University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 164/2022  - 07 October 2022

"Thurnau Declaration" on the Establishment of an Industrial Heritage Region of Northern Bavaria

The rich industrial heritage of the metropolitan region is to be researched more intensively, made visible and communicated, and the structural change in Northern Bavaria is to be actively shaped. Numerous municipalities, associations, museum institutions and other stakeholders agreed on this today. They signed the "Thurnau Declaration" at the Institute for Franconian Regional History (IFLG) of the Universities of Bayreuth and Bamberg.

Symbol of industrial culture: the large steam engine in Porzellanikon Selb

"Northern Bavaria has a long and rich industrial past, consisting of industries that are undergoing major changes. However, these developments and the industrial heritage itself have so far only been selectively anchored in a regional or local culture of remembrance and have not been adequately researched from a scientific perspective," says Prof. Dr. Martin Ott, Director of the IFLG. "This is to change with the establishment of an 'Industrial Culture Region of Northern Bavaria'." The initiative for this comes from the Institute of Franconian Regional History, the Museum of Industrial Culture Nuremberg, the Industrial Museum Lauf and the Porzellanikon (State Museum of Porcelain in Selb and Hohenberg a.d. Eger) - a network that came together as part of Nuremberg's application for the title "European Capital of Culture 2025". "Northern Bavaria is a very special region: due to the conditions already created in the Middle Ages and pre-modern times, a particularly diversified and globally relevant industrial landscape was able to develop here at an early stage, resulting in diverse relationships between town and country. This needs to be made much more visible to the people of the region as well as to the many guests," says Monika Dreykorn, director of the Museum of Industrial Culture in Nuremberg. "Industrial culture is rarely present today, but here there was once flourishing metal processing and mechanical engineering, electrotechnical and chemical industry, textile, porcelain and glass industry, mining, steel smelting, brewing, toy and shoe industry," enumerates the director of the Lauf Industrial Museum, Dr Christiane Müller, and explains: "This shapes a region, but must be kept alive." Anna Dziwetzki, director of the Porzellanikon in Selb and Hohenberg, adds: "The opportunities to use this industrial culture history for tourism, i.e. economically, but also socially and as a museum, are enormous and should therefore be more widely recognised. We would like to contribute to this."

From left: Joseph Hoppe (Initiative Industriekultur Berlin), Adrian Roßner (IFLG), District Administrator Oliver Bär (Hof), MdL Gudrun Brendel-Fischer, Mayor Thomas Ebersberger (Bayreuth), District Administrator Klaus Peter Söllner (Kulmbach), District Administrator Florian Wiedemann (Bayreuth), Mayor Martin Bernreuther (Thurnau), Martin Ott (IFLG), Marcus Mühlnickl (IFLG) 

In an industrial culture region of northern Bavaria,

- already existing offers in the field of industrial culture are to be networked and made jointly visible

- new innovative educational formats are to be established and communicated both in the school sector and in adult education, also with a view to recruiting skilled workers

- new tourist incentives are created in the region

- the history of the industrial region of northern Bavaria is scientifically researched and the findings are made accessible to a broad public

- this research is conducted in a participatory manner and the actors of the (former) industrial sectors are given a voice

- the people in the region are involved in the communication of industrial history through a participatory approach

- creating networks and meeting places for the actors involved from the fields of research, museums, tourism and business

- to connect the Industrial Heritage Region of Northern Bavaria to larger networks such as the European Route of Industrial Heritage and to make the industrial heritage of Northern Bavaria known far beyond the region 

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The initiators would like to win business and politics as supporters. The Thurnau Declaration in wording  

Marcus Mühlnikel

Dr. Marcus Mühlnikel

Institute of Franconian Regional History

Phone: +49 (0) 9228 99605-15

Portraitbild von Anja Maria Meister

Anja-Maria Meister

PR Spokesperson University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921  55 - 5300