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Karlsruhe: Stadtgeschichte

The Baden Ständehaus

The Baden Consti­tu­tion, enacted on the 22nd August 1818, is rightfully regarded as the most liberal of all the early German consti­tu­ti­ons. It was the foundation on which democratic and liberal ideas took hold fastest and most sustaina­ble in Baden, as compared to other states in the 19th century. Today's democratic standards were formulated by the members of parliament in the Baden Ständehaus, which was to have a profound influence on the rest of the German states.

That the Karlsruher Ständehaus was one of the most important insti­tu­ti­ons in which the democra­tic ideals of the 19th century came to fruition is evidenced by names such as Karl v. Rotteck and Karl Theodor Welker, and later Ludwig Frank, Wilhelm Kolb and Oskar Muser. The scene of many debates, among them the creation of a national justice system, abolition of forced labour and recogni­tion of press freedom, made the Ständehaus the "Preschool of Parlia­ment". The tribune of the 2nd Chamber was often a proxy for the non-existent German parliament.

Situated in the rotund on the ground floor of the Ständehaus memorial, the Stände­haus Infor­ma­ti­ons­sys­tem will convey infor­ma­tion pertaining to the The Baden Ständehaus of the state parliament using contem­po­rary techni­ques via large screen projectors and an info-terminal. The system will function by means of a touch screen. Nine short films present a multi media history of the Ständehaus display­ing signi­fi­cant events in the Baden parliament with photos, video animation and narration. Further in-depth infor­ma­tion can be accessed from eight different files in the system.

Here visitors can research in accordance with their own sphere of interest. The program includes biogra­phi­cal data and profiles of all members of the Baden Parliament as of 1820. In 370 entries, the Chronicle relates the history of Baden and that of the parlia­ment building from the founding of the Duchy to the opening of the new Ständehaus. From A to Z, visitors can access key historical terms from the index. The biblio­gra­phy provides book titles for more infor­ma­tion on persons and subjects associated with the history of Baden. Visitors can view election results between 1919 and 1933 in animated graphic style.

The infor­ma­tion system allows the visitor of this memorial to browse assorted historical texts and illus­tra­ti­ons such as political carica­tu­res, speeches and debates. Film archives as well as revolu­tio­nary songs accom­pa­nied by period illus­tra­ti­ons will also be presented on video. The geographic location of 154 sites of interest in Baden can be called up on the system. Each site has a selection of the biogra­phi­cal data of all parlia­men­ta­rians elected for or who resided in the area. And finally press articles from 1945 onwards give an extensive overview of the debate surroun­ding the demolition and rebuilding of the Ständehaus.

Entries and notes in the Chronicle are comple­men­ted with a rich array of pictures and drawings. For easy and unimpeded access to this vast resource of infor­ma­tion, files are currently connected by more than 8 000 links (Hyper­text). If, for example, a visitor would like to find out more about an important debate in the Ständehaus, aside from the respective entry in the Chronicle, the visitor may on demand continue directly to the speech transcript. Likewise, it is also possible to access the biography of the speaker, gain more details on the subject or view other documents related to the subject.

This way visitors to the memorial display are given the oppor­tu­nity to acquire a wealth of historical contexts and co-relations through rapid cross-references. For example, when perusing a specific biography, document or press article, appearing at the top of the file is a summary of direct links to all other infor­ma­tion sources. This open structure enables the inter-connection of the roughly 3 000 infor­ma­tion file units currently available with any of the numerous other program contents.


The old Ständehaus, before 1914