Station: [4] The Kaiserring

The Kaiserring – literally, the Emperor's Ring. A large cut aquamarine engraved with an image of Heinrich the Fourth, set in a hand-forged 18-carat gold ring. But the value of the ring isn’t measurable in carats or in euros. Nor is the prize supported by an endowment. The award of the ring itself is the honour. Among connoisseurs, the Kaiserring is known as the Nobel Prize of the fine arts. That’s no exaggeration, as witness the impressive list of prize winners.

Hadfried Rinke is a goldsmith from the town of Worpswede. He first designed and forged the “Emperor’s Ring” for the British sculptor Henry Moore. Every year since, Rinke’s goldsmith’s workshop has made a new Kaiserring. Each one is unique, made to the correct ring size and engraved with the name of the award-winning artist.

The venue for the grand presentation of the Kaiserring is Goslar’s medieval imperial palace, the Kaiserpfalz. It involves a public ceremony attended by some 700 guests, at which the ring is presented by the mayor in person, and which includes a brief welcoming address from Germany’s Federal Chancellor.

In addition, Goslar hosts two days of celebrations in honour of the award winner. These include a whole host of festivities, lectures and a discussion between the artist and local schoolchildren. One highlight is the exhibition at the Mönchehaus Museum.

There’s also a banquet for more than 150 invited guests, friends of the artist and figures from the worlds of politics and the arts. Here, too, the city of Goslar remains true to its roots as a mining town when a famous old miners’ song is sung at the dinner, and all the guests join hands.


Foto 1: © Stadt Goslar

Foto 2: © Dietmar Langner

Foto 3: © Stadt Goslar 

Foto 4: © Heike Göttert