Cabinet of Artefacts and Natural Curiosities

3000 Wonders of the World

Ansicht des Bekrönungsmotivs vom Tierschrank in der Wunderkammer mit dem Kopf des Krokodils, das von der Decke hängt.

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»Das Mirakel der Wunderkammern. Europas wahre Aufklärung« Festvortrag von Prof. Dr. Horst Bredekamp zur Gründung der Alliance of Early Universal Museums am 13. Oktober 2020 in den Franckeschen Stiftungen.

Enter our mysterious treasure chamber in the former dormitory of the orphan boys. On the top floor of the historic orphanage the whole world fits into one room. Because 300 years ago over 3,000 wondrous and curious objects were collected from near and far in order to convey the infinite variety of divine creation to the orphans. You can discover all kinds of curiosities here: a mouse embryo as well as a tattooed fish or the rib of a whale, a petrified Hungarian cheese next to a Chinese lady's shoe. From the ceiling hangs a mighty Nile crocodile stuffed with straw, as was customary in the past.

Even today our Cabinet of Artefacts and Natural Curiosities astonishes young and old. It is considered to be the only completely preserved baroque curiosity cabinet in Germany and shows unchanged the original museum concept of the 18th century. At that time, all areas of life and all fields of knowledge were considered in one context for the first time. The Natural History Collection follows the pioneering approaches of Carl von Linné, who paved the way for modern biology with his systematization. The natural objects are contrasted by the extensive art collection, whose artefacts from India and America reflect the impressive cosmopolitanism of Halle's orphanage.