Cemetery and Grave


The section Cemetery and Grave in the basement of the museum documents the development of cemeteries and graves in the German-speaking area from the Late Middle Ages to the present day. The centre of this section is dedicated to the theme of "church burials" and the displacement of cemeteries from the town centres (beside the churches) to the outskirts beyond the built-up areas, a process which started as early as the second half of the 16th century.

Parallel to this, the numerous tombs, gravestones and epitaphs illustrate the iconographic features of different epochs. They not only allow conclusions to be drawn about their religious origin (Catholic / Protestant), but also about dealing with death and the consequent attitude to memory and remembrance. It is not least the graves and cemeteries of different epochs which bear witness to contemporary taste. For example, the crosses and steles which predominated until the 18th century were replaced by opulent tombs based on the antique style, with pyramid, obelisk, sarcophagus and urn. The graveyard design was also increasingly aesthetic, modelled on the contemporary concepts of garden design (e.g. the English landscape park).

This section also covers the development from custom-made to industrially produced gravestones. Furthermore, present-day gravestones are on show, some of which are highly experimental and illustrate the desire for new, individual forms.

Memorials from various ages are also to be found in the grounds outside the museum. Since 2009, an important historical memorial and monument for Germany is also located here: an original segment of the Berlin Wall.