Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
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Department for Historic Buildings and Works of Art

The Department for Historic Buildings and Works of Art of the State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology is the expert office that advises the various Conservation Authorities, in ministries and local and communal government, but also the owners of monuments and their architects, restorers and craftspersons on all issues requiring conservation expertise.

In addition, the State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology is responsible for recording, researching and listing historic buildings and conservation areas. As part of the planning permission process, it submits expert opinions to the authority responsible for granting permissions. A wide range of tasks must be fulfilled, and therefore many different resources and fields of competence are represented on its staff and are continuously being developed further.

In the Register of Monuments, a property's historic importance is established, described and justified. The current list of monuments is maintained in a database. The results of the survey are published as printed lists of monuments. In some cases, a detailed statement will also be made on the historic importance of an individual monument or area of historic importance. An unusual feature is that this activity is not carried out by a separate organisational unit, but by the Conservation Officers responsible for a particular area.

Practical Conservation is the second main area of activity of the Department for Historic Buildings and Works of Art. Expert advice is provided whenever monuments undergo alterations, whether this is to put them into working order, to change their function, to carry out restorations or for any other reason.

Making historic buildings functional is usually a very complex task, and requires specialists in Construction Engineering and Natural Sciences. As a result, owners of historic monuments can rely on the experience and scientific knowledge of the Conservation Office.  

For conservation research, consultation of source-materials in archives is indispensable, but another key element is the study of traces of past construction and alterations marked on the buildings themselves. These are recorded by the section of the Department responsible for Architectural Research - either as part of a systematic survey or in advance of planned building work.

To evaluate and inspect the restoration of stone, plaster and mortar, wall-paintings and other types of wall-surfaces, stained glass, wood, paintings, painted sculpture, and textiles is the task of the section for Restoration.

In the various planning permissions processes, a large part of the work involves the conservation needs of protected buildings, building ensembles or whole landscapes of special historic importance. The section for Conservation in Civic Planning examines planning proposals for their potential effects on monuments.

Saxony-Anhalt's rich collection of parks of historic importance is the responsibility of the section for Historic Parks and Gardens.

Saxony-Anhalt has a tradition of mining, hydraulic engineering, and transport routes, of industry and technology, which reaches back into the Middle Ages, for which the specialist section for Monuments of Industry and Technology is responsible.

There is a significant number of important historic bells in Saxony-Anhalt and also many historic organs, so special expertise in the conservation of Bells and Organs is kept on hand.

A key requirement in conservation work is the Documentation of all available knowledge about the protected buildings and objects and the changes they have undergone. The State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology sees its role as a store of knowledge, and for many monuments it can draw on records that have been maintained continuously since 1893. Documentary resources include - as well as the database of monuments - collections of written documents, documentation of restoration work, photographs and books. Aside from certain limitations for reasons of data protection, this documentation is made available for scholarly study. All parts of the documentation are administered by Department 3.

Specialist knowledge in the various fields of conservation and restoration is not static, so continuous Research is indispensable. This takes place either in externally funded projects, in which the Department for Historic Buildings and Works of Art is one of the cooperating partners, or else in cooperation with projects in universities and research institutes. An important area of work is communicating our knowledge to the public and spreading the information we have gained about the State's monuments, in publications on particular topics and through events.