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"Telling of the Stranger. Travelogues from Five Centuries"

„Vom Fremden erzählen. Reiseberichte aus fünf Jahrhunderten“ (Telling of the Strange. Travelogues from Five Centuries) is the title of the annual exhibition 2023, to which the Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt invites visitors to the Hall of Mirrors at Friedenstein Castle from April 16 to June 11, 2023. The show is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as on the holidays May 1 and May 29.

Matthias Claudius (1740-1815) once wrote, "When someone travels, he can tell a tale." In the Gotha Research Library, many manuscripts and prints tell of journeys to regions near and far. Among them are not only precious illuminated late medieval pilgrim reports to the Holy Land, reports of the cavalier tours of the Ernestine princes and early modern travel diaries of scholars of the 17th to 19th centuries such as Johann Ernst Gerhard, Johann Philipp Breyne and Ulrich Jasper Seetzen. Rather, the Gotha dukes also acquired numerous reports, enriched by copper engravings, of travelers who were in the service of the Dutch trading companies to the West and East Indies. The exhibition, curated by PD Dr. Monika Müller, shows how travelers experienced foreign lands, what impressed or fascinated them, and how the collection of travel reports of the Gotha dukes came into being.

It is accompanied by guided tours and various lectures:

guided tours of the exhibition // meeting place: Friedenstein Castle, Hall of Mirrors (Ducal staircase, 2nd floor, left side)

  • Wednesday guided tours April 26, May 3, May 17, May 31, June 7, 2023  each at 1 p.m.
  • curator tours of the exhibition Wednesday, April 19, May 10, May 24, 2023  5 p.m. each day Saturday, May 20, June 10, 2023  2 p.m. each day


accompanying lectures

Saturday, April 29, 2023, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. "Mit Phantasie und Buchstaben in ferne Länder"
reading for Children (a campaign of the Friends of Friedenstein Castle: Friends of the Gotha Research Library e.V., Friends of the Friedenstein Castle Art Collections e.V., Museumslöwen – Gemeinschaft zur Förderung des Museums der Natur Gotha e.V., Orangerie-Freunde Gotha e.V.); venue: Hall of Mirrors, Friedenstein Castle

Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 6:15 p.m. "Fremde Welten im Bild. Sehen und Darstellen um 1500"
Prof. em. Dr. Klaus Niehr (Osnabrück); venue: Herzog-Ernst-Kabinett, Friedenstein Castle

Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 6:15 p.m. "Paradiesvögel an den Rändern der Welt und der Phantasie – eine Symbolgeschichte"
Professor Christian Freigang (Berlin); venue: Herzog-Ernst-Kabinett, Friedenstein Castle

Please note: We ask for written registration for the events at veranstaltungen.fb@uni-erfurt.de or with our registration form.

The events are kindly supported by the "Freundeskreis" of the Gotha Research Library.

For more information, please see our event flyer(in German only).

Please also read our article on the Gotha Research Library blog (in German only).

link to the blog article

further information / contact:

Head of Special Collections
(Gotha Research Library)
Forschungsbibliothek Gotha (Gotha, Schlossplatz 1)
Office hours
on appointment
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