Mark Appel comes to the meeting by e-bike.

The engineer wears jeans and a shirt and drinks his coffee black.

So far, so normal.

But the 49-year-old Büdinger has a hobby in which he also likes to appear with a sword, chain mail and heavy leather boots.

Appel is an enthusiastic fan of the Middle Ages.

"I was interested in history at school," he says.

Above all, the prehistory and early history have done it to him.

In the end he “got stuck” in the Middle Ages.

For four and a half years he was chairman of the association "Lebendiges Middle Ages" in Büdingen.

He has given up the presidency, but history will not let him go.

Now he wants to erect a monument to craftsmanship: he plans to build a so-called tower hill castle together with other enthusiasts.

"We're trying to recreate an eleventh-century building," he says.

This time is exciting insofar as it was decisive for the formation of a state.

But she is completely ignored at school.

Appel finds it all the more important to depict them for posterity.

The idea for this had matured in him for a long time.

Professional trips to Israel provided the final impetus.

There are many open-air museums there that show visitors what life really was like in the past.

"I'm a high-tech person, but everything virtual has the disadvantage that you can't touch it, you can't really experience it," he says.

Therefore, it had long been his wish to make his passion for that time tangible.

"I want to build a castle"

As a first step, he founded the Friends of Burg Hofraite at the beginning of this year.

In the beginning there were seven, now there are around 30 members who are interested in the building project.

In addition, six blacksmiths, among others, have already contacted him and would like to work with him.

In general, he has received a lot of encouragement, including from official sources.

So he was prepared for lengthy, tough talks with the city of Büdingen when he announced: "I want to build a castle." But the opposite was the case.

In fact, he feels that many were just waiting for the idea of ​​promoting Büdingen in tourism.

Since then, he has held talks with the economic development agency, among other things, to discuss possible funding opportunities.

He spoke to the district archaeologist Jörg Lindenthal and is in contact with other experts, for example from the Celtic world on the Glauberg.

Because the castle should by no means be purely a visual object.

Rather, one wants to represent the time as authentically as possible without glorifying it.

Both the construction and the subsequent operation should therefore be scientifically monitored.

"Of course we want to build a castle, but we also want to know how a castle is built," says Appel.

Therefore, the help of professionals is essential.

An archaeologist, a technical site manager and other employees would be needed for ongoing operations.

without glorifying them.

Both the construction and the subsequent operation should therefore be scientifically monitored.

"Of course we want to build a castle, but we also want to know how a castle is built," says Appel.

Therefore, the help of professionals is essential.

An archaeologist, a technical site manager and other employees would be needed for ongoing operations.

without glorifying them.

Both the construction and the subsequent operation should therefore be scientifically monitored.

"Of course we want to build a castle, but we also want to know how a castle is built," says Appel.

Therefore, the help of professionals is essential.

An archaeologist, a technical site manager and other employees would be needed for ongoing operations.

How the building will be designed in detail is not yet entirely clear.

You have to check whether stones are used or whether everything is made of wood.

The buildings would certainly be single storey.

This can be understood from the finds.

The castle complex itself is designed as a circle, "that was the best way to defend it," says Appel.

"In the castle we try to work 100% authentically," a medieval Disneyland is out of the question.

But he could definitely imagine events and festivals around the castle.

In addition, it would be a dream if it would become an integral part of history lessons, such as the Saalburg in the Taunus.

Stage destination State Horticultural Show 2027

"In the worst case, I expect costs of around 13 million euros." The association has already started a crowdfunding campaign.

In addition, they hope to become part of the future Leader program.

Interested parties can find out more about ways to get involved on the association's website.

Once all administrative and insurance issues have been clarified and an adequate piece of land has been found with the city of Büdingen, the first work can begin.

Four working groups are to be set up for this: for construction, plants, animals and for specialist advice.

Prior knowledge is not required.

The long-term goal is to build a castle with outbuildings and an orchard, herb and vegetable garden in about ten to fifteen years.

A tower is to be built on a hill as a "sign of power".

A possible milestone is the State Horticultural Show 2027, for which they are on the list of proposals.

This takes place in various places in the Wetteraukreis.

By then, he hopes, a longhouse, granary, garden and fields will be ready.

In any case, enough to give visitors a good idea of ​​how the Celts lived in the eleventh century.

Further information at www.burg-hofraite.de.

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