Exhibition in the ThüringenForst office building in Paulinzella
Until the 18th century, the principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was densely forested. Numerous trades used wood as a natural resource, so it is hard to imagine this period without forestry as an economic basis. Wood was used in a variety of ways - as a source of energy for hammer forges and glassworks, for the extraction of charcoal, pot (ash) and resin for the production of pitch and soot, and finally also for use in handicrafts, whereby the quality of the wood was particularly important. The sale of wood also contributed to the exploitation of the forests. In the 19th century, a steadily increasing shortage of wood finally led to the transformation of forestry.
Today, the forest is still changing and new risks threaten its species composition – flora and fauna alike. Water shortages and pests are examples of the challenges the forests face. The special exhibitions at Heidecksburg Palace and, in cooperation with ThüringenForst, at the Paulinzella office building were intended to shed light on the changes in the forests in the former territories of the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and to portray botanical treasures in the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district in greater detail. The exhibitions showed the diverse nature of their own surroundings, they sensitised and inspired. It was not dying forests, but the power of colourful forest nature that was brought to the fore.
The white fir shaped our native forests more than 500 years ago, but today it joins the list of rare tree species. Through the use of this tree, which can be experienced directly on site, the white fir was the focus of the special exhibition in Paulinzella.
The ruins of the Romanesque monastery church of Paulinzella rise impressively in the valley meadow and tell of the former size and importance of the monastery complex. Some of the monastery buildings have been altered, rebuilt or demolished over the course of time. Several restorations, monument preservation measures, building investigations and excavations have been carried out on the grounds of Paulinzella Monastery and bring to life the history of this complex, which has always attracted travellers, poets and painters. The most recent building excavation was carried out with the comprehensive renovation of the official building, and renovation and safeguarding work is taking place on the monastery church itself.
Meanwhile, archaeology has a little helper at its side – the mole. It is worth taking a closer look at the animal of the year 2020, because its reputation is often worse than it should be and even as an »auxiliary archaeologist« it unearths exciting artefacts from the soil. The special exhibition not only illuminated the field of archaeology by means of finds around Paulinzella, but also spanned the arc to nature through diverse information about the Animal of the Year 2020.