Volunteers build willow church for fair

***image1***New attraction lures more visitors to hill

The Garden Fair 2004 in Kaiserslautern offers a new attraction this season — a willow church. It is currently being built on Kaiserberg Hill and based on the look of a similar church, which was set up on the International Garden Fair in Rostock last year.
The church will be 30 meters long and 15 meters tall. The nave and the dome will be made of willows and the bottom will be paved with natural stones. By April 8 when the fair opens, the willow framework will be up. From that time on, the church will develop. The willows will sprout, grow and emerge into a green house of God, where worship services, meditations and lectures will take place.
The project is solely being worked by volunteers. More than 60 helpers to include housewives, retirees, hobby gardeners, architects, stone-masons and carpenters are working on the church twice a week. In addition, priests support the project not only with ideas but also by using a shovel.
“The support we are getting is marvelous,” said Thomas Zinssmeister, garden fair manager. “The helpers are highly motivated and really enjoy it.”
Mr. Zinssmeister also emphasizes the help of the Protestant and the Catholic church.
“The cooperation with representatives of the two churches is outstanding and soon the willow church will be a visible sign of our mutual understanding and appreicaiton,” added Mr. Zinssmeister.
The construction work on the church is smoothly progressing. The arcs of the nave are already in place. Currently, the 15 meter tall dome is being erected, and then the arcs will be connected with willow twigs. The goal is to have the willow church in rough framework by the end of March.
“The willow church will lure more visitors to Kaiserberg Hill than ever before,” said Mr. Zinssmeister. “We are working on making the hill even more attractive by using the forest house more often.”
The forest house is a wooden block house right next to the willow church and is available for private and office parties.
For reservations and more information, call the garden fair hotline at 0631-71007-00. (Courtesy Garden Fair Company Kaiserslautern)