The little church in the riverside village of Wahlhausen, Thuringen, Germany is a testament to what a lack of heating can do to preserve art.
The Church of St. Margaret was built on the bank of the Werra River in 1718 through donations by the local ruling family, the von Hansteins, who had a huge castle in the vicinity plus some 30 other villages under their domain. In 1775, a local amateur artist by the name of Johann Endtler decorated the balconies and the ceiling, in fact, just about every available surface of the church with paintings depicting saints, sinners and stories from the Old and New Testaments. The paintings have survived mainly due to a total lack of heat in the church, which helps cut down on the expansion and contraction of the wood used to build it, according to the man who was tending the church on the day we visited.
The church fell into disuse during the years 1976 to 1986 when the first restoration activities were started. Things picked up after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and reunification in 1990. Nowadays, the church is still in use as a parish church with a relatively few half a dozen or so in attendance during Sunday services from Easter to Christmas, when the church is full.
This magnificent church is open to the public on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 to 4:30.