A cultural Summer between Present and Past

In Walbeck stands a manor house as many in Saxony-Anhalt. After 1750 on its approximately one hectare measuring property were built numerous outbuildings and stables, which are preserved to this day. All buildings are well geometrically aligned to the two-winged main building. From the church to the agriculture, from the trades such as blacksmith, wheelwright, to the fish ponds to ensure the protein supply throughout the year, a perfect infrastructure was created. Therefore this site has always been the heart of this little village.
In the GDR times, the ensemble of buildings was used as boarding school for agriculture with a lot of animals and 100 ha of fields. After the wall came down, the buildings lost their purpose and nobody took care of them. For 20 years hands changed, the roofs got into bad conditions and not just the roof timbers dissolved into its elements ..

In 2011 Mr and Mrs Endres auctioned the castle and sat on the roofs of the farm buildings, in consultation with the historic preservation, a photovoltaic system of 750 kW. All trusses marked by water damage were repaired and freshly set. Thus, the building was again protected from decay for the next decades and the new owners of the castle decided to incorporate the gains from the photovoltaic system in the rehabilitation of the remaining castle. Thus, the rehabilitation is progressing continuously.

For the summer of 2013, the two artists STEPHANundVERENA were working and living in the castle and brought it socially forward again. They have specialized, to revive vacant, historically valuable buildings and to bring them again into the consciousness of the population and to create a communication point to discuss about the object, the art and the life.


STEPHANundVERENA studied the 1000-year history of the castle and brought it again to the visitors in the form of three-dimensional collages of materials, adapted to the rooms and to the whole castle. The artists spanned the gamut from past to present, from local realities to global world events and encouraged the visitors to take their artworks as an impetus to start thinking about their own situation in the here and now and in the future.

The beginning of the cultural summer on Sonnenschloss Walbeck made ​​Woltähr, a bard, troubadour, a singer-songwriter from the city of Trier, who lodged a stopover in the former imperial palace Walbeck by following the footsteps of Voltaire on the way to Sanssouci. As in former times, where the nuns the newspaper was told, he brought news from the wide world to the Mansfeld region with his lyre, guitar, and concertina.

On the eighth of September, at ten o'clock, the exhibition was officially opened as part of the Heritage Days. STEPHANundVERENA organised this day and attached importance to a diverse participation of local associations which enriched the event with appropriate music and rustic dishes, from marching band to live grilled pork. The visitors were provided with a map and written down food for thought to every single art object and experienced a guided visit to the castle and some farm buildings. All open spaces were also fitted out artistically. Most processed materials were found on site, such as rotten, by the workers replaced beam heads, the former windows or historical nails. The artists combined these materials with photo, video, audio and text documents and "installed" them in consideration of the history of the castle and the stories they collected in the individual rooms. So the 20 years in slumber located castle became a space for dreaming and calling back memories of the past and present with a look to the future. Suiting to the individual room ambiences, artworks in a special printing technique were presented. ll this pictures have arisen during the period of the stay of the artists on the Sun Castle. Issues such as the monastic life, the GDR period, the problem of plague or date of Immolation were taken up and each image supported again the statement of the theme room. In the last room of the exhibition in the Palace, the Blue Salon, Comrade Lieutenant Colonel L. played its "fight song overtures" as a living part of the installation.

There was another synaesthetic experience on Sunday, 29 September with a special reading in the context of the "literature days of Saxony-Anhalt" on Sonnenschloss Walbeck. Living in Magdeburg author Herbert Beesten moved along with the audience through the exhibition and "performed" his texts fitting to the themes of the special rooms. He presented short stories of life, but also Dadaism paired with quiet love rhymes, as they might have been whispered to boarding times between boys and girls. Herbert Beesten offered the enthusiastic spectators a "goose pimples Performance" and breathed in his way life between the castle and the arts.

STEPHANundVERENA welcomed on every of the 7 weekends of presence always over 100 visitors and enjoyed the exchange with the guests.
In addition other musician artists visited the exhibition and asked for the possibility of a concert in the ambiance of the exhibition. So another event was planed: The oboe musician Beatrix Lampadius from Aschersleben performed with two professional musicians an concert in the blue salon of the exhibition. The program of the concert was aranged according to the times mentioned by the exhibition. They played from Mozart over Schumann to Jazz and even Musical songs. Beatrix Lampadius playing the oboe, Annelie Leuthäuser, vocals and Shanna Griniwa playing the piano, performed in a very easy but highly professional way and the audiance was enthused of a beautifull, cultural sunday afternoon at the castle.

On the same way STEPHANundVERENA got to know the two folk musicians Susanne Wolf and Gerald Haucke-Wolf and planed with them a concert for the last day of the exhibition, the 31 of October. They played traditionals from Ireland and Scottland but also German folk songs. Three voices and a lot of traditional instruments evoked the feeling of further times in the sacred halls of the castle.

A lot of people came to celebrate the incredible succes of the cultural summer 2014 at Sonnenschloss Walbeck together with STEPHANundVERENA and all involved persons. The artists thanked the constant audiance and all the helpers from the village and around for the great support, the castle owners expressed their thankfullness and admiration to all the work of STEPHANundVERENA and the mayor of the little town was impressed of the togethercoming so many people for all this cultural events in this rural area.