The Sorbian museum also has special rooms with a total area of 220 m². The exhibitions are complementary and add further depth to the selection of permanent exhibitions and are mostly concerned with national minorities or regional characteristics – suitable for our museum. Slavic nationalities and their cultural traditions are of particular interest.
The art exhibitions complement the programmatic orientation and open up a new way of looking at certain topics.
Man. Myth. Brand.
Scarcely any sorbian-wendish legendary figure has ever caused so much attention as the sorcerer named KRABAT. The exhibition treats the life of Janko Šajatović (1624 – 1704), who originated from Žumberak near Agram (Zagreb) and served as a colonel for the Electoral Croatian Guard of the Saxonian Prince Elector.
Šajatović stayed close to the electoral family up to his death, last as a consultant in the rank of Adjutant General.
Through the stories about „KRABAT“ he found his path into collective memory. There he caused sensation as the literary hero of well-known writers as Měrćin Nowak-Njechorński, Jurij Brězan and Otfried Preußler.
In the cultural history of the Sorbian nation the character of KRABAT, who developed out of the legendary figure, plays an important role.
The objective of this project is to examine the life of the historical person, that stands concealed behind the myth of KRABAT.
In addition the projects reflects upon the myth-making of Janko Šajatović – in german Johann von Schadowitz – as upon the contribution of sorbian art and literature, that turned him into a myth since the 19nth century.
The permanent exhibition at the Sorbian Museum in Bautzen leads you on an 830 m² tour from the early history to the present day. There is a thematically independent department of visual arts.
Start of the exhibition
The first part of the exhibition in the foyer presents a historical and linguistic classification of today’s Sorbs and their ancestors. Selected exhibits from each part of the museum will give you an overview of the central areas of the Sorbian identity.
In the following room the time of Slavic settlement, the High Middle Ages and the Reformation in Lusatia is shown. The next exhibition space displays areas of typical regional craft – for example forest beekeeping, fisheries and aquaculture, which formed an important industry since the Middle Ages.
Working and living conditions of the sorbs
Afterwards, you enter an area divided into four rooms with the themes: domestic living, costumes and customs during the course of the year. This includes traditional music.
The literature exhibition can be found in the ballroom. The largest room of the museum has two floors, because it used to be the court room of the Amtsgericht (local court) Bautzen. It is decorated with pictures of Sorbian scientists and writers. Beneath the gallery, the triptych by the Slovenian artist Ante Trstenjak shows important thinkers and creators of culture of the Sorbian cultural movement. The glass cases beneath the gallery display old prints and literary monuments.
On the left and right hand side of the room, there are cabinets with the works of important representatives of literary modernism. In the gallery, you can relax in the library and page through one of the numerous books.
Special events such as concerts and exhibition openings are held in the ballroom.
After the ballroom, the tour leads you to modern times and the national movement in general. Here the national consciousness of Slavic people, the literary and scientific studies of the Sorbian -Wends as well as other key factors of historical development are presented. In the middle of the space is the so-called Smoler room – as a reference to the outstanding personality of the Sorbian national revival.
A separate plaque is dedicated to the Sorbian emigrants overseas.
The ballroom doors lead into the special exhibition area in the east wing of the building.
Children's museum & Contemporary history
he visitors can look at the area dedicated to “Early Childhood”. The combined children’s museum is also an educational area and part of the permanent exhibition.
The department of modern history displays the development of the Sorbian associations, from the time of foundation until the reunification of Germany, and the position of the German public authorities as well as various other aspects of being a Sorb. And finally, we arrive at the present time.
This is a nice opportunity to leave the “historical timeline” and receive a visual impression not only of Sorbian but also of Upper Lusatia and Lausitz – enjoy this tour through the department of fine arts.
The Sorbian Museum has the largest collection of Sorbian art, including impressive portrayals and portraits of people, landscapes and watercolour paintings.