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Traveling, working and broadening your horizons: Even today, many a journeyman goes on a hike before settling down. In the luggage he has valuable experiences and nice memories.
Where the traveling stonemason Florian Wagner goes the next day does not even know himself.
Stick, hat and a bundle bundled up: Florian Wagner has little more than what he wears - and yet he is richer than most other people: he is a free man and he is on the brink. In the last months of his journey, the 28-year-old stonemason has already seen more of the world and gained more diverse experiences than many others in his entire life. And it helps to keep alive an almost forgotten tradition that has shaped crafts since the Middle Ages. "In many guilds, a journeyman aspiring to mastering the title was required to travel around for a few years and learn from other masters," explains Florian Wagner. "In this way, the young person should broaden his horizons and get to know new ways of working and techniques."
Florian Wagner at workHowever, finding work and a hostel in foreign places often proved to be difficult, and so the traveling apprentices, the "strangers", sometimes organized themselves beyond the guild limits in so-called shafts. These associations support the journeymen during the rolling process, clarify disputes and serve the exchange of experience as well as customs. Florian, who became aware of the tradition of rolling during his training on a cousin, belongs to the Roland brothers, one of the oldest manholes. Journeys of wood and stone crafts travel here, in addition to stonemasons and masons, roofers, carpenters and wood sculptors. "To be accepted by the shaft and allowed to go on a walk, you have to meet certain conditions," says the learned Steinmetz: You must have a journeyman's certificate, should not be older than 27 years, must have no debts or criminal records and neither be bound by a marriage nor by children. For good reason: "Honesty and reliability are among the main virtues of the Brothers of Roland, and those who make commitments, such as witnessing a child, should face up to that responsibility." Of course, this does not only apply before the beginning of the Tippelei: Who becomes father on the roll, must break off the journey and take care of the child, who makes debts, they must pay off, before he may return home again. "As a free man you should start the roll, as a free man you should end it."
This is possible even with impeccable behavior at the earliest after three years and one day, so long may the "foreigner" approach his home town only up to 60 kilometers. Family, friends, old habits, who once turned their back on the town signboard, let all their past lives rest for three years - an adventure that requires courage and perseverance: "After the losgeh celebration in March 2007, at my place We accompanied local and foreign Roland brothers out of my hometown of Landshut. First we marched to Nuremberg and hitchhiked - in the harshest snowfall and in the bitter cold, "recalls Florian. Once there, his experienced co-travelers and he wanted to seek refuge in the inn of another shaft - but it was fully occupied, as well as some other overnight accommodation, where they tried their luck. So it came that the frozen artisans slept the first night of the travel section completely unromantisch in a bank room.
The hat protects against sun and rain and is a symbol of the free man, Florian explains, "it is only taken to sleep, eat and in the church."Fortunately, even the worst winter passes once in the following months learned the cosmopolitan young stonemason also the beautiful sides of the Wandererlebens: Run on sunny paths across meadows and fields, rest in the pleasant shade of knotty oaks and in the evening in a cozy beer garden a well-deserved Allow swig cool barley juice - so traveling is a pleasure. Far-reaching plans are superfluous, the curiosity for a place or an interesting job offer determines the next goal. On foot or by hitchhikers it starts, sometimes alone, sometimes with other journeymen. "When you arrive at your destination, you look for a manhole hostel or you try your luck in a normal hostel, knock on it with the walking stick and ask for a roof over your head," explains Florian.
He has almost always received both, as well as work - and not only in Germany: "In the first year of traveling, we traditionally see each other in German-speaking countries, for example in Nuremberg, Bamberg, Dresden, Xanten and Fehmarn, in Austria and Switzerland ", Florian lists some stations.In the second year, when the journeymen already have enough experience with the Tippelei and the "audition" for work, food and accommodation, the European foreign countries are on the program and in the third year it goes overseas. "In Namibia we were first considered musicians because of our divide," recalls Florian, smiling.
Even from his time in England, he still raves today: "There I worked for over three months in the construction of the York Minster - such opportunities and opportunities offers only the wandering." Wherever he was, he met nice, open people, made friendships and gained valuable experience, which will build him many bridges on his further life, even after the rolling. How exactly this way will look like, whether he will lead uphill or downhill and who will accompany him, he still does not know exactly. But after all, life is one great journey too - and journeys begun for the sake of traveling usually lead to the most beautiful destinations.