Station: [12] Christianization

  • Oldenburger Wallmuseum

Initial plans to christianize the pagan Slavs already existed under Otto the Great who made Starigard a missionary bishopric in 972. Some of the ruling upper class accepted Christianity.

This fact is verified by the burial rites: the graves in the graveyard now show east-west orientation and there are no pagan grave gifts whatsoever to be found. Instead we can find Christian symbols, such as this crucifix pendant.

For the normal population, Christianity above all meant subjugation to the German rulers. In addition to charges paid to the princes, the people now had to pay a tenth charge to the Bishop. Many longstanding customs and rituals were simply suppressed.

It is therefore not surprising that the Slavs tried on several occasions to free themselves from the yoke of economic and religious suppression.

If you take a look at the chart Number 32 to the left of you, you can follow the scenes of battles between Slavs and Saxons until around 1066. The largest uprising was in 983 and ended in the destruction of the church and the Bishop’s see.

The items in cabinet 34 originate from the time of the Slavic uprising. They show reconstructions of church items destroyed when the church burned down. If you wish, you can open the small door to the right marked Number 33, and listen to a simulation of the bells from the 9th century.

Persecution of Christians mainly involved representatives of the Christian Saxon rulers, Priests and tax collectors. Christian traders and craftsmen, on the other hand, were seldom molested.

In 1066 the church was again destroyed when the pagan prince Kruto overthrew the Christian Bishop Gottschalk. Fragments of the decorative cover made of bones of the relics case shown to the left were found, which originate from the fire.