An opportunity for presenting equine research and exploring equestrian cultural heritage sites in Europe on private tour is on offer from Alexandra Lotz, founder of Horses & Heritage. We caught up with Alexandra to find out what it took to put this program together, and what you might expect from 6 of days with like-minded equine scholars, heading behind the scenes at some of the best-preserved equestrian cultural heritage sites in Germany!
1. How did this event come about?
During the past years, I participated in several conferences and study programmes related to horses and history in England and the US. I absolutely loved meeting fellow researchers from other parts of the world and feel that we all hugely benefit from getting to know each other. The Horses & Heritage Study Programme is an occasion to meet, present your own pieces of research, and discuss common issues of our field during the symposium — all while visiting places significant to horses in history.
There are a lot of fascinating equine historical heritage sites in Europe, but many of them are only little known or difficult to access for an international audience. Many of them are operating only in their mother tongue, which makes it difficult for people who are not fluent in German to get information. That’s why I have designed the Horses & Heritage Study Programme for English speaking participants.
2. What is current state of preserving equine historical heritage sites in Europe?
This is very different. Some are increasingly prominent, some are neglected or transformed to different uses. Actually, the horsy history of places is often overlooked, mostly due to a lack of awareness or economic pressure.
The Horses & Heritage Study Programme 2020 will focus on Saxony, located in the very east of Germany. During the past 30 years after German Reunification the state capital Dresden and the surrounding region have undergone an incredible development. The palaces we will visit have regained their former glory and house first class collections, including precious carriages, saddles, harnesses or paintings illustrating horses in history.
We will visit both Saxon State Studs, which belong to the most significant institutions of their kind. They are living heritage sites with some hundred years of tradition. Besides being managed as active horse breeding and training institutions they are increasingly perceived as heritage sites and enjoy high preservation standards.
3. Who are you hoping will participate?
I hope for participants who are enthusiastic about horses in history, curious to explore some first class sites in central Europe and happy to share their own experiences.
The symposium on the first day is an opportunity for getting to know each other’s focus. It is not mandatory to give a presentation but I thought that for some people it might be helpful when trying to raise travel funding.
(Note to readers: This first program will be capped at 25 participants.)
4. Which activities are exclusive to the event?
All activities mentioned in the programme are exclusively arranged for this event. It includes a symposium in the Dresden Museum of Transport, which is located in the former Royal Mews, a magnificent 16th century Renaissance building, and visits to the State Art Collections of Dresden Palace, and the State Studs at Graditz and Moritzburg.
The program fees include all entries and guided tours around Dresden, a boat trip on the river Elbe, a carriage ride at Moritzburg, special dinners at special Moritzburg and Pillnitz, and a wine-tasting at the oldest and most prestigious Saxon Winery, “Schloss Wackerbarth”. (Accommodation is not included.)
5. What do you hope this event might generate?
Depending on the response, I would like to offer a Study Programme in different regions and countries every year. There is so much to see, to learn and to discuss! If enough people are interested in this sort of exchange, we can build a strong network strengthening our field of research and passion.
Dates: July 6th to 11th, 2020
Location: Dresden, Germany and surrounding areas
Deadline to make inquiries: February 15, 2020.
Application: Submit an application form to indicate your interest by February 15th: https://www.horses-and-heritage.net/english/study-programme/
Fees: 770 Euros, with initial deposit to reserve spot by February 29th, 2020.