Clay as a key to history
When it comes to restoration of a protected landmark building, many people throw up their hands in frustration. Not so Judith Rüber and Dr. Jan Kobel. Their enthusiasm and commitment to the faithful refurbishment of their hotel building from 1582 are inspiring. As a photographer and author of photo books and culinary travel literature, the owners are also very familiar with traveling. So you are not only welcomed to their charming hotel but also on a journey back in time to the Renaissance and the Baroque period.
From the present back to the era of Johann Sebastian Bach
With the key to the “Renaissance Room” or “Large Baroque Room,” you also get access to the time of Johann Sebastian Bach. From 1703-1707 he was an organist in Arnstadt, Thuringia – a picturesque place southwest of Erfurt. Thanks to the renovation, in which modern clay construction and historical craftsmanship complement each other perfectly, the varied history of the magnificent half-timbered house comes back to life.
During the restoration, which complies with the requirements for historical landmarks, every effort was made to preserve and re-use as much as possible of the original building materials. So the old clay-straw mixture in the walls was scraped out, prepared with modern clay building materials and reused. This ecological and preservation compatible approach is only possible with clay.
Shortly after completion, the work was awarded the top prize for craftsmanship in architectural historical preservation (Bundespreis für Handwerk in der Denkmalpflege) by the German Historical Preservation Society. The Thuringia Historical Preservation prize followed in 2014.
The clay-plastered interior walls with in-wall heating combine historical knowledge of healthy living with modern comforts. Enjoy the advantages of heating with radiant heat and the pleasant room climate that is created by the moisture-regulating effect of the clay.
From magnificent residence to factory building to hotel
In Johann Sebastian Bach’s time, the Arnstadt Townhouse had already stood for over 100 years. It had been built after a devastating fire, by landowner Cuntz Friedrich who commissioned the renaissance style three-storey half-timbered house be built on a vaulted cellar that was 150 years old at the time. Over the following centuries, there were many owners – including Countess Johanna Elisabeth. She not only expanded the house in the baroque style, but also regularly listened to Johann Sebastian Bach’s music at court.
From the middle of the eighteenth century, the house’s history took several different turns: the half-timbered house became a cabinet of curiosities, a girls’ school and a bank. In 1870 the Möller‘sche glove factory moved in. An additional neighbouring factory building was built in 1903. With the reunification of Germany, this chapter came to an end – and with it nearly the history of the house.
It was not until 2005 that the historic buildings were brought back to life. Since 2013 the townhouse has been available to welcome visitors.Read more »
Breathe in only history – thanks to clay plaster from Claytec
In the Arnstadt Townhouse Hotel, clay was used as a building material for the exterior and interior walls. The interior walls of the former factory building – today a residential building, studio and event location – was also plastered with clay. Apart from the desire for a restoration that was as true to the original as possible, clay was also an attractive option as a healthy and regional building material. For the wall surfaces of the guest rooms, the owner and their craftsmen opted for Clay topcoat fine 06 from Claytec. The thin-layer plaster is applied 2-3 mm thick. Due to its good workability it can also be used over various surfaces, such as wooden building elements.