“It takes a lot of perseverance to be the governor of a castle”, says Bernd Wippert. After working at Kriebstein Castle for the past 37 years, he’s about to hand over the keys to a building with solid rock foundations, dense roofs and a renovated chapel, a full-time workforce of eight people, seasonal workers, volunteers and patrons. “If each generation does its job, our castles will still be standing in 600 years”, he says.
Governor of the castle: Restoration, renovation, preservation
When Bernd Wippert assumed his role in 1980, he almost had to preserve the old decaying walls of Kriebstein Castle with his bare hands. Following the introduction of the monetary union, he ordered building materials to seal the castle roofs and knocked on every possible door to obtain funding. “Restoration, renovation, preservation – I hardly had time to think”, he reminisces.
Keeper of museum treasures
Kriebstein thanks him with surprises: A walled-up chimney was bursting with silverware, porcelain, books and precious textiles. Bernd Wippert was able to exhibit some of his findings at the castle by exploiting his personal ties to the von Arnim family, who owned the castle until 1945. He managed to keep several treasures and the family’s museum inventory at the castle. He’s particularly proud to have brought the Kriebstein Room back to the castle after several years. The room is a unique late Gothic wooden parlor from the first half of the 15th century.