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Conservation Works at Roof Constructions and Roofs of a Historic Ensemble – Lohra Castle

In het kort:

Soort werk
Constructie, Cultuur, Onderwijs
3 t/m 16 september
Aantal deelnemers
10 (5 mannen en 5 vrouwen)

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Onderstaande informatie komt direct van onze partnerorganisatie en wordt daarom niet in het Nederlands weergegeven.

The project aims to combine practical interventions to reconstruct and maintain the historic gardens and parks with heritage education and the promotion of the idea of volunteering for heritage.
The practical works of the project will take place at the so called "kitchen garden", situated at the southern edge of Belvedere Palace Park. The kitchen garden had been arranged in the 19th century as a combined fruit, vegetable and flower garden. Time has had its hand on this garden, and some of its elements have been lost to nature’s way. Nonetheless, the traces of the original designs remain. As in the previous years, the project will combine two tasks – the conservation of the dry-stone walls surrounding the garden and the reconstruction of its former path system.
The dry-stone walls as the formative element of the kitchen garden are ruinous and need to be protected against progressive decay. During the previous years the structure has being successively repaired. Within the framework of the 2018 project the first steps have been undertaken, which were advanced in 2019 and 2020; finally, in 2021 the works on one of the main walls was completed. The project in 2022 and the works of 2023 will now continue at one of the lateral dry stone walls that contain the hill beside the pathway leading to the kitchen garden. Plants that damage the walls will be carefully taken away, the instable parts of the walls stone by stone deconstructed and later replaced. Since the dry-stone walls are an important habitat for wild bees and other rare insects the interventions need to be carried out extremely carefully. The works will be guided by a stone mason specialised on dry stone walls and traditional masonry techniques, who will provide additional theoretical knowledge in this field.
Another part of the group will continue to reconstruct a stone stairway connecting the kitchen garden with the other parts of Belvedere Park as well as to uncover and reconstruct the pathway which had been leading to the central area of the kitchen garden, where a small fountain used to be located according to historical records. Eventually, the pathway will be uncovered all the way until the dry-stone wall and be restored to complete the narrative of this area of the site.
The educational part of the project will inform the participants about the background of the project, while providing knowledge about historical gardens and parks, traditional gardening and other related topics. One of the thematic topics to be discussed are resilience strategies against climate change being implemented on historical gardens in Germany
When dealing with roof structures and roofings the priority is how best to protect the original substance against climatic influences and to avoid damages. The exteriors of a historical structure sustain the battering of the weather with frontal bouts of wind, rain and snow. In the case of Lohra Castle, the structures are more directly hit due to its elevated location above a hill, a situation which has increased during the last years due to the influence of climate change. Its geographical situation places Lohra Castle in the line of stronger storms which have been rampaging over Germany in the recent years dropping copious amounts of water and blowing powerful gusts of wind. Understandably, even the robust structures of these medieval edifices were not built to withstand such an aggressive onslaught by nature. Facing this increasingly unstable climate hazards posed to the historical structures, solutions are being thought to adapt conservation strategies into disaster risk planning. Preserving historic legacy for future generations is an important way to consolidate heritage conservation resilience. Lohra Castle includes architectural relics from the Middle Ages onwards; between the 11th and the 20th every century had left its traces which are still standing tall overlooking the Thuringian landscape. However, some of the structures need conservation interventions. The project in 2023 will be a continuation of the work started in the years 2020 and 2021, and it will concentrate on the roof constructions and roofings of the19th century barn house. The barn house was used to house sheep, as part of the transformations that the site underwent during the time of Prussian occupation of the castle, when Lohra became an important regional agricultural centre. Today the building is used mostly for storage, but the castle administration envisions a future expansion of the social spaces where volunteers and visitors can gather, therefore it is expected to become in the future a new gathering hall for events.The participants will be involved in tasks to help safeguarding these historical structures by replacing damaged elements on the wooden roof structures and the roofings. The project will be led by a master of carpentry who has additional education as “Restorer in Handicraft”. Guided tours and visits to other sites containing wooden structure ensembles of interest will be part of the educational programme that will allow the participants to have a broad overview of traditional construction techniques as found in central Germany.

Onderstaande informatie komt direct van onze partnerorganisatie en wordt daarom niet in het Nederlands weergegeven.

All costs linked to the project are covered, including food, accommodation, insurance and transportation during the stay at the project. Travel costs to and from the camp place are not covered. Participants should organise their journey to and from the project place by themselves and on their own expenses. Furthermore, participants should bring their own pocket money.

As in most of Open Houses' camps the volunteers will live at the same place where they also work on, what means that they live more or less on a building site. The accommodation is very simple: old houses dating to the 18th century where the workers of the castle used to live. The interior of the houses however has been made fit to modern times; there are shared rooms with simple beds or mattresses. The accommodation is equipped with showers with hot water, there is a common kitchen and heating provided by a wooden stove. The equipment is simple but fair. After work, when everybody wants to take a shower, there can be a limit of hot water.

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.

Onderstaande informatie komt direct van onze partnerorganisatie en wordt daarom niet in het Nederlands weergegeven.

Lohra Castle is situated in the heart of Germany in Northern Thuringia. The castle, which is surrounded by a scenic hilly landscape, is located on the edge of a natural reserve area. Being one of the largest castles in Thuringia, the history of castle Lohra begins in the Middle Ages. Its architectural styles which have been preserved in the structures of the ensemble attest to a prolonged period of occupation and historical evolution up until today.

The castle is more than thousand years old, and it is a relic of German medieval past that is still standing at the heart of a region through which the story of the German nation has been written. Today, it includes twenty buildings from different time periods, showcasing this historical evolution to the enchantment of visitors and heritage enthusiasts: medieval fortifications, remnants of a tower from the 11th century, a Romanesque double-floored chapel, a manor house from the Renaissance period as well as stables and granaries from the 19th and the early 20th centuries.

The ensemble is situated in the centre of a beautiful forest. For years Lohra Castle was vacant. In the 1990s a civil society association which became today’s Open Houses, began to rescue the castle and to revitalise it through cultural activities.

The process of rehabilitation of cultural heritage not only brought new life and use to an otherwise forgotten monument, but it also provided with a new space where young people could reconnect with tangible heritage while valorising the relevance of preserving a historical monument. Since then, a large number of international workcamps, heritage volunteering projects, heritage training courses, seminars, exhibitions, concerts and other activities with international participants have been taking place every year in the castle.

Onderstaande informatie komt direct van onze partnerorganisatie en wordt daarom niet in het Nederlands weergegeven.

Open Houses – rooms open for those who come along.
Open Houses – not empty buildings, but places with visible and invisible traces of history, places which have grown and decayed over the centuries, places which were shaped by those people who lived there long ago as well those who left only yesterday – places which will be shaped by those who live there or who come as a guest.
Open Houses – rooms which want to be filled with dreams and ideas, with meetings and exchange, by people of different backgrounds, different cultures, different generations and different ideas and visions.
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 doers, 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.

Aangezien je in dit project met kinderen gaat werken, stellen wij het verplicht om een VOG (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag) aan te vragen.

Onderstaande informatie komt direct van onze partnerorganisatie en wordt daarom niet in het Nederlands weergegeven.

Motivation letter sent as PDF, Complete CV + Picture


Conservation Works at Roof Constructions and Roofs of a Historic Ensemble – Lohra Castle




Soort werk

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Aantal vrijwilligers

10 (5 mannen en 5 vrouwen)


18 t/m 35 jaar

Lokale bijdrage

€ 100


Het inschrijfgeld voor dit project bedraagt € 345, exclusief € 50 korting voor studenten en jongeren onder de 18.
Jongeren onder 18 jaar moeten voor vertrek verplicht een training volgen. De kosten hiervoor zijn € 50 euro en worden apart in rekening gebracht.
Let op: naast het inschrijfgeld betaal je ter plekke nog een lokale bijdrage van € 100.