The Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim has an excellent collection of Ancient Egyptian and Peruvian art, Chinese porcelain and temporary exhibitions.
The Altes Reich (Old Kingdom) collection in the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim is considered one of the top four in the world making a visit to this interesting museum a fascinating addition to visiting the Romanesque churches and art that Hildesheim is usually more famous for. Mummies and large Egyptian statues make the museum also fun to visit with children.
The Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim
The German town Hildesheim near Hannover in Lower Saxony is inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list for its Romanesque architecture and art. It is also famous for its beautiful half-timbered buildings (Fachwerk) that line the market square (mostly rebuilt), including one of the largest wood-frame building in the country – the eight-story Knochenhaueramthaus (Butchers’ Guild Hall).
While few visitors would overlook these important medieval attractions of Hildesheim, it is easy – and unfortunate – that many visitors miss out on the even older art in the Roemer und Pelizaeus Museum Hildesheim. Roemer is German for Romans but in this case, refers to one of the founders of the museum – there are no major Roman objects in this lovely museum.
Collections in the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim
The Romans never made it to Hildesheim but the museum’s founders Herman Roemer (1816-1894) and Wilhelm Pelizaeus (1851-1930) sourced their collections from even further afield.
The museum currently has the following collections on display:
- Ancient Egyptian art – one of the most important collections in the world. (See more below.)
- Pre-Colombian & Peruvian art – one of the oldest and best collections in Europe. (See more below.)
- Chinese porcelain – the second largest collection of Chinese porcelain in Europe. Around 100 objects are on display.
- Museum of the Senses (with objects that may be touched mostly aimed at blind visitors)
- Temporary Exhibitions that range from local history to world-class exhibitions on almost any topic.
The museum also has important further collections that are only shown in temporary exhibitions or for study purposes. These include around 200,000 items of paleontology, geology, minerals, zoology, and botany. The museum’s own European art collections of around a thousand paintings and sculptures and 10,000 prints and graphics are also only used as part of temporary exhibitions.
Ancient Egyptian Art in the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim
The Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim has one of the most important collections in the world of cultural objects from Ancient Egypt. The museum’s 8,000 Egyptian works cover around 4,000 years of Egyptian history and are divided into three major themes:
Old Kingdom in the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum
The museum’s treasures from especially the Altes Reich (2707 – 2216 BC) are considered with the collections in Cairo, Vienna, and Boston to be amongst the most important in the world.
This was the era of the great pyramids and the exhibition illustrates the development from simple tombs to these huge ancient monuments. Much attention is also given to religion.
This part of the exhibition also displays the most famous item in the collection: the large seated statue of Hem-iunu (see more in German only).
Life on the Nile in the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum
In Das Leben am Nil around 600 items are used to illustrate the variety of life on the banks of the Nile in Egypt. Naturally, religion plays a large role in the exhibition but also trade, workshops, and daily life.
Reconstructed temples, workshops, and houses allow items to be displayed as they were used in ancient Egypt. Visitors can walk through a typical old Egyptian house filled with artifacts and reconstructed furniture to get a better impression of how the Egyptians lived.
Death in the Desert in the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum
The Tod in der Wüste is the newest part of the Ancient Egyptian exhibition in the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum. This large collection deals with probably the most stereotypical Egyptian obsessions: death and life after death.
On display are not only many mummies of people and animals but also other objects and superb artworks associated with death, burial, and the dangers facing the dead in the afterlife.
Lost Cultures of the Americas in the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum
The Versunkene Kulturen Alt-Amerikas is one of the largest and most important European collections of pre-Columbian artifacts from the Americas. It has items from many cultures but is especially known for items from Peru and the Andes.
The permanent collection covers cultures from the Chavin (1200 – 200 BC) to the Inca (AD 1400 – 1533). The museum has an astonishingly large collection of pots, vessels, ceramic figures, and metalwork.
Many works are in a remarkably well-preserved condition and show exceptional artwork. It is amazing that many of the very complex works survived in such good condition. The small erotica collection also receives much interest – these artifacts went far beyond the traditional fertility symbols.
Visitors Information for the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum
The Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum, Am Steine 1-2, 31134 Hildesheim is on the outskirts of the town center of Hildesheim within easy walking distance from the Markt, Dom (Cathedral) and the Michaeliskirche.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The museum is open on most vacation days, including December 25 and January 1, but closed on December 24 and 31.
Admission is €10 for adults, €8 for students and children over 15. A family ticket is €20 for two adults and up to two children under 14. Combination tickets with the Andreas Church tower, Dommuseum, and Stadtmuseum are €15.
More on Hildesheim:
- Photos of the Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum on Flickr
- Top Romantic Sights in Hildesheim
- Best Romanesque Churches in Hildesheim
- Half-Timbered Houses in Hildesheim
- Hotels & Restaurants in Hildesheim