It is our understanding that heritage belongs to everyone. Protecting, preserving and invigorating the historic environment is a responsibility shared by every member of society. We believe that in a world increasingly dominated by global styles, historic sites provide a unique sense of place which differentiates them one from another. People value the historic environment as part of their cultural and natural heritage. It reflects the knowledge, beliefs and traditions of diverse communities. It gives distinctiveness, meaning and quality to the places in which we live, providing a sense of continuity and a source of identity.
Project BEESENSTEDT 31 builds upon the enthusiastic effort aimed at reconstruction of the countryside estate comprised of a large XIX century manor house and its adjacent structures with some dating back to the Middle Ages. It is located in the town of Beesenstedt near Halle an der Saale, in the southern part of the German state Saxony-Anhalt, the seedbed of German Romanticism, once dominant and still influencial intellectual movement in the philosophy, the arts, and the culture.
Since 1995, the project has been unfolding through initial private investment by Armin Mey, an architect, humanist, polymath, visionary, entrepreneur, indefatigable agent of thoughtful and responsible change, as well as through recurring revenues from activities, events and arrangements such as festivals, conferences, forums, seminars, symposiums, workshops, collabs, weddings, anniversaries, group getaways... The schloss is often rented in its entirety or in part as a mise-en-scène for film and other production.
The new phase of development expands the scope of the original project to include the task of rebuilding and reviving the town itself – its economy, culture and politics – giving it new health, strength and spirit. This development is informed and illuminated by the notions of historic, social and environmental sustainability. BEESENSTEDT 31 opens itself up yet wider welcoming on the reciprocal mutually supportive basis the contributions from outside – creative genius and energies of international artists, musicians, designers, performers, writers, thinkers... /// More...
TOTUM is a series of BEESENSTEDT 31 signature events taking place monthly on a special notice and addressed to select audiences organized around certain interests – one key theme at a time. Over the span of two days lasting from late Friday until early Monday, its programming encapsulates music, art, film, fashion, performance as well as other cultural, recreational, educational and self-exploratory experiences.
Culturally multifaceted and comprised of the finest acts that can realistically be arranged, TOTUM events are also intended as intersubjective itineraries and frameworks for socialization and networking. The participants willingly extract themselves for a period of time from the compartments of their private lives winding up in the remote, no-easy-exit communal situations wherein the only way to fully enjoy themselves is through prolonged interactions with others... learning, accepting and gaining from each other beyond small introductory talks and distractions, doing things together.
The principle of selectivity with respect to audience is not discriminatory, but formative. With the accommodation space limited (200-250 persons), the task is to provide our TOTUM guests with the highest quality time possible. The best time one gets is in the company of the like-minded and similarly inclined. Issuing invitations, we make sure the events with, say, experimental food as their main theme first and foremost attract experimental food enthusiasts; while TOTUM events dedicated to free-form music or avantgarde cinema are addressed to their most appreciative audience types, respectively.
In this light, it is important that we know you – either personally, or through friends, or based on your profiles in social networks with your cultural preferences either expressed or implied. We encourage you to sign with us on Facebook so we can learn about you and precise-target our invitations.
In the TOTUM format, BEESENSTEDT 31 embraces the prospect of collaboration with other cultural agencies and clubs as well as with companies whose output facilitates or relates to cultural praxis. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss what we can do together to make our TOTUM events more diverse and fulfilling in their content, exciting and socially beneficial. /// More...
It’s been nearly 20 years since Schloss Beesenstedt received its first upgrade in the course of its structural regeneration and preservation of heritage. This project would not be possible without your bookings for events – always so special, so exciting, so extraordinary, so yours! Its architectural integrity today is largely due to your contributions – in one form or another, including you simply stepping inside, animating the space with festivity, infusing it with your personality, breathing into it your joyous spirit, making it part of your lifetime memories, and sharing your unforgetable thrill with others.
Now with the most spaces converted and furnished, the surfaces scrapped to their original textures and ornaments, the roof not leaking, plumbing and heating systems installed and other amenities in place, the Schloss Beesenstedt stands so much more inviting as a venue for your special occasions promising more of a great time than even before. And this is how it goes, up and up: As we keep the rates constant and most generally affordable, with every booking you make today – whether for a wedding or a conference – you pave the way for others to enjoy their special moments in style and comfort a step higher. Isn’t it a good feeling?
