Thüringer Wald: hier entdecken Sie Thüringen

The Official House Paulinzella

A monastery building of the late Middle Ages

Today, the Paulinzella Official House hosts the headquarters of the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt Forestry Office (ThüringenForst). In preparation for this use and the subsequent renovation, building-historical and restorative as well as structural investigations of the building have been carried out since 2012. In the literature, the Official House was dated to 1534 up to this point, and it was already considered one of the most important half-timbered buildings in Thuringia. Dendrological examinations of the white fir truss construction in the course of the renovation finally revealed the felling date of 1474/75. It was a winter felling of the white fir and the wood was processed immediately after felling. It can therefore be assumed that the scaffolding of the official house was timbered in 1475. Accordingly, it was erected by the convent of the monastery.

The house floor plan originally had only two transverse walls, which were integrated into the outer wall framework. This suggests that the ground floor was used for the convent. This assumption is strengthened by evidence of interior wall and ceiling panelling, evidence of a circumferential bench in the northern room and an entrance into the southern tower into the monastery church. In addition, there was a large parlour as well as a small one, which, due to its furnishings, could have been the abbot's parlour. On the upper floor there were several flats, which probably served as accommodation for guests and friars.

In the former Paulinzella official house there was a wood-panelled parlour, which was already mentioned in the middle of the 18th century as the »Nonnenstübgen« (nuns' parlour). It was presented to travellers as a reminder of the monastery days. The furnishings included a late Gothic stove, which obviously originated in the Saxon-Thuringian region. It dates from around 1500 and is one of the few remaining stoves from this period in Germany today. The location in the official house shown above was probably not the original one, as changes to the stove indicate that it was moved in the course of building work after the secularisation of the monastery. The original location was rediscovered in 2014/15 during archaeological investigations. It was located on the south wall of the plank room. The stove was copied in 1898/99 for the Melanchton Room in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, so that casts of the individual tiles were probably made in this context. Another copy of the stove was made for the Melanchton House in Bretten, which was built from 1897 to 1903. In 1926, the art historian Dr. Freiherr Schenk zu Schweinsberg acquired this stove for the Weimar art collections. Today, the stove can be viewed in the permanent exhibition in the Amtshaus on permanent loan from the Klassik Stiftung Weimar.