The Ghent City Museum (STAM) exposes the city history. With respect to the collection that is shown, the history of this museum goes back to 1833, the year in which the Oudheidkundig Museum van de Bijloke in Ghent was founded. In 1928 the museum was situated in the Bijloke abbey - this led to the name Bijlokemuseum.
With the Bijloke collection as base and the Bijloke abbey and Bijloke monastery as buildings, the STAM functions as a modern-day heritage forum. Parts from other collections were added to the Bijloke collection. In connection to the historical buildings a new entrance building was constructed, designed by Ghent's city architect Koen Van Nieuwenhuyse.
The main circuit of the Ghent City Museum serves as a museal and multimedial introduction to a visit to the city of Ghent. The past of the town is illustrated, but also today's life and the future are discussed. The temporary STAM collections describe the phenomenon of 'urbanity' by means of contemporary issues. STAM refers the visitor to the city itself and to Ghent's cultural heritage.
Eyecatching parts of the museum are the sky picture of Ghent (300 m² large) on which the visitors can walk around, and software with which Ghent can be viewed in detail and over the course of four centuries. In the Bijloke abbey that can be accessed through a passerelle in glass, the history of the city is told by means of three hundred objects. Views on Ghent is another multimedial application: a screen shows a city view from the year 1534, floor-plans from 1614 and 1912 and a sky picture from the present. There is also a room for temporary exhibitions.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.