Twelve centuries of armament history
This gallery presents you with a spectacular collection of armour, swords and other medieval weaponry. The ensemble shows the evolution of armament between the 6th and the 18th centuries. Weapons are often state-of-the-art, and ancient weapons, whether edged weapons, early firearms or artillery, are no different in this respect.
Weapons were not deployed in warfare only. They were also used for leisure or as status symbols. The many hunting and tournament weapons in the set-up bear witness to this, as does, for example, the splendid child’s armour you will find in this room as well.
The collection’s absolute top pieces
The main attraction is of course the refurbished gallery, where the collection’s absolute top pieces are on display in all their glory.
Child’s armour, Augsburg, 1565. Inventory number 13929. | This child’s armour was manufactured by the famous armourer Anton Pfeffenhauser, active in Augsburg between 1545 and 1603. He worked for numerous crowned heads of the era. This three-quarter-length armour (reaching to the knee) was realized for a boy aged 5 or 6. Click here to read more
Carolingian sword, a.k.a. Viking sword, Northwest Europe, 750-850 A.D., archaeological find in Dendermonde. Inventory number 12420. | Swords such as this one are produced throughout the Frankish Empire during the Carolingian period (800 to 1000 A.D.). It is also called the “Viking sword”, as many of them are found in Scandinavian graves. Click here to read more
Shaffron and neck lame, parts of an armour for horses, Germany, 3rd quarter of the 16th century. Inventory number 10205. | The shaffron is the result of an evolution leading up to barding as practised around 1400. At that point in time, the horse’s armour closely resembles that of the rider, but is much heavier to wear and more expensive to produce. The shaffron, usually consisting of one or two pieces, is designed to protect the most vulnerable parts of the horse’s head, especially the eyes and the nose. Click here to read more
Reinforced tournament armour, attributed to Philip II, 1560, made by Wolfgang Grosschedel (ca. 1517-1562), Landshut (Duchy of Bavaria). Inventory number 10024. | This famous armour is said to have belonged to the Habsburg king Philip II. It was made under the supervision of Wolfgang Grosschedel, a famous Bavarian armourer active between 1517 and 1562, who also produced other pieces for the Spanish monarch. Click here to read more
A unique promotional campaign...
The reopening of the Arms and Armour Gallery and the festive weekend have been widely advertised through a unique poster campaign, starting in late September.
The campaign was based on a combination of contemporary cultural references (films, popular culture, games) and high-quality photographs of a number of top pieces from the Arms and Armour collection.
... And a festive opening weekend!
To celebrate the opening, the Military Museum has organized a festive opening weekend on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October. The entire museum was taken over by numerous re-enactors, who will introduce visitors to the various aspects of life between the 14th and 17th centuries.
Thanks to our visitors, the weekend was a huge success! For young and old alike, the marvel was total and absolute.