The projects providing knowledge in „Traditional Carpentry Techniques” had been the starting point of European Heritage Volunteers’ volunteering and educational activities. Originally coming from this professional background and having started its work while saving abandoned heritage sites in rural areas from decay by firstly restoring their roof constructions and roofs European Heritage Volunteers sees traditional carpentry still as an important field of volunteering and heritage-linked education.

The particular topic of the projects is answering to the needs of endangered heritage sites and so changing from season to season. So, in the last years there had been carried out different projects as the restoration of the historical roof construction of a church from 13th century, the restoration of the roof construction of a Renaissance castle from 16th century including the ceiling system with its baroque paintings, the restoration and the static strengthening of a classicistic roof construction having been dramatically endangered by unprofessional constructive changes during the 19th and 20th century and others.

When restoring historical wooden constructions in line with accepted conservation practices European Heritage Volunteers is concerned with slow, careful repairs using suitable materials and considers carefully the original structures even when this entails more work. For example, historic timber joints are preferred over the use of metal connecting elements and the works are carried out with great care down to the smallest details so that a repaired roof construction loses none of its original constructive and aesthetic quality.


In 2018, European Heritage Volunteers will organise several projects dealing with “Traditional Carpentry Techniques”.


The first project will take place at Lohra Castle, Thuringia, one of the largest castles of Middle Germany with more than 1,000 years history. The ensemble consists of almost twenty buildings from the 11th to the 20th centuries, among them one of the very rare Romanesque double chapels.

The ensemble includes a historical gatehouse from the 15th century which originally had two floors – left and right of the gate entrance there were the old smithy and the former prison and on the upper floor the flat of the clerk had been located. After a fire at the end of the 18th century the roof construction of the gatehouse was completely damaged. The building had been rebuilt in the early 19th century, became a half floor lower and a got new archway. Unfortunately, this archway was uncorrected constructed and is now statically endangered. Under the professional guidance of an experienced carpenter the participants will erect a supportive construction in traditional carpentry techniques to avoid the collapse of the archway. This construction will be later used later as helping construction to repair the archway, too.

Since parts of Lohra Castle had been more than 350 years used for agricultural purposes, the ensemble includes two impressive agricultural buildings erected in the 19th and early 20th century that had been used as barns, granaries and haylofts. During the project, parts of the eaves and the roofing of these buildings will be repaired, too.

The project will take place from June, 17th, till June, 30th, 2018.


The second project will take place at a house in Rathewalde, Saxony, situated thirty kilometres from Dresden, in the picturesque landscape Saxon Switzerland. The house was built in the middle of the 19th century in half-timber style, the typical style for the region, and in the following decades step by step extended. The roofing of the house is by now fifty years old and has to be renewed.

Under the professional guidance of a carpenter the participants will remove the old roofing, repaire the roof construction and afterwards reroof the house. Although the roofing is not a traditional one the works are very interesting because the combination of the different roof constructions of the different parts of the house dating back to different times generates the need to find intelligent detail solutions.

The project will take place in two time slots - from July, 1st, till July, 14th, 2018 and from August, 12th, till August, 25th, 2018.


The third project will take place at Gantikow Manor in Brandenburg, situated hundred kilometres northern from Berlin. The manor is a picturing example of an originally baroque building changed in the 19th century in neo-baroque style. The manor has small annex which remains from the original baroque building. The current roof construction had been erected in the middle of the 20th century, but it was badly designed and constructed and got broken in the meantime.

Under the professional guidance of a carpenter the participants will construct a new roof construction in accordance with the historical structures and reroof the building.

The project will take place from July, 29th, till August 11th, 2018.


The fourth project will be a part of the project "Restoration of woooden shigle roofs and masonry at technical heritage" taking take place at in the Historic Mining Landscape Ore Muntains.

During the project the wooden shingle roof of the shaft and administration building of the historic Alte Elisabeth mine in Freiberg will be renewed  Fr. They will produce a kind of handmade shingles that are traditionally used in the Ore Mountains region. Volunteers will split of the shingles from logs (spruce or larch) and will provide them with a groove. The participants will be qualified to produce wooden shingles and get familiar with the typical regional roofing. In addition, the volunteers will support the roofing works that are carried out in the same time. The works will be lead by a carpenter who is specialised in traditional wooden shingle roofing.

The project which is in detail described here will take place from August, 25th, till September, 8th, 2018.