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New exhibition: "Garden And Religion?!"

The German Horticultural Museum Erfurt is opening a new special exhibition entitled "Garden And Religion?!" on 12 May. The interdisciplinary exhibition, which will be on display until 31 October, will showcase and discuss the many ways in which the two themes merge. The journey of discovery leads from monastery gardens and healing herbs to how different religions deal with climate change. "The special feature of this exhibition is the collaboration with the University of Erfurt, which was involved in the content of the project with students and teachers from the very beginning," says Ulrike Richter, Chair of the Foundation. "The concept and realisation were developed together with students as part of the Studium Fundamentale and two other courses."

It was exciting to realise how deeply interwoven religion and gardens actually are with our everyday lives and ideas." (Maurine Meier, student)

When designing the exhibition, it was particularly important to the students to appeal to all the senses with different stations and to make the content tangible for different target groups. "By integrating this variety of approaches and opportunities for interaction into the exhibition, we wanted to create an inclusive and enriching experience that enables visitors of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the topic on a personal level and gain new perspectives," explains student Ole Hofmann.

"The exhibition is not intended to be about THE Christianity or THE Islam, but rather we are focussing on the practices, i.e. how people live out their religions," says curator Alieda Halbersma. "It should be about people, their lives, their everyday lives, the way they embrace and practise religions." In addition, unexpected connections to our everyday lives and interesting ways in which horticulture and religions have enriched each other since their inception will also be shown. Horticulture is the foundation of our lives, the basis for shaping our environment. And it is therefore also an important component of religions, whether as a symbol, as food in religious festivals and customs or as a design element in cemeteries and gardens.

The German Horticultural Museum will also be a guest in the pop-up store at Erfurt's fish market for a month. From 18 May to 15 June, adults, children and families can get an impression of the museum's wide range of educational and outreach activities and immerse themselves in topics relating to plants, the environment and sustainability. Visitors will also gain an insight into the award-winning permanent exhibition and the new special exhibition "Garden and Religion?!". There are also hands-on activities for young and old. Whether in workshops such as "nature printing", lectures or direct dialogue with employees. "Our approach is to familiarise visitors with the various areas of the museum, exchange ideas and try things out for themselves," says Ulrike Richter. "A visit to the pop-up store should be fun, informative and arouse curiosity for more."

The "Garden And Religion?!" exhibition was also conceived against the backdrop of the 103rd German Catholics' Day, which will take place in Erfurt from 29 May to 2 June. The new special exhibition will be accompanied by a variety of other events.

The German Horticultural Museum in Erfurt ...

... is not a museum in the conventional sense. Rather, it is a place for friends of the garden and gardening, for consumers of garden products, in order to address the question of the future utilisation of plants for our needs. This takes place in a theoretical and playful way in the exhibitions and event formats or in a very practical and everyday way in the museum's own greenhouse. The museum in the listed "Cyriaksburg" is located above Erfurt's historic city centre in the beautiful egapark and is unique in Germany.