Coffin – Carriage – Caravan Coffin – Carriage – Caravan
Coffin – Carriage – Caravan
Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel, Bildarchiv


17. September 1999 – 31. January 2000

On the way to the last rest

Exhibition on the History of the Transport of the Dead From Antiquity to the Present

Images, documents, realities from four millennia: From the ancient Egyptians to postmodernism.

Metaphors such as the last journey or the last honor are used to describe the factually necessary transport of a corpse to the cemetery, which has always been much more than a technical process. As a part of the entire burial tradition, the ceremonial and equipment of the transport of the dead make the social, medical, economic and religious dimensions of the cult of the dead clear.

The exhibition aims to shed light on the real process and its symbolic meaning in equal measure, and therefore shows the realities of the funeral procession as well as pictorial representations. Evidence of ancient culture and medieval art will be considered as well as those of the beginning modern times and the present, including forward-looking designs for a contemporary burial culture.

The various devices with which the deceased were brought to the grave are the focus of the exhibition: on show are boards for the dead, stretchers, biers, transport coffins, plague carts, funeral carriages, conduct wagons, and funeral limousines as well as the Vienna Leichentramway or the triaxial railroad coffin transport carriage of the "Deutsche Waggon-Leihanstalt".

In addition to the cultural-historical aspect, the reverence for the deceased is also to be kept alive in a society that is, in parts, tending towards a technically and economically optimized disposal of corpses.


with the partner museums of the European Federation of Funeral Museums (EFFM), those museums that are dedicated to funeral, cemetery and mourning culture, which merged in Vienna in July 1998.


Cultural Foundation of the States Berlin

The Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs

Board of Trustees of German funeral culture, Consumer Association for Funeral and Cemetery Culture

Aeternitas, Consumer Advice for Funeral and Cemetery

Norddeutsche Karosseriefabrik GmbH Conrad Pollmann

Willibald Völsing GmbH & Co. KG



Wolfgang H. Zocher, President of the Federal Association of the German Funeral Industry


Eröffnet wird die Ausstellung mit einem Korso historischer Bestattungsfahrzeuge der Interessengemeinschaft zur Erhaltung historischer Bestattungsfahrzeuge.


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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz