With the Roman camp at Haus Bürgel, the late medieval St Mary’s Chapel, Rogue’s Tower from the first half of the 15th century, and the Eel Fishing Museum – a floating museum on an old eel fishing boat named "Fiat Voluntas" – many spots in the town area still bear witness to the past. The city historian, Dr Alexander Berner, researches and communicates the history of Monheim.
The approach taken here regards history as a process of interpreting the past. Since many building blocks of this past have been lost across the centuries, research is always going to be a vague reconstruction in the sense of an interpretation of historical sources. In doing so, the sources are interpreted from the point of view of the present day, which is always changing – different times, different questions about the past. Thus, the same question asked at different times can also produce different answers. Eternal truths are, therefore, not the goal of the historical work of the history of the city of Monheim.
Examining the past helps us to better understand the present, offers us guidance and creates identity. When many people share a past, the common horizon of experience can weld them together. In order to get many people excited about the city's history, the city historian, Dr Alexander Berner, imparts the town’s rich urban history through various projects.
This includes publications in specialist journals, in books or online, seminars, lectures and presentations, but also more wide-ranging options such as exhibitions on aspects of Monheim’s history. The city historian works closely with the City Archives, with the "Remembrance and Commemoration" project, the department responsible for the preservation of historical monuments, the tourism promotion department and the external adult education centre (VHS). All this is always done in line with the idea that "history is never boring when we actually engage with it."
How the history of the city is documented and interpreted is not something that should be left to local authorities alone, but should be done together with the citizens of our town. Accordingly, suggestions on historical topics that deserve attention and how they could be handled are always welcome.