Show transcript Play Pause

Blick auf die Kaiserpfalz (Foto: LWL/A. Karl)

Hidden under stones: traces of secular power behind the Paderborn Cathedral

The LWL-Museum in the Imperial Palace

Scientists have long puzzled over the location of Charlemagne's palace complex in Paderborn. In 1964, the time had finally come: the palace from the late 8th century was discovered during archaeological excavations north of the cathedral.

But not only the remains of this Carolingian palace complex were found. The archaeologists also uncovered the masonry of the much better preserved palace of Henry II from the High Middle Ages. This complex from the 11th century was so well preserved that it was possible to rebuild it using the original foundation.

The museum has been housed in the historic building since 1978. On display are unique archaeological finds from Paderborn and Westphalia from the 6th to 12th century.

The exhibition Of emperors and royal splendor

Discover the former splendor of the Carolingian palace with fragments of its wall paintings and ornate capitals.

Get to know the life of the early Middle Ages in Westphalia: The exhibits in the LWL Museum in the Imperial Palace range from its pagan roots to Christianization by Charlemagne. Graves with precious jewelry and weapons, as well as handicrafts from settlements and trading places in the region, illustrate how people lived together at this time.

The large assembly hall and Ikenberg-Chapel focus on the royal palace as a station of the traveling medieval ruler.

About our exhibition

Special exhibitions Traces of our history

A 7,000-year-old cultural landscape, medieval architecture or life at the Dead Sea: once a year, we set special scientific accents with our special exhibitions. The focus is on cultural-historical topics of global significance and current social relevance. In our exhibitions, we present new results of interdisciplinary and international cooperation.

Find out more about current, upcoming and past special exhibitions. Be inspired to visit our museum or browse through the diversity of our archive.

About our special exhibitons

City archaeology exhibitions

Paderborn City Archaeology frequently enriches the building with exhibitions in the foyer on the latest finds in and around Paderborn.

Homepage of the city archaeology

Blick in die Abteilung zu Stadtarchäologie (Foto: LWL)

What is an Imperial Palace?

The medieval king or emperor did not rule from a capital, but multiple palaces all over the kingdom. Here you can find out how the travel routes of the royal household created a network of important buildings and how their logistics shaped these places.

Learn more about it!

Reskonstruktion der Pfalz (Foto: LWL)

About us

Whether scientists, museum educators, volunteers or museum technicians, around 20 people are committed to the museum every day.

Zur Teamseite

Einblick des Stadtmodells (Bild: LWL)