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.
The practical part usually consists of two elements – a park restoration part on one hand and a maintenance part on the other hand. Due to a rotating system the volunteers have the opportunity to get to know during the project both fields.
The restoration part will take place at the so called “kitchen garden” at the Southern edge of Belvedere Park that had been arranged in the 19th century as a combined fruit, vegetable and flower garden. The dry stone walls as the formative element of the garden are ruinous and shall be protected against progressive decay. Since the dry stone walls are an important habitat for wild bees and other rare insects the restoration needs to be carried out extremely carefully. Plants that damage the walls will be carefully taken away, the walls will be documented, the stones that had fallen down over decades will be collected, their original places determined, smaller areas will be restored and the cap stones will be placed back. The works will be guided by a bricklayer specialised on historic walls and traditional techniques that will provide during the study part more theoretical knowledge in this field.
Another part of the group will carry out maintenance works in other parks and gardens of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Classical Weimar”, thus supporting Weimar Classic Foundation, the responsible site management, in works that can be undertaken only manually, such as cutting long-grass meadows on slopes. At the same time the volunteers will gain a detailed knowledge about the different parks and gardens of the World Heritage site and the challenges in managing them.
The educational part of the project will inform the volunteers about the background of the project, provide knowledge about historical garden and park architecture, traditional gardening and other related topics and will include lectures and guided tours about “Classical Weimar” as well as excursions to related heritage sites. The opportunity of free entrance to museums and exhibitions will enable in addition individual study.
shared 6- or 8- bed-room in a hostel in the city
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.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the small town of Weimar in Thuringia saw a remarkable cultural flowering. Enlightened ducal patronage attracted many leading German writers, composers and artists to the town, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller and Franz Liszt, thus making Weimar the cultural centre of Europe at that time. This development is reflected in the high quality of many of the buildings and parks in the surrounding area.
“Classical Weimar” was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1998, the 20th site in Germany to be recognised as World Heritage. “Classical Weimar” comprises twelve individual buildings and ensembles, all of which portray tangible and intangible elements of Classical Weimar’s cultural heritage. Weimar’s City Castle, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, Goethe’s and Schiller’s residences, the Town Church, the Ducal Vault with the Historic Cemetery and many others are included on the World Heritage List.
Weimar’s historical parks and gardens connect the historical buildings and their surrounding grounds and are a key feature in the “Classical Weimar” collection: the Park on the Ilm with the Roman House and Goethe’s Garden House, Belvedere Park with its Castle and Orangery, Tiefurt Park and Castle and Ettersburg Park and Castle.
The European Heritage Volunteers Project “Parks and Gardens of Classical Weimar” has been taking place since 2011. As in all years since 2012, also the 2019 project will be carried out within the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers initiative, which takes place continuously for the longest period.
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