Posts tagged ‘Heidelberg’

My Heidelberg: Cafe Burkardt in the Old Town

With a population of about 150,000 people, Heidelberg, Germany is home to the oldest university in Germany (founded in 1386) where one in five residents are enrolled at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Heidelberg is also the location of scenic castle ruins on the flank of a hill above the Neckar River, and is destination to over two million visitors annually.

I’m often “home” in Heidelberg to visit friends who are in the city to work for the university or one of the many institutes in town. An important component for any visit to Heidelberg is Untere Strasse in the Altstadt (Lower Street in the Old Town). The narrow cobblestone street includes cafes, pubs, and shops with a neighbourhood feel attracting not only university students for “pub crawls” but also city residents for their favourite hangout spots.

In casual and cozy surroundings, a bistro by the name of Café Burkardt provides an easy environment for coffee, some cake (the fresh on display as you walk through the front door), or a light meal. The café is also a Weinstube (wine bar) for a quiet chat over a glass of wine.

It’s noon on Tuesday, but there are only four other guests in the café. The wood furnishings, the ample window to the outside, and even the light fixtures make me feel completely at ease. My palate has swung from the sweet to the savory side over time. I glance down at the lunch specials this week: pulled pork burger yesterday, vegetarian lasagna with tomato sauce tomorrow, but today, the offering is currywurst with roast potatoes, and a side salad. Having spent time in Hamburg and Berlin, I’m a sucker for currywurst, and I give in to the temptation. My experience is both example and reminder of German “Gemütlichkeit”.

Cafe Burkardt, Heidelberger Altstadt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Cafe Burkardt, Heidelberg Altstadt (Old Town)

Interior and Gemütlichkeit, Cafe Burkardt, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

Cozy “Gemütlichkeit”

Speisekarte (menu), latté, Cafe Burkardt, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

Going over the Speisekarte (menu) with a bowl of latté

Tuesday lunch special, Cafe Burkardt, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

Lunch special (Mittagsmenü): currywurst, roast potatoes, & side salad … with my bowl of latté

Address: Untere Strasse 27, in the Altstadt (Old Town).
Bus stop (Haltestelle): Alte Brücke, bus 35; Rathaus/Bergbahn, bus 33; Universitätsplatz, bus 31 or 32.

To someone new to the city, it’s not entirely obvious how one reaches Untere Strasse. Most will spend a majority of their time up and down the Hauptstrasse (Main Street). Untere Strasse is tucked between Universitätsplatz (University Square) to the west, the Neckar River to the north, Marktplatz (Market Square) to the east, and Hauptstrasse to the south.

I made the photos above on 25 November 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com. Access to public transport was kindly provided by the city tourism organization Heidelberg Marketing and the Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH regional transport authority.

Fotoeins Friday: slice of Heidelberg along the Neckar

Fotoeins’ Fotograms: the 14 of 2014

Fotoeins Fotograms 14 of 2014 cover

At the end of 2013, I listed my 13 instants for the year. I continue to be fascinated by how we look at the world in square format in contrast with 4-by-3 or 3-by-2 formats. It’s not exactly the throwback to a distant past with square photographic plates, but the same physical and photographic principles regarding central symmetry apply. Here are 14 ‘fotograms’ from 2014, including a new 6D, watching my father die, and a return ‘home’ to Deutschland.


(1) ➙ “I ♥ VanCity”, 25 January 2014

Yes, I was born and raised in Vancouver. No, I do not always love the city. But when the sun shows up, it’s easy to overlook temporarily the severe shortcomings about the people and the city. That might come across as heresy, but that’s the least of my worries. Coming back or living here isn’t only about tolerance; what some forget while lost among the trees of glass, spruce, and fir are human decency, obligation, and responsibility, wrapped with a generous portion of ambivalence and beauty.

"I <3 VanCity": Vancouver, Canada – 25 Jan 2014.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(2) ➙ “Y-V-R”, 21 February 2014

It’s no accident I gravitate towards transport hubs and centres, like train stations and airports. It’s another manifestation of seeing a lot of green grass over on the other side, but the simultaneous promise and curse of travel is knowing what the world presents with a short trip on the plane to the other side of the planet. At Vancouver’s international airport, a man and his child walked directly into the light, which I’m very lucky to have seen with my new 6D.

A. “Dad, what’s on the other side of that sunbeam?”
B. “Guess we’ll have to catch our plane to find out, son …”


(3) ➙ “Central halo”, 23 March 2014

About 20 people are on a ‘photowalk’ on Burnaby Mountain to visit the main campus of Simon Fraser University. The early-spring grey skies cast a soft light on harsh cement shapes and lines. There’s evidence of ice in the upper atmosphere, and I’ve an interesting view to the setting sun through the rotunda’s cupola.

