The site

Erxleben Castle is an originally mediaeval mooted castle that was built by the Alvensleben family which lived there till 1945. Afterwards it was used as a technical school, and since 1990 it had been out of use.

Relevant parts of the castle – also called “Joachimsbau” (Joachim’s building) – are dating back to Late Gothic., Renaissance and Baroque periods. A “donjon” from the 14th century is still preserved as well as a big Renaissance hall. The building contents medieval fire places, spiral staircases and sandstone door frames from the Late Gothic period, roof constructions from Renaissance time, a Renaissance kitchen with huge fireplaces and chimneys, Baroque stucco ceilings, a library in a neo-Romanic style, ornamental paintings from the early 20th century – all showing the high historic and architectural quality of the castle which belongs to the most important heritage sites of the region.

Due to lack of maintenance the castle was highly endangered – roofs and ceilings were damaged, walls in decay. Beside the imminent loss of an important heritage site, the dramatic situation of the castle had negative influence on the image of the community and lead to a decreasing identification of the inhabitants with their village. The community, consisting of seven villages with all together less than 3, 000 inhabitants, could not effort the needed preservation of the castle on its own.

Thus in 2015, Deutsches Fachwerkzentrum Quedlinburg (German Half-Timber Centre Quedlinburg) started with interventions and achieved while repairing the ceilings, the roof construction and the roof as a first step the constructive stabilization of the building and it s protection against climatic influences. Currently, the step-by-step preservation of the interior of the building is going on.   


The Training Course

The Training Course “Historic plasters and surfaces” focused on the restoration of a Renaissance hall which had been used during the second half of the 20th century as class room. As result of a careful restoration the room shall be transformed into a Renaissance hall again. In addition, resotoration works in a kitchen from Renaissance time which’s current shape dates back to the early 20th century, have been carried out.  

In the Renaissance hall the participants learned to restore the original plaster, to produce lime plaster in accordance to the traditional technology and to plaster the walls while using traditional multi-layered techniques.

In the kitchen from the 16th century they discovered the historical plaster and removed younger layers with thermal treatment, closed the damaged parts with new plaster and paint, and restored the decor painting from the early 20th century.

In addition, the participants learned how to manufacture colour of curd or beer and how to create and to work with pigments.

The Training Course has been lead by a "Restorer-Conservator in Handicraft".


Within the framework of the educational programme, excursions to heritage sites in the region have been organised.


The Training Course has been organised by European Heritage Volunteers in collaboration with Deutsches Fachwerkzentrum Quedlinburg.


European Heritage Volunteers