Prince Napoleon's visit to Bautzen was a success!
Prince Charles Napoleon visited Bautzen and its region as a guest of the Mayor of Bautzen and the Gregorius Mättig
Stiftung. The discussions about a possible co-operation between our Foundation and the City of Bautzen on
the one hand and the Federation for European cities of Napoleonic history on the other hand, were held in
a positive way. These discussions were instigated by our Foundation and touched upon the upcoming historic
commemorations of the Battle of Bautzen of 1813, as well as the partitioning of the Lusatian region by the
Congress of Vienna in 1815.
A few pictures to illustrate the visit and the talks.
Please move your mouse over the small pictures to the left.
The European Federation of Napoleonic Cities is a non-profit making organization
(subject to the provisions of a French law dated July 1901). It endeavours to unite
European cities whose history was influenced by Napoleon. Its activities usually
revolve around the three following main lines:
The Federation stems from the towns' will to put their Napoleonic historical heritage back to
its European dimension. The cross-reading of particularly important and contrasted pages of
the European countries' history is a major contribution to the culture shared by their peoples.
It is a heritage of capital value, which has always interested a great majority of European
countries. It is thus crucial that this patrimony takes the place it deserves in regard to
history but also to its influence upon the contemporary geopolitical context and the development
of the "European idea".
- Promoting exchanges on Napoleonic history by setting up meetings, seminars and
publications in association with universities, cultural institutions and history organizations.
- Supporting and promoting actions to preserve and restore Napoleonic
heritage (objects, works of art, furniture, monuments, sites...).
- Developing and running activities, valorising the past through exhibitions, arts events,
discovery tours, especially in regard to tourist, school or university exchanges.
The Federation's scheme revolves around three main themes:
- Preserving, sharing, enhancing and safeguarding the
European common cultural heritage linked to the Napoleonic myth and the
influence of the Napoleonic era upon contemporary Europe.
- Making the public aware, enhancing cultural diversity and promoting mutual
knowledge of history, cultural values, roots and heritage shared
by the peoples of Europe.
- Developing research, teaching and spreading knowledge.
Tradition holds that every year when the Dr. Gregorius Mättig Foundation Board gathers in the city of Bautzen,
a celebratory Mass is held. This was the second such gathering and therefore a Mass was duly celebrated.
One decision of the Foundation Board this year was to start initiatives to collect donations that will serve to
restore the famous Mättig Epitaph at the St. Peter's Cathedral. The monument is in a fragile state and needs
attending to. The church governors are fully supporting this initiative.
"Dear congregation, dear guests,
dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
When I was 16 years old, I had just started my apprenticeship and the whole world lay wide open before me. I wanted to be everything except being like my father. Such a life was too small, too stuffy, too limited. I had my own example and sign-post to follow.
By the time I turned 25, I had already achieved a lot and I wanted to become
even more - yet not like my father.
Nowadays, people come up to me - they know my father well; he is now well advanced in
years and a bit wobbly in the knees. They talk to me and say: "Gosh! When you enter the
room, you look entirely like your father".
Today I am pleased about this. I myself am now a father and I anticipate the time when my daughters
will want to be everything, except being like their father.
An adult life, to mature in one's life and in one's faith, to grow, means to learn,
to discover: my history doesn't start with myself. I am always surrounded by the choir of the many.
I am affected by the thoughts and experiences of my father, my mother but certainly also by
those of my teachers, my professors and my friends. Equally by the teachings and songs of the
Church, and by the stories that my grandmother used to tell me.
The letter to the Hebrews tells us:
Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you: whose faith
follow, considering the end of their conversation (Hebr. 13:7).
When we were children, we sometimes put our feet into our grandparents' slippers. We drowned in them.
We played - we were our grandfather. What do we do when we proclaim our creed? We plunge ourselves
into the words and the images of those who came before us. The shoes are often too large.
