| Campus Gotha, Gotha Research Centre, Knowledge, Spaces, and Media, Research, Events

Exhibition about "Freemasons and Mysteries of Egypt in Gotha"

Under the title "Freimaurer und Mysterien Ägyptens in Gotha" (Freemasons and Mysteries of Egypt in Gotha), the Friedenstein Castle Foundation Gotha is showing a new exhibition in the Ducal Museum from April 23 to October 15, 2023. The scientific cooperation partner of the show is the Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt.

The exhibition under the patronage of the Grand National Mother Lodge "Zu den drei Weltkugeln" zu Berlin is dedicated to Freemasonry in the royal seat of Gotha during the reign of Ernst II of Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg. The enlightened duke had been a member of the Gotha Masonic Lodge "Zum Rautenkranz" since 1774, and from 1775 to 1777 he was the Provincial Grand Master of the Great Provincial Lodge of Germany. The Illuminati Order also had a focal point in Gotha. Ernst II supported the secret lodge leadership by the Gotha-based Illuminati Order since 1782, which he joined in 1783. The founder of the order, Adam Weishaupt, found refuge in Gotha after fleeing Bavaria in 1785.

The presentation, which gathers a large number of original objects from the cosmos of Freemasonry, also provides information about who the members of the Masonic Lodge were and how the secret societies functioned and worked socially according to the latest research findings. The last Gotha lodge, which existed until 1935, also belonged to the mother lodge "Zu den drei Weltkugeln".

Freemasonry in Thuringia was founded as early as 1741 by the Great National Mother Lodge "Zu den drei Weltkugeln" from Berlin in the Duchy of Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg. The place of the first masonic work was Molsdorf Castle under the imperial count Gustav Adolf von Gotter. An introductory section of the exhibition provides insights into this early significant phase.

A look at the private Masonic library of Ernst II reveals a great personal interest in the mysteries of Egypt. Supposedly the oldest and most perfect mystery culture, Ancient Egypt was considered by 18th century Freemasons to be the epitome of symbolic expression and secret cults. A special exhibition area is devoted in more detail to this spiritual enthusiasm for Egypt, which left its mark in Gotha in particular.

In the context of the exhibition, the Gotha Research Centre offers additional events in the supporting programme:

Sunday, 04.06.2023, 14 h // Thursday, 22.06.2023, 19 h // Sunday, 10.09.2023, 14 h (Open Monument Day).
Auf den Spuren der Gothaer Loge – Eine Stadtführung zu freimaurerischen Orten
(In the footsteps of the Gotha Lodge – A guided tour of the city to Masonic sites)
meeting place: Gotha Research Centre, Schloßberg 2
Registration is not required.

Sunday, 21.05.2023, 5 pm
„...endlich einmahl irgend etwas Gutes stiften…“ – Herzog Ernst II. von Sachsen-Gotha und Altenburg als Freimaurer und Illuminat"
(...at last, for once, do some good..." – Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg as a Freemason and Illuminati)
Ducal Museum, Café
speaker: Erik Liebscher, M.A. / Marie Nosper M.A. (Gotha Research Centre)
admission: 8 euros, concessions 4 euros

Thursday, 13.07.2023, 7 pm
Geheime Gesellschaft – Der Illuminatenorden in Gotha und Thüringen 1783–1787
(Secret Society – The Illuminati Order in Gotha and Thuringia 1783-1787)
Ducal Museum, Café
speakers: Dr. Markus Meumann / Dr. Olaf Simons (Gotha Research Centre)
admission: 8 euros, concessions 4 euros

Sunday, 20.08.2023, 2 pm // Thursday, 07.09.2023, 7 pm
Was besprachen die Illuminaten bei Ihren geheimen Zusammenkünften? Aufführung einer Sitzung der Gothaer Minervalkirche vom 18. Dezember 1786
(What did the Illuminati discuss at their secret meetings? Performance of a meeting of the Gotha Minerval Church on 18 December 1786)
Ducal Museum, Sculpture Hall
admission: 8 euros, concessions 4 euros

opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays, open on public holidays.

Admission 5,00 € (reduced 2,50 €) Children and teenagers up to 16 years have regular free admission.