50

Keys to the Saarlouis city gates

MT Schluessel 66a 08 b frei

Date

19th century

Dimensions

Length 13.7 – 16.4 cm

Material

Metal, leather

Owner

Städtisches Museum Saarlouis

Description

Every morning during the daily military ceremony, these two keys would be used to unlock Saarlouis’s fortress gates. According to Otto von Corvin, who was stationed there as a major around 1830, the ritual came about due to the city’s location on the border with France. The person in charge of the keys was the Schlüsselmajor (key major). He would tie the leather pouches containing the keys to his belt before joining the small parade of guards on its march to the two city gates. On arrival, he would then open the gates successively. These keys and their story bear witness to the degree of military control that Saarlouis was under at the time, providing an answer to the question of whose treasure the city was back then. They themselves therefore count among the region’s historical treasures.

Follow this link to go straight to the second exhibit in this presentation:
Traité de fortification (51)

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