At Traben-Trarbach, near Trier in Germany, is a remarkable ‘Buddha Museum’, a private collection. Its website – http://www.buddha-museum.de – offers lots of pictures, as well as this description:
‘The Buddha Museum in Traben-Trarbach is a unique in Europe permanent exhibition of Buddhist iconography that is unparalleled in Europe. More than 2,000 Buddhas, which have been collected over the past 20 years, found in Traben-Trarbach their new home. 3.60 meters height measures the largest figure and weighs 2 tons, the heaviest among them. This extraordinary collection covers all philosophical trends that have emerged from the Theravada. Exhibits from India, Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and other countries are shown. Here, this collection exhibits of different types from different regions contributes together to cover the whole multitude and variety of existing Buddha sculptures.
Claus Rettig, born in 1945, studied Chinese and Japanese, among others, in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. The focus of his employment with the Far East are art and religion and philosophy. Mr. Rettig was an employee of major exhibitions; among other things, in Institute for Asian Studies in Hamburg. He translated numerous texts for business, science and literature from the French, English, Chinese and Japanese. He has written travel guide for South Korea, China and Beijing, as well as all contributions to South Korea and Japan for one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage encyclopedias. He was also involved in many Far East documentaries for television. Again and again it is requested as a lecturer and led study tours to the Far East. Mr. Rettig processes and manages the objects in the exhibition and are specialized tours of the Buddha Museum Traben-Trarbach.
Take your time…and you will experience an exhibition of a particular kind in the built in 1906 by Berlin architect Bruno Möhring Art Nouveau former winery. Objects from the Far East countries introduce the Buddhist teaching and art, aesthetics and world view. Unexpectedly, as the museum itself, they fit in the Mosel valley with its ancient wine culture.
The exhibition area of 4000 square meters (including courtyard and roof terrace of approx 1000 square meters) hosts a variety of paintings, sculptures and objects of the three main Buddhist directions Hinayana (Theravada), Mahayana and Vajrayana, and resulting previous schools.
The Buddha Lounge you can make your impressions reminisce over coffee or tea, relax, chat or browse the Buddha Store, the additional further insights into Buddhism alongside sculptures, CDs and DVDs, a solid selection of books, as well as literature holds to mysticism and spirituality.
The team of the Buddha museum wishes you joy and many “new old” insights.’