Ausstellung Flüsse 7 Globaler Wasserkreislauf c Senckenberg

Permanent exhibition


Unfortunately, for organizational reasons the exhibition is occasionally closed.


The Nidda flows from the volcanic Vogelsberg to its mouth on the Main near Frankfurt-Höchst through Hesse. Now, the visitors flow with the water through the new exhibition “Rivers”. Using the example of the Nidda, the connection between geology and water, the biodiversity within the river, and the water cycle of the region, are clearly explained.

With the help of the Mainova AG, the Senckenberg Nature Museum has designed exceptional multi-media exhibits. The Senckenberg Society supplies Frankfurt with drinking water that is sustainably produced in the region and is committed to using water in a way that conserves resources, promoting the resource-friendly use of water locally. In the exhibition, a strong contextual reference to the region is deliberately made to help educate those about our work together.

As a drop of water, visitors shrink to the size of a grain of sand and enter a world that can otherwise only be seen under a microscope, and walk through the exhibition in this way. Tiny organisms which are larger than life swim around here – they can be delicate, sometimes they are translucent, and are of a surprising variety of shapes and sizes, as well as aesthetics.

Raumansicht Ausstellung Flüsse 2023
Vorschau Flüsse
The walk-in water drop, which was created in cooperation with the Intermedia Design course at the Trier University of Applied Sciences, was made possible through the support of the energy provider Mainova AG.

Our second multi-media highlight exhibit provides us with a bird’s-eye view: visitors can survey the Rhine-Main region from the Vogelsberg to the Hessian Ried and are given the opportunity to manipulate the water cycle, all by themselves! What would happen to the water cycle if this area were to undergo construction or be built over, therefore being almost entirely sealed? What effect do our reforestation measures or the extensification of agricultural use have on the water cycle? What is the impact of extreme weather events such as torrential rains or extended drought? The simulation, which works with actual data from the Hessian State Agency for Conservation, the Environment, and Geology (HLNUG), was established in cooperation with the agency, and represents an absolute novelty.

Ausstellung Flüsse 5 Flüsse weltweit C Senckenberg Tränkner
The exhibition takes an exemplary look at the four rivers Amazon, Nile, Ganges and Rhine.

Additional hands-on stations reveal astonishing facts regarding the water’s geology and the flora and fauna along the Nidda River. Among others, the exhibition offers close-up looks at the rare kingfisher and the shy mink – a species of mustelid introduced from North America. They serve as an example of animals that have returned to this habitat, or have become established here in the wake of the restoration measures along the Nidda, since the 1990s. Moreover, visitors can learn more about the full range of Senckenberg’s research in, and along, major rivers in our part of the world.

To provide a global perspective, four of the world’s largest rivers are introduced as examples: The Amazon, the Nile, the Ganges, and the Rhine. Aside from fascinating data and facts involving the diversity of ecosystems, special emphasis is placed on the cultural importance of these watercourses for the local residents. Animated maps illustrate the changes in water volume in these rivers over the course of the year. Unfortunately, the true global scarcity of water is often underestimated, and it is within our interest to show just how drastic the changes we are making to our water, and our world, are. In addition, animated world maps provide impressive insights into the development of renewable freshwater resources over the past decades.


Press Images

Ausstellung Flüsse 3 Begehbarer Wassertropfen c Senckenberg Tränkner
In the walk-in water drop, visitors shrink to the size of a grain of sand and can discover a wide variety of microorganisms.
Ausstellung Flüsse 12 Artenvielfalt u Forschung c Senckenberg Tränkner
Senckenberg research projects investigate the importance of individual factors influencing the species communities of water bodies. The research enables indications as to which measures can contribute to an effective improvement of our rivers in the future.
Ausstellung Flüsse 24 Regionaler Wasserkreislauf c Senckenberg Tränkner
The influence of individual parameters on the water cycle is immediately visible on the interactive water cycle. The simulation, which uses real data from the Hessian State Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG), is an absolute innovation.
Ausstellung Flüsse 30 Amerikanischer Mink c Senckenberg Tränkner
Also to be discovered in the wall: the shy mink. This invasive marten species prefers to live in the shore area. Originally from fur farms, the animals were able to settle on the Nidda and are now hunted.
Ausstellung Flüsse 31 Feuersalamander c Senckenberg Tränkner
Playfully exploring the river habitat: If you look through the peepholes, you will discover fire salamander larvae & Co.