Restoration of the Schlenkerla Front

The plan was to simply replace some wet finery in July 2013. But after the old layers had been scratched off, a surprise revealed itself: The half-timber reaches all the way to street level, and the wooden beam and the very bottom is not in good shape.

Schlenkerla Fassade 2013

From the missing wood pieces and the various steinings it can be concluded, that several repairs had been made over the centuries. In addition it appears, that in former times the main entrance had been where now the right window is. In the spot of todays main entrance there were 2 additional windows, making the ground floor symmetrical with one main aisle and even rooms to both sides. This symetry was abolishes when the Old Inn was enlarged to todays size, leaving the aisle at the total right of the building.

The repairs in 2013

Exchanging the rotten beam and replacing the steining could only be accomplished one part at a time to not affect stability. The carpenter first lifts the house front (!) with a heaver, to then replace piece by piece the old wooden beam with a new oak balk.

anheben der Fassade

This approach is by no means uncommon or even modern: Carpenters in old times used this technique to lift entire houses to - ex post! - integrate additional floors. This seems to have happend even at Schlenkerla some centuries ago, as the structural beams in first and second floor have different directions.

The left section of the image shows the already replaced part. Steining is made historically correct with full clinkers (modern bricks are partially hollow to safe weight and material).

Schlenkerla construction history

Schlenkerla Seitenansicht

Schlenkerla plot, side view

In the course of this restoration there will be an analysis of the complete construction history of Schlenkerla. Priliminary works suggest, that originally the house was only one story high and was ammended with a second floor and a new rear plus staircase in the 17th century. As can be seen in the side view of the building, the arched cellar is smaller than todays Schlenkerla. Its right wall correspondes with walls in the levels above; probably the old back side of the house.

The front with its decorative half-timber was probably constructed at the same time. By the way, as most other half-timbered houses in Bamberg, Schlenkerla too was covered with finery until the late 1900s, as can be seen in the old fotograph. Only in the early 20th century the decorative wooden beams were re-uncovered.

The exact building history is now to be analysed by the University of Bamberg in a master thesis. To be continued ...

Schlenkerla Fassade in den 1920er Jahren

Schlenkerla half-timber uncovered, ca. 1920s