Moesgård Museum is situated at Moesgård manor near Aarhus. It is both a regional museum and a dedicated museum for archaeology and ethnography. The main part of the museum’s collection of archaeological artefacts is Danish, even though the museum possesses a rather large amount of archaeological material – known as The Ethnographical Collections – from Bahrain and other countries surrounding the Gulf. The Ethnographical Collections contains almost 50.000 artefacts from all over the world. They are used both for research and exhibitions. Besides artefacts The Ethnographical Collections contains photographic material, films and sound recordings. The museum’s exhibitions presents several unrivalled archaeological findings from Denmark’s ancient past, amongst others the Grauballe Man, the world’s best preserved bog body and the large ritual weapon caches from Illerup Ådal, testifying the power struggles and the warfare of the Iron Age. Furthermore the collection contains seven local rune stones. The main exhibition will be closed on 1. October 2012 due to rearrangements of the archaeological collections in Moesgård Museums new building, located only a short distance from the old manor house.
In the surrounding area of Moesgård, an open-air museum of several reconstructions have been made, each one reflecting a part of Denmark’s past. North of the museum two houses and a stave-church from the Viking Period have been build. First is a house from the Viking Age town of Hedeby near Schleswig, Germany. It has been dated to the time around 870 AD and is interpreted as the home of a craftsman’s or trader’s family. The other house is a reconstruction of a pit-house Viking Age Aarhus, from about 900 AD. Pit-houses are small huts, dug half-way into the ground, which could be used as dwellings, workshops or storerooms.
On a small hill behind the houses a stave-church has been erected together with a bell frame. None of the original stave-churches have survived, but the floor and post-holes from a stave-church were excavated under the present Hørning Church near Randers in 1960. Compared to the stone churches it was quite a small building, 31 feet long and 15 feet wide. Also preserved from the stave-church in Hørning was a portion of the so-called hammer-beam, the horizontal beam just under the roof-projection, which held the vertical planks. The ”Hørning-plank” was found as early as 1887 during a restoration of the walling of the present church. It can be seen in the Danish National Museum. On the outside the hammer-beam from Hørning was ornamented with the writhing serpents characteristic – of the Late Viking Period. On the basis of the growth-rings in the timber, it has been dated to about the year 1060, to the transition from the Viking Age Period to the Middle Ages. At the excavation site in Hørning, traces of a bell frame were discovered. This has also been reconstructed just in front of the church entrance. The church bell has been cast at Moesgård following a 900-year-old description of bell casting. It is a replica of the almost 800-year-old bell from Smollerup church near Viborg.
The estate of Moesgård covers 100 hectares of park, forest, open fields and shoreline, and extends from the museum buildings down to Aarhus Bay. The 4 km long Prehistoric Track runs through this area. A short walk from the museum an Iron Age house has been built. It is a reconstructed farmhouse from 200-300 AD, based on a settlement at Tofting near Husum just south of the Danish border. The house-type was well known throughout northern Europe. The building is 16 m long and both humans and cattle lived under the same roof. Near Moesgård Beach you will see a reconstruction of a cult-building, from the Funnel Beaker Period in the Late Stone Age (around 2500 BC). The original house was located near two dolmens and a passage grave at Tustrup in Northern Djursland. It is believed that this building might have been for religious ceremonies – perhaps as a resting place for the dead until the flesh had decayed and the bones could be moved into the surrounding graves. The building was burnt to the ground, and part of the roof sheeting of birch-bark with turf cover, had collapsed inwards with the burnt wall planking. 26 richly decorated offering vessels and pottery ladles representing the golden age of pottery in Danish prehistory, was found inside the building. The ceramics can be seen at Moesgård Museum. In the park at the manor you will find a house from Thailand. It is a donation to Moesgård Museum, given by the government of Thailand in 1975. The house is around 100 years old and originally from Ayutthaya – the old capital of Siam, 200 km north of Bangkok. Back then the house was a part of a larger building complex. Not far from Moesgård manor it is possible to visit an old water mill. This water mill is powered by the waters of Giber Å. The first reference to the mill is from 1590. All the buildings were rebuilt and an overshot mill-wheel installed in 1785. An extra storey was added to the mill house in 1852. Production ceased in 1910, but the mill is still in full working order.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.