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The Serpent Child of Asklepios

Study Exhibition

1 Dec — 18 Jul 21

Aesculapian snake near Wiesbaden Frauenstein. Photo: Museum Wiesbaden / Dr. Lukas Hartmann

As far back as Greek mythology, the snake is regarded as a symbol of rejuvenation and purity because of its ability to shed its skin. It symbolically adorns the staff of Asclepius, the Greek-Roman god of medicine. The area to the west and north of Wiesbaden, as well as in some areas in the Odenwald and the region around Passau, is one of the few regions in Germany where the Aesculapian snake still thrives. This non-venomous snake can grow up to two meters long and hunts mainly in low trees. Another rare reptile, found in only two places in Hessen, is the emerald lizard, the largest of our native lizard species. Both the Aesculapian snake and the emerald lizard are the subjects of our upcoming study exhibition, not least to raise awareness of their need for protection and to give visitors insight into their fascinating biology.

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