German Foundation for Monument Protection

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German Foundation for Monument Protection
legal form Foundation (Germany)
founding April 17, 1985 in Cologne
Seat Bonn ( coordinates: 50 ° 43 ′ 2.4 ″  N , 7 ° 7 ′ 18.5 ″  E )
Chair Lutz Heitmüller, Steffen Skudelny
sales 50,071,683 euros (2018)
Foundation capital 78,555,593 euros (2018)
and 104,832,369 euros trust foundation assets (2018)
Employees 187 (2018)
Volunteers 480 (2018)

The German Foundation for Monument Protection ( DSD ) is a private initiative founded in 1985 that has set itself the task of preserving cultural monuments and promoting the idea of monument protection . The foundation is now the largest private organization for the preservation of monuments in Germany. It campaigns for the preservation of endangered architectural monuments, undertakes emergency rescues of endangered monuments and carries out the nationwide campaign “ Open Monument Day ” every year .

The DSD has had its headquarters in the former Bavarian state representation in Bonn since 2010 . Another office is located in the Nicolaihaus in Berlin. The foundation's motto is We build on culture . The foundation is under the patronage of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier .


The German Foundation for Monument Protection was founded in 1985 based on the model of the National Trust in Great Britain in Gracht Castle near Bonn; since then it has been under the patronage of the respective Federal President . Due to the change in the GDR in 1989, the still relatively young foundation was faced with a major task, as many buildings in the east of the new republic were threatened with decay.

The number of sponsors, both private individuals and companies , amounts to over 200,000. The German Foundation for Monument Protection has funded the restoration of more than 5,000 monuments. A total of around 500 million euros has been made available for funding projects since it was founded. Around 80 local curatorships support the foundation's goals through their voluntary work.

The long-standing former chairman of the foundation, Gottfried Kiesow , who was also a member of the board of trustees of the German World Heritage Foundation , received numerous honorary citizenships and awards in recognition of his commitment and the work of the foundation for the preservation of historical buildings.

Gottfried Kiesow , founder of DSD and chairman of the board from 1994 to 2010, was chairman of the foundation's board of trustees until his death in 2011, succeeding Bernhard Servatius . From the beginning of 2011 to 2014, Rosemarie Wilcken was the chairwoman of the board, who is now a member of the new board of trustees.

On April 17th, 2010 the DSD celebrated its 25th anniversary. This was u. a. Reason for review, balance sheet and position assessment. The DSD published an anniversary publication.

The day-to-day business of the foundation is subject to the executive board, which is responsible to the foundation council. The board consists of Steffen Skudelny and Lutz Heitmüller. After consultation with the board of directors, a board of trustees defines the foundation's strategy and monitors and advises the board. Jörg Haspel is Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Andreas de Maizière is Deputy Chairman.

Goal setting

As the largest citizens' movement for monument protection, the foundation pursues two goals: Firstly, to promote the preservation and restoration of important cultural monuments in Germany. On the other hand, to make people aware of the need to maintain monuments and to encourage them to actively help.

Preservation of cultural monuments

Office of the German Foundation for Monument Protection in Schlegelstrasse in Bonn

There are projects promoted that as a monument recognized and proven deemed worthy of restoration. The voluntary Scientific Commission of the Foundation decides on the allocation of the funds , whereby the criteria are the insufficient funding from state funds or the additional public funds made possible by funding from the Foundation. Every year around 450 renovation projects are funded nationwide, and the foundation has so far been able to provide funds for around 5,000 monuments. The aid benefited town houses, churches and castles as well as technical buildings and archaeological sites.

Public relations for monument protection

Open Monument Day 2006 in the Höchst Castle

Through targeted public relations work as well as through the magazine MONUMENTE - Magazin für Denkmalkultur (6 issues a year), which it publishes , the foundation tries to raise awareness of the issue of monument protection among the population. For this purpose, the Open Monument Day is coordinated nationwide on the second weekend in September . The foundation has been publishing the online magazine Monuments Online since the beginning of 2005 . The Foundation's publishing house ( Monuments Publications ) contributes to the development and maintenance of the sponsoring community through the publication of books, games, calendars and postcards on the subject of monuments.


In 2002 the German Foundation for Monument Protection launched the school program denkmal aktiv - cultural heritage creates schools , which is under the patronage of the German UNESCO Commission . The funding initiative is aimed at general and vocational schools at secondary level I and II and at elementary schools in grades 5 and 6, as well as at institutions for teacher training and further education. Schools that take part in denkmal aktiv receive technical, coordinative and financial support from the foundation and its partners. In doing so, students deal intensively with a cultural monument in their own living environment and prepare the results in media.

