Thursday, 16 June 2011

In the Shadow of the Church

Just over two weeks ago, we moved from the highest point of the village, with houses built in the last 15 years, to the lowest, with houses, like our own, considerably older than that. It's like it's become some sort of hobby, but we're now living in a house right next door to The Bauernhaus itself. This is really handy, as we can pop over to tend the veggies, do a bit of work, and when things start going, keep an eye on the work. On the other side (south) is the Evangelisch church dating from 1473. So we are now, literally, in the shadow of the church.

Centre of Mittelschefflenz, pre 1960.
The house we're living in now was built in 1900, with a recent extension replacing the site of an older barn. The house can be seen to the left of the church in the photo to the right. I'm not sure when this photo was taken, but it's pre-1960, as it predates the town hall that was built more or less in the foreground. Where the person in kneeling, by a water trough in the centre, is where the stream, the Kertel, ran until it was culverted (thankfully, it still runs open on the south side of our land, and is really handy for hauling water from for the garden in dry weather). The half-timbered house on the right of this photo was demolished only a couple of years ago to make way for the new town hall, despite originally being a protected building. Our house is out of frame, about 40 metres to the left, but this old photo gives an idea of how open that area was in the past.

View from the Hof of number 2
This house, number 2, is also a former Bauernhaus, clearly, and there's a nice little courtyard at the back with several half-timbered and stone outbuildings and barns. A nice place to sit in the sun, but the configuration greatly amplifies the sound of the church bells. We get a ding-dong for every quarter hour, and deeper bongs ringing the hours. All night. Twelve bells was never so real! After two weeks here, we almost don't hear it any more. But at certain times, 11:00 and 19:30, it goes mad (movie below, with low resolution due to ultra-slow Internet connection, but it's the sound that counts in this case).

 In terms of progress on The Bauernhaus, I was a little premature with celebrating our planning permission, as it's only since yesterday that some of the final points were finally closed before we get the "red dot" that is the go signal. We had to meet the local Fire Commandant to look at the size and positioning of planned roof windows for the purposes of escape routes. All clear now!

In the meantime, our architect has been putting out incredibly detailed work lists, and the first set of offers from general builders have come in. A little bit shocking, and quite a range in price, but the detailed costs breakdown the architect specified is making it easy to compare. With luck, the first heavy works can begin in mid-July, just over two months later than originally planned.

Still, we're now at the heart of the village, and it's much nicer down here, with the company of the resident pine marten..


  1. Exciting!

    Good eating on pine martens too.

  2. It certainly feels more exciting being down at the centre of things, but yes, having lists of tasks makes the main event feel a lot closer, and that's definitely exciting!

    I have to try to get a photo of the pine marten. He's really cute, but he does shit all over the place, especially our attic.

  3. Ach! Der Baummarder ist der scheißemarder!