Description: Grabstejn is a former medieval castle which was later rebuilt as a renaissance chateau. It was severely damaged under the communist regime but has gone through reconstruction since. Now it is an example of care for historical heritage presenting the life of high society through centuries to the wide public. The castle visitors are offered classical guided tours but also different cultural and educational activities. The castle is state-owned and is run by National Heritage Institute under the Ministry of Culture. The aim of the workcamp is to help local staff with the maintenance of the castle and its surroundings (the park, paths, etc.).
Type of Work: The nature of your work depends on what is actually needed to do according to castle revitalisation plan. This includes cutting grass and wood, removing of invasive vegetation such as nettles surrounding the castle (sometimes on a very steep slope!), some basic renovation and maintenance tasks (painting, cleaning inside the castle, etc.) The work is manual and physically demanding. Volunteers will need working clothes that can get dirty or damaged and good solid shoes. It’s also good to have long pants since nettles sting.
Study Theme: Learn more about the castle, the park and meet local castle staff. You will have a chance to take part in an evening culture program organized for visitors (such as Night guided tour with historical characters). There will be an opportunity to organize a community dinner. Please bring recipes for your favourite meals and some pictures, music or clothes from your country/region of origin.
Accommodation: You will sleep directly at the castle in one big room in bunk beds. Therefore you need to bring your own sleeping bag. There is a toilet and a shower with hot water. Next to the bedroom there is a small kitchen where you will prepare the meals by yourselves. A common room is also available. There is a fireplace outside in the backyard of the castle where you can have barbecue.
Requirements: This camp is especially suitable for volunteers who like gardening and want to discover closely the castle.
Approximate Location: Castle Grabstejn in the village of Chotyne (860 people) in Northern Bohemia. The nearest town is Hradek nad Nisou (about 7500 people) which is connected with Chotyne by public transport. The area is has a beautiful mountainous countryside which is perfect for hiking.
Notes: Leisure time: You can go hiking in the beautiful hilly countryside surrounding the castle and climb a famous mountain Jested (1012 m) with a hotel on the top representing typical socialist architecture. The nearest city is Liberec with a zoo and a botanical garden. It is possible to visit a regional brewery and many other interesting sights, go swimming, visit a Cynology centre. Please bring some games and musical instruments.
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