County wants to score points with monastery landscape

County wants to score points with monastery landscape

The steigerwald is to become a world heritage site. This is what bamberger landrat johann kalb (CSU) has set out to do in order to pacify the dispute over a national park for the steigerwald forest, which has been smoldering for more than a decade and is in some cases burning like a torch. In doing so, he is also following a resolution passed by the district council in december 2010 under kalb’s predecessor, national park advocate gunther denzler (CSU). However not completely to the letter. For at that time, the committee decided with 48:3 votes to explore and develop the buchenwalder of the northern steigerwald the prerequisites for an application to become a unesco world natural heritage site.

At present, the aim is to strive for a european cultural seal (EKS) for the area around ebrach in association with other cistercian monastery landscapes. This could be the case in 2023 at the earliest and should be seen as the first step on the way to a unesco world heritage title, as the project manager in the district office, art historian birgit kastner, explained on monday in the district committee. The committee had to decide on the continuation of the project, which was launched in 2017, in the years 2019 to 2021.

Kastner’s factual report on the transnational project, in which the district of bamberg is the lead partner, was received positively by all sides in the committee. The exhibition "diversity in unity – cistercian monastic landscapes in central europe", which was set up for the european cultural heritage year 2018, shows what has been achieved so far to the expression.

European cooperation

The exhibition, which ran simultaneously in ebrach and at the cooperation partners morimond (france), waldsassen (upper palatinate), plasy (czech republic) and rein and zwettl (both austria), had met with a very rough response. In the meantime, it is also touring the district of bamberg. It was organized as a european leader project in cooperation with the bavarian state office for the preservation of monuments, represented by thomas gunzelmann. Besides the leader funds of 120000 euro (EU and free state of bavaria) the federal government contributed with 132 000 euro a rough part of the financing. For the participating counties, a total contribution of just under 30,000 euros remained.

The spokespersons for the parliamentary groups were unanimous and pleased that the district had made a "manageable financial investment" in the project (bruno kellner, ) "actually a small matter for the district" (helmut kramer, CSU)", an "important four-million project (carsten joneitis, SPD) stemme, which also "runs very well" (bernd fricke, grune).

The county’s financial contribution is not expected to increase much in the coming years. For two different project stages, an own contribution of a total of 21,000 to a maximum of 37,000 euros has been set, which the district committee unanimously approved.

Further partners sought

In addition, more partners are to join in. In addition to regions – kastner spoke of a radius of 50 kilometers around the monasteries imprinted by the monks – in germany, france, austria and the czech republic, cistercian monasteries in poland and slovakia are also to be won as cooperation partners. In germany alone, ebrach and waldsassen could be joined by six others, including langheim in the district of lichtenfels.

Kastner rated the chances for the european cultural seal for the international association of monastery landscapes as good. "This is not reaching for the stars, but realistic", she said. There were two points that spoke strongly in favor of the application: firstly, bavaria had never submitted an EKS application before, and secondly, it was a major transnational project. In the end, the odds were 50:50.

Grunen-county councilor fricke urged to "continue to consider the topic of world natural heritage" in all of this. In his reply, district administrator kalb said that the "world heritage, the world cultural heritage will not be lost sight of". On fricke’s repeated throw-in "natural heritage!" calf did not enter.

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