The town of Wolfsburg in Germany is home to the Volkswagen brand and its fascinating, diverse celebration of automotive culture
Matt Burt
1 February 2014

For car lovers, the town of Wolfsburg in Germany is synonymous with one brand: Volkswagen. The history of the automotive brand is intertwined with that of the town, which was known as Stadt des Kdf-Wagens until May 1945.

The location, near Fallersleben in Lower Saxony, was specifically chosen as the site of a new car plant in the 1930s. The four chimneys of the factory’s original power station remain one of the town’s distinctive landmarks and still provide power for the area.

Now, adjacent to the Volkswagen production facility and the Mittelcanal upon which bargeloads of VW products were transported to markets before a bespoke rail track was built, is the massive Autostadt visitor attraction.

Autostadt is a celebration of the Volkswagen Group, housing pavilions that showcase all of the main brands. Its open spaces, lakes, exhibitions, art and architecture offer a contrast to the starkly industrial ambience that otherwise pervades Wolfsburg.

Outside, near the lakes rendered solid by the bracing sub-zero Arctic wind, enormous glass car silos house freshly made Volkswagens of all shapes, sizes and colours. European VW buyers can choose to collect their car from the Autostadt if they wish, making a day of it by combining key collection of their new vehicle with a visit to the exhibits.

In the restaurant shop you can buy Volkswagen-branded tomato ketchup or, if the mood takes you, wurst sausage that has its own serial number in Volkswagen’s parts catalogue.

For car nuts, the main attraction is the ZeitHaus. Now, you might be convinced to give Volkswagen’s automobile museum a swerve through concern that you’ll be presented by endless iterations of Golfs, Polos and Passats.

Not a bit of it: those cars are represented, but the ZeitHaus is a fascinating celebration of the history of the automobile with an emphasis of the design and technological perspectives, and disparate brands both current and dormant are represented.

See our picture gallery above this story for a taste of what the ZeitHaus has to offer.

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Comments
6

1 February 2014
Matt Burt It must be awkward visiting the museum considering that VW omit and heavily censor the undesirable parts of their history.

Notice theres no mention that the factory was built with Adolf Hitler's approval in Fallersleben and used 1000s of concentration camp prisoners as Ferdinand Porsche thought they would be cheaper workforce to build vehicles during the war.. Not godwins law but fact.

Now the smug mid life crisis grey haired panzerfaust nein eleven drivers know why their PCM 3.0 crashes every time they type auschwitz as destination

1 February 2014
nimmler wrote:

Matt Burt It must be awkward visiting the museum considering that VW omit and heavily censor the undesirable parts of their history.

Notice theres no mention that the factory was built with Adolf Hitler's approval in Fallersleben and used 1000s of concentration camp prisoners as Ferdinand Porsche thought they would be cheaper workforce to build vehicles during the war.. Not godwins law but fact.

Now the smug mid life crisis grey haired panzerfaust nein eleven drivers know why their PCM 3.0 crashes every time they type auschwitz as destination

Wholly agree, even their wiki page is censored. I love how super brands such as this can just airbrush their history. (Even AUDI's is censored and claims that the brand started in 1898 and meant 'LISTEN!' no mention of Auto Union Deutsche Industrie or that one of the factories is no only famous for producing Wartburgs). Indeed, VW has a lot more undesirable history than most.

1 February 2014
Both nimmler and marg need to delve a bit deeper into history before throwing stones.
There is a whole lot more to both stories mentioned than gained by a superficial glance at wiki.
For example marg, do you even know why the latin word meaning 'listen' was adopted?

2 February 2014
Isn't it VW museum? Why are there cars from other companies?

4 February 2014
Unhappily, the Battle of Britain memorial window, in the 'Y' of the main staircase at Crewe, has "disappeared". It was boarded up for a decade, but was still there. Then Bentley's reception was remodelled and the window was gone. Never mind, though, there's another one just like it in Westminster Abbey...

4 February 2014
Come on nimmler and marj. Or are you both just trying to be provocative?!! The article is about CARS like the magazine and website you must have read. It was an English army officer who rescued the Volkswagen brand and motor industrial giant it has now become after we bombed the factory. Yes, he was acting upon orders and yes there are/is politics in everything. But you cannot deny that VW group make some very good products and employ many thousands of people around the globe. I do not know when the Zeithaus opened but I wish I had known about it last summer if it was open then, as I stayed in Wolfsburg one night. Had a fanatstic steak in the Argentinian steak house. This is completely unrelated to VW too! But then nimmler and marj (Simpson?!!) are probably vegetarian!! Thanks Matt for the info. Keep up the good work!

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