The Middle Ages is one of the focal points of the Schloss Gottorf exhibitions. Here, the Archaeological Museum Schloss Gottorf presents the people’s everyday life. Visitors to the Middle Ages exhibition have the opportunity to gain a vivid picture of a relatively close world, which is nonetheless strange to us.
Most people lived and worked in the country. The cultivated areas were extended considerably with clearings and dyke construction. Plaggen manuring and new ploughing and crop devices belong to the innovations of farming during the Middle Ages. Confrontation with the forces of nature is illustrated with the win and loss of cultivated landscape on the North Sea coast. Iron smelting and milling technology serve witness to the fact that crafts and trade were practiced in the country. The model of a Middle Ages farmhouse is based on the results of archaeological and ethnological research and provides information about the construction style and use of the house.
Chivalry in Schleswig-Holstein
The fortress represents an important aspect of life in the Middle Ages: chivalry. Its rise and fall are marked by the two most significant battles in the State’s history. Bornhöved 1227 and Hemmingstedt 1500. Findings and results from a sovereign fortress complex and from a less significant country squire’s fortified tower illustrate social differences within the State’s upper echelons of society.
The beginning and end of life
Churches are the best-kept construction testimonials for the Middle Ages. Baptismal fonts, coffins and images of the notions of afterlife illuminate the beginning and end of human life. Different means of expression of piety can also be found on archaeological findings: Pilgrimages to distant places just as faithful prayers in private and magical practices of the folk religion.
Schleswig old town excavation
Primarily the plentiful findings from excavations in Schleswig’s old town help us to gain a picture of how towns looked. They are provided with a particularly broad basis in the exhibition. After the surrender of Haithabu during the mid-11th century, Schleswig boomed. Therefore, the exhibition takes up the presentation in the Viking Museum Haithabu. The extent of the material shows varied aspects of everyday life in a town in the Middle Ages: from arts and crafts and trade via nourishment and clothing to living and leisure time.
Schleswig’s significant role in international trade between the North Sea and Baltic Sea or between Scandinavia and the continent from the late 11th to the mid-13th century is particularly easy to grasp in this exhibition due to the multitude of archaeological evidence. The former trade journey made by merchants from Schleswig date back to a time which was still before the emergence of the Low German Hanseatic League.