Museum Monday

Merian Franken 1648

The City of Forchheim:  The year is 1634. War rages though the German territories. Swedish troops rumble through Franconia, Germany. No village is safe or even left standing. Was any place safe in what became known to modern historians as the Thirty Years War? Yes, there were cities where the walls were impassable so that even under siege they could not be taken. At least not by land. One of these cities is Forchheim in the Upper Franconia region of Bavaria.

Forchheim was in its time the only new Baroque fortress to be built in southern Germany. During the Margrave Wars, in 1552, the city was occupied by the Margrave of Kulmbach, Albrecht Alkibiades. Having taken the city back in 1553, the Hochstift Bamberg decided to strengthen Forchheim to serve as its southern stronghold in order to protect the lands surrounding the Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg. And so construction began. After 1553, the city was never conquered. Ever.

The fortification of Forchheim slowed in the beginning of the 1600's. Small reinforcements were made but the walls were for the most part finished. During the Thirty Years War, Forchheim was strategically situated and served as a assembly station for new troops. The walls proved themselves capable of holding back the Swedish troops and their canons.

My museum tip for #museummonday: the Erlebnismuseum Rote Mauer. In this literal ‘hole in the wall,’ the city of Forchheim has opened a casemate (sometimes erroneously rendered casement, a casemate is a fortified gun emplacement or armored structure from which guns are fired-Wiki) and turned it into a museum. The multimedia exhibitions recreate what daily life during the Thirty Years War could have been like, explaining the construction and the workings of the fortification and illustrating period artifacts like weapons and clothing.

Please visit the informative website from the city of Forchheim:

For more information about the walls of Forchheim (in German):

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