The barrel itself had broken apart in the upper part already and had tilted forward towards the cellar. The restoration therefore served as static stabilisation and repair.
Of special importance, however, was the protection of the bats who are the main residents in the castle cellar. In closest coordination with the scientific companion of the bats, Ingrid Kaipf, it was decided that as little as possible metal will be obstructed in order to not irritate the animals’ sense of orientation, and that the lighting will be kept at a minimum. A temporarily installable curtain will separate the barrel from the bat habitat.
The first public guided tours will be possible from January 2018 until the end of February 2018 (acclimatisation and trial phase). Thereby, sound and temperature measurements will be carried out. After this first phase, longer time periods in the winter half-year (November to March) may also be conceivable, in which the barrel will be accessible to visitors. This, according to Ingrid Kaipf, “however depends on the inventory development of the colony or the use of the cellar as winter quarter.”
The director of the MUT, Prof. Dr. Ernst Seidl, is very happy about this development: “Since the oldest biochemical laboratory was made accessible two years ago, and since the observatory was restored and was opened to the public for the 200-year anniversary of the Württemberg land survey in the summer of 2018, this is once again a historically important and for all visitors quite exciting place which will now finally be opened. The visit to the barrel will be integrated into the highlight-tours in the museum, so that nothing important in the castle will go amiss.”