A wooden box with printed lettering - many people know the trademark of the Augsburger Puppenkiste. But visitors to Spitalgasse will find much more than fits into a box.
Since 26 February 1948, the day of its premiere, the Augsburger Puppenkiste has been casting a spell over young and old in the rooms of the former Heilig-Geist-Spital. Here, where once director and actor Walter Oehmichen, together with his wife Rose, brought the first wooden figures to life, you can still attend theatre performances and marvel at the art of puppetry at close quarters. Thanks to the lovingly designed and detailed sets, you are immersed in a world full of adventure, not only with classics such as Puss in Boots, Urmel aus dem Eis or Hansel and Gretel. If you like opera, you should definitely see the productions of Mozart's Magic Flute or Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungen. More entertainment for adults is also offered by the annually changing evening cabaret programme. Tickets for the performances in the puppet theatre, now in its third generation, should definitely be booked in advance, as they are in great demand. Current dates and schedules can be found here.
But in addition to the elaborately staged puppet shows, it is also worth visiting the in-house puppet theatre museum "Die Kiste", which has been located on the floor above the theatre premises since 2001. In the permanent exhibition, visitors go on a journey through time and can admire the hand-carved wooden figures known throughout Germany, such as Kater Mikesch or Räuber Hotzenplotz, together with their elaborately designed sets. But it is not only the celebrated stars on strings of the Augsburg Puppet Box that have found their home in the "Kiste": In changing special exhibitions, other wooden heroes also await visitors, accompanied by a colourful programme on the respective exhibition theme. Information on the current special exhibitions can be found here.
The Café & Restaurant "Die Kiste" is also located directly on site. Here you can eat well and at reasonable prices in a casual atmosphere. The special thing about it: The dishes are named after the stars of the Puppenkiste. If you are looking for an unusual location for a special occasion such as a wedding or company party, you can also celebrate in the rooms of the former Heilig-Geist-Spital. Children can celebrate their birthday together with their friends in the "Kiste" and, among other things, immerse themselves in the adventurous world of Jim Knopf or Urmel aus dem Eis on a special guided tour.
On the way back to the station, it's also worth taking a look at the Kasperle traffic light in Spitalgasse 6 - because it only exists in Augsburg and only in honour of the Augsburg Puppet Box.
Current information, admission prices and opening hours can be found here.
How to get there:
You can reach the Augsburger Puppenkiste on foot from Augsburg main station in about 20 minutes. To visit the Augsburger Puppenkiste, leave the main station at the east exit and follow Viktoriastraße to the right for a short distance until you reach the traffic lights. The road makes a slight left turn here and is now called Halderstraße. After 450 metres you will reach the intersection with Hermanstraße. Cross this at the traffic lights. Follow Schießgrabenstraße for 130 metres, then turn left onto Beethovenstraße and a few metres further on turn right again onto Konrad-Adenauer-Allee. After 300 metres turn left onto Weite G. and after another 280 metres turn right again onto Milchberg. After 180 metres turn right into Spitalgasse. The Puppenkiste is on your left after 180 metres at number 15.
Our extra tip for children
Museums are particularly interesting for children when they can discover and try things out for themselves. At the Augsburger Puppenkiste, for example, young explorers can look behind the scenes with a special telescope and watch the puppeteers at work.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.