But I protect myself when I pronounce the creed in a language that the deceased have pre-heated.
We continue to write poetry - hopefully. But what we find is language.
What do we do when we remember Mättig, that great benefactor in this town and a profoundly religious
Lutheran Christian? We orientate ourselves. We slip into his shoes and try to walk on.
Mättig's epitaph is no museum piece - it is a living memory: we discover it. Mättig's voice
resonates throughout each service.
No one lives just for oneself. We orientate ourselves to life's other plans and projects.
Mature and conscious life always needs memory and remembrance. To live signifies to a great
extent to play, to imitate. This is something one must learn. And one needs to feed this memory,
otherwise we wither and become impoverished.
No one lives only for oneself - we are more alike than we might at first think. No one starts his
own history. We are more than our mere self. And we are more like our fathers and our mothers than we
might often think.
No one lives only for oneself - this also means that we live with the living and with the dead.
A deep and mature life obviously needs more than one's own confrontation with one's own family.
Sometimes we act up against our parents' experiences or against various traditions. We then like to say
that traditions are not our masters. That's how enlightened we are.
But we may not become the senior prosecutor of our parents' stories and experiences. Through the great
dialogue across the generations, it is precisely that dialogue which is the only way to find truth,
not the diktat.
None shall dictate. Neither shall tradition dictate us, nor shall we dictate tradition. The diktat
spoils the dialogue.
But in order to have this dialogue, we need spaces, places and locations. Such as this cathedral.
It is not merely a piece of good luck that Mättig's epitaph is here with us in this cathedral.
It is not only a piece of mural decoration and an ornament in the southern nave.
This location sermonizes. Its stones, its signs, its epitaph.
The epitaph is there because it invites us to a living memory, to a common
commemoration, to a dialogue.
When we celebrate this Mass, we are not simply doing it in its own instantaneousness.
The faith, the hope and the actions of those who were here before us, is palpable.
Not all locations are simply the same. Here, in this location, we can clearly see
and recognize Gregorius Mättig, the benefactor, as an example of support.
We need these conversations with people such as Mättig. One learns who one is when
one knows from where one came. And one can only have a future when one has had a past.
This is true for each human, but also for the Church and for our city.
Nowhere else but in the church do we find such vivid life-saving stories,
memories and commemorations.
The Christian church is a community with an oral tradition of origin tales.
Christians are embedded in a flow of stories that deal with the salvation
We are not only similar to our physical fathers –
No one who believes is alone. No one lives simply for oneself. Certainly not the Church,
neither St Peter's Cathedral. Our congregation is not only represented by the living, we are not
only made up by our present-day ideas and projects.
- we are Martin Luther,
- we believe with Albert Schweitzer and sing the same songs,
- we believe with Elisabeth von Thüringen,
- we dream with Martin Luther King,
- we hope with Paul Gerhard,
- we are asked about what we believe is the truth through Hildegard von Bingen,
- we take courage with Martin Niemöller,
- we pray with Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
- we believe with Luke and John,
- we honour the creation like St Francis,
- we think with Augustine and pray with the Psalmists,
- and we, Christians from Bautzen, assist and help, just like Gregorius Mättig.
The congregation of St Peter's doesn't only live in the present - we commemorate the fathers
and mothers of the faith and we are similar to them; we live and believe like them.
As a congregation we also find our home when we commemorate the deceased.
The Bible uses a beautiful image:
We are surrounded by a "cloud of witnesses", it is stated in the letter to the Hebrews.
We, Christians in Eastern Germany, have sometimes the impression that we are shrouded in a cloud of
religious indifference, of a lack of interest, very often with anti-clerical undertones and surrounded
by the cheapest clichés.
No! We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses: these witnesses are present: from the dead and from the living.
The Christian faith is never a lonely matter. It belongs in the community. Not only here in this great cathedral,
but also in different other groups, such as for example amongst our children in the evangelical Kindergarten.
