Lapidarium (from Latin lapis "stone") is the name for a collection of stone works, such as sculptures , sarcophagi , epitaphs , milestones , gravestones, etc., which are often exhibited at the excavation site. Despite the Roman name, lapidaries from other epochs up to modern times are often put together.
Examples of lapidaries are the Augusta Raurica , the Roman lapidarium of the Württemberg State Museum in the New Castle in Stuttgart , the Stuttgart city lapidarium , the lapidarium of the collegiate church of St. Gallen (8th - 17th centuries), the lapidarium at Seggau Castle in southern Styria , the lapidarium of the Maria Saal pilgrimage church , the Berlin lapidarium in Berlin-Kreuzberg , the St. Gertraud lapidarium in and at the Sankt Gertraud church in the Salbke district of Magdeburg and the Willrode lapidarium near Erfurt .
Until the late 19th century, lapidaries were created as private collections by both middle-class and aristocratic collectors who were enthusiastic about antiquity. Often they are characterized by the fact that pieces are presented here that cannot be presented in a “large” museum . The origin of the pieces is often unclear.
More modern lapidaries were created as an exhibition for finds from archaeological excavations. Here the lapidarium usually only represents a limited part of a more comprehensive exhibition concept; many lapidaries are still not (or only temporarily) accessible to the public, pure depots.
Another group of lapidaries was created more or less attached to construction huts or high-quality historical buildings in order to be able to preserve the originals of parts renewed in the course of construction work, in particular the building sculptures and sculptures in the interior ( depot ). Particularly in the case of religious buildings, such as church buildings, a major reason for affiliated lapidaries was the desire to store already consecrated components on consecrated ground even when they were no longer in direct use. These stored remains of original components are now important research objects for building archeology, as the materials used, original coatings or even early processing techniques can be studied.
The last two groups are characterized by the proximity between the exhibition location and the original location of the exhibits.
This historical aspect predominates today, in the meantime mainly originals find their way into the lapidarium, which are replaced by copies for conservation reasons (risk of weathering). Monuments that are removed for political reasons (e.g. after the end of the GDR ), due to construction work or because the money for a professional restoration is lacking, usually end up in the lapidarium. However, it sometimes happens that pieces stored in the lapidary are later set up again in public space.
- Stuttgart City Museum, City Lapidarium - Museum Guide . 2nd, revised edition. Silberburg-Verlag , Tübingen and Karlsruhe 2016, ISBN 978-3-8425-1358-7 .