Logo LVR-Landesmuseum BonnLogo LVR

Primal landscape

How has the landscape in the Rhineland changed from the last Ice Age up to today? Hatchets and axes stand for man's first deep-reaching intervention into the primal Rhenish landscape more than 7,000 years ago. For the first time, woods were cut down on a large scale so that agrarian farmland could be established and livestock be raised. Since the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age), which reached Europe from the Near East, the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere has been continually increasing. Although most of the tools that have come down to us today are made of stone, or occasionally of bone, nevertheless, most of the objects were made of wood and other organic materials. The findings from the well of Kückhoven provide a unique glimpse into this world otherwise all but entirely lost; owing to the moist ground conditions they have come down to us today and are being presented on the third floor (Live better, survive). After the Neolithic Period came the Ages of Metals (the Bronze and Iron Ages). Although yet up to two decades ago, people assumed that during this time, the Rhineland was largely covered with forests, it is above all the archaeo-botanical investigations which have shown that precisely during the Iron Age the fertile loess soil between Aachen and Cologne was densely settled. Thus, by the time the Romans conquered the Rhineland in the first century B.C. and set up their cities and country villas, it was certainly not an uncultivated region. Agrarian products formed the backbone of the Roman economy. Many types of tools the Romans brought with them to the Rhineland have hardly changed up to this day. Streets, new field surveys, harbours, settlements and city foundings decisively changed the rural appearance even long after Roman rule had ended. Therefore it is not surprising that evidence exists of the earliest Frankish population in the 5th century in regions conducive to agriculture and at strategically important locations. The connection to Roman structures is more than clear. Important changes were introduced in Carolingian times, which marked the transition to the Middle Ages and feudal rule. In the Middle Ages, the rural population lived in villages. According to the seasons and guided by religion, for the most part, they farmed fields owned by the aristocracy. With the Renaissance, man's view of nature changed. It becomes an independent object of intellectual, and thus also artistic, observation. Man's completely new understanding of his surroundings becomes palpable here. In ever new images, artists have been devoting themselves to the theme of the landscape since this time. The landscape gallery shows this to us in a particularly charming way.


LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn, Colmantstr. 14-16, 53115 Bonn

Tel. +49 (0) 228 / 2070 - 0, Fax +49 (0) 228 / 2070 - 299

Opening Hours Museum

TUE - FRI, SON 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., SAT 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., MON closed

Guided tours for school groups available from 10 a.m.

Opening Hours Library

MON - FRI 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.