Collection

NEUSS IN THE MIDDLE AGES

The medieval history of Neuss is preserved not only in documents and images but through archaeological remains, many of which have been studied by the Urban Archaeology Service of the city of Neuss.

In addition to the objects owned by the former Neuss Ancient History Association and the Sels Collection they form the basis of the collection on medieval urban history in the Clemens Sels Museum Neuss. In the 9th century a small market area grew on the bank of the Rhine built on top of the ruins of the Roman civilian settlement around today’s Romaneum. The colony expanded to become a town and acquired a city wall in the 12th century. A central role in Neuss’s history is played by the cult of St. Quirinus. The Roman tribune and martyr, whose remains have been kept in Neuss since the 9th century, was the patron saint of the city and was appealed to for help in numer ous diseases. The saint’s relics stored in the St. Quirinus Cathedral made Neuss an important place of pilgrimage. The successful resistance to the siege by Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, whose forces surrounded Neuss for nearly 10 months in 1474–1475, is another important chapter in the city’s history. Many finds of weapons and pieces of equipment bear witness to the heavy fighting during the siege. The museum collection includes not only the remains of war, but evidence of Neuss’s crafts and trade. An diverse group of ceramic and glass vessels informs us about eating habits and table manners in Neuss in the Middle Ages, as do the remains of plants and animal bones that have been found in excavations.