Places & Spaces Whilst Away

the chocolate museum – cologne pt 1

January 10, 2013

When in germany over the christmas period, we popped to cologne and visited the chocolate museum. Wow, what an incredible place. I think there are 3 or 4 floors and you can literally spent an entire day/afternoon looking at everything: from where chocolate comes from to how it’s made, how it’s manufactured, industrialised, packaged. There are rooms on its history throughout the ages, rooms on chocolate as cult status and you can even design your own chocolate bar with different topics! At the end of the exhibition there are wonderful tea rooms and a massive chocolate shop where you can indulge to your heart’s content.

There was so much to see and even more to photograph that i felt i needed to divide this into 2 posts. So, here is post no 1. Post no. 2 will follow on monday.

These are coloured copperplates of a cocoa plant, dated around 1700.



This is a detail of a vessel.


Around the late 16th century, the search for new medicines was an important factor. As a medicine, chocolate was believed to promote the digestion and therefore have health preserving properties. It was also declared a good remedy for the treatment of fever. However, its health benefits were believed to derive primarily from its high nutritional value.


In the course of the 17th century, chocolate became a popular beverage amongst the european nobility. This was mainly due to the addition of sugar, which adapted the originally hotly spiced drink to european tastes. Chocolate soon became fashionable. This was further reinforced by its status as a fortifier and aphrodisiac.

The flavour and stimulating effects of chocolate were only of secondary importance for the european nobility. Much more powerful was the symbolic significance associated with drinking chocolate. It was a means for the nobility to draw a line between themselves and commoners and to forge an exclusive social class.

Isn’t this chocolate pot just divine?


Some exhibits walls i thought to be very effective!



A reproduction of an original 1930’s chemist’s shop (Drogerieladen) selling chocolates.


Just loved these illustrations on the packaging.


A cacao tin, dated the end of the 19th century.


Some more gorgeous graphics for packaging.






Stollwerck is a german chocolate manufacturer. It was founded in 1839 and expanded internationally in europe and america, becoming the second largest producer of chocolate in the US by 1900. I’m not sure it still produces chocolate but is owned since 2011 by a belgian firm.


How romantic is that?


In the mid-19th century the first vending machines were produced in england, selling cigarettes, sweets or similar small items.

Ludwig Stollwerck, embraced the concept. He was first introduced to the vending machine while travelling the US and quickly recognised its potential as an advertising and sales medium. 5 years after the appearance of the first vending machine, around 12,000 could be found in germany.




In 1868 hugo hoffman opened a company to produce sweets. The sarotti-moor was created in 1918 for the 50 year anniversary of the company. In 1929, nestlé became the majority stockholder in the company. This traditional german brand is only known in its home market. In 1998 nestlé sold sarotti to stollwerck chocolates.

Due to political corectness the tray-carrying moor had been changed into a ‘mage’ of golden skin colour in 2004.






Well, here you have the first part. Isn’t it interesting to see the development into what we know of chocolate today? For me personally, chocolate is best when it has a cocoa content of 80% or higher and i’m forever seeking out new brands who believe in the pure taste of chocolate.

On monday, you’ll see some of the chocolate cult brands you’ll all recognise. It’s funny how marketing has taken over and we now love those brands that have introduced all sorts of concoctions which have little to do with the raw cocoa bean. Anyhow, each to their own tastes.

The books giveaway is still open till Sunday at 6pm GMT. If you want a chance to win yourselves 3 books, enter by leaving a comment.

I wish you all a happy weekend and hope snow won’t affect your plans:)

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  • Reply sue January 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    to think chocolate was ever NOT fashionable! *shudder*
    loving the photos, particularly the vending machines… crack me up! reinforces the notion that i was born in the wrong era… i want to buy a bar of chocolate from the monacled one!

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      We know you were born in the wrong era and yes, the monocle one is amaz…

      Chocaholic Sue, that’s your new name:-)

  • Reply Louise de Miranda January 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    What a pity I don’t have enough time coming Monday to visit this when I’m in Cologne. Must remember on my next trip cause I LOVE chocolate (DUH I’m a woman) and I also love old wrappings, and vintage cacao boxes.

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Looking at your Instagram and twitter feed you’re having a great time. The chocolate museum will still be there!

  • Reply geraldine January 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    What a wonderful tour Tina. I love that old fashion chocolate shop and all the gorgeous pakaging. I can still remember those Cadbury’s chocolate vending machines at the tube stations in the 80s/90s – still, not as stylish as the ones you have shown. Such a wonderful confectionary – if only it truly possessed all the medicinal properties claimed. However, there are good studies out there showing excellent anti-oxidant effects of cocoa. I bet the cafe at the museum was divine – I can smell the hot choc from here. Have a lovely weekend Tina. xx

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      Thanks. That old shop was really fab and you could just imagine it with customers in it.

