"Citrus fruits from A to Z"
Seligenstadt Abbey has an extensive collection of exotic plants. During the winter months, these plants are protected from the cold in the abbey orangery, but in summer – from around the beginning of June to the end of September – a large number of these plants, potted in tubs, can be admired in the abbey garden. During these months, the abbey orangery becomes a walk-in knowledge room. In the exhibition “Citrus fruits from A to Z”, visitors can learn a lot of background information about the abbey orangery and its plant collection as well as about the pineapple house and the cultivation of the pineapple plants. Individual citrus plants and the queen of fruits – the pineapple – are also presented in more detail.
Things to know according to the alphabet
The exhibition, curated by Katharina Saul from the State Castles’ Department of Gardens and Garden Monument Preservation, is structured as a walk-in encyclopaedia. The picturesque Swan’s Neck Orangery near the Apothecary Garden is thus open to the public for the first time during the summer months. Visitors follow the letters of the alphabet to learn interesting facts about the pineapple, the effort it takes to grow it, as well as about the orangery and the citrus fruit family. It is about origin, care and cultivation as well as the sensual experience of the fruits.
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The diversity of citrus fruits becomes visible through the comparison of models made especially for the exhibition. At the same time, the exhibition informs about the history of exotic fruits as a luxury food at European courts since the 17th century and identifies plant symbolism that has fallen into oblivion. It recalls the ancient legend of the golden citrus fruits stolen by the Greek demigod Heracles. Since the Renaissance, princes have taken up this legend. The Baroque era in particular was a heyday of orangery culture, as was the case at Seligenstadt Abbey.
The exhibition also aims to encourage discoveries in the world of exotic plants. Bianca Limburg from the State Castles’ Department of Gardens and Garden Monument Preservation developed incentives especially for this purpose that rely on interaction with the public in social media.
Visitors are cordially invited to discover the knowledge for themselves, to reflect on it and to become part of the exhibition.
The exhibition is accompanied by a colourful programme as part of the event series “Wissen wächst im Garten” ("Knowledge Grows in the Garden”).