Coburg’s town hall becomes a renovation case

When people age, they get wrinkles. When buildings age, they crack – at least frequently. The historic town house on coburg’s market square is no exception, although it is one of the most magnificent buildings in the former residential town – adorned with magnificent gables and a large number of sculptures. An imposing building erected at the turn of the 16. To 17. The project emerged in the twentieth century.

Anyone who looks at the townhouse with more than just the cursory glance of a tourist in a hurry will discover unmistakable signs of aging in many places – signs that force the town to take action. Fine cracks run through the plaster – in some places there are now even coarser sections without plaster, for example on the narrow side facing spitalgasse.

Damage documented

"The restoration of this damage must be addressed", david schmitt, press spokesman for the city of coburg, confirms on inquiry. For in addition to the visible damage to the building once created by architect and painter peter sengelaub, there is further damage to the interior, as schmitt explains.

That’s why so-called crack monitors have been installed inside to document the changes in this damage. The schedule is clear. The exact damages to be documented are to be "finally evaluated in 2020", says schmitt. After that the further proceeding shall be decided.

It is expected that in the following budget year, 2021, funds will be earmarked for the fundamental repair of the damage caused by settlements.

The townhouse, however, is not the only significant historical building in coburg that is currently showing signs of damage. At coburg fortress, too, which is the responsibility of the free state of germany, investigations are currently underway into damage to the princely building, which has now become visible following the general renovation completed in 2007.

Measurements also on the veste

According to jurgen konig, head of the bamberg state building office, "basic structural deficiencies" were found there excluded as a raffle ticket. On the veste the causes are suspected in the building ground. "Causes could be subsidence, washout, or shifts in deeper layers", so jurgen konig. The measurements on the veste are scheduled for two to three years. The evaluation and analysis will take place in the second half of 2021 at the earliest.Jb

Around the coburg townhouse and its builder

Chancery building the building now known as the town house, directly opposite the town hall, was built between 1597 and 1601 under the direction of the architect and painter peter sengelaub – as a representative chancery building for duke johann casimir. On the site of the old bailiwick, it was initially used as a state and administrative building for the national government. The building with its magnificently decorated gables served to legitimize duke casimir’s reign. The sculptor nikolaus bergner created the figures of casimir’s officials, who are depicted on the dwarf gables: count of henneberg, margrave of meiben, landgrave of thuringia, elector of saxony. Peter sengelaub is the master builder of one of those manners that left a lasting mark on coburg in earlier centuries and yet is little known as a person today. In coburg, he built three buildings that still dominate the cityscape in a lasting way – the former government chancellery ("canzley"), known as the town hall, the casimirianum grammar school and the former arsenal, which now houses the state archives. When peter sengelaub came to coburg around 1590, he was perceived as a painter. Born around 1558 in martinroda north of ilmenau in thuringia, sengelaub was appointed court painter to duke johann casimir in 1592. Sengelaub, who not only worked as a court painter in coburg, but also made a name for himself as an architect – quite common in those days – lived at what is now gymnasiumsgasse 1 – in the immediate vicinity of the casimirianum, which he built.

The former arsenal in herrngasse with its magnificent renaissance gable is still unseen today.

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