Permanent Exhibition

The permanent exhibition guides visitors through the history of the city from its early traces of settlement through its founding more than 1250 years ago to the present day.

Using original testimonials and various media forms, the exhibition shows the changes in the work and everyday life of the Heppenheim population and links these with the general historical change. The focal points of the presentation include the life in the Stone Age, the significance of the Starkenburg as an important center of power on the southernmost edge of the archdiocese of Kurmainz, and medieval life in Heppenheim. Using a model of the castle, visitors can visually experience the dimensions of today's ruin in its heyday.

Life in the Wilhelmine Empire, the two world wars, the post-war period with the economic miracle and the social change as a result of the student movement in 1968 up to the changes in the computer age are also dealt with in the exhibition.
Events and people that were of transregional, even national importance for the history of the city are also presented as small highlights: The convocation of the Frankfurt National Assembly in 1848 is considered a milestone in the German movement for unity and freedom. The city of Heppenheim and especially the hotel ‘Halber Mond’ play a very special role. Liberal forces met here as early as 1847 during the Heppenheim Assembly to formulate specific demands for an all-German state - the later President of the National Assembly Heinrich von Gagern was also present.

Other interesting personalities whom one can find within the exhibition are the brothers Metzendorf, Martin Buber or Theodor Heuss. You learn, among other things, that the Mainzer department store, which was one of the leading pioneers in Germany at the time, was planned by the architect Heinrich Metzendorf. You also learn that Justus Liebig, the inventor of the meat extract, spent his apprenticeship years in Heppenheim; that the religious philosopher Martin Buber translated the Bible from Hebrew into German together with Franz Rosenzweig or that Theodor Heuss, the first chairman of the FDP (founded in Heppenheim), was also the first Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany.