Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte

Register of Monuments

The Piesteritz quarter of Wittenberg: workers' housing at the former nitrogen factory, built 1916-1919 to a design by Otto Rudolf Salvisberg.
The Piesteritz quarter of Wittenberg: workers' housing at the former nitrogen factory, built 1916-1919 to a design by Otto Rudolf Salvisberg (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt, Photo: M. Titze).
Krauschwitz, Kistritz quarter (Burgenlandkreis), interior of the church as furnished by Johann Balthasar Stockhammer in 1690-96.
Krauschwitz, Kistritz quarter (Burgenlandkreis), interior of the church as furnished by Johann Balthasar Stockhammer in 1690-96 (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt, Photo: M. Titze).

The task of creating a register of monuments involves all aspects of the study of historic monuments. It forms the basis and justification of every conservation measure.

By systematically recording the monuments, researching them and publishing the findings, the State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology, which is the relevant specialist office for this task, is fulfilling an essential statutory duty. The Department for Historic Buildings and Works of Art is responsible for the register of non-archaeological monuments.

At the heart of this work is the task of drawing up, maintaining and continuously extending a list of monuments.

The concept of a monument has changed dramatically with the democratisation of society in the second half of the 20th century. The subject of a register of historic monuments is now considered to be all material evidence of human life in the past whose protection and preservation is in the public interest. The public interest is present if the object exhibits special historical, cultural or artistic, scientific, religious, technological or economic importance, or importance from the perspective of civic planning. This may involve single objects or groups of a number of structures. The quality of being a historic monument is not dependent on a set minimum age. Today, it is not only major works of certain genres of building or art that are considered to be historic monuments, but also industrial installations, administrative, educational or residential buildings (sometimes including entire settlements), garden, park and cemetery complexes, or sites of historical importance like concentration camps and the legacies of the division of Germany.

To create a register, the monuments are investigated using methods from the disciplines of history, art, and cultural studies. Outstanding single monuments are examined together with their equipment or furnishings, both fixed and movable, insofar as these form a unity with the monument, but also with an eye to their position within larger contexts such as urban design, history, topography, functional aspects or a cultural landscape.

The assessment that a given item is of historic significance is made solely on specialist scholarly criteria. Through comprehensive, systematic registers, local and regional comparisons, discussions of method within the specialist research field and cooperation with the Work-group for Inventories of the Vereinigung der Landesdenkmalpfleger in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Association of State Conservation Staff in the Federal Republic of Germany), the aim is to achieve the greatest possible uniformity in the standards of assessment and so provide an important element of legal security for the owners of monuments.