      No, the Cadbury vending machines WERE NOT the same:)
      Highest cocoa content is best for anti-oxidant effects! xx

  • Reply Doris January 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I also love those vending machines – particularly the cute house with the figurines inside. So adorable. Your tour has now made me hungry for chocolate… exits to raid the left over chocolate stash from Christmas…. xD

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      I love anything with humour and attention to details and I would LOVE to buy chocolates out of those vending machines. Look what we have today…. all modern, but soooo ugly! x

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey January 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    This is a wonderful snapshot of chocolate’s history. I do love the tray-carrying moor images you’ve shown; I guess rightly or wrongly, they are part of that rich history.

    You like 80% or higher… that’s a lot. I tend to like around 70%. Unfortunately Cadbury has blighted UK chocolate tastes. People think that’s how chocolate should be… all sugar & no cocoa.

    Thanks xx

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Oh the Sarotti chaps, how cute are they?

      Correct, the confectionary in the UK is shocking and I’m appalled at most of it!
      I once did a test (many years ago) where I had organic 70% + chocolate and tuck shop chocolate. With the rubbish ones I was addicted for a whole week. The dark organic one I just wanted a bit and didn’t feel the need to repeat. Says it all, I think.God knows what they put in Cadbury, Néstle etc….

      Thanks Gerard xx

  • Reply Alison Sye January 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Tina, your photographs are always so luscious. Would love to see that packaging in the flesh, especially the cardboard boxes. The shop reminded me of the Museum of London. Looking forward to reading Part 2.

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Thank you Alison and look at you starting to blog:)

      Bet you would love the cardboard boxes to recycle and make cards off:) Can you imagine how amazing??
      Hope you like part 2…x

  • Reply WeHeartHome January 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Love this Tina! I really like imagining the times when chocolate was considered medicinal and that it was for sale in chemist’s shops. Cool!

    You’re pictures are so lovely 🙂

    I also like high content cacao chocolate, but I must admit, there is something about the texture (creaminess) of milk chocolate that dark chocolate can’t compete with. When it comes to flavour though, dark chocolate wins. Therefore, you will find me eating both on a regualr basis 😉

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      I know. Sometimes creamy milk chocolate is great but it’s mostly when the chocolate brand is a real quality one. Dark doesn’t always hit the spot!

      Am delighted you eat both on a regular basis. Any favourites?? x

  • Reply WeHeartHome January 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    oops! forgot to sign off so you would know who is writing…

    xx. Holly

  • Reply Catherine Bedson January 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Tina, fabulous photos and yes I’m a chocolate lover too. I love all the old packaging and the vending machines. I like good chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa around 70% but also like milk chocolate equally. Look forward to part 2. xx

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Another milk and dark chocolate lover! Woohoo. You would love the museum and especially the tea rooms and chocolate shop xx

  • Reply Igor January 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Oh no, why have I seen this now before heading to Cologne and not having time to visit this fab museum?? Well I guess this means I have to get back to Cologne after the imm:-) Thanks for sharing my friend!

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      There you go, Mr IMM superstar! On your next trip to Cologne…..

  • Reply Nicola January 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Love the chocolate pots, the glorious packaging and the vending machines, great post Tina -looking forward to the next part x

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Remember me Instagramming you the chocolate pot?? That’s where I was:)

      There was just too much to photograph xx

  • Reply Anya Jensen January 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Oh Tina – chocolate fantastic. What an awesome museum. I adore the first image – it is so cool and very now;-) and the old apothecary jars and the pretty decorations. I love interesting places and stories.
    Happy Sunday evening, hope you have fun,

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      I like it… chocolate fantastic:-)

      Yes, the apothecary jars were fab. Thanks lovely Anya x

  • Reply Ingrid January 14, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Love seeing the exquisite packaging Tina! x i

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks Ingrid x

  • Reply Chi @ 106 January 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I haven’t eaten chocolate for years but I’m fascinated by this fantastic place and the rich history within, nonetheless.

    I particularly love the idea of designing a chocolate bar. I married into a family of passionate chocolate lovers and I’m constantly looking for new and inventive ways to give them chocolates as presents. What a fabulous personalised gift that would be! 😀

    So cool to see early vending machines – they’re so much more handsome than their modern counterparts. The chocolate packaging and typography is just wonderful, too. Can’t wait for your next instalment! 😀 x

    • Reply tina January 14, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      I so admire your willpower.. although highly sugar intolerant I do slip and have it from time to time.
      I do wish I could be completely sugar free. I once managed over 18 months but then relapsed a bit.
      You must tell me your secret:)

      There was quite a big part showing the manufacturing of chocolates etc. That was really interesting but rather difficult to photograph. Also it had little colour in it. They had a big chocolate fountain. L would have loved that!!

      The vending machines were incredible. There were quite a few. Difficult to photograph like most things as they were behind glass! Thanks Chi x

  • Reply James Balston January 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Now that’s a museum! Love the old packaging

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