On 17 December, UNESCO included the Bauhütten system in the Register of Good Practices for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This means that the Bauhütten are recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage. In this way, the UN cultural organisation pays tribute to the international model character of the Bauhütten, which, as permanently established workshops, have been responsible for the preservation of large buildings for centuries. Eighteen building lodges from five countries were involved in the nomination, including the Dombauhuette Aachen.
“The lodge and its employees are the ‘caring hand’ of the building and are connected to it in a special way. This also applies to us here at Aachen Cathedral,” says Cathedral Master Builder Helmut Maintz. “Constant control and care is our mission, so that the preservation of the cathedral is secured in the present and future. The handwriting of the respective cathedral builder’s lodge in dealing with the monument is recognisable over a long period of time. It is always exciting for us to discover and read the traces of our predecessors.”
Cathedral provost Rolf-Peter Cremer also knows about the importance of the builders’ lodges: “I am pleased about the recognition and appreciation that the builders’ lodge receives through this title. Without the knowledge, without the skills and without the commitment, especially of our Aachen cathedral lodge, the cathedral would not be in such good condition today. From the end of the 1980s, the building was extensively renovated. It is always exciting to see the mix of medieval and modern craft techniques, which were recently used again in the renovation of the baptistery!”
Criteria for UNESCO recognition as a good practice example include demonstrable vitality and an identity-creating component, the development of conservation measures and exemplary, possibly cross-border cooperation.
On the following website you will find all information on the UNESCO decision as well as background information on the Bauhüttenwesen: www.bauhuetten.org