"Central halo" : Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada – 23 Mar 2014.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(4) ➙ “Oil’s well that ends well”, 18 April 2014

My friend and I are on a guided historical tour of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. It feels like we have the entire cannery to ourselves in our group of three. I’ve come to enjoy “industrial photography” (e.g., Bernd & Hilla Becher), and this area as part of the fish oil extraction process plays to industriousness. Along with deep greens, rust-browns, yellows, and greys, I like how the lines of the pipes flow to the right, helped along by the big “oily” arrow.

"Oil pipes" : Steveston, BC, Canada – 18 Apr 2014.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(5) ➙ “Names to memories”, 23 May 2014

The gentleman puts his hand up to ‘feel’ and connect with his ancestors. One hundred years ago on 23 May 1914, a ship called the Komagata Maru carrying 376 South Asian passengers and citizens of the British Empire entered Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. They were hopeful with the anticipation to beginning new lives in Canada. But the Canadian government along with local officials endorsed and enforced an anti-Asian and “whites only” immigration policy, denying entry to almost all of the passengers, because of the colour of their skin. More photos from the 100th anniversary commemoration here.


(6) ➙ “Looking and seeing”, 28 June 2014

500px’s Evgeny Tchebotarev arrived in Vancouver and some 20 to 30 local photographers joined him on a photowalk through Gastown. Heavy rainshowers didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance, including Kim pictured here and who was very game throughout the session. More from the photowalk here.


(7) ➙ “Hello, Canada Day …”, 1 July 2014

For the second consecutive year, I set about on a 16-hour marathon on Canada Day: 16 hours of photography and over 100 kilometres traversed, with 18 selected photographs appearing here. Sunrise at 530 on a warm quiet early-summer morning is a picture-perfect way to start the holiday, and an ideal centre point to the present series of 14.

"Hello, Canada Day" (542am) : Vancouver, Canada – 1 Jul 2014.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(8) ➙ “Architectural dialogue”, 5 August 2014

I’d spent chunks of late-July and early-August with Dad in the hospital, as his time with us drew to a close. I also began taking more notice of the area surrounding the hospital in downtown Vancouver. The summer light spoke to me through the lattice of steel and glass, here in the entrance atrium of the Law Courts building complex, designed by world-renowned architect Arthur Erickson.


(9) ➙ “A final sunset”, 8 August 2014

I visited Dad in the hospital every day for 21 consecutive days. How was I to know the photograph below would mark his final sunset. Goodbye to another day, goodbye to one more life. “And there he goes …”

"His final sunset over the Salish Sea": Vancouver, Canada – 8 Aug 2014. Story at http://wp.me/p1BIdT-5vy

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(10) ➙ “The gulf of Georgia”, 27 September 2014

It’s either love or hate for Yue Minjun’s “A-maze-ing Laughter” (2009) near Vancouver’s Stanley Park, an installation of bronze sculptures open-mouthed in hysterical laughter. I’m interested in the juxtaposition between the two figures here, an apparently narrow gap in space magnifying the emotional rift between joy and boredom (or sadness). I believe this speaks to a real part of living here; those unable to recognize the incongruity are in a blissfully ignorant state of denial.


(11) ➙ “Breezy autumn pluck”, 24 October 2014

Windsocks are the bright orange fingers against the cable-stays of the Translink SkyBridge over the Fraser River, as a scheduled automated train crosses over from New Westminster (left) to Surrey (right). The foreground SkyBridge and the background Pattullo Bridge provide good parallel horizontal “stretch” to counter the almost-vertical windsocks and the angled cables.


(12) ➙ “Back home again”, 26 November 2014

Back home in my adopted town of Heidelberg, I’m also back on Königstuhl hill for the first time in years, back to the Schloss castle ruins for the first time in over a decade. I wanted, no, I needed to see this view of the town from above. Despite overcast skies, the city’s Altstadt (Old Town) still emanates that warm red-brown glow between the Heiligeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit, left) and the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge, centre-right).


(13) ➙ “Lichtsterne”, 2 December 2014

“The ghosts of Christmas continue to h(a)unt with due deliberate diligence …” I love these stars at any Christmas market, but seeing them again here at the Markt in Leipzig, I’m also reminded why the holiday season has always been supremely bittersweet.


(14) ➙ “I ♥ Berlin”, 5 December 2014

I experimented with motion blur throughout my three weeks in Germany. I found an ideal environment here at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, typically one of the busiest squares or plazas, with shoppers, workers, and tourists scurrying back and forth, regional and suburban trains on the elevated guideway above, buses and trams at street-level, and underground U-Bahn trains below. The square is a careful frame to the “♥ Berlin” sign at the left, and the blur of the tram from the right.


