Danish Jewish Museum: Fusion of Past and Future


© Bjarke MacCarthy

Daniel Libeskind has designed the museum, which architecturally reflects Jewish culture and religion. The museum is connected with the old Galley House, featuring vaulted stone rooms, providing a powerful and intimate experience for visitors.

The idea behind the design of the Danish Jewish Museum comes from the Hebrew word Mitzvah, which means commandment, obligation, or good deed. The American architect Daniel Libeskind, known for the Jewish Museum in Berlin, designed the museum’s interior.

Libeskind was inspired by the concept of Mitzvah because the Jewish history in Denmark partly involves the good deeds that saved most Danish Jews from the Holocaust during World War II.

Walk Into the Word

Skewed angles and a mosaic of surprising surfaces and projections greet you as you enter the museum. There is a purpose behind the mystical architecture. The museum’s corridors are shaped like the four Hebrew letters that form the word Mitzvah.

As you move through the corridors, you are moving inside a word symbolizing a good deed. Simultaneously, the museum’s design refers to the religious texts of Judaism, which, like the museum’s corridors, are surrounded by numerous references and can be read on multiple levels.

History Points to the Future

The museum’s purpose is to explore, preserve, and communicate the Jewish cultural heritage in Denmark. The location of the museum in the Galley House is not accidental: According to Libeskind, the Danish Jewish Museum is the place that, “in Mitzvah’s unique framework, reveals a profound tradition and its future.”

The combination of the old structure of the Galley House’s vaulted stone rooms and the surprising connection to the unique exhibition space creates a dynamic dialogue between the architecture of the past and the future.

New Entrance

After an extended closure due to COVID-19, the museum reopened with a new entrance, also designed by Daniel Libeskind. This new section rises in front of the museum in the Library Garden, enhancing accessibility and visibility. Additionally, it is in many ways the completion of the work that began with the museum’s founding in 2004.

Near the Danish Jewish Museum

The Danish Jewish Museum is located in the Library Garden behind The Black Diamond. Within a five-minute walk are Christiansborg Palace, the Danish War Museum, the Lapidarium of Kings, and Danish Architecture Center – all are places that, like the Danish Jewish Museum, are part of the Copenhagen Cultural District. This association of institutions provides Danes and the city’s tourists with a unique opportunity to experience and understand Denmark’s past, present, and future in a unified urban area.


Copenhagen, Inner City


Studio Libeskind


Dansk Jødisk Museum