It is actually quite remarkable that knowledge and memory only maintain their vitality within groups.
One remembers in the long term only that which is important for my group. Memory - commemoration - the telling
of stories that help me…those things I cannot do by myself.
Gregorius Mättig has been dead for 358 years. It all happened a long time ago. I think about the old human
custom of repatriating the body of the deceased if he or she died abroad. To repatriate the dead instead
of hastily burying them in foreign cold earth.
It is not something that is to be taken literally. To remember the deceased, to wrest them away
from oblivion means to repatriate them.
Forgetting the dead is like flattening our lives. Life becomes unreal, without thought,
lost and overburdened by the own self.
If this epitaph is more than just an ornament in this cathedral, what story does
it relate us? An epitaph is a monument to the dead. So think who's buried there!
What is therefore Mättig's voice in the choir of our church?
To listen to this voice leads us to the centre of what it is that makes our church such
an active, helping one. At first the voice of the epitaph reminds us that faith and
action are sisters. Action are the lyrics, faith the music. One can only make a
song with both of them.
Faith without ethics is presumptuous.
Ethics without faith becomes ideological and all too often abused.
Mättig's voice tells us and reminds us: to believe in the triune God is not a theory:
it is not an opinion but an attitude.
For God himself does not have an opinion, but he acts. God saves, attracts,
loves, delivers and builds. We believe in a good and merciful God. Arm and heart.
To believe in this God leads to verbs, not to definitions.
Everyone who sits in the southern nave and looks up to Mättig is reminded to:
not forget to do good and to impart: for by such sacrifices God's favour is obtained / Hebrews 13:16
Because one may forget to do good. It is a kind of disease when the courage to do good is missing.
When I think to myself that I cannot do anything and that nothing has any value;
When I forget to look away from my own self - buckling is only a symptom of this disease.
I can forget it in the same manner that I can forget or lose myself.
Do not forget to do good and to impart
Mättig supported 107 godchildren.
– Do not forget to do good and to impart –
He had more than 10 foundations at his disposal - one which provided free school
meals in the local grammar school for members of the St Peter's Cathedral choir
– Do not forget to do good and to impart –
He provided free cloth to clothe poor schoolchildren
– Do not forget to do good and to impart –
He provided means to acquire candles for the Cathedral and to maintain the upkeep of the pulpit in the Cathedral
– Do not forget to do good and to impart –
Poor families in Bautzen all received help
– Do not forget to do good and to impart –
Food in the Strehlenhaus hospital in Bautzen was distributed
– Do not forget to do good and to impart –
Let the charity of the brotherhood abide in you. And hospitality do not forget: for by this some,
being not aware of it, have entertained angels.
Remember them that are in bands, as if you were bound with them: and them that labour,
as being yourselves also in the body.
Let your manners be without covetousness, contented with such things as you have.
For He hath said (Joshua 1,5): I will not leave thee: neither will I forsake thee.
So that we may confidently say: The Lord is my helper: I will not fear what man shall
do to me (Psalm 118,6).(7). Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you:
whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation,
And may the peace of God which is beyond our comprehension save our hearts and our
minds through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN"
On the 16th May, 2008, the Czech Republic's Ambassador
in Germany, his Excellency Dr. Rudolf Jindrak, visited Bautzen as a guest of our
Foundation. He participated at a discussion held at the Melanchthon Grammar School
involving young people as well as different personalities from the city and the
region. The topic of the discussion concerned the opportunities of cross-border
co-operation between the Czech Republic and the region of Upper Lusatia in a
A few pictures of the Czech Ambassador's visit.
Please move your mouse over the pictures on the left.
