Richard the Lionheart

King – Knight – Prisoner

September 17, 2017 to April 15, 2018

„Eine Ausstellung in Speyer nimmt sich nun des englischen Königs an, untersucht den Mythos, der sich rasch um ihn bildete, fragt nach der Person, der Herkunft, der Ausbildung und den Merkmalen seiner Herrschaft und bettet ihn zugleich in die europäische Geschichte ein.“

Dr. Tilmann Spreckelsen in der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung", 21. September 2017

Richard Löwenherz
Grabfigur im Kloster Fontevraud, um 1200, Foto: akg-images/Erich Lessing
Richard Löwenherz - Statue liegend

The life and impact of King Richard the Lionheart of England are the subject of a major art history and cultural history exhibition for the first time ever.

Notable objects from England, France and Germany presenting Richard the Lionheart in the European context are on display at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer from September 17, 2017 to April 15, 2018. Also on display are precious manuscripts, weapons, sculptures and archaeological finds, including exceptional works of art from the milieu of the royal dynasties of England and France– the Plantagenets and the Capetians – as well as the Houses of Hohenstaufen und Welf. Central themes of the exhibition are the ruling dynasties of Richard’s day, courtly life and literature, chivalry, the Third Crusade and castle-building.

The accompanying audio guide for the exhibition is available in English and is included in the entrance fee.

„Mit 200 Objekten aus sieben Ländern, von der königlichen Grabplatte über das Kreuz Heinrichs des Löwen bis zu einem Exemplar der englischen „Magna Charta“, glänzend bestückt, wird Richard da zum Führer durch eine Zeit, die geradezu als Antithese der Gegenwart herhalten kann.“

Berthold Seewald in "Die Welt", 7. November 2017


Tickets for the exhibition are available now at the museum ticket desk or online at our ticket shop.

Public Guided Tours

Starting on the 17th of September public guided tours will be held every Sunday at 11:00, 13:00 and 14:00. These guided tours are available only in German! These guided tours cost 4 € plus the entrance fee.

Book a Tour

Would you like to book a tour in English? Please contact our booking office by email at or by telephone at +0049 (0)6232 620222.

Löwenherz-Ausstellung Speyer: Abbildung Richard I. Löwenherz

With the Heart of a Lion

Richard I acquired his famous sobriquet already during his lifetime, largely due to his extraordinary courage and his generosity. It was only much later that the legend developed in which the king wrestled with a lion, ripped out its still beating heart and subsequently consumed it.

A Strong Woman

Richard I had an ever-present ally at his side in his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. She gave birth to ten children, and of these children Richard was her favourite. Even during his time as ruler he remained under her protection. At a very old age she made the journey to Mainz to greet her son after his imprisonment, and later in front of the castle of Châlus-Chabrol on the 6th of April 1199, he died in her arms.

Heraldische Löwen, Löwenherz-Ausstellung Speyer

Three Lions on the Shirt

The three lions on the Royal Arms of England first appeared under Richard I Lionheart’s rule. The lion as an English heraldic animal can probably be traced back to Norman influence. A short digression into heraldry reveals that strictly speaking these are not lions on the coat of arms but rather leopards, as they are portrayed in stride with their heads turned to squarely face the viewer.