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“Unusual Middle Ages – Women with influence and European contacts”

Europe: Heritage Lived Verein für Herforder Geschichte e.V.

In the year of European Heritage 2018, the Herford History Association wants to recall the European dimension of the founding of Herford, focusing on women's long-underestimated influence.

The founder of Herford was a widely traveled, cosmopolitan personality with close contacts to the British Isles. The women of the monastery founded by him sought and found inspiration and support among others in today's northern France. The pen was the starting point for the inclusion of Iceland in the spiritual world of Europe. The abbesses of the oldest spiritual foundation in Saxony, the "frouwen von Herford", were networked across Europe to the Baltic States and used their strong position in the kingdom and in the church in many ways.
This importance of medieval female crayons in European history has long been underestimated in public perception as well as in research. A correction is overdue. In hardly any other city can this be portrayed as vividly as in Herford. The Year of the European Cultural Heritage 2018 provides a good basis for this.

In a nutshell, our project has three parts:
• For the first time, we will tap into the traces and signs that still exist in the church of the Frauenstift, today's Münsterkirche, via up-to-date media such as an audio guide and app for visitors, thereby developing a special offer for children.
• We send young HerforderInnen as "scouts" to European places, which were connected in the early Middle Ages with Herford. They are there to find "Herford references", report on it, record contact with peers and report on their results.
• On a big "Herforder Stiftstag" on the day of the memorial in September, which we want to make a permanent fixture, the importance of the Herforder Stift and the "frouwen von Herford" is described in many different ways. Among other things, we hope that our scouts will also bring along peers from the partner regions.

In our project, young people from Herforder should play an important role. They are to be trained as scouts and sent to Europe, where they track down Herforder references. Soissons is about the Herforder mother monastery. In York (Northumbria) it is important to track down the work of the founder of the collegiate Waltger, who found inspiration there through Saint Oswald and his relics. In Iceland you can see the work of the Herford-trained Isleif, the first bishop on the island. The young people should report on their experiences in words and pictures, also on the new media (in blogs, video blogs, etc.), make contact with peers at the destinations, exchange with them and bring them to Herford for the first big "Herforder Stiftstag".

The project is funded by Representative for Culture and Media of the Federal Government as part of the European Cultural Year 2018.