Monument protection: Limited options: Castle life during the energy crisis

A castle is a place of limited possibilities - at least in terms of energy efficiency.

Monument protection: Limited options: Castle life during the energy crisis

A castle is a place of limited possibilities - at least in terms of energy efficiency. "Whether you can renovate at all depends on the castle. You can't do anything in the short term," says Andreas Becker from Perl in Saarland, an energy consultant and member of the German Castle Association. On the one hand, monument protection always has a say, but even so, external insulation is not or hardly possible due to the special features of the old walls. Markus Hecher, who lives with his family at Rheinstein Castle in Trechtingshausen on the Rhine, knows this too. "It's just difficult to integrate modern concepts into historic buildings," he says.

The matter is simple, at least in the historical wing of his castle. It is not heated anyway, which is not possible for technical reasons. To save electricity, the otherwise illuminated castle is now in the dark. The light should only be switched on again in the Advent season. Hecher lives on the castle grounds in the former servants' house, which was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Savings are now being made there by only heating to 19 degrees. His home is not isolated. An old house like this has to breathe, otherwise mold will form, he explains. At least the windows are double glazed. "But when it gets really cold in winter, there is a draft in one corner or the other. We then put balls of wool in front of it."

The managing director of the German Castle Association in Braubach, Stefan Hirtz, who lives in the Marksburg, also knows the problem. "It's not like we're living outside, but we're aware of any weather," he says. The walls are thick, but there is a draft through the cracks. In order to possibly be able to save energy, the caretakers are currently checking whether all heating pipes are properly insulated. Otherwise, the same applies to the Marksburg: In the rooms where heating is possible, it gets a maximum of 19 degrees warm. And in the other areas of the castle there is no heating anyway, it's just cold there in winter - with or without an energy crisis.

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