The world's first UNESCO industrial monument, a European film festival and museums with an international reputation - the treasures of Saarland's cultural heritage are known far beyond the borders of the state. Now you can easily bring them into your own living room. We'll tell you here which cultural venues and meeting places are particularly worthwhile, and which digital platforms you can use to find them:
What the monument offers:
In the 19th and 20th centuries, in Germany's industrialization era, workers toiled and sweated on the terrain of the Völklingen Ironworks. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site combines unique industrial culture with 21st century art. Artists, musicians and performance makers use the whimsical backdrop of the factory site to stage their works. In addition, their art is dedicated to the Anthropocene - the century in which humans have significantly shaped their environment through technology. And not only that: the Völklingen Ironworks is also a place that is being reconquered by nature. This is shown by the wild flux of animals and plants in the "Paradise" landscape garden, which is making its way where the coking plant used to be.
How you explore it digitally:
The highlight of any visit is a tour of the industrial site. Walking past blast furnaces, kilometer-long pipes and meter-high steel scaffolding, you can imagine the smoke and heat that workers were exposed to during iron ore extraction. Now the tour is also available in a virtual version: With click and drag, you can explore the blast furnace platform - the overhead railway that connects all the blast furnaces - or follow the coal track across the industrial monument. You can find the Google Arts project here.
Our Tip: The exhibition Mon Trésor, dedicated to special "treasures" of the cultural history of the Saarland. The idea is that every object - a note, for example, or a pocket watch - tells something about the peculiarities of a region and the people who live there. With the question "What is your treasure?" the Völklingen Ironworks invited Saarlanders and residents of the greater region to send in photos of their personal treasures. When browsing through the digital picture gallery, be sure to click on the photos! Personal stories will emerge about the objects that seem so inconspicuous at first glance, but which, thanks to the anecdotal texts, reveal so much that is touching about the lives of their owners.
Go to the exhibition Mon Trésor here.
What the museum offers:
The museum in the state capital of Saarbrücken shows art from the 19th century to the present, especially by German and French artists. Among the most important exhibits are works by the Berlin Secession, informal art, and the extensive photography collection, which includes the estate of Saarbrücken-born photographer Otto Steinert.
And this is how you can experience it digitally:
The Saarlandmuseum Moderne Galerie is especially active on social networks. On Facebook and Instagram, there are entertaining posts and videos about selected works. In addition, the museum has its own YouTube channel. Particularly worthwhile: the video series "Art Explained in Brief," in which experts each take a closer look at a work of art. Children will be interested in the workshop series "Atelier to go," which encourages handicrafts and painting.
Go to the YouTube channel here.
Browsing the holdings of DigiCULT and getting to know 38 museums in one fell swoop. The project has set itself the ambitious goal of digitally archiving the cultural heritage of the Saarland and making it freely accessible to all. And this is how it works: Either go to the museum of your choice and click through the collection or use the filter option to search for terms and let yourself be surprised.
You can find the link here.
What the gallery offers:
The museum in the old town of Saarbrücken specializes in contemporary art. With emerging artists in the field of spatial installation, video and performance art, as well as conceptual and sound art, the gallery has made a name for itself internationally.
How you experience it digitally:
You can view all of the Stadtgalerie's current exhibitions in a 3D visualization. Pay attention, because in the digital spaces, dots light up again and again, behind which - via Soundcloud and YouTube - exciting audio guides and videos about the works can be found. Of course, the Stadtgalerie is also on the move for you on Instagram and Facebook with posts, contributions and stories.
The audio guide, which you can also access via the 3D visualization. It turns a visit to the museum into what it should be: a place of cultural exchange. In the form of conversations, visitors to the exhibitions have their say by talking about their museum experience.
You can access the digital offer of the Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken by clicking here.
What the museum offers:
Sometimes it belonged to Germany, sometimes to France: Today's Saarland on the German-French border has a unique and eventful past behind it. The permanent exhibition of the Historisches Museum Saar tells the story. Numerous historical exhibits in the museum building on Saarbrücken's Schlossplatz bear witness to life in a border region marked by the Franco-German War and two world wars. Are you more interested in art and culture? Then the changing special exhibitions welcome you.
And that's how you experience it digitally:
All rooms of the museum can be explored in a virtual tour. At the beginning of your digital tour through the museum, simply select a floor and off you go! Use the dots on the floor to move from room to room in 360°. The practical thing is that you can zoom in quite close to exhibits and even read the corresponding wall panels. And if you've had enough of an exhibition, you can maneuver to another floor in seconds with a click of the mouse.
A digital walk through "The Underground Castle" - a large fortress complex from the 15th and 16th centuries, which was hidden underground for centuries and is now part of the museum. You can explore the castle with its bulwark, shooting range and dungeon on your own, just like the other rooms. However, we recommend the video tour, which lets you tour the medieval and Renaissance walls together with the museum director. The special feature: The video is recorded in 360 ° - so while you follow the guide, you can look around on your own, just like on a real tour.
Go to the digital tour of the museum here.
For the 360° guided tour of the castle please here along.
Cover image: Skilfully staged - the Völklingen Ironworks at blue hour © Günter Bayerl
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