Station: [16] Black Horse Tower with Tithe Barn, Lange Gasse 32

M: In the old days, local farmers handed over part of their harvest in the tithe barn. Later, boys and girls learned their times tables in here. But what about now? Here’s the story of the "Old School".

F: Until 1934, the building was used as a tithe barn. The tithe was a kind of tax paid in kind. The farmers had to hand over roughly ten percent of their harvest to the local lord. The grain and crops were then stored in the tithe barn, one of four or five such barns in Niederstetten at the time. 

M: Only wine, which was grown on a small portion of the agricultural land, was stored in the palace cellars. After all, the lord of the castle wanted to make sure that his wine cellars were always well filled.

F: When the practice of tithing was abolished and the storage space was no longer required, a school was established in the tithe barn in 1934. Eleven years later, on the 9th of April 1945, the building burned down during a US bombing raid. Teaching resumed in a new school building in 1948. However, in the meantime, local children are able to attend another new school on Hauptstrasse.

M: The "Old School", on the other hand, is now a listed building. These days, it hosts a creative workshop for young and old, which includes painting and tailoring studios, a music room in the basement and a dance hall.

F: If you walk around the building, you’ll see the old Black Horse Tower – the Rappenturm. There is still an old town sign on the wall of the school.

M: The 15th century Black Horse Tower is one of the medieval defensive towers and was part of the old town wall. It stands on the site where the town’s fortifications linked up with the Haltenbergstetten Castle defence works.

F: After dipping into history, it’s time to return to the present. Just a few houses further on, at number 16, there is another stop on the Tacheles Trail. Here’s more straight talk.

Fotos: © Trüpschuch