Museum for sepulchral culture

Museum for sepulchral culture
Sepulchral culture (from Latin: sepulcrum = grave) not only deals with graves, memorials and burial places, but is concerned with all parts of death culture. Sepulchral culture reflects a region's particular culture and religion, as well as the relationship to history and nature. It reflects social aspects as well as the artistic output of a certain period. No other term defines the topic as broadly as sepulchral culture does. This was an important reason for the founders in selecting a name for the museum.

The museum of sepulchral culture is an institution founded by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e. V. (Study group for cemeteries and memorials) in Kassel. It was opened in 1992. It is one of only seven museums in Europe which deal specifically with the themes dying, death, burials and commemoration in our society. The permanent exhibition, as well as changing special exhibitions show the continuity and change in our dealing with the four last things (death, judgement, hell and paradise). 1400 square meters of exhibition space present historical and present-day objects of sepulchral culture, mainly from German-speaking countries.

A short guide in 10 stations through the permanent exhibition PDF-Download

Permanent exhibition
The permanent exhibition displays the history of graveyards and funeral monuments from the Middle Ages to the present day, as well as objects such as coffins, hearses, mourning costume and mourning jewellery.

Special exhibitions
Special exhibitions do not only show various aspects of the cultural history of death as well as present trends in death culture, but also present works of art dealing with dying, death and mourning and discuss important socio-political topics.

Opening hours Museum
Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 - 17.00, Wednesday 10.00 - 20.00

In addition to the permanent and special exhibitions the museum organizes a varied programme, ranging from scholarly papers to cabaret and concerts.

Graphic collection
The museum houses a collection of about 16500 prints and drawings dating from the 15th century to the present day. It is not only an impressive art-historical collection but it also constitutes an important source for cultural historians. Selected prints are shown in the permanent collection and in some special exhibitions.

The library houses 44.000 books and journal articles dealing with sepulchral culture. Especially important is the collection of catalogues, old books and historic source material.

Opening hours Library
Tuesday - Thursday 10.00 - 15.00, Friday 10.00 - 13.00
If you want to know more about our Stock please consult our online catalogue.

Educational programmes
The museumoffers special programmes in the field of adult education (teachers, nurses etc.) but also introduce children and youngsters to the sepulchral culture. Guided tours can be bokked here.

Shop and café
The museum shop sells exhibition catalogues, literature, a large range of postcards, a selection of mourning cards and several craftworks.
The café and terrace can be visited during the opening hours.