Wolfram graeber sees it with one laughing and one crying eye. The chairman of the association "friends of the upper gate" is pleased with the popularity of the upper gate and the willingness to donate to the historical monument delighted. He is less happy when he thinks about the upcoming meeting in march next year. Because then young, committed people are urgently needed. "Volunteering is the mirror image of our society", he says. "More and more elbows and less and less willingness to volunteer." The members of the tower association are also getting older and older, complains the chairman. And young members are rare.
The goal is to continue what has been achieved in the coming years. Wolfram graeber is happy that he and his comrades-in-arms have made the historic city tower accessible to the public. For decades the gate was locked and only occasionally accessed by authorized persons via a ladder. The staircase – financed by donations – was the first piece of furniture of the tower association.
The city gate was open during all market days and special tours this year. The association used to charge an entrance fee of one euro, but in the meantime wolfram graeber has withdrawn from it. A donation jar will be placed instead. "Once people see the unspoiled monument and enjoy the view of the old town and the rhon, they are so enthusiastic that they even throw ten euros into the jar." These rude donors are mostly tourists. Recently, wolfram graeber has noticed a very good response from thuringia, especially from erfurt and the eichsfeld region. Even people who certainly don’t have much money wanted to donate, says the chairman, who has not failed to notice how many a well-heeled munnerstadter has skilfully sneaked past the donation jar. Wolfram graeber deposited the donated money into his account on monday. This year has seen a number of achievements. The new employees in the castle offer this possibility when requests come in, according to the chairman. The cooperation with the responsible persons in the castle is very good.
Again and again, the chairman receives praise from the guests because the upper gate has been preserved in its original state. No water pipe, no sewage pipe – only an electricity line has been laid, albeit under strict conditions. There is only one socket per floor, not a single light switch. The light is switched on centrally at the sub-distribution board. In the turmerstube there is a current at all. These were the requirements of the historic preservation authorities, and this is how it has been implemented.
The fire safety requirements were also high, which included equipping the individual floors with fire extinguishers. Because there are water holes that now have to be removed due to the danger of frost, he can no longer open the tower. But it will go on from april at the latest.
Even though the association has managed to restore accessibility, not everything has been achieved yet. "The long-term goal is to secure the plaster in the rooms above the turmerstube", says wolfram graeber. "The plaster is falling down everywhere." The same problem had the association in the turmerstube, there it is already repaired. The two floors above the turmerstube (in the gable of the roof) are not accessible to the public, but they should of course be preserved in their original form. The club can’t afford it on its own.
Wolfram graeber thinks the tower is ideally suited for an artistic setting. The floor directly above the passageway and the cross vault below the turmerstube would be excellently suited as gallery spaces. That’s why the chairman has already talked to munnerstadter artist mia hochrein. Not least because she is a descendant of the last munnerstadter who died at the end of the 19th century. Century has lived in the tower. "I am in principle not averse", says the artist in response to a question from our newspaper. But there is no concept yet.