„Haus der Stille“; Credit: Elke Födisch

The “Haus der Stille“ (House of Silence) opened on 5th October 2010 on the Westend Campus, creating a multi-faith prayer room for meditation and reflection for students, employees and others on the Siolistraße behind the auditorium complex (Hörsaalzentrum). There had not previously been a place on the university campus for interreligious dialogue, or prayer for members of different religions.

Quite early in the planning stage a consensus emerged that the house be kept free of elements such as pictures or sculptures, since religious symbols might provoke a negative response from members of different confessions. The only furnishings consist of a few stools and kneelers. Apart from that, a ceremonial emptiness presides within the white walls and the light brown linoleum floors. Utensils for prayer, pictures, books and similar objects are kept in a separate room. A stairway leads downstairs to a washroom and foot washing basins for the ritual washing performed by Muslims before prayer.

In keeping with the intention of the “Haus der Stille” to create a place for reflection and meditation, it is not only open to members of different confessions, but to everyone on campus who desires a quiet place for prayer or a short break.

The “Haus der Stille“ is open on workdays from 9 am to 6 pm. It is operated by the Verein zur Förderung des interreligiösen Dialoges (Association for the promotion of interreligious Dialogue) at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, which was founded in July 2007.

Entrance to the „Haus der Stille“; Credit: Elke Födisch

 

The two-story house consists of a main room on the ground floor of about 100 square metres, and an upstairs gallery. The stairs to the basement take you to the washroom, storage rooms, and foot washing basins for the ritual washing performed by Muslims before prayer. Muslim prayer rugs and other utensils for prayer are located in a cupboard in the entry area. Credit: Elke Födisch

 

„RELIKT“, a work of art by Barbara Lehmann-Schulz in the “Haus der Stille“. A conscious decision was made to do without pictures or sculptures from individual religions. Credit: Elke Födisch

View from the gallery; Credit: Elke Födisch