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Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer
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Permanent exhibitions

Past, Present and Future

Where we come from, what has shaped the Palatinate and its history, and what effects historic events have had on today and tomorrow: all this can be learned from the permanent exhibitions of our collection. Approximately one million artifacts are being preserved by the Historical Museum of the Palatinate. The oldest of these is an approximately 190,000 year old hand axe, the youngest stems from the 1990s. Between these extremes, many enthralling stories have played out and these are presented in our permanent exhibitions. Dark times and war years are given equal weight alongside glamorous epochs and happy, peaceful years. Did you know, for example, that the Celts buttoned their clothing with a type of safety pin? What Terra Sigilatta, the tableware of the Romans feels like? The color of Empress Gisela’s hair? Or that the discovery of porcelain was a byproduct of the search for the Philosophers’ Stone?

Our five permanent exhibitions are based on our collection and present the history of our region from prehistoric times through Roman antiquity to the modern day.

Urgeschichte (Prehistory)

Zwei Neandertaler sitzen neben einander.

The first humans who lived in the Palatinate were hunter gatherers. Meet a “genuine” Neanderthal, unlock the secrets of our world-famous Golden Hat from the Bronze Age, and discover the beauty of Celtic jewelry. The oldest exhibits in our museum illustrate the cultural, societal, and commercial development of the Palatinate from the first traces of human existence until the arrival of the Romans. More …

Römerzeit (Roman Era)

Abbildung der Ritterrüstung.

The attempt by the Romans to transform the thinly settled region west of the Rhine into a Roman province was a great success. This occurred despite the resistance of the local population but ultimately they succeeded in overcoming and “Romanizing” it. This permanent exhibition from our collection shows how the Romans lived alongside their Celtic and Germanic neighbors here, what they jointly left behind and the high standard of art they created. More

Domschatz (Cathedral Treasure)

Abbildung einer Krone.

In the Cathedral Treasure, the burial objects of the Salian emperors are preserved; among them is the burial crown of Emperor Conrad II from 1039. In addition, this permanent exhibition of the collection shows the architectural history of the Cathedral from its groundbreaking until today. The furnishings of the Cathedral with their richly ornamented liturgical appliances of gold and silver, precious hangings, and valuable manuscripts provide further evidence of the towering significance of the Cathedral of Speyer. More

Neuzeit (Modern Era)

Ein Kleid aus der Neuzeit auf einer Kleiderpuppe.

The “Modern Era” exhibition treats the period from Martin Luther to Conrad Adenauer; in other words, from 1500 into the 1950s. It shows our checkered history from the Renaissance to the immediate past. The Regional Evangelical Church explains the circumstances and outcome of the Protestant movement. Masterpieces of artistic gold jewelry, the Frankenthal porcelain and portraits by Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate and Prince Elector Charles Theodore provide a transition into the Baroque and Rococo eras.

With the arrival of the French after 1792, a lot of liberal-democratic ideas came to the Palatinate, which led to dramatic social changes and a completely new system of human rights. In 1832, the Festival at Hambach took place in the Palatinate; it was one of earliest manifestations of democracy in Germany. That is why the Historical Museum of the Palatinate is saving several unique original artifacts of that celebration, including a flag and the only still extant colorized ink lithograph of the event. More …

Weinmuseum (The Wine Museum)

Weinflasche aus Römerzeiten mit orginal Inhalt.

As a special exhibition inside the Historical Museum of the Palatinate, the Wine Museum is the first publicly accessible specialized museum of its kind. It welcomes you with a noble drop of the oldest, still liquid grape wine in the world. This Roman wine is no longer a taste treat but bears witness to the perennial love of wine by the residents of the Palatinate. A gigantic tree-sized wine press,  vintner and cellarman’s tools and other exhibits provide a glimpse into the social history of viniculture and wine consumption in the Palatinate. More …

Picture Gallery

Urgeschichte
(Number of pictures: 8)

Langhaus_Eingang.jpg

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