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Memorial plaque for Christian Wolff in Wroclaw Poland .

A memorial plaque is a commonly made of stone or metal plaque , partly big board o. Ä., Commemorating a personality, a historical event or as a memorial in the form of a memorial plaque .

General and examples

The oldest memorial plaques were epitaphs or, like those of Bishop Bernward von Hildesheim , requests for intercession in the context of memorials - often both at the same time. Also stone crosses as primarily religious monuments were often set up in memory of a person about to the point where they pass through a accident or murder had come to death. In doing so, they both referred to the event and remembered it.

Since the beginning of the bourgeois era, memorial plaques for outstanding personalities have been placed on the houses in which they were born or lived. For example, Carl Friedrich Gauß owns three memorial plaques in Göttingen . However, they can also be attached generally to buildings such as workplaces or to man-made structures such as roads, tunnels, bridges, canals, dams, towers, churches, as well as street name signs or cemeteries.

Different cities have their own series of commemorative plaques that are uniformly designed and officially attached by the city:

Fake Francis Drake plaque in California

A brass plaque made and historically authenticated - but lost - made in 1579 on the occasion of Francis Drake's landing in California Bay in honor of the British Queen was recreated as a forgery in 1933 and held for decades to be genuine. G. Ezra Dane, member of E Clampus Vitus , and four historically well-known friends re-made the plaque. The forgery was leaked to the historian Herbert Eugene Bolton in 1936 , who presented it with great aplomb as a sensational find and as authentic.

Until the 1970s, this counterfeit was considered genuine, despite substantial counter-arguments. It was exhibited in the library of the University of California and shown, among other things, on state visits by the British Queen. Elaborate copies of the plaque were also made and presented as official state gifts.

Metallurgical examinations of the composition, patina and processing marks uncovered the fake.


  • Martin Schwarzbach. In the footsteps of our naturalists, monuments and memorial plaques. A travel guide . Hirzel, ISBN 978-3-7776-0365-0
  • Walter Nissen, Christina Prauss, Siegfried Schütz. Göttingen memorial plaques. A biographical guide . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2002, ISBN 3-525-39161-7
  • Jürgen von Esenwein, Michael Utz. I follow my genius ... memorial plaques of famous men and women in Heidelberg . Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, ISBN 978-3-8253-7089-3
  • Werner Lauterbach . Freiberg. Memorial plaques keep memories . Sutton publishing house. ISBN 978-3-86680-233-9
  • Holger Huebner. The city's memory. Memorial plaques in Berlin . Argon Verlag, 1997. ISBN 3-87024-379-1
  • Martin Bröckl, Dagmar Girra. Memorial plaques in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg . Luisenstadt educational association. ISBN 978-3-89542-115-0
  • Dagmar Girra. Memorial plaques in Mitte, Tiergarten and Wedding . Volume 1 and 2. Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein. ISBN 978-3-89542-109-9
  • Volker Hobrack. New memorial plaques in the center of Berlin . Berlin Story Publishing House. ISBN 978-3-929829-44-0
  • Bernhard Hein. History in stone and bronze - the monuments and memorial plaques of the city of Dessau . Special edition of the Dessau Chronicle. Funk publishing house. ISBN 978-3-936124-55-2
  • Gerd Stolz. People and events - memorial plaques in Kiel . Husum printing and publishing company. ISBN 978-3-89876-010-2
  • Helmut Kampmann. When stones talk. 130 memorial plaques in Koblenz . Publisher Fuck. ISBN 978-3-9803142-0-6
Natural scientist
  • Arno Langkavel. Astronomers rediscovered while traveling. Monuments, plaques and graves of known and unknown astronomers . Verlag Thoben, 1995, ISBN 3-921176-75-1
  • Arno Langkavel. Searching for clues in Europe. Monuments, plaques and graves of known and unknown astronomers . Verlag Harri Deutsch, 2006, ISBN 3-8171-1791-4

See also

Web links

Commons : Memorial Plaques  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: memorial plaque  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Historical journal reports secrets behind infamous "Drake's Plate" hoax Who made Drake's "plate of brasse"? by Kathleen Maclay, UoC Media Relations, February 18, 2003