Organisational networking of our members

(last update March 16th 2021)


Prof. Dr. Stephan Albrecht

New research on the western facade of the Paris Cathedral

The project reinterprets the three portals of the west facade of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris. The main focus lies on the question of the portals’ self-referentiality: How is the act of “Entering” being placed at the center of interest by both formal artistic means and iconography? What role do the stages of human self-realization and realization of God, as developed by St. Augustine and Anselm of Canterbury, play in this?

The “Goldene Pforte” in Freiberg, Saxony

The “Goldene Pforte” ("Golden Gate“) Freiberg is the first complete figure portal in Germany which is based on the French model. The project examines the history of planning and construction, as well as the connection between architecture and sculpture. Which tradition follows the  building’s iconography, which is known to be very independent of France?


Prof. Dr. Stefan Breitling

Construction research at the main tower of the Ulm Minster

The Ulmer Münster (1377-1543; 1844-1890) with its highest church tower of 161.5 meters is one of the most important buildings of the late Gothic period. Since 2015, the medieval components of the main tower are in the process of restoration, which has been accompanied from the beginning by the Department of Building Research at the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg on behalf of the Baden-Württemberg State Office for the Preservation of Monuments. The aim of the documentation supplementing the process is to record all historically relevant findings on the medieval parts of the tower in order to be able to draw conclusions about the historical construction technology, building construction and the construction phases. At the same time, the documentation was intended to provide a solid basis for the restoration and replacement measures carried out by the Münsterbauhütte Ulm.

The Nuremberg Great Churches - An Annotated Plan Set

A digitization initiative is being carried out as an interdisciplinary cooperation between art scientists, building scientists, restoration scientists, architects, monument authorities and operators in cooperation with computer scientists. The reference object for the project is the parish church of St. Lorenz. The main point of interest for the digitalization is the information to be gained from the object, which takes the spatial dimension of built architecture into account. The aim of the project is the generation of user-specific specialized data sets, their mutual referencing and them being provided in linked-open-data form (LOD) on the Semantic Web.


Prof. Dr. Christoph Houswitschka

Film adaptations of Richard the Lionheart and King Arthur from a medievalist perspective

A medievalist's view of film adaptations of medieval material highlights the contemporaneity of these interpretations in a special way. Since film adaptations of King Arthur or King Richard the Lionheart deal with themes such as power, politics and questions of war and peace, references to our present time can always be established and allow for fascinating questions about how we deal with history, the ability of film not only to comment on events that belong to recent history or the present, but also to anticipate political developments that are less visible. Richard the Lionheart, in the film adaptations of the Robin Hood story in particular, but also in the two adaptations of James Goldman's successful play The Lion in Winter, is a fascinatingly multifaceted character, a war hero, a war criminal and a loving son who learns to deal with his pain, haunted by ambition and anger. Of particular interest here is the difference between the public (historically known) and the private (historically unknown and open to fiction) Richard. Both perspectives show a man in transition; a man changing from a traditional role into one of our time. The historical hero and English daredevil, turns into a 20th century war criminal. The homosexuality attributed to Richard by historians in the 20th century becomes a betrayal of love, supported by recent research, showing a man who, despite all disappointments, does not deny his love, neither for his mother nor for Philip, heir to the French throne. In the Anglo-American world and far beyond, King Arthur's reign is regarded as exemplary, but its tragic end is also a reminder of the fragility of all worldly order. Nothing remains as it is. The political developments of their time, the hopes and fears of the people and the ideologies that manipulate them can be read in the example of the Hollywood film adaptations of Arthurian material, which appeal to a worldwide audience.


Prof. Dr. Lorenz Korn

Tracking the Mongols in Iran

The rule of the Ilkhanid dynasty (13th-14th cent.) had a deep and lasting impact on the culture of Iran. The influx of a great mass of Mongols and Turks of nomadic background meant a challenge for the conquerors and the conquered alike. In cooperation with our Iranian partners, we are studying phenomena of resilience and integration during this period. For the first phase of the project, our focus is on the Rabʿ-i Rashidi, a complex of educational and charitable institutions founded in 1309 by the great vizier Rashid al-Din Fazlallah next to the capital Tabriz. Excavations aim at identifying elements of the original endowment, while the analysis of textual sources will provide more information on the functions and the urban setting of the complex.

Funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, 2018-2020; by the DFG 2020-2022


Dr. Cornelia Lohwasser

Evaluation of the archaeological excavations in the Bamberg Cathedral (1969-72)

The Bamberg Cathedral as it stands today had several previous buildings, whose existence is documented by written sources. However, how these buildings may have looked can only be reconstructed by the study of extensive excavations that Walter Sage carried out in the interior of the cathedral about 50 years ago. The findings of wall structures show the floor plans and size of the buildings; the small finds that can be attributed to the lost buildings even allow an idea of the former interior design.


Prof. Dr. Christian Schäfer

Sources and Studies on Philosophy in New Spain

In collaboration with the Universidad Auténoma Metropolitana of Mexico, the Department of Philosophy I at the University of Bamberg publishes the series “Quellen und Studien zur Philosophie in Neuspanien” ("Sources and Studies on Philosophy in New Spain“). In the 16th century, Neuspanien (New Spain) was the name for the territory of present-day Mexico, where many high-ranking scholars from the Spanish motherland taught at the newly founded universities and colleges. Historically and philosophically interesting is how these New Spanish scholastics were able to successfully confront and answer all the questions and problems that arose with the discovery and conquest of the New World, using the means of medieval philosophy. The main focus of the book series lies accordingly on texts that show clearly how a medieval theory of world philosophy proved to be sustainable, conclusive and problem-solving in the face of the unexpected challenges of a new epoch.


Prof. Dr. Rainer Schreg

Settlement development in comparison: Mikrosondagen (small test trenches) in Manheim and Bochheimer Höfe

The medieval village is the product of a long-term development, which processed very differently both individually and depending on landscape. However, now and again a broader process of settlement concentration can be identified, which is emerging during the 12th/13th century, in some regions even earlier. In order to understand these developments, it is necessary to look into what later became the town centres. Heritage Convervation has recognized the issue in recent years, but is dependent on current construction processes. In England, a strategy has been developed to approach the subject with small test cuts and an analysis of ceramic finds. We implement this method at two old locations in the area of the Hambach surface mine. For political reasons, large-scale excavations, such as those carried out in central Germany, are not possible here. With funding from the Stiftung zur Förderung der Archäologie im rheinischen Braunkohlenrevier (“Foundation for the Promotion of Archaeology in the Rhenish Lignite District”) and support from the LVR-Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland und die Heimatfreunde Stadt Kerpen e.V. („LVR Office for the Preservation of Land Monuments in the Rhineland and the Friends of the Stadt Kerpen e.V“), around 170 of these test trenches have been installed in the area of the now largely "de-settled" settlements of Manheim (city of Kerpen) and Bochheimer Höfe. The excavated samples were separated by soil layers and sifted through according to their respective volume. The ceramic finds in particular can be dated, which allows a mapping out of where and when settlement activities can be detected. As soon as it is possible under corona conditions, these investigations will be supplemented by field inspections on the fields in the surrounding area. The evaluation of the finds takes place within the framework of a term paper as well as a seminar. Hundreds of ceramic shards were found, which are now mapped out according to their time position. For now it is already noticeable that early to high medieval finds are not or hardly present, which is contrary to the testimonies given by the settlement names and other written sources.


Prof. Dr. Stefanie Stricker

DFG project "BStK Online - Database of Old High German and Old Saxon Gloss Manuscripts“

Der Webservice BStK Online stellt seit Juli 2017 ein im Netz frei zugängliches Forschungsinstrument zur Verfügung, das eine Sammlung und Beschreibung aller aktuell bekannten Glossenhandschriften der altdeutschen Sprachperiode und der in ihnen enthaltenen volkssprachigen Glossen bietet. Das Projekt wird seit Juli 2014 von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) gefördert und befindet sich inzwischen in seiner dritten Förderphase.


Prof. Dr. Klaus van Eickels

Intercultural exchange with African Universities

Prof. Dr. Klaus van Eickels (Medieval History) has developped an intense university cooperation and student exchange with several partner universities in West Africa (Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin) since 2007. Encouraging the establishment of new fields of teaching and research as the History of sexualities or Medieval German literature in these universities, his initiative as opened new perspectives of intercultural exchange in a multidisciplinary perspective. An online journal "Regards croisés Afrique Europe" edited in collaboration with German, French and African scholars and focussing on the major fields of the African cooperation of the University of Bamberg (history, literature, theology, pedagogy) will start in a few months.