At the beginning of February 2023, a delegation of vocational teachers from Kassel, Germany visited Transylvania and the Fortified Churches Foundation. During excursions and working discussions with the Foundation’s team, the German teachers decided to extend their commitment to the fortified churches, which began years ago.
The Arnold Bode School from Kassel has already been active in Transylvania for several years. In Brateiu (church district of Mediaș), with the support of the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck, a so-called Bauhütte1 had been established in 2008, which the Hessian teachers and students joined in 2016 and supported the project. After 8 years in Brateiu the time has now come to explore other sites of activity in the landscape of fortified churches.
During their stay from February 3 to 7, teachers Angela Siever (architect), Steffen Wickert (master carpenter), Tobias Platz (master roofer) and Jens Kroll (master carpenter), accompanied by Philipp Harfmann, managing director of the Fortified Churches Foundation, visited several potential sites. Both Hosman, Movile and Apold were rated extremely positively by the guests and are being considered for further working and learning stays.
Kick-off in Hosman
While a further assignment of vocational students in Brateiu is planned for May 2023, a first stay of several weeks for second- and third-year apprentices in woodworking professions is to take place in Hosman in 2024. The work to be carried out then will be planned in detail during the visit in May 2023. The overall idea is to carry out carpentry and joinery work, which on the one hand will contribute to the preservation of the fortified church and on the other hand will strengthen the cultural and touristic use of the site for events and guests.
Founded in 1902, the Kassel Vocational School was named in 2014 after the cultural figure, Documenta founder and art educator Arnold Bode (1900-1977). The Arnold Bode School (www.arnoldbodeschule.de, available only in German) currently offers courses in construction technology, printing technology, color technology, geomatics, wood technology and interior design, and surveying technology.
1) Definition Bauhütte: also known as the “Dombauhütte” or “Hütte”, is known as the construction of the Gothic cathedral building as a team/workshop organization. The Bauhütte evolved from the Romanesque church building through monks to the organized construction of Gothic cathedrals, which included various crafts. (from www.educalingo.com)
Text: Stefan Bichler
Photos: Winfried Ziegler, Stefan Bichler