Eight questions for…

Karl Schünemann, UNESCO trustee for the Fagus Factory in Alfeld

When I visit the World Heritage Site of the Fagus Factory, what should I definitely not miss?

What impresses me to this day is the Fagus Factory's architecture, designed by Walter Gropius more than 100 years ago. The Fagus-Gropius exhibition on the history and architecture of this factory is located in the middle of the workshop - which is still in full operation today. It makes the Fagus Factory a very lively World Heritage Site.

What do you particularly like here?

To this day I find that nothing beats the way this glass and steel architecture floods with light. Even when I was an apprentice more than 50 years ago, I was impressed by the light in the production rooms, and my enthusiasm for the architecture of the works hasn't diminished over the years.

Do you have an insider tip?

Anyone visiting our factory should take the time to peek in through the glass-fronted main building. Here you can watch how different shapes of shoe are produced, formed and finished by hand - just as you could 100 years ago.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

The plain, simple and functional architectural design.

How do I best get to know this site?

First of all, you should take a stroll around the works area. That gives you a fantastic impression of the whole factory. The walk takes about ten minutes and it's worth every minute.

What else should I see here?

My home - the Leine Uplands surrounding Alfeld. If you have time to spare, you'll see a beautiful low mountain range.

Visiting World Heritage sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

In fall and winter in Alfeld and its surroundings, you should enjoy some curly kale with Bregenwurst sausage, a hearty traditional regional specialty.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

Krakow's historic center in Poland, which has been a World Heritage Site since 1978.

Karl Schünemann

Schünemann is a trained shoe last maker. For nearly five decades the Fagus shoe factory in Alfeld has been his professional home.

He stopped working in shoe last production in 2009 when he took on the responsibility of being its UNESCO trustee, which entailed taking charge of the Fagus-Gropius exhibition. He was born and grew up in the Leine Uplands in Lower Saxony, the area around the town of Alfeld.