Description of the museum

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The 17th century “Renthof” and the 18th century “Zehntscheune” are parts of the former castle of Wolfhagen. The museum was established here in 1980.




This museum has seven departments. You can find them in a groundplan at the Renthof´s entrance. Each department has an appointment theme that is explained by illustrations and written text. Booklets on the themes can be purchased.

Department 1 Primitive and Prehistoric Times of the Wolfhagen Region

There are objects that were discovered by finds and excavations from
the early stone-age (paleolithic) 100.000 BC – 8.000 BC.
middle stone-age (mesolithic)       8.000 BC – 3.500 BC
later stone-age (neolithic)            3.500 BC – 1.800 BC
the bronze-age                              1.800 BC – 800 BC
the iron-age                          from    800 BC

Besides tools and implements the main points are the burial of the dead: megalithic tomb (=stone-tomb) with a hole for the soul of the later stone-age, bronze-age burial mounds and iron-age urns; a menhir of the neolithic period is of special historic interest.

Department 2 The Church in the Middle-Ages

This room tells us of the time when Boniface, the German apostle, converted the Teutonic tribes (e.g. the Chatten in this region). At that time the following were founded: the baptistery of St. Peter on the Schützeberg, St. Benedict’s abbey on the Burghasungerberg and a number of village churches. When Wolfhagen was founded (1223 – 1231) the St. Anna church (in the market place), a hospital and a house for lepers were built: baptismal fonts, sarcophaque, column tops, tympana, lintel, bell, a relief of the suffering Christ.

Department 3 Knights´Castle and Towns in the Middle-Ages

There are objects from finds and excavations in the Wolfhagen region, especially from the “Weidelsburg” and the “Röderserburg”: daily life and chivalrous culture. – Other objects are from abandoned villages and towns (e.g. Landsberg) and from Wolfhagen itself:
Daily culture, the town´s seal, coins, fortifications and weapons, cross-bow, arrows and cannon balls, luminarium (a stone for lighting and heating rooms) and tomb stone of the town´s founder, Louis IV from Thuringia (a copy, the original is in St. Georg´s Church in Eisenach).

Noteworthy: The ceiling of straw and walls of sandstone and loam.

Department 4 Crafts and Guilds

A lot of citizens were craftsmen. You can see tools and implements: guild-chests, guild-shields and –flags, tongs for lifting stones, sewing machines, a rope-walk;
products: textile-printing, pottery, ovens and oven-stones, the smith´s and tin-founder´s products. Charters and documents of the guilds: apprentice – journeyman –master.
Statutes, registers: craft and society.



Department 5 The Citizen and His Society

The citizen in town and village, in the community and in the state, illustrations and documents.
Objects: an old water pipeline, defensive measures, fire-brigade, jurisdiction money, trade, the use of wood.
The citizen and the church, the citizen and the associations: pictures, charters, documents;
The Jews as a minority,
Wolfhagen – a garrison in former times and today.

In the stairwell: a harvest-crown; portraits of important persons of the Wolfhagen region: Tileman Elhen von Wolfhagen, Hans Staden, Ludwig Emil Grimm, Ludwig von Buttlar.
Holy Communion table from the Huguenot church of Leckringhausen, 18th century (cf. dept. 5).
Flags on the subjects “liberalism” and “nationalism”, 19th century.

Department 6: The Craftsmen´s Workshops
A shoemaker´s workshop; a joiner´s workshop

Department 7: The Kinds of Labour and Ways of Life of Artisans, who also worked

From flax to flax-products, from sheep to wool-products; from milk to butter, in the kitchen and store rooms, in the hall.

Outside facilities: Stone-cutters´ work
Border stones, tracery stones, tomb stones, oven stones; fragments of fountains.
Door-frame stones from the town hall´s voult cellar of 13t century.
Pillars from the cellar of a citizen´s house (14th century)

Geological path:
This geological path links the “Renthof” with the “Zehntscheune”. True to scale it demonstrates in 90 feet length the six hundred million years of geological epochs. Supporting stones from this region and from Middle-/North Europe give a glimpse of different rock structures.


(Museum in the “Zehntscheune” (former tenth barn)


Department 8: History of Houses and Architecture of Half-timbered Houses in the
Wolfhagen Region

Stone buildings and wooden buildings after original elements of stone houses and parts of scaffolding of half-timbered houses, reconstruction of techniques for frame-work and texture; door timberwork (beams) of regional halls respectively of barn floors. Door wings and ornamental beams of transom, weather vanes, carpenters´ tools.
Building art, room partition, usage and social structures of houses in the meeting-point of Lower and Middle German house culture shown by models made to scale of 1 : 20.
Expansions of consciousness towards living in old houses. Restoration, protection of monuments, study opportunities for students, architects, carpenters and restorers.



Department 9: World of Pictures

Dept. 9a: World of picture in the Wolfhagen Region

Mural decorations and other picture carriers from the 19th and 20th centuries document the image that inhabitants of villages and towns had of the world in those centuries.
Also integrated are cultural goods from the homes of new Wolfhagen citizens (expellees and late-returning settlers from the former German East regions and from East –Middle Europe).
Fragments of old Wolfhagen costumes.

Dept. 9b: Gallery of Contemporary Artists

Exhibits of contemporary artists of the Wolfhagen region (in possession of the museum).
Occasionally there are special exhibitions in this gallery.

Department 10: Geology and Geomorphology

The circular course of stones; rock samples from different geological epochs; fossils, esp. from this area telling of the development of life, from the frame of this room.
A model gives insight into the interior of a volcano.

Department 11: Town Model and “The Ludowinger Book”

The town model shows the shape of the originally founded town of Wolfhagen at about 1530 (scale 1 : 500). “The Ludowinger Book” informs about the genealogy of the Thuringian tribe of the “Ludowinger” in the 13th century and describes their activities in the political and intellectual network of occidental history. In the centre of interest stand Ludwig (=Louis) IV (founder of Wolfhagen) and his wife Elizabeth, the Holy Elizabeth.

Department 12: Hans Staden, Seafarer to Brazil in the 16th Century

Hans Staden was in Brazil as seafarer, bowman and adventurer and became prisoner of the Indians there.
His “Warhaftige Historia” (=true history), a document of early German ethnology, was written by him while being a citizen of Wolfhagen.

Helps for Visitors

Series “Guides to the museum

Vol. 2/3:          Church, castle and town in the Middle Ages
Vol.    4:          Crafts and guilds
Vol.    5:          The citizen and his society
Vol.    6:          Geology of the Wolfhagen region

Series “Research work”

Vol.    1:          Ecclesiastical and profane pewter utensils in the Wolfhagen region
Vol.    2:          The Huguenots in Leckringhausen, Wolfhagen and Ippinghausen
Vol.    3:          The world of pictures in the Wolfhagen region. Picture media in the 19th and
early 20th centuries in houses of rural and urban citizens
Vol.    4:          Defensive brotherhoods in the Wolfhagen region
Vol.    5:          History of houses and architecture of half-timbered houses in the Wolfhagen
Vol.    6:          House inscriptions in the Wolfhagen region
Series “Special Exhibitions”

Vol.    1:          Gisela Petschner, Painting and graphic arts
Vol.    2:          The founders and rulers of Wolfhagen –
the Thuringian Ludowingers in their historic bounds and orientation in the
13th century

Exhibition brochures

Old flags in the Wolfhagen region
The “Riesengebirge” (=giants´ mountain) in the artistic work of Friedrich Iwan; together with:
Wolfhagen in old postcards
The stool maker
Herrmann Kellenbenz, Sketches en route
The carpenter in pictures of the 19th and early 20th centuries
Wolfram Aust, Sceneries
“Roses on the Way” -    Annotations to pictures by Hildegard Halfar-Dammer and
Gisela Petschner
Mühlhausen -                 A town in Thuringia introduces itself;
Together with: Seven artists from Mühlhausen
Toys from Ohrdruf in Thuringia


Please note: The Monastic Museum Hasungen

In the village hall of Zierenberg-Burghasungen there is a branch of the regional museum of Wolfhagen. Spoils of the former Benedict monastery explain its importance then. This monastic museum is worth visiting together with the mounting of the nearby impressive basalt plateau. (Motorway exit “Zierenberg / Wolfhagen”).
See special brochure!