Stop No. 05.2 Old School House (Cultural Center Hans Bauer)
Although many ecclesiastical charitable trusts did existed around 1400, Weiden’s clothworkers decided to start their own foundation which was financed solely by citizens. In 1439, the foundation was inaugurated under the name “The eternal piece of cloth which is cut off from the poor”.
Soon, the foundation amassed a large sum of money so that it was called “Rich Alms”. Since numerous crop failures during that time were often accompanied with the need of people, the foundation’s administration agreed on stocking grain. To stock grain, a large granary was planned and, in 1529, it was built next to the parish church St. Michael. Hundreds of kilograms of grain were stored in four attics lying on top of each other. Every weak, the foundation doled out bread and meat, during fasting periods even herrings, wine, and clothes, to the poor.
The great fire of 1536 saw the destruction of the entire town - including the granary - save for seven houses. In 1538, parts of the granary at Schulgasse were used as a makeshift house for a doctor and a midwife.
Reconstruction began in 1565 under the site supervision of Weiden’s judge Michael Ermweig, who rendered outstanding services to the reconstruction of St. Michael.
The rooms of the building at Schulgasse were used as class rooms of the Latin school. Before the great fire, twelve students and their headmaster and choirmaster had lived there. Opposite Pfarrhof are the class rooms of the German School, which is the equivalent of today’s elementary school.
Until 1877, this house was the only school in Weiden, which is why locals still call it ‘Old Schoolhouse’. In the 1960’s, the house was dilapidated and the town administration considered tearing it down. During the incumbency of mayor Hans Bauer (1970-1976), the administration changed its mind and opted for a conversion of the building into a cultural center. In 1977, the public library and Tachau Local Heritage Museum moved into the building and, in 1979, the town archives and the town museum were added. After the public library moved into the newly renovated “Waldassen granary” in 1994 the town museum was extended and the first floor was fitted out with the town gallery. The large ‘Culture Hall’ which is the site of many an event completes the Cultural Center.
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