Presentation of the concept regarding the use of the building - redevelopment to start in 2016
On 16 November 2015, the concept regarding the future use of Heinfels Castle was presented to the district councils of the Tyrolean Oberland. If everything goes according o plan, the main redevelopment can take place during summer 2016.
At the beginning of the event, Erwin Schiffmann, Mayor of Sillian, Chair of the Planning Association 35, highlighted the regional significance of Heinfels Castle. €5.2 million is the allocated budget which has to be raised for the main redevelopment of the imposing structure. The lion’s share of the sum will be carried by the Landesgedächtnisstiftung (a Tyrolean foundation), the Austrian Federal Monuments Office, and the castle’s owner, A. Loacker Tourismus GmbH. The region will contribute directly with around €1.5 million, while the municipalities belonging to Planning Group 35 will in turn raise 1/3 of the sum. The relative decision still have to be taken in some municipalities to ensure the urgent and necessary main redevelopment can kick off as soon as possible.
In his impassioned speech, Walter Hauser, Director of Conservation at the Austrian Federal Monuments Office, gave an overview of the approach to restoring historic walls over the course of the centuries. You can never really speak of an ‘original structure’ when it comes to a castle; it’s actually quite rare, because they were always modified depending on the needs of the individual owners. Even when restoring and rebuilding old ruins, more often than not the ‘original’ structure could not be maintained. The exciting thing about Heinfels Castle is its unique combination: one part of the castle can actually be lived in, while the other part is a veritable ruin. ‘The new castle should be the same as the old one’, is what the Tyrolean Director of Conservation declared at the end of his intervention.
The Museumsverein Burg Heinfels, founded in September 2014, has been pulling out all stops for a good year now, working hard to develop concepts regarding the possible uses of Heinfels Castle. In the end, Peter Leiter, Secretary of the Museumsverein, presented an exhaustive concept resulting from the countless meetings between members of Management and numerous workshops, as well as the valuable excursion to similar castles in North and South Tyrol. The foundations of the concept are represented by the castle’s profitability and its added value to the tourism industry and regional cultural heritage. These aspects should be incentivised via targeted marketing campaigns. The load-bearing columns are represented by events, using the castle as a museum, guided tours, and a gastronomic offer. More than two thirds of the whole castle structure will be managed by the Museumsverein in the future; moreover, it will also oversee the restoration works during the course of the main redevelopment. Gastronomic events will take place in the western wing of the castle and be run by Loacker (as well as other possible leaseholders) during the second phase, after the main redevelopment is completed.
Gerhard Mitterberger, architect, renowned for his work at Bruck Castle in Lienz and the Kufstein Fortress, shared his thoughts on the upcoming main redevelopment and future use of the structure. The route is planned in such a way that visitors will be able to access parts of the castle using ramps and small lifts, granting them to roam the structure with no barriers whatsoever, thus offering an exciting view of the history of the castle. Numerous halls will be adapted in the southern wing of the castle to hose events and exhibitions - some of them even during winter.
All the speakers agreed that Heinfels Castle could become a magnet across the region, attracting plenty of interest, should the concept regarding its future use be successfully implemented.