1,000 Forgotten Years

“Byzantium and the West” takes you on a trip through time through 1,000 forgotten years from March 17 until November 18, 2018.

After the exhibit “Golden Byzantium and the Orient” in 2012, the castle Schallaburg is changing its perspective. Its current focus: the shifting relationship between “our” West and Byzantium.

In 2018, the castle Schallaburg recalls the history of Byzantium and the West: a story of two worlds which were familiar and yet so different in many ways which begins with the division of the Roman Empire in the 4th century A.D.

Of East and West

The Roman Empire extends around the Mediterranean Sea. Because of its size it is hard to manage and even harder to defend. So it is divided into two halves- East and West. For the Western Roman Empire, it is the beginning of the end: It has to struggle with internal as well as external unrest and is overrun by numerous attackers. In the East, it is a different story: The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire rises to become a world power with its capital city Constantinople, becoming the political and cultural center of the Mediterranean. Despite the separation, many people continue to travel from East to West, but chiefly from West to East. Many come to earn money by fighting for Byzantium. Many more are pilgrims on the way to visit the holy sites. Some of them stay abroad, starting a new life. Others return. In their baggage they carry costly items, new ideas and fantastic stories.

Of Crusaders, Pilgrims and Princesses

We set sail with pilgrims, traders and crusaders, meet Charlemagne at his imperial coronation in Rome, accompany Princess Theodora on her way from Constantinople to Austria. We follow French knights in the search of riches and adventure in Greece and Byzantine scholars stirring up sensation in Italy. We unmask impostors and watch relict traders closely. Exhibits from all over the world, such as the Paris Musée du Louvre, Treasure Chamber of San Marco in Venice, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem or the Athens Museum for Christian and Byzantine art, make “Byzantium and the West” a unique show. The exhibit is simultaneously a discovery trip for kids and grown-ups: interactive games, listening stations, and the activity book make the trip to the Middle Ages and the Mediterranean an experience for the whole family. Media guides are available in: German, English, Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian.