Consultation on historic buildings repair and more
The appearance of a number of towns and villages, the beauty of historic buildings and the cultivated environment in which many of us are able to live is the result of the work and efforts of the owners or managers of historic buildings and the initiative of local inhabitants, but also of the systematic work of the National Heritage Institute and other institutions.
- they will help you to reveal the historic and aesthetic value of the building or its parts, and will show you what valuable features should be preserved and what can be changed or removed
- they will provide advice on how to go about maintenance or alterations in order to ensure that features are preserved
- they will help to find solutions for the preservation of architectural details where architects or craftsmen do not know how to proceed (unless they have experience of historic buildings) and can help you choose colours, for example
- they can advise on how to proceed when you need to have something investigated or researched, whether this concerns archaeology, dendrochronology or the dating in general of objects and materials, traceology, historical crafts and techniques or materials used etc.
- they can advise on how to proceed when you want or need to conserve or restore something
- they can advise on where to find information on the history of settlements, in other words towns, villages or premises, including individual buildings. If you are interested in the history of your town, the monastery behind the town or an abandoned brewery, the National Heritage Institute can help you
- they can help with documents and applications if you have decided to repair a neglected building, such as a chapel, and you need to apply for grant aid
- in emergencies they may be able to help prevent damage to a monument or area – in the case of a protected area or monument they will assess the planned activity, draw attention to its negative influence and file a complaint for the start of administrative proceedings or for rectification.
For all these reasons you should approach your heritage officer before you start to pay an architect, or you could be throwing your money away. You should definitely not take as an example the alterations that your neighbours made without permission, or the alterations that someone made entirely legally and with permission to a house similar to yours, but many kilometres away in an entirely different environment. If you have good-quality documentation, photographs and plans of the current state prepared in advance, it will help us to deal with your request faster. During meetings, make sure to ask plenty of questions and have everything explained properly. If, however, heritage officers do not allow you to install plastic windows or to put up a three-storey building in the centre of a historical reservation, do not get angry with them – they are only doing their work...
How does heritage conservation work in the Czech Republic?
Decisions relating to heritage conservation in the Czech Republic take place in a two-step process, that is to say on two levels. At the first level, the regional specialist offices of the National Heritage Institute, which operate in every region, draw up a specialist assessment of the specific case, but they do not have decision-making powers. The power to make decisions – to “rubber-stamp“ an application – lies with the administrative authority, which is a larger municipality with extended competences, in the case of cities the city hall or regional authority. The National Heritage Institute provides the authority with an expert assessment. The highest instance is then the Culture Ministry.