Building in the future as in the past: a natural village in the Barnau Historic Park

Barnau. The construction boom, the energy crisis, the shortage of building materials – it won’t last long. A construction project in the Barnau-Tachov Historical Park shows what the homes of the future could look like: like built 300 years ago, with the comfort of today.

The ceremony of laying the foundation stone for the natural village has not yet been decided, but backpackers are already working in the Barnau-Tachov Historical Park. To celebrate the day, they cut the first beams.

The artisans in traditional attire mingle with the guests in modern attire. This combination of tradition and modernity in the choice of clothing fits the theme well. Because the natural village to be built next to the Bärnau History Park also combines these opposites.

Accommodation for visitors

Four guest houses with revolutionary craftsmanship will be built over the next year and a half. “We don’t want to use any pre-fabricated building materials, no concrete, no plastic-laden insulation materials,” the Karlsruhe construction managers explained. Marilyn Durbach (architect and earthworker) and look night (sculptor and sculptor).

Against the “Doctrine of Concrete”: construction directors Marlene Durbach and Lucas Ritter, as well as architect Christian Schönberger. Photo: Beate Lauber

Wood, clay, lime, natural stone and hemp from the region are the building materials for the four houses with a total of 18 beds. “Building materials come from an 80-kilometre radius.” If possible, only raw materials are purchased and processed in-house. This is the traditional side.

Traditional building and modern standard of living

However, the modern aspect was not excluded. Visitors don’t have to serve a fireplace or bathe in the river like the medieval artists in the historic park. “We do not want to build like we did 300 years ago. We want to combine the knowledge that existed 300 years ago with the knowledge that we have today,” confirms Lucas Ritter. The homes are equipped with glass windows, water pipes, electricity and sanitary facilities in addition to the latest solar thermal and photovoltaic systems.

Groundbreaking ceremony with several distinguished guests (back row from right): Florian Luderschmid (Vice-President of the Upper Palatinate), Tobias Reis (Member of the State Parliament), Alfred Steyer (Mayor of Barnau), Tony Deutz (County Council), Roland Grillmayer ( District Director of the Tirschenreuth District), Peter Gold (Second Mayor of the City of Tirschenreuth), Julian Andres (Day Labourer), Marlene Dorbach (Director of Nature Village Construction), Alfred Wolf (President of Via Carolina-Goldene Straße), Alex Kreuz (Translator), Rudolf Sputak (captain of the district of Pilsen), Peter Vanka (the deputy commander of the district of Pilsen), Libor Beka (the deputy commander of the district of Pilsen and the mayor of Weissensulz). Laying of the cornerstone with the emblem of the natural village (from left): site manager Lucas Ritter, handyman Vitus Matz and carpenter Arthur Duttenhofer. Photo: Beate Lauber

Against the “Concrete Doctrine”

The charm of the houses is also important to the site managers. “It should be homely and comfortable,” Ritter says. We want to move away from the concrete dogma. Most buildings these days look loveless and dead.” Architect Christian Schoenberger From Obervichtach working on the project and agrees: “Modern architecture does not have a regional character, it suffers from a loss of identity.”

No matter where you look, modern homes in Germany look the same everywhere. This does not happen when using regional articles. For him, this type of construction is forward-looking, especially in light of the current shortage of building materials.

The new accommodation should look cozy and traditional, and still offer all the amenities. Photo: screenshot on

Hiking clothes instead of a suit

Concrete is also the Deputy Prime Minister Florian Lauderschmid mote. In the Upper Palatinate, there are many problems with the disposal of concrete from the buildings of the 1960s to the 1980s. He hopes the natural village will be “best practice”: “I’m already looking forward to the first night.” The deputy prime minister shows his love for nature through his choice of clothes: instead of a suit, a hiking uniform came, because during the celebration he wore a hiking vacation on the road to Barnau.

Nature Village will cost 1.3 million euros. The association Via Carolina – Goldene Straße, which manages the historic park, has experience with large-scale projects. According to the chairman of the board, 8.5 million euros have already flowed into Germany’s largest open-air medieval archaeological museum in 12 years. Alfred Wolf proudly known.

literal revolution

The natural village of Barnau builds a bridge between the past and the future, and then writes a new story: “There has never been anything like it before.” The project also promotes German-Czech cooperation, and artisans from both countries work together on an equal footing. Foot. Rudolf SpotakThe newly elected President of the Pilsen Administrative District, attended the groundbreaking ceremony with many other Czech guests.

More information about the project is available on the website

Officials look forward to support and donations from interested individuals and businesses.

But the natural village would be essentially an experimental field. The master builders draw on experience from other medieval building sites and document each step in a building guide. The natural village should be a source of inspiration for companies and individuals as a model settlement of homes.

From nature village to nature city

In light of the energy and climate crisis, we hope that a construction project that works as little as possible without plastics, such as crude oil and cement, will not be just a pilot project – according to the wishes of the Mayor of Barnau Alfred PaulA natural village should become a natural city.

The foundation stone of the natural village was laid. Photo: Beate Lauber

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