Fotoeins Fotografie

the visible wor(l)d, between 🇨🇦 and 🇩🇪

Posts from the ‘UNESCO World Heritage’ category

World Heritage Sites designated and inscribed by UNESCO

Fotoeins Friday: Calton Hill in silhouette, Edinburgh

8 November 2012.

In the magical city of Edinburgh, I’ve been told I’ve been fortunate to see the sun. And so it is, with the late-autumn afternoon sun that I find myself on the north side of Calton Hill with a beautiful expansive view of the Firth of Forth river estuary to the north. But I turn around and I want this, the same silhouette someone would’ve seen in centuries past. From left to right respectively are the grand but uncompleted National Monument, the telescope-shaped Nelson Monument, and the City Observatory. Calton Hill is part of Edinburgh’s inscription as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.

During my year-long RTW, I made this photo on 8 November 2012 with the Canon 450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/1600-sec, f/8, ISO200, 18mm focal length (29mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-ahs.

Martin Luther, Playmobil, Luther Bible, Lutherbibel, Pxhere, CC0

14 for 500 on 10-31: Luther & the Reformation

Above: Playmobil Luther on top of Luther-translated Bible. (Pxhere: CC0, source tog unknown).

Why October 31 is connected with Martin Luther

In most years, October 31 is a statutory holiday in five German federal states. With 2017 as a special 500th anniversary year, all 16 federal states in Germany will observe October 31 as a statutory holiday.

On 31 October 1517, the story goes that Martin Luther strode up to the front door of the Castle Church and nailed his document called “95 Theses”. Luther’s friend and colleague, Phillip Melanchthon, relayed this story years after the fact, but there’s no evidence Luther walked up to Castle Church to pin the document. Wha is clear Luther was outraged by the Catholic Church’s abuse of power and its use of indulgences as a “guilt tax” or “get-out-of-Purgatory fee” to funnel money to Rome and finance the ongoing construction of St. Peter’s Basilica (started in 1506). What’s more likely is that Luther would’ve circulated his document among trusted friends and colleagues, and would’ve quietly sent his document as a letter to his regional Church superior, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg. What cannot be denied is that his document was considered a provocation, questioning the supreme authority of the Church as the sole legitimate path to God and heaven. While he might not have initially guessed the full impact of his protest document, he eventually understood that it came down to matters of control and authority, and about personal choice, especially in matters of faith.

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Lutherstadt Wittenberg: St. Mary’s Church (UNESCO WHS)

Above: West side illuminated by afternoon sun, 30 Oct 2016 (HL).

The Stadtkirche Sankt Marien or St. Mary’s Town and Parish Church is the oldest building in Wittenberg and is one of four sites in town as part of Wittenberg’s status as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Not only is this the location where Luther preached, the church also contains important relics by the Cranachs highlighting the young Reformation movement. As well as contemporaries and colleagues, the Cranach and Luther families themselves were close.

The east chancel (near the main altar) was part of the original St. Mary’s chapel built around 1280. By the early 15th-century, the chapel was incorporated into a triple-naved structure with two towers in the late-Gothic style at the west end of the new church; the Gothic tops were removed and replaced by octagonal shapes by the mid-16th century. The original pulpit from which Luther delivered his sermons has survived the centuries, and is now located in Wittenberg’s Luther House (Lutherhaus).


Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Northeast corner.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Plaque on outside wall; this is the church where Luther preached regularly during his time in Wittenberg.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Jewish memorial (1988) on the cobblestones; more in a subsequent post.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Southeast corner; more in a subsequent post.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Central aisle, facing east to the front altar.


Cranach Reformation Altar

Completed by Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1547 AD/CE, the Reformation Altar has stood in the church chancel for 470 years. The four panels represented pillars of the Reformation, and included portraits of key Reformation figures and supporters in Wittenberg: Luther, Melanchthon, Bugenhagen, Katharina von Bora (Luther’s wife), and Cranach. The altar was “repainted”, redone, and retouched in 1928.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Luther’s influence is all over the front of the altar with key fundaments to the new confession including baptism, confession, and the Last Supper at upper-left, -right, and -centre, respectively.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Predella (the base). Martin Luther at right preaches in church to the congregation at left. It’s believed the child dressed in red is Martin’s son, Johannes (Hans), sitting next to his mother Katharina von Bora. Standing at centre as expression of faith is the crucified Jesus whose loincloth appears to billow in response to Luther at the pulpit.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

Back of the altar, with the risen Christ at centre, flanked by Abraham’s sacrifice and serpents at left and right, respectively. For the longest time, this back portion was affixed to the wall and not visible at all.


