Museum am Strom – field day!

The past couple days I’ve been fairly cloistered with reading research, beginning to digest a vast amount of secondary sources, bibliograph them (yes, it can be a verb), and in the process cobble together some thoughts.  I’ve got some great leads and a smattering of as-of-yet unsubstantiated theories… as well as some serious eye and mind strain.

Today, I needed to get out.

Right on the bank of the Rhein, Bingen has a lovely museum dedicated to regional history with a large exhibit on Hildegard.  It’s wonderfully laid out; the exhibit takes you on a timeline of Hildegard’s life and history augmented by all sorts of goodies such as scale models of the monasteries she lived in, bits of the stonework from these places, facsimile texts, replica instruments, and even a case of gemstones/minerals to which she ascribed healing properties – complete with an explanation of each specimen’s significance.

This is a bit of stonework from Disbodenberg.

This is the corner dedicated to Rupertsberg, complete with scale model, stonework, and a facsimile of the original document signing the land over to Hildegard.

This is the first and only contemporary document to reference Hildegard as an abbess.

This is a bit of restored stained glass that was once part of Rochuskapelle, just east of Bingen.

And this is the Hildegarden, containing a large number of the plants she discusses in her medical treatise Physica – complete with nametags (hooray for Latin names, I know those) and signs with her illustrations and writings about the most prominent plants.

Pretty sure that once my primary sources arrive, I will be doing quite a bit of reading here.

This museum also had extensive information about Hildegard’s relics, which probably deserve an entire post of their own.  Upstairs, they had a balcony with large, backlit copies of her visionary illuminations alongside the passages in the Scivias they correspond to.  (Unfortunately the lighting and my camera did not cooperate.)  As if the whole setup wasn’t great enough, her music also permeated the building via hidden speakers.

And then there was a room with Roman artifacts from the area, including an altar to Mithras which was found very close to where I live.


It was extremely difficult to not put an obscene amount of exclamation points at the end of every sentence.  Just in case you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty excited about all of this.


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