Think Schloss Beesenstedt when researching locations for large private celebrations, weddings, group getaways; conferences, seminars, forums; workshops, collabs, alternative workspaces; gigs, music festivals, art fairs, happenings... Not to forget that in some scenarios, it’s an all-prepped and perfect mise-en-scène for film production and has been used as such regularly. /// Enquire and Book Now...
BEESENSTEDT 31 invites artists, musicians, designers, architects and all manner of creative people to be part of the project. As many such similar programs, it provides a remarkable project affiliation and advantageous name and output exposure, time for reflection, research and production, also allowing the individual (or a small collective) to explore his/her practice within our community; meeting new people and experiencing life in the new location. In exchange for convenient and by no means ordinary residence, ample studio and exhibition space, the use of amenities, and, above all, good time together, we expect the participant artist to assist or direct us in developing the project, which in practical terms can be anything from interior design, outside installations, helping us run our events to documenting the progress in multimedia and communicating the development to the world. The terms to be decided based on the applicant’s qualifications. /// More...
To support culture through discourse and online advocacy, we commit some of our time to research the cultural domain to discover and present to the world on a weekly basis a person whose work or stance resonates – in one way or another – with the BEESENSTEDT 31 project. It is most likely that some of these artists will one day be featured in our TOTUM programmes.
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Series: Painting Forever
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Find more reviews, interviews, multimedia and articles on cultural topics in our B31Log. We encourage you to contribute to the volume with your own research, presentations and commentaries. The section is currently under construction.
Schloss Beesenstedt is an early XIX manor house bestowing on the medieval town (typically built with the idea of protection in mind) some flamboyance. The schloss is 4-storeyed 5,000 square meters structure. Its ground floor in almost all its entirety is given to large halls. Variously furnished and decorated, they can be of service and convenience in many different ways. Second floor boasts of the main hall. Restored with most precision and, on top of that, elegantly designed, equipped with a fire-place, with a high fidelity sound system installed, it is most accommodative of large groups and often used for collective dining and to hold ceremonies. There on the second floor one also finds a bar, industrial-type kitchen, sauna, gallery and large terrace hanging above the main entrance to the building. Other rooms found around on this level are of ad hoc utility. Third and fourth floors of the house are bedroom areas – 37 rooms all in all, of different types (from private double bedrooms to spacious dormitories) and styles. The schloss comfortably hosts up to 250 persons. Rooms that are in the state of conversion will bring this number up, when complete. In the basement (which is for the most part subject to conversion) one finds fully equipped and sound-proof night club comprised of the main dance floor and a number of small cosy chill-outs. The roof is topped with two observatories offering panoramic views over the town and beyond the horizons.
Living and functional space of the schloss expands into adjacent buildings. Currently there are three: two 900 square meters barns of stone with their space often used to hold conferences, workshops, performances, large screen film projections, and suchlike; and one 2-storeyed building that is close to be fully furnished as a restaurant, bar, concert hall with a stage; and bedrooms on the second floor and in the attic. /// Learn More...
Some artifacts found in and around the castle (or excavated from under the ground) lend themselves to research and historic narrative easier than others. The greatest fact-finding and discursive predicament is the overarching theme – Schloss Beesenstedt itself with its each epochal arrangement eradicated by the next dialectically opposite one (with not much synthesis in the remainder). Masonic lodge turning into the Nazi headquarters transmuting into the Communist Party school attending to the Bright Future of All Mankind sliding into the site of plunder, neglect and natural decline... While we are planning a trip to Halle to dig through the Stadtarchiv files to figure out the grand scenario, may we offer you the series of microhistories, our investigations of better-defined smaller units:
WALTER Fahrrad produced in between 1937-1948 by Gustav Walter & Co. founded in 1894 and annually manufacturing 12,500 bicycles of different types. Which makes this particular old chum parked at the main entrance a rarity. It’s rusty but essentially a high quality machine that is still running without much crunch, squeak and groan – especially so down the hill. /// B31Log...
The description of the BEESENSTEDT 31 project would be incomplete and inaccurate without its image reflected in the eyes of our guests. What follows is an evegrowing collection of photographs being aggregated from different online sources. Above all, Schloss Beesenstedt is what you make of it.
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