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Next Step On The Road To World Heritage: Project Proposal for the "Stone House" in Erfurt

19.01.2015 - (idw) Fachhochschule Erfurt

Research of the painted ceiling on the first floor is the oldest known secular architectural painting north of the Alps in Erfurt/Thuringia by Maria Stürzebecher
The so-called "Stone House" right behind Erfurt Town Hall will be put into scientific focus this year. In April, research on the building will begin a fundamental requirement for the application for World Heritage. The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) has granted the project proposal "A high-medieval Jewish housing and trade complex in Erfurt and its spatial painting".

With a budget of 2,69 billion Euros in 2013, the DFG is Europe's largest organization funding scientific research by German scholars. The joint project by Dr.-Ing. Barbara Perlich (Berlin Institute of Technology, History of Construction and City Building) and Prof. Christoph Merzenich (University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Conservation and Restoration) will be supported with 370,000 Euros over two years. Apart from the City of Erfurt, The University of Jewish Studies in Heidelberg is another project partner.

"The painted ceiling on the first floor is the oldest known secular architectural painting north of the Alps", Christoph Merzenich highlights the building's significance. "Within the project, we are aiming to find out whether further medieval painted ornamentation has been preserved, either on the walls or even in other rooms." For it is not only the "Stone House" itself which is being investigated, but the entire building complex. "We already know that several high-medieval buildings have been preserved here, closer together and in a better state of preservation than we usually tend to find in Erfurt and in other cities", Barbara Perlich adds. "Building research is to clarify how the quarter developed and what the individual buildings might have looked like. In cooperating with other fields of research, we might eventually be able to collate individual residents to different phases of construction at best we will find out who commissioned the painting of the ceiling."

Dr. Maria Stürzebecher, Erfurt's World Heritage Coordinator, is excited about the approval and the start of the project, too: "The 'Stone House' is the third building within Erfurt's application for World Heritage, next to the Old Synagogue and the Mikveh. And in contrast to them it is still widely unexplored." The DFG funding now facilitates extensive research. "This is fantastic! And we are bound to come to some exciting conclusions", she says.
The kick-off will be in Spring 2015 to be continued
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