Wandergesellen, German for journeying craftsmen: a medieval tradition still continued by some craftspeople. For the last some 600 years craftsmen, after graduating their apprenticeship, go on Waltz for three years and one day, walking the back streets of Europe with a pledge not to come closer to their home town than 50 kilometers. For those few hundred mostly carpenters, roof-tilers, brick layers, and stone masons weaving into a guild, the rules of tradition are rigorous and many – covering clothes, behavior, and language, just to name few.
Last week, I travelled again to one of the far countryside corners of Germany, the Odenwald. I didn’t go there because of the lush valleys, green forest and ginger bread houses but to continue my project on Wandergesellen.
I photographed a Geselle who returned home some half a year ago in his daily life working on the restauration of old Fachwerk houses. It cost me quite some effort to climb all the way on the scaffolding and the roof but when I finally did so, I was rewarded with suberb pictures.