Collection Europe in the High Middle Ages was fascinated by Byzantium and the Orient
Brightly coloured silks counted as a costly status symbol among medieval Europe’s high-ranking clergy and secular rulers. As there was no workshop in the West that could make this kind of cloth prior to the 13th century, they had to be imported from Byzantium, the Orient or Islamic Spain. Thanks to the Christian cult of relics, many of these rare luxury weaves have been preserved. The Abegg-Stiftung possesses a major collection of such early silks.