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Painting flowers on the facade

By admin | September 8, 2009

In September we invited a local artisan, Stefan, to paint some flowers onto the facade of the house, above the gates.  We also asked him to paint a) a poem onto one of the empty wall panels, and b) the date of the house.  He did an excellent job. I’d really like to paint trompe l’oeil on the facade, but it is not common in these parts to do that.

The poem we had put on the facade is a very traditional, vernacular poem from the Saxon region.  Painting a poem onto one’s wall was very common for hundreds of years, and is still practiced in parts of Germany, Austria and German-speaking parts of Switzerland.  Nowadays it is not done in these parts, although it seems to have died out long before the Saxons left in 1989.

The idea was to paint a poem which said something about you as a person, or family.  We wanted something traditional, and which conveyed something of the temporariness of life (that sounds morbid, but it’s not meant to be!).  The poem was reproduced in a Nineteenth century book by Emily Gerard.  Emily was the English wife of an Austrian soldier who moved around the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and wrote about the places they were stationed in. 

The poem reads:

Heut in diesem Haus zu Gast

So lang der Herr mich leben lasst

Doch ruft Er mich, so muss Ich fort

Denn Ich muss folgen Seinem Wort

The date of the house we painted on the wall, ie. 1766, triggered some conversation in the village.  It appears that the house is unlikely to have been built so late, and would perhaps have been renovated then, not built.  And the house was at one time a monastery, which confirms my theories about the way the house is currently built - I’m sure the walls were completely turned around and the courtyard moved at some point in the past.

Biertan 1766


Biertan poem


Biertan flowers 1  Biertan flowers 2 

Biertan flowers 3 Biertan flowers 4


Biertan flowers

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