The Römisches Museum and the Stadtarchäeologie take care of the oldest and longest period of Augsburg's history. With finds and excavation results from the Stone Age to Roman times, the Middle Ages to the present day, these institutions are the decisive archive for historical research in the city. Many pieces are of outstanding scientific importance and are regularly loaned to nationally and internationally renowned museums and exhibitions. A selection of essential exhibits are currently being presented in the exhibition „Römerlager – Das römische Augsburg in Kisten“.
With Conrad Peutinger's collection of Roman inscriptions, which appeared in 1505, there is a concrete date for the beginning of antiquities research. In this work, 23 monuments of the Roman town and its surroundings were presented. His great-nephew Markus Welser presented a history of Augsburg in 1594. He also succeeded in publishing a copy of the Tabula Peutingeriana, the world-famous only surviving antique road map, which has been part of the UNESCO World Document Heritage since 2007. The centuries that followed brought spectacular individual finds (Oberhauser pillar tomb 1709, horse's head 1769). In the early 19th century the Bavarian government director von Raiser took care of the collection and founded the "Antiquarium Romanum" in 1822. The Historical Society for Swabia was founded in 1834 and took over the holdings. This started the constant expansion and a journey that has continued to this day. Initially, the pieces were housed on the ground floor of St. Anna College. In 1855 it moved to the newly founded Maximilianmuseum. The stone monuments were housed in the area of today's café, imprints of the pedestals can still be seen in the floor slabs.
In 1966 the rebuilted monastery church of St. Magdalena was opened as the new Römisches Museum. From the early 1980s, the scientific processing was in the hands of the newly established municipal archaeology. In December 2012, the church had to be closed for structural reasons. In 2015, an exhibition opened in the "Zeughaus" (Armory), which will now replace the museum for an indefinite period. In the spring of 2017, the move to the central depot of archeology began, one of the foundations for a new Römisches Museum. The Dominican Church will remain closed until further notice due to renovation work.
RÖMERLAGER IM ZEUGHAUS
After the Römisches Museum was closed indefinitely, a new exhibition of known and unknown objects was put together. With the exhibition title „Römerlager – Das römische Augsburg in Kisten/ Roman camp - Roman Augsburg in boxes" we are showing great and impressive finds in seven subject areas. The city's namesake, the sublime Augustus, greets visitors in the form of a life-size statue. The Roman military camp in Augsburg-Oberhausen, with its weapons and armor parts, was set up as a supply depot as part of the Alpine campaign around the turn of the century. If you want to get an idea of the Roman road network, you can do so with our 7 meter long illustration of the Tabula Peutingeriana. Trade goods of all kinds, a treasure trove of gold coins, the original wooden remains of a shipping pier that is almost 1800 years old and the god of commerce Mercury show the commercial character of the town of Augusta Vindelicum. How did the Romans eat? This shows a Roman dining room, a triclinium, in which one can also lie down at the table. The diverse ancient world of gods is presented as well as legacies from the death cult. Scientific methods are not neglected: newer theories on the famous Augsburg horse head and the method of determining the age using the wood used are explained. Smaller special presentations on tiny gems or on changing topics in the entrance area complete the Römerlager. A massive accumulation of storage boxes on the back wall of the exhibition, with their inscriptions, refer to many important pieces that we currently have to withhold from the public without a new museum.
The monastery church, which housed the Römisches Museum for many years, was built by the Dominicans between 1513 and 1515 as a two-aisled hall church. From the previous building, a church of the Knights Templar, a number of wall paintings were rediscovered during the investigations in 2013/14. Well-known families of the imperial city supported the convent and built their burial chapels in the church. 1716-1724 the interior experienced a baroque transformation. The ceiling frescoes depicting the rosary were made according to designs by Johann Georg Bergmüller. The stucco work was in the hands of the Feichtmayr brothers, the leading Wessobrunn stucco workers. The formerly rich furnishings were largely lost with the secularization in the years 1806/1807. The most important surviving objects include the sculpture of Moses, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the sculpture of Mary Magdalene created by Gregor Erhart. It is one of the central exhibits in the Louvre in Paris under the name "La Belle Allemande". In 1913/1914, donations from the Augsburg textile manufacturer, Ritter Hugo von Forster, enabled a comprehensive renovation of the church. During the bombing raid in 1944, the church building remained largely undamaged. However, the adjoining monastery buildings on the southern side had to be demolished. In the 1960s, several school buildings were erected on this site. The former monastery church was prepared for the permanent exhibition of the Römisches Museum by 1966. On October 29th, more than 50 years ago, it opened its doors.
The big relocation is done! Since 1966, i.e. for almost 50 years, the Dominican Church has housed the Römisches Museum. Unfortunately, the structural condition of the church requires a complete renovation. The entire building had to be cleared for this. Emptying an entire museum is a major challenge in and of itself. If it is an exhibition that extends over 1,000 square meters and houses thousands of small finds as well as oversized stone monuments with a dimension of four and a half meters and a weight of eleven tons, then you need a few years for this. The big move began in March 2014, when the administration and the offices moved to the city market. This was followed by a few months of packing, clearing and tidying up. During this time, all exhibits in the exhibition and all finds from the study collection were viewed, inventoried and packed. 610 transport boxes were necessary for this. In addition, many hard-working hands contributed to the fact that at the end of May 2016 the entire church building, with workshops, offices, study collection, material store, cellar vault and archive, was emptied.