Lapidarium Willrode

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Forest house with lapidarium (in the foreground)

The Lapidarium Willrode is a collection of historical boundary and district stones on the grounds of the forester's house Willroda near the Thuringian capital of Erfurt .
An exhibition of Thuringian boundary stones has been set up on the western side of the courtyard since 2009. The exhibitor is the Thuringia Regional Association of the DVW - Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management (DVW) . There are currently (November 2011) around thirteen boundary and district stones with well-labeled explanatory boards. The collection presents markings of the external borders of historical territories. Initials on the head of the stones or their coat of arms indicate the respective rule. For example, “KP” stands for the Kingdom of Prussia , while “HG” refers to the Duchy of (Saxony) Gotha . Further marking stones show the initials of the marking or the consecutive numbering.


Thuringian States 1910

Before the duchies and principalities listed below (excluding Prussia) were merged to form the State of Thuringia in 1920, the following independent domains existed on Thuringian territory:

After 1945 the Prussian administrative district of Erfurt was added. In 1952 it was divided into the districts of Erfurt, Gera and Suhl . After the fall of the Berlin Wall , the districts were united and the Free State of Thuringia was formed by adding the districts of Artern , Schmölln and Altenburg.

For historical reasons, the measurement methods and accuracy were very different in historical times. In earlier centuries, high-precision measurements to determine the position of boundary points were technically not possible and were missing. In order to still be able to prove the original position if the boundary stone was lost or moved, an object (" landmark stoneware ") was dug under the stone when it was first set , which specifically identified the respective ownership. Before the metric system was introduced in Germany on January 1, 1872, different measures of length were in use. For example, the Prussian rod (“Prussian work rod”) measured 3.766 m, while the Weimar rod (“Weimar wood rod”) was 4.512 m long. Agricultural areas in Prussia were referred to as " (Magdeburger) Morgen " (2,553.2 m²), but in Weimar as "Acker" (2,849.7 m²).
One of the most important tasks of a state, if only for the exact calculation of taxes and duties, has always been the measurement and definition of its borders. Afterwards, the cadastral survey is used to determine the property boundaries, corridors and parcels . However, in the 19th century, the states each introduced their own independent cadastral systems to document property relations. The cadastral registers contained the parcels with number, area, owner and type of use. After measuring the boundary stones and defining the parcels, large-scale maps were made.


During the “Flurzügen” (corridor inspections), the integrity of the boundary stones was checked in places until the 19th century.
The descriptions of these “corridors” in the old reports from the 18th century are interesting and amusing. In the past, the fields were delimited by landmarks. The work of setting stones and measuring was done by the "Steiner" (also Steiniger ), who were responsible for measuring the corridors and setting the milestones as well as for settling border disputes. The number and location of the stones were recorded in a book that was kept in the church to be on the safe side. The parcels were depending on the size and shape of different names: it is of Gelenge , Sottel , Striegel , Miter and Girn spoken. Once a year the population moved to the fields in order to migrate the boundary stones with great participation, including the children, and to compare them with the entries in the church register. It was a feast day for the whole village. Since not all stones could be found intentionally or unintentionally in the intended place, there were also disputes, which is also indicated by field names such as "armed forces". So initially the borders to the neighboring villages were checked. And every time you came across the delegation from the next neighboring village, you greeted each other warmly and asked them to come to us for a drink .
After pacing the municipal boundaries, the boundaries of the corridors and parcels were moved and the boundary stones were checked, some were erected again or moved to the intended place. In the evening they met in the tavern, where 32 buckets and 5 cans were opened and drunk on that day . 1  bucket as the room size at that time was 72 cans or 67.362 liters. In the case described, the guests drank more than 2,100 liters
there .

Pictures from the lapidary

Many stones were aligned in such a way that the correspondingly labeled / marked side pointed in the direction of the area that is meant by the labeling.


  • Nikolaus Philippi: Landmarks in Germany - Origin and history of the landmarks as stone witnesses in the forest and the field. Rockstuhl Verlag, Bad Langensalza 2009, ISBN 978-3-86777-125-2 .
  • Manfred Kastner, Ulrich Rüger: The Rennsteig - Historic Landmarks. Rhino-Verlag, Ilmenau / Wüstrow 2008, ISBN 978-3-939399-05-6
  • Steffen Raßloff : Stone small states. To the lapidarium in Willroda. In: Thüringer Allgemeine from August 18, 2012


  • Flyer of the Lapidarium

Web links

Commons : Willroda  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 50 ° 55 ′ 3.9 "  N , 11 ° 5 ′ 21.3"  E