Station: [11] Paganism

  • Oldenburger Wallmuseum

The religious beliefs of the Slavs were originally of a religious form which worshipped nature, involving sacred sources and other special items of nature.

Pagan ideas concerning the structure of the world are shown in the cabinet on the right. The kingdom of the gods rules over the kingdom of the living and the dead. Sacred horses mediate between the worlds of humans and gods. The Slavs believe their fate rests with the favors of the gods.

The north-western Baltic Sea Slavs resisted Christianity for a long time. Despite the influence of Christianity which was all around them, their religion continued to develop. At a tribe level, a Priest caste celebrated public rites in sacred groves, temples or ritual places.

The pagan temples and ritual places found are listed in the chart of Plate 27.

In addition to oracles, religious rites of the priests also included the offering of harvest and animal sacrifices. Horse bones offered in ritual were found in Starigard.

Images of gods existed as large sculptures or as pocket idols for personal use. Evidence of worship of the amorphous god, Prove, by the Slavic Wagrie has been found on the Wienberg.

Now please turn towards the large ritual post to the left of you.

This is the reconstruction of a pagan altar which the Slavs erected after the great uprising against Christian German rule in 983 in the fort at exactly the position where the first Christian altar originally stood.

It not only symbolizes the deeply rooted pagan belief still found among the normal population, but is also a sign of triumph of the Slavs over the claims to rule on the part of German princes.