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Showing posts with the label Germany

Discovering Würzburg

One of the most intriguing suggestions I received on my recent visit to Würzburg was to see the Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge) and stroll across this pedestrian stone bridge with a glass of wine. I learned soon enough that this was sound advice. The bridge is a gathering place for friends and drinking wine from grapes grown in the surrounding hills is a fitting introduction to the capital of the Franconian wine region.

The Alte Mainbrücke was rebuilt between 1473-1543. It has commanding views of Marienberg Fortress and the vineyards that surround the city. On the bridge are twelve statues of saints and emperors which were added in the 18th century.

The Alte Mainbrücke connects the old town with the fishing quarter across the Main River. The tower of the Rathskeller and the steeples of Würzburger Dom figure prominently in the Alstadt (Old Town).

Sunset reflections on the Main River with Marienberg Fortress on the hill above the vineyards.

It’s fascinating to watch how the lock work…

A Tale of Travel Gone Wrong

A travel tale gone wrong After a thoroughly good morning of sightseeing around the fairy tale town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, I walked back to the train station to catch the 3:06 p.m. train to Würzburg which was my home base in Franconia. I was early so I took the opportunity to sit down and rest my aching feet inside the train station where it was warm and cozy. The train arrived on time and we took off for the hour ride home. Or so I thought. Soon after we left the station, I heard an announcement in German which I didn’t understand completely but from which I inferred that something wasn’t quite right. After Steinach where we had to change trains, there was another announcement and in Uffenheim, we were all asked to get off the train. I gathered through an English speaking passenger that we were going to be picked up by a bus as our train could not continue due to an obstruction at one of the stations up ahead. 
We waited for the bus. And waited some more. There was nowhere to sit …

The Fairy Tale Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber has been on my travel bucket list for years. And I finally got there last November. It is an enchanting place. With its half-timbered houses, clock towers, colorful façades, schneeballs and beer steins, Rothenburg ODT oozes with medieval charm. 
It's no surprise that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I was partially filmed in Rothenburg ODT.
This is a common dilemma in Rothenburg ODT. Which direction to take? It's hard to choose because every cobblestone street seems to be competing for the best dressed street award. And they are all winners in my book. 
After walking half a day, an inviting table for two with colorful flowers to warm a cold November day.
I love how these two half-timbered buildings anchor a street that leads to another intriguing square.
The Plönlein (Little Square) is the most photographed square in Rothenburg ODT. But I found more picturesque neighborhoods than this. That's the beauty of Rothenburg ODT. So many choices to get…

Frankfurt am Main - of Half-Timbered Houses and Skyscrapers

The last time I was in Frankfurt am Main was to drop off our rental car and catch a flight home. This time around, I was planning to stay in Frankfurt for a couple of days before leaving for the U.S. But as luck would have it, I had to change my itinerary and stayed a little bit longer than expected. Which was a good thing. Because Frankfurt has changed in the years since I visited and I had a lot of catching up to do.
Most of Frankfurt was destroyed during World War II. But its historical center was painstakingly reconstructed in the 1980s from original floorplans. These pretty half-timbered buildings on the Römerberg in the Alstadt (Old Town) provide a rich contrast to the city of skyscrapers. 
This building in the Alstadt has an unusual roofline. The grey-tiled roof flows into the dormer windows like a wave.
The Römer with its three-gabled façade has been the City Hall of Frankfurt since the 15th century.
The Gothic-style Frankfurter Dom or the Imperial Cathedral of St. Bartholomew is …

Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart - Inspiring Book Culture in a Cube

When I stepped off the elevator on the 8th floor of the Stadtbibliothek (City Library), I unconsciously said ¨wow¨. I had only seen the library in pictures and was captured by the design. Seeing it for the first time in person was truly a wow moment. It appeared I wasn't the only one who felt like this. I noticed that other people stood rooted to the spot just outside the elevator doors and were  staring at the expanse of sleek white space and books in colorful binding neatly stacked on shelves against the walls. 

Launched in 2011, the Stuttgart City Library was designed by Eun Young Yi, a Korean architect from Yi Architects of Cologne and Seoul. He describes the Stadtbibliothek as a "homogeneous, calm, monolithic building that contains a great many of the secret values of  our civilization. These values are neutralized and polished to the point where they possess a universal value that applies to all ages so that only our pure spirit are projected onto the material".

The …

Munich was luminous

Munich was luminous. A radiant, blue-silk sky stretched out over the festive squares and white-columned temples, the neoclassical monuments and Baroque churches, the spurting fountains, the palaces and gardens of the residence, and the latter’s broad and shining perspectives, carefully calculated and surrounded by green, basked in the sunny haze of a first and lovely June day. Thomas Mann, Gladius Dei, 1902

Surprising Nuremberg

"Nuremberg shines throughout Germany like a sun among the moon and stars." MartinLuther

Random Berlin

Our flight route from Amsterdam to Berlin passed over these rich patchworked fields.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The restaurant on the top floor of the department store, Peek and Cloppenburg, not only serves a selection of entreés prepared on the spot, it also has one of the best views of what remains of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church after World War II and the modern steeple beside it. Peek and Cloppenburg is on KÜrfurstendamm. The Memorial Church is under renovation hence the white structure surrounding it.

Berlin Wall
This fragment of the Berlin Wall says it all. The dates 61 refers to the year the wall went up and 89 when the wall started to crumble. At the bottom of this fragment are two hearts representing East and West and the words "l'amour tousjours" or love always. 

"All free men, wherever they may live are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'." -- John F. Kennedy


Sony Center
The amazi…

The Market Gate of Miletus

The Market Gate of Miletus at the PergamonMuseum was rebuilt around 1925-1929 from hundreds of tons of fragments excavated in the ancient city of Miletus and shipped to Berlin by German archaeologists. The original gate dates back to the 2nd century AD and was at the northern entrance to the southern agora or market. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 10th or 11th centuries and suffered damages during World War II.
On each side of the center door are statues, one of which is believed to be that of Hadrian (with a vanquished slave). The columns supporting the gate are Corinthian in style and the gate itself was originally constructed from marble. However, this reconstructed gate now consists of brick, cement, steel and the fragments from the excavation.

On the floor in front of the gate is a mosaic taken from a private home in Miletus. It depicts Orpheus with his lyre. According to classical Greek mythology, Orpheus could charm all living things with his music including wild anima…

The Pergamon Museum - Vorderasiatisches

Ishtar Gate
It was a 2 hour wait just to get inside the PergamonMuseum. Luckily, the sun was shining and it was comfortable standing outside with just a light jacket and medium heel espadrilles. The Pergamon is undergoing renovations and a section of it will be closed after September 2014. The main entrance is now closed and visitors must enter from a side entrance in the courtyard bounded by the NeuesMuseum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Pergamon on MuseumIsland. I bought the area ticket worth €18 which may be used to enter a number of other museums within the same day of purchase.  What I should have done though was buy the €25 annual basic membership Staatliche Museen zu Berlin ticket so I could have skipped the line. Well next time I know better.
This was my second visit to the Pergamon. I was quite impressed with the Gate of Ishtar the first time around which is why it was on my bucket list on this trip and the reason why I endured the long wait. I wavered a couple of times and …