Holy reliquary of the imperial couple of Henry II and Cunigunde © Ansgar Hoffmann/Erzbischoefliches Dioezesanmuseum Paderborn/53b5ba18df

Daily Life at the Court of Cunigunde and Henry II in Bamberg

Bamberg will host an important exhibition in the autumn 2024 focusing on the daily life at the imperial court of Henry II and Cunigunde

The Schlenkerla in Bamberg © Schousboe
Don’t miss the Schlenkerla at the foot of the Cathedral in Bamberg. From 1404, it serves its famous smoked beer and various local specialities, some of which has a distinct medieval flavour. The stuffed onions are especially recommended © Schousboe

On the occasion of the one-thousandth anniversary of the death of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II, the city and diocese of Bamberg in Germany organises a series of events. One of the highlights of this program will be the exhibition “1,000 Years Ago” in the Bamberg Historical Museum. The special exhibition focuses not only on the emperor but also on his wife Cunigunde and the people around them.

With scenographic and digitised productions, guests are invited to immerse themselves in the everyday life of an imperial palace. How were the palace and the cathedral built, how were soldiers employed and trained, how were feasts organised, what was served at the imperial table and what possibilities and limitations did the women at court experience?

The exhibition highlights the imperial couple, Henry II (973–1024) and Cunigunde (975-1033), whose work had a fundamental impact on Bamberg. However, instead of focusing on the Emperor and his consort, their rule, military campaigns and the court will be seen from afar and as viewed by the general population. Who lived in Bamberg a thousand years ago and how did people live back then? What was eaten, what clothes were worn and how did people spend their day? Who went to war with the Emperor and how did a military campaign play out?

The exhibition aims to answer these and similar questions by employing a series of scenographic and digital devices inviting the visitors to sense and experience more than read about the lifeworld of the people in Bamberg a millennium ago. Numerous possibilities will be on offer to feel the texture of medieval textiles and garments or feel the weight of the armour of the time. By focusing on the daily life of ordinary people, the organisers and curators aim to present a more truthful and less romanticized picture of life in the High Middle Ages.

The exhibition is supported by the Bavarian Sparkasse Foundation, the Sparkasse Bamberg Foundation for Art, Culture and Monument Preservation, the Oberfrankenstiftung and the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation.


Historical Museum Bamberg
Alte Hofhalte, Domplatz 7, 96049 Bamberg
25.10.2024 – 27.04.2025


Cover Heinrich IIKaiser Heinrich II.: Herrschaft, Handschriften und Heiligkeit im Mittelalter
Series: Bamberger interdisziplinäre Mittelalterstudien – Vorlesungen & Vorträge
Bamberg University Press 2024















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