Merano Municipal Museum has already been opened in 1900, it is one of the oldest museums of the province. In that period Franz Innerhofer (1847 - 1918), a physician of Merano, collected Gothic figurines and Baroque paintings of Tyrolean masters with passion. In this way he laid the foundations for the museum. First housed in the building of the English Ladies along the Winter Promenade, the Merano Municipal Museum was transferred several times. It was moved to the tavern Roter Adler in Via delle Corse road and in a final step to the newly renovated Palais Mamming behind the St Nicholas parish church in Merano. Therefor the Merano Municipal Museum is now also known as Palais Mamming Museum.
The permanent collection offers 27 sections and provides an overview of the historical development of the town, from prehistory up to modern art. What you can admire in the museum are the above mentioned Gothic and Baroque figurines and the Baroque paintings of Tyrolean masters, also known beyond borders. Moreover there are exhibits regarding the topics mineralogy and folk art, inculding various traditional costumes, and artworks by painters of Merano of the 19th and 20th century.
Also some exotic exhibits can be admired, including an Egyptian mummy, a death mask of Napoleon as well as a Sudanese weapons collection from the Austrian Major-General Rudolf Anton Carl, Baron of Slatin. One oft he most famous exhibits is also the 4th typewriter model by Peter Mitterhofer, the founder of typewriters, born in the village of Parcines, only a stone’s throw away.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).