On the 25th April, 2008, Dr. Lorenz Granrath, a member
of our Foundation Board and representative of the Fraunhofer Society in Tokyo, held a
speech on the topic of “Japan and Asia - opportunities and challenges for the European
youth“. The speech was given in the lecture hall of the Melanchthon Grammar School in
The festive re-establishment of the Dr.-Gregorius-Mättig-Stiftung was carried out on 25th September, 2007, in Bautzen. The founding documents were signed by both the founders and representatives of the Kreissparkasse at their offices in Bautzen. Count Rupert Strachwitz, director of the Maecenata Institute in Berlin, gave a lecture on the following topic: “Old foundations bloom – a historical overview of foundations in Germany”.
Subsequently, there followed a moving celebratory Service, at which about 500 citizens from Bautzen and guests of the City participated. Among the highlights of this Service were the harp concert by the virtuoso chamber musician Jutta Zoff, the intercessions read out by
die descendants of Gregorius Mättig from Germany, Brazil, Belgium and Canada, as well as the speech given by Dr. Uwe Koch.
The day was then rounded off but not before the City of Bautzen held a reception at the Oberlichtsaal in the City Museum. Guests were first treated to a piano concert presented by the local composer and virtuoso Ms Liana Bertok. The mayor of Bautzen, Mr Christian Schramm, and Count Hermann Pückler from Munich praised the rebirth of the Mättig foundation. A special exhibition regarding the history of the various Mättig foundations was then inaugurated at the Bautzen City and Regional Museum.
A few pictures of the festive re-establishment of the Dr.-Gregorius-Mättig-Stiftung.
Please move your mouse over the pictures on the left
Intercessions read out by descendants of Gregorius Mättig
For those without family or relatives, for those who are alone or who feel abandoned, that they may find redemption and strength in the Word of God. Lord, hear our prayer – Peter Lissack / Antwerp, Belgium.
For those who do not know who they are or where they are coming from, we ask the Lord and our fellow humans to give them the strength to find their way and to accompany them. Lord, hear our prayer – Robert and Tobias Koch, Potsdam.
What a privileg for us to be back in Bautzen, meeting again our dear friends and family members.
Dear congregation, in order to keep alive Dr. Mättigs high life ideals of humanitarian, tolerance and christian values, building a wonderful bridge to the future of Bautzen and it's young generation, the Dr.-Gregorius-Mättig- Stiftung needs your support.
What a privilege for us to be back in Bautzen, meeting again our dear friends and family members. Dear congregation, in order to keep alive Dr. Mättig’s high ideals of humanitarian, tolerance and Christian values, building a wonderful bridge to the future of Bautzen and its young generation, the Dr.-Gregorius-Mättig-Stiftung needs your support. May the spirit of this festive and joyful day be a life goal, in the same way that it is to our family in Brazil. Lord, we call upon thee … - Dr. Rainier Herbert de Souza / Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Festive speech by Dr. Uwe Koch
Dear participants, dear congregation,
A large congregation has gathered today, here at St Peter’s Church, invited by the Dean, the Sparkassen Foundation for the county and members of the Lissack family who have travelled from afar: Canada, Brazil, Belgium and different regions of Germany. A congregation has come together today such as none has been together before. We have the pleasure of having among us the mayor, many municipal councillors and representatives of the county council, representatives of the political, cultural, business, educational and ecclesiastical world, from Upper Lusatia and also from Dresden.
We also welcome Count Pückler from Munich and Count Strachwitz from Berlin, as well as pupils and students, young and older people.
What is the purpose of this gathering? What has moved so many people to come here on a normal day during the working week? What has prompted us, descendants, to travel from afar to Bautzen? Why did we come to the cathedral in Bautzen? I have asked myself these questions whilst I was working on this speech, bearing in mind the doubters, the ignorant and the know-it-alls who are on the outside.
