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Conference proceedings: “Geschichte and Kulturelles Erbe des Mittelalters. Umgang mit Geschichte in Sachsen-Anhalt and andernorts” (Medieval History and Cultural Heritage: The Treatment of History in Saxony-Anhalt and Elsewhere)

Zentrum für Mittelalterausstellungen Magdeburg’s Publication Series, Vol. 1

This volume is a compilation of papers by eminent experts from museums, the tourism industry and academia. They examine projects devoted to the cultural heritage of a certain region and describe their impact on identity formation and image promotion.

The volume brings together the different experiences and perspectives presented at the workshop “The Treatment of Medieval History and Cultural Heritage in Saxony-Anhalt: Review and Outlook” at the Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg on April 18-19, 2013.

Panel exhibition “Saxony-Anhalt, Land of the Ottonians: From the Periphery to a Central Region in Europe”

Saxony-Anhalt has an abundance of medieval artworks and architectural monuments. Many of them were produced during the 10th century when the Ottonian dynasty made the territory between the Harz and the Elbe a center of their domains. This region experienced a tremendous economic and cultural boom particularly under Emperor Otto the Great (936-973) that allowed it to become a central territory in medieval Europe.

The panel exhibition is an enticement to follow the footsteps of the Ottonians and to visit various scenes of events, which are particularly closely linked with the lives and impact of the Ottonian monarchs. At the same time, it provides information on specific political, social and cultural backgrounds of their history. From the possible birthplace of Otto the Great in Wallhausen to the episcopal see of Merseburg he established to Halberstadt where some of the most precious ecclesiastical treasures in the world can be admired today, the route leads to Gernrode and the Church of St. Cyriacus, which was founded by one of Otto the Great’s close confidants and is one of the best preserved Ottonian churches in general. By way of Quedlinburg, site of grand and festive Ottonian diets, the route continues on to the palace complex at Tilleda, now vividly reconstructed as a living history museum, and to Memleben, the site of Heinrich I’s and Otto the Great’s death. The center is Magdeburg, Otto the Great’s favorite residence, the hub of the episcopal see he founded and site of the tombs of the emperor and his first wife Eadgyth.

The panels arouse visitors’ interest in personally seeing the original sites of historical and collective memory of the Ottonians in Saxony-Anhalt described in the texts and pictures.

Tafelausstellung 2   Tafelausstellung 3

The twelve panels, each measuring 2.5 meters high and 1 meter wide, can be loaned at no charge. The panels are printed on one side and can be placed in different configurations. If you are interested, contact us at info@mi9ttelaltWHerausstOKAellungeUn.dewQD

Tie-in Location Project “Ottonian Sites”

The Ottonian royal family laid the cornerstone for an incomparable abundance of historical monuments. They made the region a center of Europe and patronized lively exchange with other continental metropolises.

Their exceptional importance was addressed by the Saxony-Anhalt state exhibition “Otto the Great and the Roman Empire: Emperorship from Antiquity to the Middle Ages” at the Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg from August 27 to December 9, 2012. In addition to Magdeburg, seven other imperial sites in Saxony-Anhalt followed the footsteps of Otto the Great in 2012 with events and exhibitions, thus anchoring the state exhibition in the entire state: Gernrode, Halberstadt, Memleben, Merseburg, Quedlinburg, Tilleda and Wallhausen are all sites closely linked with the life and impact of Otto the Great.

The "Cartography" Project

Four state exhibitions have been held at the Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg over the past thirteen years: “Otto the Great, Magdeburg and Europe” (2001), “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” (2006), “Dawn of the Gothic”(2009) and “Otto the Great and the Roman Empire” (2012). A total of forty-three maps enjoying continual use by scholars were published in the lavish exhibition catalogues. The ZMA has now responded the repeatedly voiced request to make the maps available in digital form as well. They will be viewable on the ZMA’s website at the end of April 2014.

Creation of an Object Database

The ZMA is creating a database of collections of medieval objects in museums in Saxony-Anhalt as well as items from Saxony-Anhalt all over the world. It will be expanded continually and is an excellent basis for the development of concepts for exhibitions with ties to Saxony-Anhalt. We are using the professional museum software FirstRumos.