Landesmuseum Natur und Mensch
Damm 38 – 44
26135 Oldenburg
Tel.: 0441 / 9244 – 300
Fax.: 0441 / 9244 – 399

Emperor Friedrich II. (1194-1250).  World and Culture of the Mediterranean

February 10th to June 15th, 2008

Emperor Frederick II – an exhibition

From the 10th of February to the 15th of June, 2008, the State Museum of Nature and Mankind will be showing the exhibition “Emperor Frederick II (1194-1250) – the cultural world of the Mediterranean region”, under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Mr. Christian Wulff, and the Italian Ambassador, Mr. Antonio Puri Purini.

Numerous exquisite exhibits from libraries, museums and collections from all over Europe will show Frederick’s personality and broad variety of interests in art, architecture and science – based on the spirit of the period within its political and cultural sphere.

Amongst some of the themes covered are

I. The ruler Frederick II

II. The patron Frederick II    

III. The scientist Frederick I

IV. The architect Frederick II

The Emperor Frederick II is one of the most controversial and, at the same time, most fascinating, of Medieval rulers: for some he was the first enlightened regent, the first representative of reformation; others considered him an unscrupulous politician, a heretic and a traitor of Christendom.

The historical personality of Frederick II will be examined from the viewpoints of past and present, from his own point of view, that of his critics and that of his admirers.

In spite of an increasing body of scientific research – in Italy there have been several exhibitions and conferences since his commemorative year of 1994 – Frederick II has never been the subject of a large-scale exhibition within Germany.

Therefore, for the first time, this exhibition devotes itself to the many aspects of his character.

The presentation

The Emperor Frederick II was at the centre of a crossroads of different cultures. The diversity of his interest will be shown in this exhibition, viewed as part of the political, religious and cultural developments of his time. The personality of the Emperor and the complexities of his era will be the focal points.

The aim is not to present a comprehensive biography of Frederick II, but to concentrate on four aspects which serve to elucidate the theme of “the network of cultures”. Frederick II will be examined against the backdrop of the historical development of Sicily within the framework of tensions between Byzantium, the West and Middle of Europe and the Islamic World. His significance lies in his political actions and his diversity of interests.

“The Book of Falconry”, the well-known treatise “De arte venandi cum avibus” written by Frederick, takes up a special position within the exhibition. Following the examples of Arab works on falconry his expositions were uniquely based on observations of his own.

The characteristics

Instead of exclusively emphasizing the cultural differences, this exhibition offers the opportunity to cast a common eye over a cultural heritage which is characterized by mutual contacts and influences. It will become clear that the Orient and the Occident are not diametrically opposed. The civilizing impact of the Orient on the development of European culture and science during the Middle Ages, has perhaps not been sufficiently discussed.

The Emperor Frederick II – and much more

To accompany the exhibition, a detailed catalogue and a treatise on the “Book of Falconry” from a historical and ornithological viewpoint, will be published by Philipp von Zabern. For our smaller visitors there will be a children’s book available.

By cooperating with various cultural institutions, e.g. the German Order of the Falcon, the Museum will be offering a variety of events to accompany the exhibition. Please contact the Oldenburg Tourist Information for further information.

You can reach us at:

Landesmuseum Natur und Mensch Oldenburg
Damm 38-44
26135 Oldenburg

Tel.: +49 (0)441-9244-300/303
Fax: +49 (0)441-9244-399



Tickets and catalogues can be ordered via the internet. The accompanying catalogue will be available at a special museum price of Euro 29,90.

Opening times:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday:

9.00 am – 6.00 pm


9.00 am – 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday:

10.00 am – 6:00 pm

Closed on Mondays

Entrance fees:

Day ticket:

6,- €, concessions 4,- € per person

School groups:

3,- € (free for accompanying adults)

Audio guided tour:
(for children and adults)

2,- €