Church Climate

Preventive conservation of the interior furnishings

Interdisciplinary Conference of the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen 


When: 16-18 January 2019                           
Where: HAWK, Hildesheim, Hohnsen 2
Conference language: German


Conference proceedings as 20th volume of the series of publications are now available.

Klimazone Kirche. Präventive Konservierung der Ausstattung.
Conference proceedings of the interdisciplinary conference of the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts,
16-18 January 2019 in Hildesheim, ed. by: Ina Birkenbeul und Angela Weyer,
Berlin 2019
Content (pdf, 23 KB)

As a preliminary aid, we have compiled a first list of links with recommendations, guidelines and recordings of lectures.

The conference focused on the climate in churches, with a particular focus on the potential for damage to moveable interior furnishings such as altarpieces, sculptures, paintings and organs. The effects of the indoor and outdoor climate on the building’s structure and on the wall-bound furnishings, i.e. on stone, wall painting and glass, were also considered. The repair of damages caused by climate factors such as the loss of layers of paintings or polychromy, microbial infestation, effects of damaging salts or pollution was, however, not the focus of this conference.

The aim of the conference was to bring together preservation experts, conservation and restoration specialists, and architects working in the churches and to engage in an exchange of best practice examples with scientists conducting basic research and those in charge of ongoing research projects. Through keynote lectures, attendants were able to find out more about the current state of knowledge from various fields of expertise and, in addition, to gain a broader awareness of the problem of building physics, construction, and restoration-related monument preservation challenges. The "best practice" case studies and research projects showed the variety of technical and preventive conservation options, which consider the different conditions of each site when determining solutions.

In light of past experience, there was always a great interest in trying out, deepening or supplementing newly acquired knowledge. Therefore, a workshop on climate technology was held at this conference. Experts from several manufacturing companies, who had installed and explained their current measuring systems in the conference room, took part in this workshop. The measurements ran during the session and could be observed.

In addition, we provided many opportunities for discussion, e.g. through thematic discussion groups in our "communicative lunch breaks".

The two Hildesheim UNESCO World Heritage churches (the cathedral and St. Michael) were also integrated into the conference: Both with expert guided tours by the heads of the last major restoration and St. Michael once again with a lecture on the preventive conservation of St. Michael's famous painted ceiling, conducted by the Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (Lower Saxony state service for cultural heritage).


Supported by:

Niedersächsisches Ministerium
für Wissenschaft und Kultur



In cooperation with:

Poster, Design: CI/CD Team, HAWK

Infrarotthermografie, St. Katharinen in Braunschweig, nördliches Seitenschiff mit Blick Richtung Westen, erster Messtag, Heizung ist aus; Foto: Marlies Dreessen