Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Museo intereligioso Bertinoro

Museo intereligioso Bertinoro

Via Frangipane, 6 47032 Bertinoro (FC)

RELIGIONS Judaism, Catholic, Islam, Orthodox


The Interreligious Museum was officially founded in 2005 following the Mediterraneum inter-university agreement of 1995, signed among the universities of Bologna, Thessalonica, Tunis, Ankara, Heidelberg, Jerusalem, the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Antonianum University. It was based on the need to create a space where monotheistic cultures and religions could meet, get to know each other and have a dialogue, combining the value of tolerance and respect. Since then the headquarters of the Museum is located inside the oldest parts of the Rocca Vescovile di Bertinoro: the dungeons and the cistern, dating back to the twelfth century.
The Museum is placed in the dungeons of the thousand-year old Rocca Vescovile di Bertinoro, and it is organized as a foundation. Between the ninth and twelfth centuries, the millenary fortification was built by welding to the natural rock spurs. In addition to representing a perfect symbiosis of architecture and nature, the building, located at the top of the hill, defines itself as an effective defensive system, capable of withstanding for centuries and ensuring the safety of the inhabitants. The ancient fortress consisted of a strong wall, anchored to the rock and reinforced by four towers. The entrances consisted of a drawbridge and a series of fortified gates. Inside the fortress there was the noble residence and the inhabited village, with houses, shops, water supplies, food stores. In the fortress there was also a kind of barracks, where soldiers lived and were trained, and a prison was also found. Other works at the fortress were carried out during the fifteenth century, at the behest of the Malatesta gentlemen from Cesena. But the most important enlargement is that which took place in 1584, when the old castle was transformed into a bishop's seat. In its irregular shapes, even the plan testifies to the changes undergone over time, but in its ingenuity the fortress maintains well the shapes and characteristics of the late sixteenth-century structure. It is built in stone and bricks and traces of battlements and corbels are still visible on the top of the wall curtains. It is equipped with corner towers, among which, the southeast one serves as an entrance. The entrance has a large staircase and a round arch, covered with rusticated and flanked by two Ionic columns. The interiors are distributed on three levels, there are: the offices of the Diocese, the apartments of the ancient bishop's residence, a large terrace facing the village, and the great seventeenth-century room decorated with fine Baroque frescoes. The remains of the portico of an ancient courtyard, with an underground cistern, the prisons and the ancient ravelin, a massive forepart with a rhomboidal shape with a defensive function, are still visible. In all its activities the Museum is managed by the "Inter-religious Museum of Bertinoro", established in 2005 and made up of the Diocese of Forlì - Bertinoro, the City of Bertinoro and the University Residential Center of Bertinoro (Ce.U.B.).
What enables Jews, Christians and Muslims to live together when they profess their religious faith, when, pronouncing their faith in Jesus, Yhwh and Allah, they express the highest degree of diversity existing between them? Today this is the unavoidable question of interreligious dialogue, which involves believers and non-believers. In order to answer the initial question, the Desert Tabernacle, the Second Temple of Jerusalem, the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant have been reconstructed. Through the experiences lived in these places, marked to a large extent by the presence of Moses, the common values of monotheism were born. These values are still the basis of full human relationships between human beings and, therefore, they are at the base of our religious and civil life. The new museum itinerary has been realized thanks to the experience and the deep expertise of Simone Valmori, researcher and historian, expert of the Late Antique period and of the art in Ancient Egypt. From his point of view, the figure of Moses, to whom ample space is dedicated in the new path, represents a revolution in interreligious dialogue. Starting from the episode of the Burning Bush, all the experiences lived by Moses refer to the most urgent questions in which the contemporary world is debated.
Nowadays, the religious influence must be considered as a resource for students, people and religious tourism. For instance, The "Zero Km Museum" project is aimed at schools in the Forlì, Ravenna and Cesena districts and has the following objectives: - To revive the experiences of the founders of the monotheistic religions to the students; - To understand the developments in the relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims from the origins of monotheism to the present day; - To understand how freedom from religion precedes, in order to be reabsorbed, freedom of religion; - To learn about the dynamics and values of interreligious dialogue as an instrument for social cohesion and for the protection of a multicultural society. The new museum layout leads the student to an immediate approach to the history and origins of monotheism. The reconstruction of the Tabernacle of the Desert and of the Second Temple of Jerusalem allows young people to relive the experiences that have generated the religions that believe in one God. It is a journey into the living fabric of history, focusing on the problems of relationships between believers and unbelievers. The experience of the visit culminates in the entrance to the Holy of Holies, the most intimate and secret part of the Temple of Jerusalem. There it will be possible to savor the smells, the lights, the shadows and the atmospheres that have generated the values of the common heritage between Jews, Christians and Muslims. The 25 question panels, arranged in the key points of the course, studied with a simple and immediate language, will allow students to understand the curiosities, the historical aspects and the main historical dynamics of inter religious dialogue. At the end of the visit it will be possible to carry out some in-depth workshops.
You can see all the activities and testimonials in the specific section of the museum



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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.