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Since the 13th century this particular tower, the so-called "Welsche Turm" has dominated the north-eastern corner of the city's defence installations. It formed part of the city wall and secured the northern end of the Elbe river fortifications. It was near the tower that imperial troops under Tilly broke through the walls, invaded the city and brought nearly complete destruction upon Magdeburg in 1631.
Today it hosts a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and work of the famous scientist and Lord Mayor of Magdeburg. In addition, it is a very popular venue for cultural events, exhibitions and conferences.
Permanent Exhibition Life and work of Otto von Guericke
Life and Work of Otto von Guerickes
Since 1995, the Lukasklause hosts the Otto von Guericke Museum and a permanent exhibition dedicated to Guericke’s life and work. The Lord Mayor of Magdeburg and engineer Otto von Guericke made a name for himself with the invention of the air pump and the ensuing spectacular "Magdeburg Hemisphere Experiment" which earned him world-wide reputation. Visitors to the museum have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with von Guericke's scientific experiments and other interesting exhibits such as the Galgenversuch, to measure the force of air pressure, and the Windbüchse (literally "wind rifle"). In addition, replica of Guericke’s original pumps and experimental devices are on display over two floors. The exhibition certainly acknowledges Otto von Guericke’s immense contribution to classical natural sciences.
Special exhibitions and a series of lectures are particular highlights offered by the Otto von Guericke Museum at the Lukasklause where the life and work of Otto von Guericke as well as the history of 17th century Magdeburg play a central role.
To give visitors a better idea of the actual life and work and to add to the museum’s attractiveness, a Guericke workplace has also been included in the permanent exhibition. The workplace itself was installed on the ground floor of the octagonal tower of the Lukasklause.
The installation was based on historic paintings and drawings of work and study rooms dating back to the era of modern history. The exhibits and furniture as well as other objects in the room are either originals or copied from originals of the 17th century. It is intended to give visitors an insight into how Otto von Guericke actually spent his life in Magdeburg, how he organised his work and how he carried out his experiments.
above: Otto von Guericke, painting by Lucia Maria Lauch, Vienna 1650