Thursday, November 26, 2015

Kulturlandschaft Deutschland

I searched long to find a title in english that would be the equivalent to the German word "Kulturlandschaft" but it seems there is non....
Kulturlandschaft means so much as cultivated or man-made landscape, but that does not really describes the issue. Kulturlandschaft stands for culture, yes, but also for nature as you will see in the below images, but you won't find any real won't get lost in the wild as Hansel and Gretel did way back when. What once felt too crowded and busy for me now felt rather homey and positively familiar.
This blog is a little bit a homage to the "home country". The images are not in order of importance but rather in chronological order.

The first day we went to the town of Freiburg for it's renowned farmers market, but not without passing through some scenic Black Forest landscape.

 Todtnauer Wasserfälle - waterfalls of Todtnau

 Schauinsland - Lookintotheland, no joke, this is the real name of this place. Here you usually can look far "into the land", not so that day, low hanging clouds made for a special image though.

Once in Freiburg we headed straight for the market, and I was not disappointed....with all the colors and the variety of fruit and vegetables I haven't seen and tasted in a while,

the familiar aromas drifting trough my nose, the atmosphere, I was in heaven!

The market is arranged around the Freiburger cathedral, which is unfortunately under renovation at the moment. But as I glimpsed at this cow in a window I saw a nice reflection of one of the bell towers.

On our way back into the heart of the Black Forest where I spent a good portion of my stay at a friends house, I stopped quite a few times to take photographs....this being my favorite.

The next day we visited Tomi in Trier where he attends University at the moment. Trier is the oldest city in Germany and I was overwhelmed by so much history in one spot...

The main landmark of Trier is the Porta Nigra, the black gate. It was built in  180 -200 A.D.
As comparison, the oldest similar building in North America was built about 1500 years later.

The Porta Nigra was used as one of the entries to town. The sandstone it is built of is prone to weathering, hence the black color, which gave the Porta it's name.

As mentioned before the history in this town is overwhelming and one can hardly take a step without stumbling over palaces and cathedrals. Here the Kurfürstliche Palais, the electora palace.

This "script" I photographed in a nearby cathedral. It describes when the cathedral was built:" The building of this church was started in 1227 AD and finished in 1243 AD"
Can you imagine...1227 AD?

These were the former gaslights, now converted to electrical lights.

As I finally found some "new" art, I jumped to the occasion ;-)

After that marathon road and culture trip we stayed close the next day and explored the landscape and little towns in the vicinity.

Rolling hills and canola fields...

...and a viewpoint with bench to look at a nuclear power plant. I found that rather odd...who wants to look at that, but there is is.

The town of Waldshut, small but cute.

And the resort town St. Blasien,

built around the St. Blaise Abbey, an impressive building.

The ceiling of the cupola.

The angles make sure the organ does not take over.

Apart from the Abbey, St. Blasien is not quite as ecclesiastical but rather your normal Black Forest tourist town,

with some interesting windows!

Did I mention that the Germans really like their signs, there are signs for EVERYTHING!

Watch out, hikers, sign above, or cows, sign below, may cross your way...

...which actually can happen!

Cathedrals, old cities and towns, window shopping and all the culture made me long for some "real" nature. Perfect, because an old friend of mine was joining us for a hike through the 3 Schluchtental, the three canyon valley.

So three old friends, we know each other for more than 30 years, went  for a hike!
It was great to catch up and do this in such a nice environment.

After my stay in the Black Forest, I went to my hometown, Konstanz. Here I was so busy, that I did not take a lot of pictures. I was "soaking up" my town and and all the memories that come with it.
Walking through familiar streets and alleys but seeing everything with the eyes of a tourist was a interesting experience...

as we have Halloween here, in Germany we have Fasching or Fasnacht in early spring for originally the same reason, to drive away the evil spirits. Over the centuries each town with it's respective guilds developed typical costumes. In Konstanz the most common is the Blätzlebub, a costume made out of hundereds of colorful small felt "shingles", which is shown here.

Historic murals depicting the towns history are very common in Konstanz. Here the "Haus zum hohen Hafen", the house of the high port, illustrating a medieval scene that took place at the square this house is located.

 Many of the downtown houses have names and a long history, no idea why I picked that one...;-)

 The Zeppelin house, named in honor of Earl Zeppelin, who was born in Konstanz.

It was a wonderful time and I hope to be back soon, as in: sooner than the ten years it took me last time to return to Germany for more than a few days!

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