F: If walls could talk, what would this house have to tell us?
M: I am Haus Frey, an old, old artisan’s house. I am a very special house.
F: Maybe the following story:
M: I am Haus Frey, an old, old artisan’s house. Coopers once lived here, the people who make wine barrels from wood. Business was good. The coopers were proud of their reputation. That's why they had a very beautiful old stucco ceiling installed upstairs. The kind of ceiling only rich folks in Rothenburg ob der Tauber had. And I indeed have such a beautiful ceiling, even now! And my cellar has two storeys! Where do you still find such a thing these days?
I'm a very special house. Do you know when I was built? In 1740! Does that number mean anything to you? No? Let me tell you: it was the year Frederick the Great became King of Prussia. What a proud date on which to be built.
And do I deserve THIS? Look at the state of me. I have stood here for three centuries, and they have left their mark. Sadly, I am completely derelict, and restoring me would cost too much money.
Yet Niederstetten’s entire history is under my roof. Do you see the sign? I can proudly say that I once housed a museum: the Local History Museum in Haus Frey. But then they closed me down because I’ve become unsound. Me, venerable Haus Frey!
Oh, that Lina! Lina Frey was the last person to own the building. She lived to be ninety and sold me to the town for next to nothing, so I could be saved. But you can see for yourself…
I still store the town’s memories: documents, photographs, wine barrels, water sphere lenses to focus candle light, plough and harrow – everything that provides evidence of Niederstetten's history. As soon as a solution is found for these treasures – a new house perhaps? – I shall relinquish my possessions. Until then, I shall hope that someone comes along, finds me beautiful and puts money into restoring me.
F: That poor house. Let’s wish it all the best – and carry on to the cemetery chapel at Vorbachzimmerner Strasse number 18.
Fotos: © Trüpschuch