Youth work

Young adults between 16 and 26 years of age can be introduced to the topic of monument preservation practically and theoretically in a volunteer year in the preservation of monuments in the youth building huts . To this end, they work in companies and institutions that are active in the preservation of monuments and are made familiar with all relevant topics.

Museum of the Foundation in the Höchst Castle

The DSD's central youth construction huts project was founded in 1999. The first youth construction hut was planned in Quedlinburg with young people and realized with the takeover of the "Linhard House". In the meantime, these projects have been implemented in Brandenburg / Berlin, where the youth building hut has a small half-timbered house and a seminar house in the Heiligengrabe monastery and the youth building hut Görlitz , which also has its own seminar and accommodation house with the executioner's house, in the sense of "The hut is a hut". The other youth construction huts in Duisburg / Raesfeld , Mühlhausen , Romrod , Soest , Stralsund and Wismar are looked after by branches that mediate deployment sites. In 2009 three more youth development huts opened in Regensburg , Stade and, with a focus on the preservation of garden monuments, in Potsdam . A total of 1,400 young people were introduced to the work of preserving monuments. The Jugendbauhütte Lübeck started its work on September 1st, 2011 as the 13th DSD youthworks hut. It was officially opened on March 30, 2012 at a festive reception by the German Foundation for Monument Protection in Lübeck's Heiligen-Geist-Hospital .

Youth construction huts are financed to a large extent by the DSD itself, but also by other foundations and organizations as well as by federal states, landscape associations (NRW) and municipalities. Many of the young people who have completed a voluntary year in the preservation of monuments in a youth building hut , then study history, art history or a corresponding apprenticeship as a craftsman.

Funding projects

The foundation supports up to 500 projects annually with around 20 million euros, made possible by donations from over 200,000 sponsors. In total, the German Foundation for Monument Protection has been able to support around 5,800 monuments with more than half a billion euros throughout Germany.

In addition to these planned funding projects, the foundation also provides quick and unbureaucratic emergency aid for monuments in acute danger - such as the last flood disaster or fires such as Ehrenstein Castle in Thuringia.

Badge on funding projects

Among other things, the following monuments have been funded over the past 30 years:


On September 10, 2006, the Open Monument Day 2006, the German Foundation for Monument Protection was chosen as the “Place of the Day” as part of the “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” initiative of the Germany - Land of Ideas initiative .

In 2015 the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI) awarded the German Foundation for Monument Protection with its seal of approval for the serious handling of donations.

In May 2019 the foundation was awarded the donation certificate from the German Donation Council .


Since June 1992, the ZDF has been presenting the series Citizens, Save Your Cities in cooperation with the German Foundation for Monument Protection . Historical monuments and city ensembles that are threatened by decay are regularly presented at short notice.

Since 1990 Deutschlandfunk and the German Foundation for Monument Protection have organized the Grundton D benefit concert series . The music events take place in endangered architectural monuments of the eastern federal states, the proceeds of which go to the preservation of the respective event location.



  • German Foundation for Monument Protection (Ed.): "So that the past has a future". 10 years of the German Foundation for Monument Protection. German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn 1995, DNB 947888527 .
  • German Foundation for Monument Protection (Ed.): 20 years of project work. German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn 2005, DNB 1029622590 .
  • Ingrid Scheurmann (Ed.): Preserve - convey - donate, German Foundation for Monument Protection 1985–2010, 25 years. We build on culture. German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn 2010, ISBN 978-3-86795-022-0 .

Web links

Commons : German Foundation for Monument Protection  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Mission and History ( Memento of July 7, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  2. ^ Supreme Monument Conservationist , Der Prignitzer, January 7, 2011, accessed January 14, 2011, 4:50 p.m.
  3. Board and committees of the German Foundation for Monument Protection ( Memento from 23 September 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ( Memento from July 30, 2012 in the web archive )
  5. Board of Directors and Foundation Council of the German Foundation for Monument Protection , accessed on October 23, 2018.
  6. Annual Report 2017. Accessed August 15, 2019 .
  8. ^ German Foundation for Monument Protection - Funding Highlights. Retrieved May 27, 2020 .
  9. MONUMENTS 07/2015
  10. bathhouse Rehsumpf in Dessau was reopened . In: German Foundation for Monument Protection (Hrsg.): Monuments . Magazine for monument culture in Germany. No. 4 . Monuments publications, 2019, ISSN  0941-7125 , p. 50 .
  11. ^ ZDF editor Werner von Bergen on the series Citizens, Save Your Cities ( Memento from August 18, 2003 in the Internet Archive )
  12. The broadcasts of citizens, save your cities on stream TV ( Memento from June 18, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  13. ^ Basic tone D on the Deutschlandfunk website
  14. ^ Keynote D on the foundation's website ( memento of October 6, 2007 in the Internet Archive )