Rheingold – raw material from the river

The gold of the Rhine – myths and legends like the famous Song of the Nibelungs revolve around the fairytale treasure that this river is said to hold. But there is a kernel of truth behind the stories. Like many mountain rivers, the Rhine also carries natural gold. Since ancient times, people have found ways and means to extract this precious metal from the river. The gold can be washed out of the sands that the Rhine washes up on its banks in many laborious steps. This yield enabled many people along the river to earn a lucrative additional income. For some, gold panning has remained a hobby to this day. The lustre of the gold has been preserved in a number of beautiful coins and medals, which are still minted from the Rhine gold in small editions today. A selection of the most beautiful coinages from the holdings of the Coin Cabinet at the Badisches Landesmuseum can be seen in this small presentation. In addition, historical equipment, material samples and picture documents document the process of gold panning as it was used along the Rhine for centuries.

With the studio presentation "Rheingold", the Badisches Landesmuseum is participating in the exhibition series "The Rhine" of the Museums Network. Over 30 museums from Germany, France and Switzerland will present exhibitions on the history of this European river in the period from autumn 2022 to summer 2023. The exhibition series is under the patronage of the trinational Upper Rhine Conference.


Studio presentation
24.9.22 – 10.9.23
Karlsruhe Palace

Netzwerk Museen / Réseau des Musées

The network of museums from France, Germany and Switzerland works together on a project basis. About every four years, the network encourages the participating institutions to realise projects and exhibitions on a common theme. Nature, history, technology, culture or art – in 2022, the focus will be on a new exhibition series that illuminates the Rhine in its many facets.

Image gallery

Eine Münze mit der Prägung "Ein Ducat aus Rheingold zu 22K. 6G. 1854"
Goldwaschbank und Gerätschaften, die zur Goldgewinnung benötigt werden
Goldwaschen am Rhein bei Philippsburg im Jahr 1911
Ein Mann beim Goldwaschen am Fluss.
Ein Blatt aus dem Stadtarchiv, der "Das Goldwaschen bei Carlsruhe" zeigt