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The museum island Schloss Gottorf is open. We have compiled all the important information for your visit HERE. As we are currently only allowed to allow admission to a limited number of guests at the same time, please contact our service before your visit to reserve a ticket: +49 (0) 4621 813 222,

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The Master Plan for Gottorf

Modernisation of Schleswig’s museum island

History, art and culture - they need space. They require space in keeping with the times in order to be able to be fully effective. For all of us.

Therefore, the Schleswig-Holsteinischen Landesmuseen have decided to develop a “Master Plan for Gottorf” and to modernise Schleswig’s museum island by the end of 2027.

The initial situation

The Museum of Art and Cultural History and the Archaeological Museum are housed on Schleswig’s museum island in the heart of Schleswig-Holstein. They were both founded in Kiel during the 19th century and look back on a turbulent history. After World War 2, they moved into Schloss Gottorf, which had been used as a barracks for the previous 100 years. Little by little, construction sins were rectified and the collections integrated in the architecture which was steeped in history. However, no radical architectural changes have been made since then.

In order to do justice to our visitors’ expectations of a modern museum in the 21st century, such radical structural changes have now become necessary. This was shown last but not least by the results of a wide-ranging visitor survey conducted in 2012. Nowadays, a museum visit has become more a cultural experience than ever.

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The future perspective

The “Master Plan for Gottorf” plans an extension building on the east side of the castle, with which the State Museums will uphold the architectural history of this historical site in the best sense, whilst guiding it into a new age. Moreover, the museum rooms inside the castle will be modernised.

The objective is to welcome visitors to the Schleswig museum island in an up-to-date manner in the new building. Their visit will start and finish there. They can linger there. The State Museums’ exhibitions will also be fully redesigned and restructured within the scope of the “Master Plan for Gottorf“. Clearly structured tours and thematic focus, modern placement options - characterised by digital progress - as well as barrier freedom and inclusion play a decisive role here.

The responsibility

The architectural history of Schloss Gottorf, initially referred to as Burg Gottorf in 1160, is long and marked by substantial changes. The western wing was built in early renaissance style in 1530, the first renaissance building north of the Elbe. A few decades later, the eastern and then the northern wings were built. Around 1700, the southern wing was newly built in high baroque style under the auspices of Duke Friedrich IV. It towered over the old renaissance building to the east. The Duke’s early death hindered the completion of the considerably larger planned palace building.

The extension building on the eastern side of the castle will now further develop and implement one of Friedrich IV’s (1671– 1702) visions. Within the scope of an architecture competition, the Foundation has decided in favour of the design from Holzer Kobler Architekturen. At the same time, the Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Foundation takes the cultural heritage preservation specifications into account according to which the new building must be clearly differentiated from the old building. Structural changes - whether hundreds of years ago or nowadays - are repeatedly perceived as avant-garde here.

The costs

The investment volume for the modernisation project is 31.2 million euros. Half of this amount is provided by the Land government from a subsidy programme called “Impuls”, the remaining 15.6 million euros come from the federal government budget.


Schleswig-Holstein State Museums
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