The European Stone Festival 2020 is back in Freiburg, Germany, where it was inaugurated by Freiburg Technical College for Stonemasonry & Stone Carving in 1999.
The festival is run annually, often in conjunction with other cities throughout Europe - it has come to the UK twice so far, Canterbury in 2003 and Lincoln in 2012. There are plans for it to return to England and the Piece Hall in Yorkshire in 2022. But it tends to return to Freiburg every two or three years and this year's Festival will be the the seventh time it has been held there.
It will place from 15 to 17 May, when the German city will welcome up to 130 stonemasons and stone carvers who will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and creativity to a wide audience as they compete for the honours.
Although the competition is called the European Stone Festival it is open to masons and carvers from all over the world and has always attracted people from other parts of the world, including America and Australia.
It has also been popular among British stonemasons who are keen on carving. And they have done exceptionally well, often taking top honours in the main categories for skilled carvers and apprentices. The Germans hope the Brits will continue to attend even though the country has left the European Union.
The Eschholz Park, with its shaded tree-lined alleys and ‘Gartenschlauch’ (Garden Hose) sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, is close to the Freiburg Technical College grounds, providing the perfect setting for the stone carving event.
The Festival this year is also helping the City of Freiburg celebrate its 900th anniversary under the banner of ‘900 Jahre jung’ (900 years young).
The organiser of the Festival in 2020 is the Friedrich-Weinbrenner-Gewerbeschule vocational college in Freiburg.
Closing date for registration by those wishing to participate is 31 March 2020
Online-registration and all information is on the website www.stein-festival.de