Marga schneider carefully sweeps the feathers of the feather duster over the chandelier in the marble hall. The individual stones swing back and forth, fine dust dances through the air. Then schneider and her three colleagues move on to the windows. Only with a ladder can they reach the meter-high windows. "It can take 20 minutes to clean a window", reports birgit wernsdorfer, the castle manager. 365 windows in total in the castle.
From the middle of march they will be cleaning again
When the castle awakens from its winter sleep in mid march, the main season begins for the four cleaning ladies. Until the beginning of november, they will be working three times a week in the magnificent rooms. Then precious carpets are vacuumed and unrolled, furniture is uncovered and chandeliers dusted. In winter the rooms are checked once a month. "In winter, it is simply too cold to work in the rooms", says wernsdorfer. Finally, the temperatures in the rooms can drop below zero degrees celsius. There are 192 rooms in the castle, each of which is processed in turn.
"Working here is very nice, if only because the ambience is so great", says schneider. She has been working at pommersfelden castle for 13 years. Like all the other cleaning ladies, she is employed on a 450-euro basis. In the meantime she knows her way around the manorial rooms very well. "It is necessary to be very careful and not to work in a hectic way", says schneider. The porcelain collection, for example, is particularly fragile.
In addition to dusting, vacuuming and window cleaning, the women also prepare the renovated rooms, where the performers of the collegium musicum spend the nights in july and august. The janitor is usually in charge of the housekeeping. In spring, he disposes of the leaves, mows the lawn and sows the flower seeds.
Moisture is a problem
The women seldom work with damp materials, and they do not wipe often. The wood and marble floors are too damaged. "Moisture is a major problem in the house", explains wernsdorfer. Especially in winter, the moisture penetrates the old sandstone wall, the leaking windows do their part. Moisture is more of a problem for the masonry and less for the paintings in the palace, explains palace administrator wernsdorfer. Dehumidifiers are not an option, the rooms are much too coarse for that. Moreover, the walls could crack and the pictures could jump, wernsdorfer suspects.
There are plenty of valuable paintings in the palace, some of which are done in the typical baroque style: well-fed women in lightly dressed clothes. So far, however, no visitor has encountered so much freedom, after all, these sensual drawings are characteristic of the epoch. "The baroque period was simply so that one painted luxuriant bodies", stresses wernsdorfer.
Information about the castle pommersfelden
opening hours from 30. March 2018: monday to friday: 9.30 to 5 p.M. Saturday, sunday, holiday: 9.30 to 18 o'clock. Also open in winter.
Guided tours hourly tours showing the staircase, the shell grotto and the marble hall.