The archaeological collection is located downstairs in the museum’s modern extension and in seven rooms on the ground floor of the historical Morass Palace. This extensive exhibit documents Heidelberg’s eventful history from the Palaeolithic Age through the residence of the court of Kurpfalz (Electoral Palatinate) in the city, bringing to life 600.000 years of human history in the region and beyond. By far the largest room here is devoted to the local presence of the Romans. Another room is dedicated entirely to the significant archaeological site at the Heiligenberg. The large number of artefacts from the Merovingian age (5th – 8th centuries), including jewelry, weapons and ceramics paints a lively picture of Frankish life in the early Middle Ages. A section on urban archaeology in Heidelberg concludes the exhibition.
HEIDELBERG’S URBAN HISTORY
Along with the history of the Kurpfalz, the history of Heidelberg itself is the main focus of the museum. In the impressive vaulted cellar of the Morass Palace gravestones, sculptures and architectural components tell the town’s story in stone from the Middle Ages to circa 1800. A separate room is dedicated to the results of the excavations of the museum’s grounds and of the Kornmarkt in the center of town. Development and change in Heidelberg since 1800 is the subject of the palace’s ground floor exhibits, highlighted under the sections “Heidelberg during the Age of Romanticism”, “The Revolution of 1848-49”, “Heidelberg around 1900” and “National Socialism”.
PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURES
The collection of paintings and sculptures contains works dating from the late 15th
to the 20th centuries. For the most part, the works are by artists who either came from the region or were associated with Heidelberg through the court of the Electorate, although the collection also extends far beyond these regional borders. For example, one of the most significant late medieval works is Tilman Riemenschneider’s Windsheim Altar of 1509, from the region of Franconia in south-eastern Germany. In terms of 17th and 18th-century art the Dutch paintings of the Posselt Collection are an important focal point within a more extensive exhibition of works by German, Italian and French artists. Another distinctive feature especially worthy of note is the collection of paintings from Heidelberg during the Romantic period, including works by Rottmann, Fohr and Fries. Works of art from the late 19th century, the period of classical Modernism, and the post-war-era conclude the collection’s scope. A presentation of the history and art of the former Kurpfalz (Electoral Palatinate) unfolds within the historical rooms of the 18th-century Morass Palace. In this unique environment, a wide variety of exhibits describes the colourful story of the times between 1214 and the end of the Kurpfalz in 1803. Here the portraits of rulers (including those of “Friedrich V” by Honthorst, “Liselotte” by Rigaud, and “Carl Theodor” by Ziesenis), historical paintings, furniture and other examples of fine craftsmanship, such as Frankenthal porcelain, the Ottheinrich tapestry, coins and medallions, all illustrate the rich history of the region.
The museum’s collection of applied arts is exhibited throughout the Morass Palace, spread out over the second floor (in the previously mentioned Kurpfalz collection) and the entire third floor of the historical building. On the third floor, four period rooms are furnished as they would have appeared in 18th and 19th-century domestic settings. The comparison between the original Rococo (1760) and the later third Rococo (1897) in two adjoining rooms is especially charming. Individual topics such as faience, porcelain, glass, and historicism are explored in depth in various display cases. The extensive collection of historical costumes, presented before contemporary backdrops, reveals an even more intimate aspect of life from the past 200 years.
The contents of the graphic arts department of the museum count as one of southwest Germany’s finest collections. With its 7000 watercolors and drawings and 13000 prints, the collection spans the time between the late Middle Ages and the 20th century, concentrating on Romanticism (especially works by Rottmann, Fohr and Fries), items related to Heidelberg and the Kurpfalz, topography, portraits, depictions of historical events and pamphlets.
There is a wide range of opportunities for children and young people to experience the museum in the form of talks, tours for school classes, art appreciation discussions and exhibitions. In the Painter’s Corner, young visitors have the chance to turn what they see and learn in the museum into their own creations, supported by insights into history and artistic techniques and working conditions.
PUBLIC RELATIONS AND SERVICES
Visitors can learn about the program of activities in the museum’s quarterly newsletter. By request, guided tours based on specific subjects can be arranged for visiting groups. Each month, the museum presents a new “Artwork of the Month”, highlighted by informational texts. The museum shop offers primarily a selection of archaeological replicas for sale, and at the main entrance desk a variety of exhibition catalogues and posters can be purchased. Certain museum rooms can be hired for private parties and events.
Kurpfälzisches Museum der Stadt Heidelberg
(Palatinate Museum of the City of Heidelberg)
Museum / Main Entrance Desk
Hauptstraße 97, 69117 Heidelberg
Phone 06221 58-34020
Schiffgasse 10, 69117 Heidelberg
Phone 06221 58-34000
Fax 06221 58-34900
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, closed on Mondays
Adults 3 €, reduced (students, senior citizens) 1,80 €
On Sundays adults 1,80 €, reduced (students, senior citizens) 1,20 €
General Information Phone 06221 58-34000
Fax 06221 58-34900
From direction of Neckarstaden, public parking garage Kongresshaus / Stadthalle (P 8) or any other local garage
Kongresshaus/Stadthalle (Lines 31, 32, 35)
Universitätsplatz (Lines 31, 32)
Peterskirche (Line 33)