What are your favourite photos, moments, and impressions from 2014? This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

My Heidelberg: Café Gundel’s special Christmas “Backwaren”

My Heidelberg: science and Christmas in Anatomiegarten

It sounds like an unusual pairing, for science and Christmas to come together in a place called Anatomiegarten, or Anatomy Garden, in the German university town of Heidelberg.

During the Christmas season, the Anatomiegarten is host to one of the key Christmas market locations along Heidelberg’s main street (Hauptstrasse). Prominent are two names from a historical and scientific perspective in Heidelberg.

Robert Bunsen & Gustav Kirchhoff

Anatomiegarten, Hauptstrasse, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

That above is a bronze statue of Robert Bunsen. Who is he? Remember those “bunsen burners”?

German chemist Robert Bunsen (1811-1899) in collaboration with Gustav Kirchhoff pioneered the field of spectroscopy1, detecting new chemical elements (cesium, rubidium), and determining the composition of many substances, including the chemical composition of the Sun and stars with the spectroscopic method. He also designed some equipment for the chemistry laboratory, including the Bunsen burner in 1855. Bunsen’s colleague, Gustav Kirchhoff2 (1824–1887), was a German physicist who was also well-known for developing electricity- and radiation-theory.

Anatomiegarten, Hauptstrasse, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

Robert Bunsen: professor in Marburg, Breslau, and Heidelberg; director of the (university’s) chemical laboratory; founder of chemical analysis; developed the chromic-acid battery and fused-salt electrolysis for the production of magnesium; created spectral analysis technique with Gustav Kirchhoff; discovered the chemical elements of cesium and rubidium (1860).

Anatomiegarten (Anatomy Garden)

By most appearances, Anatomiegarten is small and easy-to-miss by most visiting Heidelberg; even long-time residents miss out as well.

Why is this square called “Anatomy Garden”? The buildings immediately surrounding the square provide some insight.

Anatomiegarten, Hauptstrasse, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

Anatomiegarten with Bunsen statue in front of Friedrichsbau: north side of Hauptstrasse

The Bunsen statue marks the location of Anatomy Garden on the north side of the Hauptstrasse. Behind the statue is the Friedrichsbau. Built initially as a monastery, the building was purchased by (and named after) Baden’s Grand Duke Karl Friedrich the First in 1804. By 1864, the building was converted into a science complex, once home to Heidelberg University’s various science departments including mathematics, physics, physiology. The building is now home to the university’s institute of psychology (Psychologisches Institut der Universität Heidelberg). Behind the Friedrichsbau is a 19th-century university building built to house the departments of anatomy and zoology.

Anatomiegarten, Hauptstrasse, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

From Anatomiegarten’s Bunsen statue to “Haus zum Riesen” building: south side of the Hauptstrasse

Across from the Bunsen statue on the south side of the Hauptstrasse is the Haus zum Riesen, made famous with the scientific work by Bunsen and Kirchhoff.

Once occupied by a hotel destroyed in 1693, a Baroque palace was built in its place in 1707 using stones from one of the collapsed structures at the nearby Castle. By the turn of the 19th-century, the building housed the hotel “Zum Riesen”, a brewery, and a distillery. By the middle of the 19th-century, the university began to use space in the building, accommodating the departments of anatomy, physics, and zoology. Today, the building is used by various companies for commercial and office space.

Anatomiegarten, Hauptstrasse, Heidelberg, Germany, fotoeins.com

Memorial plaque on the wall of “Zum Riesen”

Near the southeast corner of Hauptstrasse and Akademistrasse, the plaque on the wall of “Zum Riesen” reads:

“In diesem Hause hat Kirchhoff 1859 seine mit Bunsen begründete Spektralanalyse auf Sonne und Gestirne gewandt und damit die Chemie des Weltalls erschlossen.”

“Within this building in 1859, Kirchhoff and Bunsen determined a spectral analysis of the sun and nearby stars, opening the study of the chemical composition of the universe.”


Anatomiegarten is home to one of Heidelberg’s Christmas markets along the Hauptstrasse. While you admire the lights and sip on a Glühwein, consider for a moment the square’s backstory, including the university’s history and study of physics, chemistry, physiology, and anatomy.

Towards the western end of Heidelberg’s Hauptstrasse, Anatomiegarten is a 10-minute walk from the city’s central tram and bus hub at Bismarckplatz.

1 Spectroscopy is the process and study of obtaining a spectrum with the separation of light into its components. For example, a rainbow is a naturally-occurring spectrum of “visible colours” as sunlight is refracted by water droplets acting as prisms. Work by Kirchhoff and Bunsen led directly to the study of the chemical properties of objects in the universe by comparing their spectra with the spectra of known chemical elements found on Earth.

2 I found Kirchhoff’s grave in a visit to a cemetery in Berlin’s Schöneberg, where the Brothers Grimm are also laid to rest.

I made all of the photos above on 23 November 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,946 other followers

%d bloggers like this: