Moveable cultural assets from the imperial and royal tombs at the Speyer Cathedral

Funded through the KUR – Programme for the Conservation of Moveable Cultural Assets

The Speyer Museum of Palatinate History contains rare medieval fabrics taken from the tombs of emperors and kings buried in the Speyer Cathedral. In 1900 a state commission in Bavaria, to which the Palatinate then belonged, authorized the opening of the tombs. Many of the burial offerings were removed from the sarcophagi, as well as numerous fragments of precious burial cloths. All the findings were painstakingly photographed, which was unusual for that period, and their condition carefully documented.
Approximately 90% of these treasures were in very poor condition. Although the most important goal of the project was to conserve this rare collection of burial cloths, researchers also used the opportunity to analyze the fabrics and determine their origin. The project also studied and digitalized the photo negative plates from 1900. This photo documentation was essential for all further conservation measures. The results of the research and conservation work were made available to the public by incorporating them into the permanent exhibition at the museum.

Project administrator:
The Speyer Museum of Palatinate History

Cooperative partners:
German Textile Museum in Krefeld
University of Applied Sciences Cologne, Institute for Conservation Sciences


Sabine Kaufmann

Sammlungsleiterin Mittelalter und Domschatz

Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer

Domplatz 4

67346 Speyer

Tel.: +49 (0) 6232 1325618

sabine.kaufmann​(at)​ (external link, opens in a new window)