Campus Galli

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Campus Galli
Campus Galli-Gallus-Erimitage153881.JPG
Carpenter's hut at Campus Galli
Campus Galli is located in Germany
Campus Galli
Campus Galli in Germany
General information
Coordinates 48°02′01″N 9°06′32″E / 48.033533°N 9.108905°E / 48.033533; 9.108905Coordinates: 48°02′01″N 9°06′32″E / 48.033533°N 9.108905°E / 48.033533; 9.108905
Construction started 2013
Artist's rendition of the Plan of Saint Gall.[1]

Campus Galli is a Carolingian monastic community under construction in Meßkirch, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The construction project includes plans to build a medieval monastery according to the early ninth-century Plan of Saint Gall using techniques from that era. The long-term financing of the project is to come from revenue generated from the site's operation as a tourist attraction. The construction site has been open for visitors since June 2013.[2]

Construction Site[edit]

Blacksmith's hut
Chapel Building

The Carolingian monastery town is being constructed in a wooded area approximately four kilometers north of the small town of Meßkirch in southern Germany. The buildings are being built according to the Plan of Saint Gall, which is the only surviving major architectural drawing from the middle-ages. The construction of the monastery town will be accomplished as much as possible with the materials and methods of the time of Charlemagne in keeping with goals of Experimental archaeology,[3] thereby increasing our scientific knowledge of Carolingian architecture and engineering. The major raw materials, such as wood and stone, will be obtained from the site.

Between 20 and 30 staff members will be permanently at the site, with an exception according to the Medieval custom for resting during the winter months from November 11 (St. Martin's day) until April 2 (Charlemagne's birthday). The total construction time is estimated at forty years. Volunteer workers not only help with the construction, but also act as costumed interpreters.[4]

The project was launched by the Aachen-based journalist Bert Geurten with 1 million euros provided by city, state and European-Union sources.[5] An Advisory Board of 18 experts in fields including archaeology, history, theology, and veterinary medicine will provide the scientific management and monitoring of the construction.[6]

Construction Progress[edit]

A small area in the forest was cleared by the end of June 2013, and temporary shelters for the craftsmen were built.[7] A map of the site[8] shows areas for carpenters, basket weavers, potters, blacksmiths, stonemasons, wood turners, broom makers, roofers, textile workers, and rope makers. There are also pens for pigs, goats and sheep, and a chicken coop, along with a bee hive. There is a herb garden for healer's plants. In the center of the site is the ongoing construction of a wooden church.


A documentary film of the project's evolution is being created by Reinhard Kungel in cooperation with the television station SWR and the Media and Film Society of Baden-Württemberg.

See also[edit]

  • Guédelon Castle in France, a project for an authentic construction of a medieval castle in Treigny


  1. ^ J. Rudolf Rahn, Geschichte der Bildenden Künste in der Schweiz. Von den Ältesten Zeiten bis zum Schlusse des Mittelalters. Zürich 1876.
  2. ^ Campus Galli - karolingische Klosterstadt Meßkirch "Herzlich willkommen bei Campus Galli - karolingische Klosterstadt" (in German).
  3. ^ EXARC, "Campus Galli", EXARC is the ICOM Affiliated Organisation representing archaeological open-air museums, experimental archaeology, ancient technology and interpretation.
  4. ^ Andreas Sturm, Sybille A. Beyer: Building the Plan of Saint Gall. A Living History Enterprise Back to the Roots of European Culture, Lecture at the conference "Staging the Past - Themed Environments ini Transcultural Perspective" University of Freiburg, Germany, April 25, 2009.[dead link]
  5. ^ Angelika Franz, "Ox Carts and No Coffee: Building a Monastery the Medieval Way", Spiegel Online International, 21 March 2012.
  6. ^ Andreas Sturm, "Konzeptionelle Mängel in der Umsetzung des Projektes „Campus Galli – karolingische klosterstadt messkirch"", 26 March 2013 (in German).
  7. ^ "So schufteten sie im Reich Karls des Großen", Die Welt, 24 June 2013 (in German).
  8. ^ "Site map of Campus Galli", Karolingische Klosterstadt Meßkirch, (in German).[dead link]

External links[edit]