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UNESCO World Heritage Site Lorsch Abbey (DE)

Open from: 
Member of EXARC: 
Member of ICOM: 

The Lauresham Open-Air Laboratory is an essential part of the future presentation of the World Heritage Site Lorsch Abbey. It is not open yet. The conception in its entirety is including the World Heritage Site itself (with its historical remains), a large depository of sculptural fragments from the Roman Era to the 16th century which will be opened for visitors on demand, the “Museumszentrum” existing since 1995, which is meant to induct our visitors into the rich heritage of Lorsch Abbey in the fields of spiritual and academic life represented by a large library nowadays scattered all over the world. The Open Air Laboratory will be a department or, in a way, an exhibit within this museum conception overlapping all aspects of monastic life in the Early Middle Ages.

The Open-Air Laboratory is destined to be an ideal, walk-in model of a Carolingian “manor” (lat. curtis, mansus dominicatus) including all material and social aspects of the early medieval manorial system. Thereby it is meant to show the visitor what we actually know (or believe to know) today about this period. Taking the whole World Heritage Site as a „museum“, each department is fulfilling different requirements of the corresponding ICOM definition. As a whole, the site is a museum in the classical sense; the Open Air Laboratory is a permanent hands-on exhibit in the service of society, open to the public and with special emphasis on research, communication and exhibition of the intangible heritage and its natural and social environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment. The visitor will be addressed more sensually than in the other departments. The Lauresham Open-Air Laboratory will open in 2014 and is under construction right now. The preparatory program (including research, specialists’ conferences) began in 2009.
Planned activities consist of a detailed research into all aspects of rural life in Central Europe from 7th to 10th century including archaeological, philological, historical, documentary and legal studies. The site will consist of buildings, their inventories and landscape design. It will include a visitors’ center with facilities dedicated to pedagogical and educational programs. Presentations and workshops are an integral part of the whole concept. Interpretation media include guided tours, presentations (i.e. agricultural techniques), hand on activities (workshops), creating an atmosphere for "self-exploring“ learning, audio-visual media and scientific publications.

Annual Number of Visitors: 


UNESCO-Welterbestätte Kloster Lorsch – Experimentalarchäologisches Freilichtlabor Lauresham
Im Klosterfeld 6-10
64653 Lorsch
(+49) 6251-51446

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