Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim

One of the good reasons to visit Hildesheim, Germany, is the RPM; the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum. It is known because of its vast collection on Egypt and that’s something you typically wouldn’t expect: an Egyptology museum in a middle-sized city in rural Lower Saxony. Wilhelm Pelizaeus, a merchant from Hildesheim, was living for 40 years in Cairo and in 1907 he gave his private collection to his hometown. Four years later they were exhibited in a museum created only for this purpose, the Pelizaeus-Museum.

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Treasure box

Dom Mariä Himmelfahrt, Hildesheim

The cathedral of Hildesheim is a Roman-Catholic church officially named the Dom Mariä Himmelfahrt. Together with the church St. Michaelis it is since 1985 a UNESCO world heritage site and a good example of religious art during the Holy Roman Empire. The composition of buildings itself is already worth a visit, but the site also includes a museum exhibiting the enormous treasures collected over time. Additionally the icon of the city, the so-called 1,000 years old rosebush is also growing in the courtyard of the cathedral – therefore nearly every visitor of the city takes a look inside this treasure box.

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Oldest rose on the planet

1000jähriger Rosenstock, Hildesheim

The icon of Hildesheim is the rose, a special one with an old myth creating its fame. It is said that in 815 CE emperor Louis the Pious was hunting in the region which later became Hildesheim. His horse broke down and he was lost, therefore he attached the relics of Mary which he was always carrying with him to a rose bush and started to pray. He fell asleep and when he woke up the bush was in full bloom. When he stated to built a chapel in this location he was found and rescued.

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St. Michaelis

St. Michaelis, Hildesheim

The Michaeliskirche of Hildesheim is rather looking like a castle from afar, especially because of its towers. Since the Reformation it is a protestant church, but the crypt of Saint Bernward inside belongs to the Catholic church and is actively used by them. Yes, that’s a quite unusual but good solution. Since 1985 the church is (together with the cathedral) an official UNESCO world heritage site, they give insight into religious art during the Holy Roman Empire.

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Rathaus, Hildesheim

What many people don’t know is that Hildesheim was once a location for military important productions. Different companies produced tank parts, fuzes, aircraft engines and torpedoes as well as machine parts that were needed for the tanks and lorries of the Wehrmacht. Because of that Hildesheim was seven times the target of British, Canadian and US-American air raids in 1944 and 1945. On March 22nd, 1945, the historic city center was destroyed by 90 percent. 1,300 of the once 1,500 half-timbered houses were lost in a firestorm.

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