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” that will be published till end of February.

For your orientation in the meantime find below the description of the comparable projects that took place in 2017:


The first project took 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. Between the castle gate and the Romanesque chapel a medieval building from the 12th century is located. The roof construction of this building was erected in the early 20th century, but unfortunately it was underdesigned so that a part of the construction got broken in the meantime.

Under the professional guidance of two carpenters the participants took off the roof construction, designed a new roof construction in accordance with the historical structures and erected it. Afterwards they covered the roof with historical tiles which had been saved from a house in a nearby village which had been recovered by its owner with new tiles.


The second project took 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 took off the roofing and the current roof construction and designed a new roof construction in accordance with the historical structures.



The third project took 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 removed the old roofing, repaired the roof construction and afterwards reroofed the house. Although the roofing is not a traditional one the works were very interesting because the combination of the different roof constructions of the different parts of the house dating back to different times generated the need to find intelligent detail solutions.