The “Geschichtserlebnisraum Lübeck, Bauspielplatz Roter Hahn e.V.” started as an adventure playground in 1999. The aim is to use the site for open youth work (including non-historical activities), offering historical education. The focus is on the easy approach for children and adolescents to all of our activities.
The visitors can be divided into children that use the site for various activities (adventure playground), pupils visiting us for our educational programs with their class, visitors that come mainly for the festivals we make and visitors that come for sightseeing.
By reconstructing buildings of the era about 1000 AD and focusing on the manual activities of children and adolescents on ancient crafts and techniques the Bauspielplatz has developed to what is now called a “history-experience-site”. The area is 10 hectares large, but the heavily used area is only 1/3rd of this.
Guided tours and educational programs are made for schools and visitor groups. A wide range of activities – both history-related and not - is offered to all visitors (especially children). They are included in the work in the gardens and with the domestic animals (white park cattle, draft horses, chicken, sheep, goats). By continuous contact to universities, schools, museums and other institutions the Bauspielplatz continuously improves their engagement in this field of work – an unusual adventure playground! Educational programmes and participatory demonstrations of ancient crafts and techniques are inherent part of our daily activities. Living history activities mainly take place at special events but are not limited to these.
The use of the Bauspielplatz is free of charge for the participants in the daily activities. Special educational programmes for schools and other interested groups need to be paid for, to cover expenses.
All buildings, tools, weapons and other equipment are based on archaeological data. Cooperations exist with the University in Hamburg; the office for archaeological research in Lübeck, the Institut für Erlebnispädagogik e.V. der Universität Lüneburg and AGIL – Büro für angewandte Archäologie (www.agil-online.de).
There are now five true to scale reconstructed buildings. A Slavic pit-house (1999), a Slavic log-house (2000, based on Lübeck-Kücknitz), a Viking longhouse (2003-2004, Elisenhofwarft, Tönning), and a Pfostenhouse (2004-2005) that are all from the 10th century. To present the time of Christianization we started to reconstruct a monastery of the 12th century. The church of this monastery (2007-2008, Haltdalen, Norway) is ready, other parts are planned to be build during the next years. The monastery will combine results of different excavations because there is no one-to-one surviving example for a wooden building of that size in our region. The historical existence of such a building in the region of Lübeck can though be considered historically backed-up. All buildings are constructed with children and adolescents under professional guidance.
Activities similar to experimental archaeology are executed in many ways but not in a narrow sense of scientific work. Usually it is the exact scientific documentation of the results that makes the difference.