It is certainly true that we commemorate a person. Today, 422 years ago, on the 25th September 1585, Gregorius Mättig was born in the Wendische Straße. During the 65 years of his life, he cared deeply about Bautzen. On his 200th birthday, in 1785, a ceremony was held at the City Town Hall and the local newspaper, the „Monthly Contribution to the Budissin Weekly News“ had this to say:
„Not many are like him and if they are to be found, he towers above them. He deserves an everlasting memory and an annual public celebration.“
A beautiful appreciation, big words. Well, that was in 1785; although classic clarity was already becoming a trend, the above quote still reflects the time of baroque embellishment. Does this mean that these words are not to be trusted or should we be following these appraisals? Are we not overdoing things by commemorating a birthday 422 years ago?
Some who have not attended today may think so – many do not have an access to history and have no time for Church. After all, we all live in the 21st Century and today so many important questions arise:
Those are just a handful of terms taken from the reservoir of actual problems. And now we are celebrating the birthday of a man who was born 422 years ago and who lived in a faraway world which has nothing in common with ours. He’s mentioned in the history books – fine – he had merits, he’s got an epitaph – great and well done – he’s got descendants who delight in their genealogical research and who feel comforted in their awareness of their kinship – all good and well.
But why then do we need a celebratory Service? Why always this fixation with everything historical; are we not already burdened enough with ballast from the past? Doesn’t it stand in the way of progress? Are these not the kinds of questions and opinions that we come across? These are by all means legitimate questions. I shall now try to answer them with the following thoughts and propositions:
- uman existence, climate changes, energy crises, violent conflicts near and far;
- Joblessness, youth criminality, hostility towards strangers, migrations and loss of values.
1. Gregorius Mättig has a lot to say!
- Gregorius Mättig has a lot to say!
- We need remembrance, orientation and examples!
- Our identity creates strength, infinite strength for the future!
When Gregorius Mättig was born, the words of the great humanist and scholar Philipp Melanchton, mindful of his visit to Bautzen in 1559 with his son-in-law Caspar Peucer, were still valid: Bautzen was found to be “a shield, a protection and a place of good customs and respectability, because one could invite the other under his fig tree and grapevine.” In 1634, the terrible Thirty Year War had devastated Bautzen. Johan Zeidler’s writings witness this misery:
“Those who have seen this lovely city before and who would see it now, would not perceive anything else but fumes, smoke, dust and ash, just like the city of Sodom after fire consumed it…” The impression of these events and its consequences moved Mättig (who remained childless) to create foundations in order to assist where help was needed:
The city library, the collections of the museum and the archives are all indebted to Mättig. The collections of minerals, appliances and coins cannot be identified with absolute certainty anymore as there is doubt about their whereabouts. Mättig donated a new pulpit, the beautiful brass chandeliers and of course his epitaph shapes the inner space of this church.
- to gain access to higher education and study
- to nurture cultural and Christian values.
Mättig’s main accomplishment was the financing of vacancies to allow more than 1,000 young people from poorer backgrounds access to higher education, and by way of grants, allow some to learn a trade. One did not necessarily have to be a descendant of the Mättig, Rosenhain or Peucker families or even to be a citizen of Bautzen: the lists of beneficiaries show names of pupils from the Upper Lusatia area and other neighbouring areas. Mättig’s actions show us altruism and foresight – are these virtues from the past? No, these virtues are still needed today as they were in the 17th Century! Gregorius Mättig was a child from the City of Bautzen; his parents and relatives belonged to the influential and distinguished families of the Mättigs and Peuckers. Mättig studied in Leipzig, Strasbourg and Basel. His personal library encompassed the humanistic knowledge of the old Europe.
The different foundations set up by Mättig made it possible for young people to obtain access to higher education at important universities, to participate in the artistic, cultural and scientific developments in Europe. Those who benefitted from the foundations cherished their time spent at the Bautzen school, for they realised the greatness and importance of these foundations, and they furthered Bautzen’s reputation as a city of education and culture, abroad as well as within Bautzen itself.
