The permanent collection has an impressive variety of exhibits. There are archeological finds from the New Stone Age (Neolithic Age), reminders of the occasion when the reformer Dr Martin Luther was summoned to appear in Worms, and also one of the largest collections of Roman glassware in Germany.
Read more about the impressive variety of the exhibits in our permanent collection here, or even better, come and see for yourself!
The permanent exhibition contains a large number of archeological finds from Worms and nearby parts of Rhenish Hesse (Rhinehessen) that date from the
New Stone Age (Neolithic Age) and the Bronze Age, including the so-called Adlerberg Culture. Jewelry and other treasures found in the graves of princes in Rhenish Hesse date from the time around 400 BCE.
The exhibits in the Roman section of the museum are particularly impressive. Following the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (in the year 9 CE), the Rhine marked the boundary of the Roman Empire, and Worms became the site of a Roman fort. Romanized Celts, mainly from Gaul, settled in Rhenish Hesse, and from around 80 CE, the little town called Borbetomagus developed as the most important place in the Citivas Vangionum. There was a forum (under the present cathedral) and a temple, and a grid street plan was created.
Finds from this time can be admired in the museum, for example consecration inscriptions, altars and tombstones, but also articles of everyday use.
As well as tableware produced in pottery workshops and intended for local use, you can see examples of terra sigillata and face jugs from Worms (“Wormser Gesichtskrüge“).
Archeological digs have also unearthed magnificent examples of glassware and a large number of other finds for the museum.
The prosperity of Roman times ended with the migration of the Germanic peoples. There are few finds dating from the time after 450 CE.
There is some evidence of the arrival of Germanic people in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries in the form of neck rings and combs. However, it is only from the middle of the 5th century that early Christian tombstones with a Latin text but Germanic names confirm the existence of a new group of inhabitants.
Finally, Worms and Rhenish Hesse, which were clearly sparsely populated, were systematically settled by the Franks around 500 CE. Frankish women were buried wearing neck rings and heavy disc fibulae made of gold. Beakers made of glass were produced again, and those used as burial gifts have found their way into the museum’s collection.
According to legend, there was a Burgundian Empire centered around Worms in the first half of the 5th century.
You can learn about the history of the city since early medieval times on the second floor of the museum.
The Luther Room is a reminder of the occasion when the reformer Dr Martin Luther was summoned to appear before the Emperor Charles V during the famous Diet of Worms in 1521.
One of the display cases presents chiefly late medieval glassware found in archeological digs in Worms. There is also information about industrialization and in particular about the production of leather, a manufacturing process that played an important role in Worms from the middle of the 19th century.
The museum also houses the city’s art gallery, a collection built up since the beginning of the 20th century and containing works by regional artists (especially paintings and graphic art). Works of art in this collection are presented in temporary exhibitions that change regularly.
A visit to the former church provides a fitting conclusion to a tour round to the museum. This example of Romanesque architecture with some Gothic elements is a popular venue, for example for lectures and concerts.
The Romanesque cloisters on two sides of a picturesque inner courtyard contain Roman, medieval and modern tombs and tombstones which give an insight into the eventful history of the city of Worms.