When a place tells a story – Open Monuments Day

This year's Open Monuments Day will take place on 13th September 2015 under the motto “Craft, Technology, Industry”. It is expected to contribute to the European initiative “European Industrial and Technical Heritage Year 2015” by demonstrating the importance of industrial and technological monuments for our cultural heritage.

(c) Congress-Tourism-Würzburg, Photographer: A. Bestle

Our architectural identity is shaped by industrial mass production, vividly illustrated by the blast furnaces and industrial parks in the Ruhr area. Bavaria is also full of historical references from our industrial past, such as the historical castle workshop in Unterföhring near Munich or the German steam engine museum in Krumbach, to name just a few. The day begins in Neumarkt located in Upper Palatinate, where the Minister of State Ludwig Spaenle will launch the event with an opening ceremony.

Of course, the main focus of this year's Monuments Day lies on all monuments which are directly linked to the motto of the year 2015, with an emphasis on mills or Hoffmann kilns, steam turbines as well as historical plants and production halls, water towers, loading plants, mines and cottages. And not to forget the workshops and craft businesses such as Kirchbauhütten (traditional German church workshops), smithies, bakehouses, wheelwrights, weaving mills and bell foundries.

Some of them can be visited in Bamberg, such as the former Mechanische Seilerwarenfabrik (mechanical twine factory), Dombauhütte (traditional German cathedral workshop) or the cabinet maker workshop Möbelschreinerei Müllerin. The Alte Ziegelei (old brick factory) in Munich is an important industrial monument of Bavaria's capital. In Alten Kranen near Würzburg the crane construction built in 1773 will open its doors to the public on this year's Monuments Day and craftsmen with the required additional qualification and restorers alike will give you an insight into their work by demonstrating their techniques directly on the object – the restoration of altars and wall paintings, for example, or the maintenance of a church organ.

Reliving the structural change

The infrastructural change is another interesting aspect addressed by the Monuments Day. The establishment of new industries or craftsmanships led to a change in rural towns and even entire regions. Moreover, there has already been a further shift in these crafts and even entire industrial sectors. This, in turn, has brought about a number of new possible uses, making the monuments even more interesting to visitors.

Where can you find these lovely buildings? This Karte shows you the industrial monuments Bavaria has to offer. From August, you can find the programme for all of Germany at the website for Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz. Every day the foundation will be presenting a different special monument on its website, which matches the motto of the year. The countdown has begun, the day will soon be here again.