The conversion of old buildings into holiday homes and conference venues is a matter Anke Nuxoll-Oster is very familiar with. Yet her latest project in Bernkastel-Wehlen on the Moselle river – the first transformation of a church into a holiday home in Germany – presented a unique challenge. The building, dating back to 1669, was in a bad state of disrepair and neglect. What was helpful in her endeavor, however, was that the church had long been used for other purposes. It had been secularized 150 years ago and was converted into housing for the poor and homeless. The layout of its rooms is perfect for accommodating large groups.
In the former chapel, with its impressive, eight-meter-high vaulted ceiling, you will find an open kitchen and a dining/seminar room. In the long house there are bedrooms and bathrooms for a total of 24 people, as well as a living room under the roof. This space was designed to house group activities such as yoga classes or workshops. The simple, all-white and gray interiors stay subtly in the background, bringing the original structure of the church to the fore: its old stone walls, curved window frames, wall niches, vaulted ceilings and timber beams.
The adjacent old fire station offers space for a further six people. This house features a kitchen-cum-living-room with a unique dining place as well as two bedrooms and a bathroom on the ground floor. On the the upper floor gallery you will find a living room with sleeping space for another two people.
The fire station can be rented separately or together with the church. In contrast to the old church, dogs are allowed here (these are permitted only in partial areas within the church).
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What to do
Barbecues in the church garden, hiking, wine tasting (the place is known for its first-class Riesling wineries), water skiing, cycling, boat tours, motorcycling, fishing, Segway tours, visits to Bernkastel-Kues with its half-timbered houses and Art Nouveau villas (3 km).
Why we like this house
The atmospheric characteristics of the old church have been preserved despite the addition of rooms with a modern, homely ambience.
This house is great for
Groups, conferences and seminars, family reunions. The house can also be booked as a photography location.
Details of the property
Region/Town: DE – Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bernkastel-Wehlen on the Moselle river
Name: Bleibe in der Alten Kirche
Scenery: Small town
Number of guests: max. 24 in the old church, 6 in the fire station
Architecture: Old & new
Design: Anke Nuxoll-Oster (refurbishment)
Published: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung 31/2019, Der Standard 11/2018, , Stylus Magazin 3/2018, Faszination Hotel (arcade-Special 2018), Architecture Européenne 2/2018, Süddeutsche Zeitung 12/2017 Homestory: New life for an old church, July 2017
Special Features: The first transformation of a church into a holiday home in Germany
1-2 (house/apartment), 1-4 (house/apartment), 1-6 (house/apartment), 1-8 (house/apartment), 8+ (house/apartment), Apartments combinable, DE – Germany, Family, Garden, Hiking, House, Lake/river, Meeting, Old & new, Pet friendly, Rhineland-Palatinate, Rhineland-Palatinate, Vine