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The hoop crown, as seen here on Charlemagne’s head, was worn by emperors of the Holy Roman Empire from the 11th century onwards. The imperial crown identifies him as a German emperor. Idealized portrait of Charlemagne, Workshop of Albrecht Dürer, 1514, oil on lime wood. On loan from and © Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.
The hoop crown, as seen here on Charlemagne’s head, was worn by emperors of the Holy Roman Empire from the 11th century onwards. The imperial crown identifies him as a German emperor. Idealized portrait of Charlemagne, Workshop of Albrecht Dürer, 1514, oil on lime wood. On loan from and © Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.


Who was Charlemagne and what imprint did the great Carolingian king leave on the 8th and 9th centuries? 2014 marks the 1200th anniversary of Charlemagne’s death (*748 – †814), the first European emperor of the Middle Ages. For this occasion the Swiss National Museum is putting on an exhibition that focuses on the era of Charlemagne and his cultural- historical achievements. Numerous splendid exhibits on loan from Switzerland and abroad introduce the viewers to the innovations in art, architecture, education and religion stimulated by Charlemagne. The emphasis of the show is on the Carolingian legacy in Switzerland. Separate theme galleries dealing with Charlemagne as a person, his court, the empire he founded and the monasteries, churches and palace complexes he built, offer a panorama view of the age from around 740 to 900. An epilogue sheds light on the cult and legends around Charlemagne that developed after his death.

The hoop crown, as seen here on Charlemagne’s head, was worn by emperors of the Holy Roman Empire from the 11th century onwards. The imperial crown identifies him as a German emperor. Idealized portrait of Charlemagne, Workshop of Albrecht Dürer, 1514, oil on lime wood. On loan from and © Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.
The hoop crown, as seen here on Charlemagne’s head, was worn by emperors of the Holy Roman Empire from the 11th century onwards. The imperial crown identifies him as a German emperor. Idealized portrait of Charlemagne, Workshop of Albrecht Dürer, 1514, oil on lime wood. On loan from and © Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.