Topping-out ceremony – building trades/Richtfest – Gewerke


Last week I was invited to the topping-out ceremony (Richtfest) of the multi-storey car park they’ve been building opposite my office since January.

But then we were told it wasn’t a real Richtfest. As some translators know (and others don’t), there is a sequence of building trades (Gewerke) in a building project.

For instance, the sequence might be (in part): piling, drainage and sewage, masonry, roofing, plastering, rainwater plumbing. gast and water mains, painting and decoration.
Trades in English here, in German here.

For a Richtfest to take place, the carpenters have to come in and make a timbered roof. There are no wooden beams in the car park, so no tree on top.

The Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch defines Gewerk as Zunft (guild).



This picture does not show the beer, which was in large quantities elsewhere. And I didn’t stay for the food, as I was working.
The speaker is Thomas Jung, the Oberbürgermeister of Fürth, whom some would apparently translate as Lord Mayor (there was a recent discussion on pt of how to translate Oberbürgermeisterin without making her sound like a mayor’s wife). Someone said Senior Mayor for Oberbürgermeister (there is a Bürgermeister too).

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