Europa Nostra joins visit to Historic Centre of Stolberg in Germany, shortlisted for the 7 Most Endangered Programme 2022
On 23-24 of February, Europa Nostra joined a visit to the Historic Centre of Stolberg in Germany, one of the 12 European heritage sites shortlisted for the 7 Most Endangered Programme 2022, run by Europa Nostra in partnership with the European Investment Bank Institute. Our Executive President Dr. Guy Clausse participated in the visit together with prominent political figures, such as the German Bundestag Member Catarina dos Santos Firnhaber and MEP Sabine Verheyen. The visit was organised in cooperation with stakeholders in the city of Stolberg, including Dr. Karl Schmeer and Wolter Braamhorst, the nominator of the site.
In mid-July 2021, the Historic Centre of Stolberg was unexpectedly turned into a flood zone and hundreds of buildings were severely damaged by the high and forceful waters of the Vicht river, following extreme weather conditions that left a path of destruction throughout many villages in Germany and the Benelux. Some 235 listed buildings – out of 701 buildings – were affected by the disaster, including the old town hall of Stolberg, all the houses along the Steinweg and all the copper courtyards.
On 23 February, a meeting was arranged with Mrs Dos Santos Firnhaber and her team in the monumental copper yard Rosenthal. The meeting, co-organised by Marita Matousek of Stolberg-Touristik, included a short presentation about Europa Nostra and the 7 Most Endangered Programme by Dr. Karl Schmeer. It was followed by a discussion with, among others, the City Region Council Dr. Tim Gruettemeier, a representative from the municipality Dr. Anthony Reiss and the owner of the copper yard Mrs Monika Lück, both of who are developing new ideas for rebuilding the town. Europa Nostra’s Executive Vice-President also met with local stakeholders and discussed several ideas which are being developed with the aim of building Stolberg back better.
On 24 February, Dr. Clausse and the nominator met with MEP Verheyen, once again in the copper yard Rosenthal. An overview of the rich cultural heritage and the monuments of the city was presented with the help of city historian Christian Altena. After the meeting, the guests were joined by the Mayor of Stolberg Patrick Haas and walked around in the city centre.
The delegation met with local business people, whose shops were destroyed, and visited the historic copper yards of the Wirtz family and the Schleicher family, which were both heavily damaged by the floods and are now in the process of being slowly rebuilt.
The visit to Stolberg ended on a positive note. Europa Nostra’s Executive Vice-President stressed the importance of getting to know Stolberg and its special socio-economic and specific post-flood situation, as well as the value of meeting the different stakeholders, for the benefit of the town’s sustainable future. “This was my first time, but certainly not my last time in Stolberg!” he stated.