombroich; a place where nature, art and architecture meet

December, 2019

Not too far from Beesel, just outside the German town Neuss, in Holzheim, you will find Museum Insel (Island) Hombroich. A friend of mine, who visited me during my house-sit, brought me to this exceptional place. The museum was established in 1987 by Karl-Heinrich Müller, a real estate magnate and art collector. The island, surrounded by the Erft river, is a place where art, architecture and nature are all in one spot. There are no signs, no name tags, just your own feelings, senses and impressions. Bernard Korte was the landscape gardener, Erwin Heerich designed the ten ‘walk-in sculptures’ and Gotthard Graubner was the painter, who organized the design and layout of the collection.

After entering the museum, your journey starts through 62 acres of meadow-land. Via gravel paths and wooden bridges, along ponds and the banks of the Erft river, you are guided to various pavilions. Some of the buildings are empty; just space, light and echo. Other ‘walk-in’ sculptures show works from East Asia, Mexico, Africa and Polynesia. Besides archaeological artifacts, you will find work of many well-known artists, including Paul Cézanne, Yves Klein, Rembrandt, Henri Matisse, Rietveld and Bart van der Leck.

Insel Hombroich is a place where art is in parallel to nature. While walking from building to building, you will see many wildflowers, a diversity of trees, exotic plants and all kinds of water birds. Even the coypu was very present!

This plant eating rodent loves living in the wetlands. Originally from South America, where it was exported for its fur and now seen also in North America and Europe, Africa and Asia.

The entrance fee for the museum is 15 euro and includes a nutritious and very simple lunch, served in another geometric pavilion. A perfect way to finish four hours of wandering around, admiring buildings, nature and art.

 

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