Gottfried Kiesow

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Gottfried Kiesow (2006)

Gottfried Kiesow (born August 7, 1931 in Alt Gennin , Landsberg district (Warthe) ; † November 7, 2011 in Wiesbaden ) was a German preservationist . In 1985 he founded the German Foundation for Monument Protection .


The son of a pastor and younger brother of Ernst-Rüdiger Kiesow attended school in Osterburg (Altmark) , fled the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1950 , graduated from high school in West Berlin in 1951 and started at Georg-August -Universität Göttingen studies in the subjects of art history , classical archeology , history and theater studies . In 1956 he was under Heinz Rudolf Rosemann with a thesis on the subject of tracery in German architecture until 1350 to the Dr. phil. PhD . In 1956 he received a research fellowship at the Art History Institute in Florence , where he studied and researched the Gothic architecture of Tuscany for five years . He then became a district monument curator in Hanover , then in Braunschweig .

On November 1, 1966, Kiesow succeeded Hans Feldtkeller as the state curator of Hesse. On September 24, 1974, he became the first director, later president, of the State Office for Monument Preservation Hesse , which was newly founded on the basis of the Hessian Monument Protection Act , a position which he held until his retirement in 1996. He was also an honorary professor for the subject of art history at the University of Frankfurt am Main . Encouraged by the positive experiences of British monument conservationists, he founded the German Foundation for Monument Protection together with top managers of the German economy in 1985 , of which he was chairman of the board from 1994 to the end of 2010. In January 2011 he took over the function of chairman of the board of trustees of this foundation.

From 1989 onwards, Gottfried Kiesow saw the main focus of his work at the German Foundation for Monument Protection in rescuing the dilapidated architectural monuments in the former GDR, where he was very successful. The showcase project was the Georgenkirche in Wismar .

His idea of ​​creating a “competence center for the revitalization of historic cities” in Görlitz led to the establishment of the endowed professorship “Urban Renewal and Urban Research” at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Dresden . On January 15, 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the university for his commitment.

He was chairman of the expert group “Urban Monument Protection” at the Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development and honorary member of the Saxon Academy of the Arts . Until the end of 2010 he was a member of the board of trustees of the German World Heritage Foundation .

Monument Academy in Romrod Castle
Memorial plaque for Gottfried Kiesow in Görlitz
Memorial plaque at the Stralsund town hall (2012)

From his private fortune, Gottfried Kiesow established the "Ingeborg and Gottfried Kiesow Foundation" under the trust of the German Foundation for Monument Protection. According to the charter, it should promote the maintenance of old craft techniques and knowledge about them. This includes in particular the funding of the Monument Academies in Romrod , Görlitz and Frankfurt-Höchst , the Görlitz “Training Center for Crafts and Monument Preservation” and the youth building huts , each of which is a facility of the German Foundation for Monument Protection.

Gottfried Kiesow lived in Wiesbaden for many years and campaigned for the city to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List . In addition to the preservation of monuments, he also worked for the Free Democratic Party (FDP) as city councilor and district chairman in local politics. In the state elections in Hesse in 1983 , he ran for his party in what was then the Wiesbaden III constituency , but missed entry into the state parliament. Since 2006 he has been an honorary citizen of Wiesbaden, where he died of cancer on November 7, 2011 at the age of 80.

Honor and awards

On the occasion of the first anniversary of his death, the square between Görlitzer Peterskirche and Vogtshof was named by the city of Görlitz after Gottfried Kiesow on November 7, 2012.

Grave of the Kiesow family in the north cemetery in Wiesbaden

Fonts (selection)

  • Marienburg Castle. German art publisher, 1963.
  • Ostfriesland in the protection of the dike Volume 4. Ostfriesische Kunst. Krummhörn dike, with Jannes Ohling, 1969.
  • The Hessian village. Insel-Verlag, with Ina-Maria Greverus , Reinhard Reuter, Frankfurt am Main 1981, ISBN 3-458-14782-9 .
  • Gothic in Hessen. Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-8062-0292-3 .
  • Introduction to monument preservation. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1995, ISBN 3-534-08662-7 .
  • Romanesque in Hesse. Theiss-Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-8062-1350-X .
  • Stolberg Castle in the Harz Mountains. German Foundation for Monument Protection, with Claudia C. Hennrich, Marie L. Preiss, 1999, ISBN 3-936942-43-9 .
  • Church building between departure and demolition. Diocese of Münster, with Thomas Sternberg, Johannes Heimbach, 1999, ISBN 3-930322-29-3 .
  • East Frisian Art: From Romanesque to Neo-Gothic (reprint from 1969), Verlag Theodor Schuster, 2000, ISBN 3-7963-0343-9 .
  • Total work of art. The city: On the history of the city from the Middle Ages to the present. German Foundation for Monument Protection, 2000, ISBN 3-936942-08-0 .
  • Architecture in Hessen. From romantic to modern. Theiss-Verlag, with Renate Gruber, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-8062-1374-7 .
  • Preservation of monuments in Germany. An introduction. Theiss-Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-8062-1488-3 .
  • Brick gothic. German Foundation for Monument Protection, with Christiane Rossner, Angela Pfotenhauer, 2000, ISBN 3-936942-10-2 .
  • Burned size - ways to brick Gothic. Bd 2. Wismar - Buildings of Power. German Foundation for Monument Protection, with Harald Ringsdorff, Béatrice Busjan, 2000, ISBN 3-936942-24-2 .
  • Preserve cultural heritage. Bd 3. Palaces, castles, parks. German Foundation for Monument Protection, with Scheurmann, Feldmann, Hoffmann, 2004, ISBN 3-936942-44-7 .
  • Brick Gothic in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Hinstorff Verlag, with Thomas Gruner, 2004, ISBN 3-356-01032-8 .
  • The misunderstood century - historicism using the example of Wiesbaden. German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn 2004, ISBN 3-936942-53-6 .
  • Learning to see cultural history. Volumes 1–5, German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn 2000/2001/2005/2008/2011
  • Architectural guide Wiesbaden - the city of historicism. German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn 2006, ISBN 3-936942-71-4 .
  • Architecture guide East Friesland - natural and cultural landscape. German Foundation for Monument Protection, Bonn 2009, ISBN 978-3-86795-021-3 .


  • Gerd Weiß : Obituary - Gottfried Kiesow died at the age of 80. In: The preservation of monuments. 69/2 (2011), pp. 204f.

Web links

Commons : Gottfried Kiesow  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Manfred Gerber: A life for monument protection. Wiesbadener Tagblatt , November 8, 2011, archived from the original on January 18, 2012 ; Retrieved November 8, 2011 .
  2. ^ NN: Personalia. In: Deutsche Kunst und Denkmalpflege 24 (1966), p. 146.
  3. State Gazette for the State of Hesse 2/1975, p. 48 v. January 13, 1975.
  4. Manfred Gerber: A life for the preservation of monuments  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . In: Wiesbadener Kurier, November 8, 2011, accessed on January 21, 2013.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  5. Naming Gottfried-Kiesow-Platz ( memento from February 11, 2013 in the web archive ), accessed November 16, 2012, 6:35 p.m.
  6. Gerd Giese: The honorary citizens of the city of Wismar. In: Wismar contributions. Series of publications by the Archives of the Hanseatic City of Wismar, issue 18. Wismar 2012, pp. 20–22.
  7. Laudation for the Europa Nostra Medal ( Memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive )