The special exhibition “The Divided Heaven” in the Ruhr Museum in Essen presents – on time for the anniversary of the Reformation – the relation and the coexistence of the different religions and confessions in the Rhine and Ruhr region. The Christian confessions and Judaism have existed here side by side over centuries. Particularly in the 19th and 20th century, there were shifts in the denominational proportions. The reasons for this were migration flows during the industrialization and after the Second World War. Of course, the newcomers brought with them their religious practice, with the result that today chimneys and church towers share the sky with synagogues, mosques and other religious sites.
Overall, more than 800 items are displayed in the exposition. They come from 250 lenders – numerous museums, archives and libraries, but also religious communities and private individuals provided display items. The spectrum of the exhibits is large, from the point of view of both the time period and the cultural, as well as the genres. Thus, besides paintings and sculptures, sacred vessels, furniture, textiles, graphics and books are shown in the exhibition.