The lives of incalculable numbers of priests, lawyers, artists and scientists are a direct witness to this; only two of them shall be named here: the poet of the Enlightenment, Jacob Immanuel Pyra and the Bautzen clergyman, Andreas Lubensky. Both were born into poor families, the first one in Cottbus, the latter from a Sorbian family in Rachlau, near Bautzen. Access to higher education was made possible thanks to the Mättig School Foundation – what turn would their lives have taken if such access had been denied to them? The letters from the pupils or students that are kept in the archives of the Mättig Foundation bear witness to a great gratitude.
Mättig’s Foundations also sponsored the Evangelical church choir or the non-resident choristers of the school (who nevertheless actually lived within the school grounds), which made it possible for Bautzen to have a musical patronage, which in the 19th Century was compared by Headmaster Rost to being as significant as the Thomas Choir or even the Kreuz Choir. Finally, Mättig’s foundations created an important head start for young men wanting to learn a trade or for young women who wanted to get married. In the 19th Century, members of the Lissack family also benefitted from this. A photograph which is kept at the City Museum and which depicts August Gottlob Lissack’s golden anniversary of their wedding in 1898, shows the Lissack family in front of the Lissack house. On this photograph we can see three persons who themselves benefited from the different grants.
Right up to the 20th Century, these foundations were a noticeable and concrete reality for Bautzen’s community. Wars, inflation, faith in the government, subjugation to the State, as well as a political system hostile to civic commitment, pulled the rug from underneath the foundations. The loss of these civic foundations in Bautzen was sealed by the creation of a „collective“ foundation, in 1949. This signified a great cultural loss for Bautzen which, therefore, also lost a part of its civic identity. Today, civic commitment and foundations are experiencing a huge popularity in Germany. However, in the East there is a lack of civic spirit and tradition, according to some journalists. Not so! Through the Mättig Foundations, Bautzen can refer to a long tradition, which have in no way lost their actual effect nor their intentions. Today we have seized the opportunity to continue this tradition.
2. We need remembrance, orientation and examples
Only a short while ago, we stood in awe before the first fax machines or we still remember the first colour TV’s or even the first man on the Moon. Today, every computer is outdated after a mere 2 years and we travel faster and faster from any given point on our Earth to another. Everything seems within reach, everything accelerates and almost nothing seems impossible…
At the same time, we witness growing aggressiveness amongst youth and there seems to be an ever-widening gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. Good advice is expensive…where did we go wrong?
3. Our identity creates infinite strength!
- Moral and spiritual values which characterised and reinforced our civilisation, risk becoming undone in times of an overwhelming consumer-orientated society. “The quick way to a quick buck” becomes the new standard.
- We drift and are being driven in these fast moving times!
- How do we keep up? Don’t we need more remembrance, roots and identification to face up to our times?
- Somewhere in and around us, we need a pause, an anchor for the soul and also examples which can guide us!
- Such anchors can be made up of historical places, the knowledge about one’s own roots, testimonials from history, but also religious faith. Personalities such as Gregorius Mättig are perfect examples!
- A few weeks ago, my son, Robert, dealt with the theories of French and German sociologists and historians about the concept of “Places of Remembrance”. For us, who are part of the Lissack family, Bautzen is exactly such a place.
- We therefore know that our ancestors (the Peucker, Mättig, Krause, Gering, Kauly and Lissack families) have shaped the history of this city since the 15th Century and that they lived through highs and lows!
- We have also experienced that Bautzen has brought us back together again! What an experience.
- That which wars and emigration had torn apart, was put back together through the search for identity.
- Bautzen has given me two new cousins, who have become like brothers!
- And for the people of Bautzen and the Upper Lusatia, just consider that the old city of Budissin with its many towers can offer them so much more and enrich them endlessly. This region is truly blessed by its cultural and scenic richness!
- And I am certain that Mättig’s action has such an aura that it can be an inspiration and orientation to the young people of today.
