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Report - Rock cellars / Felsenkeller, Weismain, Franconia, Germany, 07-2013

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by The Franconian, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. The Franconian

    The Franconian 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    Driving around in the area near Nuremberg called "Fränkische Schweiz" = Franconian Switzerland this week,
    I found this cellars at the entrance of a small City called Weismain, three of them were open so I took some fast shots.
    Normally I was out for quarries which there are quite a couple off all around Franconia; a land of sandstone, seaground limestone and riffs, hills and landside, beer and wine.

    Some history

    A rock cellar is usually completely carved in stone. Sometimes, in regions that had too hard (poor workability of the rock) or soft rock (danger of collapse),
    exist “transitional†forms of vaulted cellars, which are only partly or not at all cut into the rock, and were roofed with a roof of stone blocks.
    Originally rock cellars were, because of the uniformly low temperatures (8-12 ° C on average), used primarily for the storage of beer and agricultural products.
    For this reason, restaurants or beer gardens were often created in close proximity to larger rocks cellar systems.
    While initially private house and storage cellars did not require large capacity, they reached their limits with increasing production volume of agricultural products
    or increasing beer consumption in the course of industrialization .
    Where the rock layers allowed, many of the individual or community cellars were dug outside the villages and often in woods,
    where shade-giving trees could also reduce the soil temperature in summer.
    The building boom of rock cellars was, with regional differences, mostly in the 19th Century.
    In Franconia, for example, the cellar had, by the large concentration of breweries, always had a high priority,
    and you can settle the height of the cellar construction quite accurately 1850-1860.
    By emergence of new cooling methods many of the smaller private cellars have become functionless, left open or expired.
    With larger and more regularly used rock cellars, are often found not only a brick entrance, but also a “cellar house†or lobby, directly above the cellar entrance.
    Mostly these lobbies were for the storage of equipment, for example required for the transport of the goods stored in the cellar.
    Since such a house was not possible everywhere, the entrance was often just a piece of masonry far from the slope and thus laid out in front of the cellar.
    This helped to shield the entrance area out of direct sunlight and thus to protect the cellar from greater temperatures.
    In addition, trees were often planted for shade, which, with their weight and strong root systems are today causing many entrances to collapse.
    In cellars that have been used by several parties in the cellar community, each party usually has a key for the main entrance,
    to be then followed by the individual, lockable rooms.
    In beer cellars can be found either on one side of the wall, or on both sides separated by an aisle, an elevated low “shelfâ€.
    At a height of 30 cm - 50 cm barrels of beer were stored here, which could hold several hundred liters.
    Stacking on wooden beams or metal brackets made them easier to access than awkward bending,
    facilitated the tap and protected the wood barrels from any inflowing groundwater or rainwater.
    In pure storage cellars there is just a flat floor, which facilitates the import and export of products.
    Partial stone or brick walls were used for a better separation of the individual products.
    Since the increased humidity of the soil in several meters depth is a natural enemy of a wooden beer barrel,
    most cellars have a ventilation shaft in the ceiling of the middle at the rear cellar area so that, possibly in conjunction with a vent slit or pipe in entrance hall,
    an air flow was generated by the cellar and mold could be prevented.
    Since the outlets of the ventilation shafts at the surface are especially vulnerable to erosion processes that can open up the shaft of a funnel
    and fill the underlying cellar with rubble, stone or concrete reinforcements were often attached to the opening of the shafts and rain covers were often added.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This pic is overlid, but it shows how the cellars are lined up at the bottom of a little hill, here six or seven in a row
    °1
    [​IMG]

    some seemed still in use, with working gate...
    °2
    [​IMG]

    ...others were given up with rotting one
    °3
    [​IMG]

    smashed wall here...
    °4
    [​IMG]

    ...just a small room, then bricked wall, behind that a corridor, maybe 12m then around a corner
    °5
    [​IMG]

    next cellar; has a double entrance with the last one
    °6
    [​IMG]

    mind the step, mentioned in the history (for beer barrels ?)
    °7
    [​IMG]

    °8
    [​IMG]

    step better to be seen and mind the toolmarks in the stone
    °9
    [​IMG]

    a gate to separate the big cellar
    °10
    [​IMG]

    other gate, astonishly fine stonework here
    °11
    [​IMG]

    some old waste around, not too much
    °12
    [​IMG]

    and here floor of stone plates
    °13
    [​IMG]

    fine stone work again, this gate
    °14
    [​IMG]

    no place worldwide without "Robbern" (franconian dialect)
    °15
    [​IMG]

    next cellar
    °16
    [​IMG]

    °17
    [​IMG]

    °18
    [​IMG]

    spiders- a bit more than one
    °19
    [​IMG]

    ...and lots of flies living there, most on the wall, not in the air
    °20
    [​IMG]

    something old gotta be in every report, don't know in English, axis of a "Ladderwogn"(franconian), laddertrolly or whatever you call that thing
    °21
    [​IMG]

    the ladders of the "Ladderwogn"
    °22
    [​IMG]

    °23
    [​IMG]

    °24
    [​IMG]

    the walls in front of the entrance are on the way to fall in
    °25
    [​IMG]

    one more, but this was sealed with a grill
    °26
    [​IMG]

    ...but inside it looked nicely original
    [​IMG]

    Must say, these cellars were larger than I thought, 30m inward maybe what I have seen, split up in different directions.
    Wondering how they managed to do not touch each other.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    thank you
    ----------------
    p.s.
    history is changed now in a better understandable version
    thanks a lot to @ Yorrick
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