27.Aug - 09.Sep 2017
Rhens , Allemagne


  • chantiers 1-3 semaines
  • ENVI
  • OH-H04
Age minimum : 18
Frais d’inscription : 150.00 EUR
  • Code : OH-H04
  • Dispo : 7M / 6F (Total Part 13)
  • Langue du Projet : ENG / GER
  • Age : 18 - 99


Euroepan Heritage Volunteers, a branch of Open Houses


The project will focus on the diversity of the cultural landscape Upper Middle Rhine Valley and illustrate – both during the hands-on part and the educational part – different aspects of the maintenance of the World Heritage site.The conservation of the area is partly in a bad state because of the fact that a lot of the former vineyards are out of use, that the maintenance both of the dry stone walls and the biotopes is physically demanding and that the knowledge about traditional techniques is disappearing. Under the guidance of experienced masons the volunteers will restore parts of the historical dry stone wall system between the former vineyards.Another important task will be the maintenance of biotopes by cutting long-grass meadows at slopes and in abandoned vineyards with brush cutters. Beside that the traditional way to cut grasses with scythes will be demonstrated. Furthermore, the participants will top trees and cultivate the tree pits at some of the countless meadows with scattered fruit trees which are typical for the region. Finally, during one day the volunteers will carry out maintenance works in a historical landscape garden.During all these hands-on works the volunteers will have the possibility to get to know well different places of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, to gain practical skills and to learn about biodiversity and the endangered fauna and flora.The study part will give the theoretical background and will also bring the project and the UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers programme in general into a wider public. It will include meetings with the press and a presentation held by the participants about World Heritage sites of their home countries.


Shared rooms with beds, warm shower and toiletsThe cultural centre has a well equipped kitchen. 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.


The 65km-stretch of the Middle Rhine Valley, with its castles, historic towns and vineyards, graphically illustrates the long history of human involvement with a dramatic and varied natural landscape. It is intimately associated with history and legends and for centuries has exercised a powerful influence on writers, artists and composers.As a transport route, the Rhine has served as a link between the southern and northern halves of the continent since prehistoric times, enabling trade and cultural exchange, which in turn led to the establishment of settlements. Condensed into a very small area, these subsequently joined up to form chains of villages and small towns. For over 1,000 years the steep valley sides have been terraced for vineyards.The landscape is punctuated by some 40 hill top castles and fortresses erected over a period of around 1,000 years. Abandonment and later the wars of the 17th century left most as picturesque ruins. The later 18th century saw the growth of sensibility towards the beauties of nature, and the often dramatic physical scenery of the Middle Rhine Valley, coupled with the many ruined castles on prominent hilltops, made it appeal strongly to the Romantic movement which in turn influenced the form of much 19th century restoration and reconstruction.


CV Photo required, Motivation letter related to the project

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.

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