We feel a strong affiliation with Bautzen and the region of the Upper Lusatia, with all the people who lived here and who still live here, with all of you who have gathered here in the St. Petri Cathedral! To have achieved something for the use of the common good, to have followed the example of Gregorius Mättig, is something that unites us. I ask all of you to experience this community here today in this place of Christian worship. We, as descendants of Gregorius Mättig’s family, are of the opinion that his great and meaningful foundations are not ripe yet to be relegated only to the history books, even after 300 years; indeed, we feel that they have a real sense and relevance for the present and for the future. We have therefore taken a first essential step to breathe new air into Gregorius Mättig’s legacy.
Principally among those I would like to mention the Sparkassenstiftung (the department of the Sparkassen bank which deals with foundations) for the region of Bautzen, through the person of Mrs Bohot and Mrs Richter; they help in their unique ways to convert this concept into reality;
Ms. Jutta Zoff, who will today once more play the harp in her beloved city, for which we thank her very particularly;
I thank my dear friends for the pleasant times we spent together, in preparation for this day;
I also would like to mention the Dean, Mr. Pappai, the Mayor, Mr. Schramm, Mrs. Regine Gebhardt, Mrs. Ingeborg Eule and very particularly Christa and Christian Kämpfe, who have been my dear advisers and friends for many years.
Let me also mention a word of thanks for the diligent assistants in the City Archives and in the City Museum!
Lastly, I would like to thank mainly my family for their support, patience and tolerance – without them, this would not have been possible.
To convert this first step into a big successful road, we need your co-operation! Please allow us to grow this newly formed foundation in the tradition of Gregorius Mättig into our common purpose. None of us are millionaires and none of us have means comparable to Gregorius Mättig’s wealth, but together we have the power through this foundation to do many good things.
What are these „good things“ that we can all do toghether?
In the statutes which we signed today, we find the following:
The purpose of the foundation shall be made abundantly clear by means of the donation of a „Dr. Gregorius Mättig grant“
- The objective of the Foundation is to encourage the Arts, culture and education in the City as well as within the County of Bautzen.
- These objectives are put into practice through contributions
- to preserve, to develop and to study the cultural and historical legacy of the City of Bautzen, among which are the life and actions of Dr. Gregorius Mättig and the history of his foundations.
- To maintain and to enrich the City and County of Bautzen’s spiritual-cultural life.
- To raise consciousness for the maintenance of culture and the preservation of sites of historic interest.
- To economically and socially develop the City and County of Bautzen.
- To transmit and nurture Christian values and tolerance
- To promote cultural exchanges and instigate a European dialogue with our neighbours in the Czech and Polish parts of the Upper Lusatian region.
These are ambitious tasks which cannot be fulfilled only through the dedicated work of the members of a future board of trustees. A separate body for the promotion of the foundation will be created soon to lend its full support to the foundations’ activities. Maybe one of you here would like to join this venture.
In the beginning, we asked ourselves the question: “what were the motives for our gathering here?” I believe that this question has now been fully answered. To gather strength from Gregorius Mättig’s example, his charity and his civic responsibility:
- To foster talents of young people from Bautzen.
- To preserve, to develop and to study the cultural legacy of Bautzen.
Please allow us through the offertory to gather the necessary funds in order to restore the painting from 1636 so that it may be restored. To paraphrase Goethe: „to acquire our legacy in order to own it“.
- To begin a strong commitment to the community of Bautzen and its region;
- To preserve the cultural heritage of Bautzen and to encourage the education and development of its youth as a great potential for the region.
To conclude, I should like to quote again the Bautzener Presse from 1785:
„I admire Mättig and honour with thankful esteem the goodness which inspired him to create this foundation. I am particularly happy to live in a city in which citizens from all classes are willing to support young students. I heartily wish that this disposition for this kind of charity will never falter.“
Mättig is worthy…„that one does something special to honour his memory“.
We’re all present here! May God give us the strength to further Gregorius Mättig’s work.
Thank you very much.