WORKCAMP LOHRA CASTLE
- chantiers 1-3 semaines
- Code : OH-W07
- Dispo : 6M / 6F (Total Part 12)
- Langue du Projet : ENG /
- Age : 18 - 99
The hilly massive near Lohra Castle is listed as National Nature Reservation and Open Houses supports the Nature Reservation since several years with volunteering activities. In a forest around three kilometres from the castle the participants will remove trees and bushes which are not corresponding with the protection aims and will collect the wood remaining after maintenance works, load it on a truck, unload it at the castle and split and stack it for wintertime. Beside that, the volunteers will continue the maintenance of the green areas around the castle.
Within the old service buildings of the castle, you will stay in four little houses with 3- and 4- or 6- bedrooms with showers (limited hot water) and toilettes. The equipment is simple but fair. The fully equipped kitchen, which is situated next to the accommodation houses, is a separate building with large tables and benches inside. The atmosphere is rustic and historic.The meals will be prepared together as they are part of the community life, what means that everybody will be responsible for the meal at least once during its stay. So it would be very nice if you could bring typical recipes from home in order to introduce each other to the preparation of food from all over the world.
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 nature reserve area. Being one of the largest castles in Thuringia, the history of the castle Lohra begins in the Middle Age. The castle is more than 1,000 years old. Today, it includes twenty buildings from different times: medieval fortifications, remnants of a tower from the 11th century, a Romanesque 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 Open Houses started to restore the castle and to revive it by cultural activities. Since that time, a large number of Workcamps, Building Weeks, exhibitions, concerts and other activities with international participants took place in the castle.The castle is situated next to a nature protected area. You can explore the landscape by foot; worth seeing is the chapel in Munchenlohra. Excursions to Sondershausen, Muhlhausen or Nordhausen will be discussed once you arrived.
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 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.