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About the museum

The Museum of Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf is part of the largest museum complex between Hamburg and Copenhagen. In its permanent exhibition and special shows, it presents the highlights of Schleswig-Holstein’s art and cultural history - from the Middle Ages to today. At the same time, the museum has made a name for itself with exhibitions of nationally and internationally known artists.

The collection has a scope of some 120,000 exhibits.

From the approximately 120,000 exhibits, selected works of art and items are presented on in excess of 15,000 square metres on the Schleswig museum island. The museum’s collection is marked by its diversity. It contains genuine treasures, ranging from church art from the Middle Ages to contemporary paintings, from furniture to arts and crafts.

The Faience Exhibition, the painting of Lucas Cranach senior and his workshop as well as the Horn Foundation Show, which exhibits the works of important 20th century artists - concentrating on expressionism.

The museum highlights also include the castle itself, its rooms today are used to present a large amount of the permanent exhibition. The reconstructed Gottorf Globe, known as the first planetarium ever, is a particular highlight, also the reconstructed Baroque garden which encloses it.

The house dates back to 1875.

The roots of the Museum of Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf are in the Thaulow Museum, founded in Kiel in 1875 and originally consisting of an artistic trade collection. As for so many museums from this period, a private collector was behind it - Gustav Ferdinand Thaulow.

Normally, a further collection focus was added by each new museum director. Due to World War 2, there was a huge upheaval. The museum inventories were brought to Schleswig, where the State Museum of Art and Cultural History (now: Museum of Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf) was opened as the follower of the Thaulow Museum.  

Schleswig-Holstein State Museums
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