The project consist of two parts – a practical working part which will last 6 hours per day and a study part, which takes place in the evenings and during weekends.
For more than fifteen years Deutsches Fachwerkzentrum Quedlinburg, a non-profit association, has been working on the preservation and restoration of historic buildings as an authentic living testimony of architectural heritage. Practical work and seminars take place at cultural heritage sites of national significance in Saxony-Anhalt. While doing so, Deutsches Fachwerkzentrum’s approach is characterized by the use of sustainable and resource conserving technologies for the preservation of historic buildings. In addition, Deutsches Fachwerkzentrum aims not only to protect and sensitively to restore heritage sites, to convey their value and significance and to teach traditional crafts, but to involve in the process people of different origin and different cultural backgrounds as for instance when involving refugees in the preservation of monuments.
The project will focus on the restoration of a Renaissance hall which had been used during the second half of the 20th century as class room. By careful restoration the room shall be transformed into a Renaissance hall again. During the Training Course “Traditional Wood Techniques” the participants will gain practical skills in restoration of historic windows.
They will learn methods as boat-shaped insetting, the use of fish and bone glue in the restoration of historical wooden elements and others. The works will focus on windows from the Baroque time as well as from 18th and 19th centuries. Depending on the progress of the work the restoration of doors can be included in the programme, too. In addition, the restoration of historical half-timbered structures from the 18th century will be taught. The participants will gain theoretical knowledge about traditional timber joints such as mortise and tenon joints and gain practical skills in their restoration.
The Training Course will be lead by conservators and masters of handicraft. Within the framework of the educational programme, excursions to heritage sites restored by Deutsches Fachwerkzentrum will be organised.
ACCOMMODATION: shared rooms with beds, warm showers, toilets in the community centre
The meals will be prepared together as they are part of the community life, what means that every participant will be responsible for the meal at least once during its stay. So it would be very nice if the participants could bring typical recipes from home in order to introduce each other to the preparation of food from all over the world.
Erxleben Castle is an originally mediaeval mooted castle that was built by the Alvensleben family which lived there till 1945. Afterwards it was used as a technical school, and since 1990 it had been out of use.
Relevant parts of the castle – also called “Joachimsbau” (Joachim’s building) – are dating back to Late Gothic., Renaissance and Baroque periods. A “donjon” from the 14th century is still preserved as well as a big Renaissance hall. The building contents medieval fire places, spiral staircases and sandstone door frames from the Late Gothic period, roof constructions from Renaissance time, a Renaissance kitchen with huge fireplaces and chimneys, Baroque stucco ceilings, a library in a neo-Romanic style, ornamental paintings from the early 20th century – all showing the high historic and architectural quality of the castle which belongs to the most important heritage sites of the region.
Due to lack of maintenance the castle was highly endangered – roofs and ceilings were damaged, walls in decay. Beside the imminent loss of an important heritage site, the dramatic situation of the castle had negative influence on the image of the community and lead to a decreasing identification of the inhabitants with their village. The community, consisting of seven villages with all together less than 3, 000 inhabitants, could not effort the needed preservation of the castle on its own.
Thus in 2015, Deutsches Fachwerkzentrum Quedlinburg (German Half-Timber Centre Quedlinburg) started with interventions and achieved while repairing the ceilings, the roof construction and the roof as a first step the constructive stabilization of the building and it s protection against climatic influences. Currently, the step-by-step preservation of the interior of the building is going on.
The history of Open Houses Network dates back to the mid-1980s, when a group of young people started to restore village churches in East Germany in voluntary work to protect them from decay. The engagement for these buildings united people who enjoyed the freedom these activities provided and who filled these rooms with life again in ways which by far exceed the craftsmen’s work done – through exhibitions, concerts, making music together or just sitting by the camp fire.
Meanwhile, rooms free of political and ideological pressure are no longer urgently required; however, places have become rare where people can meet without commercial pressure, free of bureaucracy and institutionalism, free of nepotism and the exclusion which it produces. What should be easy – to go somewhere in order to meet people and to work together – has become difficult. The tightrope walk between, on the one hand, public activities in a monetary and functional sense, and the retreat into private life on the other, is very difficult, and it requires a lot of power and permanent efforts to tackle red tape and financial restrictions.
Free spaces are less and less understood as common property, and are permanently being cut back. The idea of public property seems to have gone out of fashion, and places of common responsible work have become rare.
Open Houses Network tries to create and protect such spaces. In this process, we do not want to be the do-ers, but be people who have a vision, who want to initiate something, but who also are aware of depending on the co-operation of others. We understand our projects and events as offers – as offers to create space for commitment, for changes, for meetings.
In accordance to the above described focus on heritage European Heritage Volunteers, a branch of Open Houses, organises Heritage Projects.
Heritage Projects combine practical work for the preservation or restoration of a cultural or natural heritage site with an extensive educational part that gives the theoretical background for the hands-on works and provides deeper heritage linked knowledge. Heritage Projects focus on traditional handcraft techniques, on the revitalisation of abandoned monuments, on the restoration of historical parks, on the maintenance of cultural landscapes or on other related topics.
Some of the Heritage Projects are organised in the framework of the World Heritage Volunteers initiative. The initiative was launched as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to mobilise and involve young people and youth organisations in heritage preservation and promotion. Since 2008 more than 200 projects at more than 100 World Heritage Sites in more than 50 different countries worldwide have been organised, in which more than 3,500 volunteers from over 70 countries have taken part. The European projects of World Heritage Volunteers are coordinated by European Heritage Volunteers.
Furthermore, European Heritage Volunteers initiates, develops, supports and mentors European Heritage Volunteers Partner Projects which are organised by heritage linked non-profit organisations in other European countries.
Read more about Heritage Projects on www.heritagevolunteers.eu.
Motivation letter related to the project and CV + photo required
The number of volunteers is the total number of volunteers of the project OH-H05 and OH-H06, that are taking place at the same time.