Update on the Hirschgrundbrücke in Glauchau (Saxony)

While readers are enjoying the tour guide on the Bridges of Glauchau in western Saxony, there is some good news regarding one of the bridges, the Hirschgrundbrücke. The bridge is located at the Castle Complex, spanning a large gulch connecting the castle’s southern entrance with the city park, Schlosspark. The bridge was originally built in the 17th Century, but was reconstructed in 2018-19 (photos of the reconstruction can be found via Instagram here), mimicking the original design, yet keeping the original outer two arches.

The good news is that the bridge is finished. Since September, cranes, construction platforms and construction workers have left the site. As you can see in the photo above, the bridge is in its original form; the surroundings are slowly being revegetated. The bridge looks like its original span but has a gorgeous fall setting.

The bad news is that both ends have been fenced off and no one can use the structure at present. And there’s a good reason for it.  Currently, the Schlosspark and the path going to the park and bridge are being rebuilt. The park dates back to the same time as the Hirschgrundbrücke, yet during the East German Communist era, the area was filled up with privately owned gardens. Each plot of land had a garden house, whose dark grey concrete siding and geometrical designs dated back to that particular era. The city bought the property in 2019 and allowed contractors to clear the garden area towards the end of that year.

With all the garden houses and plots of land gone, the whole area now has been revegetated with grass, but plans are in the making for wild flowers and plants, thus restoring the park to its original glory. At the same time, the path connecting the entrance to the castle at Schlossvorplatz, with the bridge to neighboring Heinrichshof, near the overlook at Grundelpark is in the process of being repaved, with the purpose of ensuring that people of all ages and handicaps can access the area without dealing with loose gravel and holes.

At the present time, no work on the pavement has commenced as the construction firm has taken a break from the project. It plans to commence completing the paving project in January, weather and Corona permitting. Currently, Germany is on partial Corona-lockdown until the end of this month. Yet with increasing daily infection rates, with 20,000 per day, chances are very likely that the lockdown will be extended through the winter, affecting the Schlosspark project in general.

Assuming the rates go down and the lockdown is lifted by December, work can commence on schedule, and the project is expected to be finished by April 2021, at the latest. Once the Schlosspark is restored and opened, the Hirschgrundbrücke can open for the public, thus completing the 3-4 year project which featured reconstructing the Schlossvorplatz at the castle entrance (making it a park and bike racks), converting an old abandoned bridge into a newly renovated structure, and restoring the park to its original form, thus making the Castle Complex more attractive to tourists and local residents.

But we still have a ways to go. Hence we must be patient, just like with everything else we’re dealing with.  To be continued…….

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