Epitaph Paintings

Along the chancel wall surrounding the main altar are epitaph paintings by the Cranach family. The paintings not only honoured the specific person and family, but also highlighted visuals to support the Reformation message.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

“Christ’s Baptism in Jordan”, epitaph painting for Johannes Bugenhausen and his family

“Christ’s Baptism in Jordan”, epitaph painting for Johannes Bugenhausen and his family, attributed to Lucas Cranach the Younger; signed and dated on baptism water jug, about 1560.

Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558) was a theologian, priest, and a significant contributor to widening and spread of the Reformation. Confessor and advisor to Martin Luther, he performed the marriage ceremony for Luther and Katharina von Bora, and he also baptized their children. The image of Christ’s baptism refers to Bugenhagen’s own given baptism name. Above Christ and John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove is connected with God above with a line of Scripture whose Latin inscription means: “This is my dear Son who brings me joy.” To (viewer) left and right, respectively, are Bugenhagen and sons, and his wife Walpurga (+ 1563) and daughters. In the background at right-centre is the townscape for Wittenberg with the just-recognizable twin towers of the Town Church and the rounded “turret-like” tower of the Castle Church. The painting implies that events pictured on the Jordan river can be transferred to Wittenberg on the Elbe river.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

“The Crucifixion”, epitaph image for Sara Cracov. Photo at large angle to line-of-sight; incomplete distortion correction.

“The Crucifixion,” epitaph painting for Sara Cracov (Johann Bugenhausen’s oldest daughter, died 1563), attributed to Lucas Cranach the Younger and Peter Spitzer, completed after 1565.

The central scene is dominated by the three crosses and crucifixions on Mount Golgotha. Below are the kneeling members of the family of Georg Cracov (centre-left) and Sara Cracov (below right); Sara was Johannes Bugenhagen’s eldest daughter. Most of the family is wearing black, except for two children who died prematurely and shown wearing white robes with black crosses. Georg and Sara’s youngest, John, did not survive birth, and Sara also died shortly thereafter. Clearly visible are the castle in the background, as well as the inclusion of a housefly on the leg of the crucified thief gazing skywards. The framing shown dates back to the 1920s which combines the painting and an original Latin inscription.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

“Christ’s Resurrection and The Harrowing of Hell”, epitaph painting for Nikolaus von Seidlitz.

“Christ’s Resurrection and The Harrowing of Hell”, epitaph painting for Nicholas of Seidlitz and attributed to Augustin Cranach; signed “HL75”. About 1582.

Working as teacher in Wittenberg, Silesian nobleman Nikolas von Seidlitz died at the age of 30 in 1582. He was subsequently buried in the Town Church. von Seidlitz is shown awake and kneeling at lower-left in a scene representing Christ’s Resurrection, a popular pictorial subject for epitaphs in the 16th-century. To the upper-left in the background is Christ in limbo pulling a woman out by the arm. Above limbo are four animal-like demons. This medieval theological theme of “The Harrowing of Hell” (Christ’s death and descent into hell defeats evil and releases hell’s victims) was repeatedly requested and ordered in the Cranach workshop, regardless of the denomination affiliation of the client.

Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien, St. Mary's Town and Parish Church, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, UNESCO, World Heritage, Luther Country, Luther 2017, Germany, fotoeins.com

“The Lord’s Vineyard”, epitaph painting for Paul Eber (source: Wikipedia).

“The Vineyard of the Lord”, epitaph painting for Paul Eber by Lucas Cranach the Younger; about 1569.

Paul Eber was professor of theology at Wittenberg University and, later, parish priest at the Town Church. The epitaph image by Cranch the Younger is at best a colourful allegory of the growing Reformation movement, and at worst a scathing piece of propaganda against Rome’s authority. In the scene of the Lord’s vineyard are two groups: Catholics at left are ripping up vines, destroying the land through negligence, and getting drunk with wine; whereas the Reformers at right are carefully tending to the vines and grapes with key figures Luther, Bugenhagen, and Melanchthon at work in the field. At bottom right are the kneeling members of Paul Eber’s family dressed in black; the five figures in white are his children who died. At bottom left is a group of clerics led by the Pope who appear to be negotiating (unsuccessfully) with Christ and his Apostles.


More from Wittenberg

•   13 highlights in the Old Town
•   Castle Church, where Luther apparently posted his 95 Theses

Except for the last image, I made all remaining photos on 29 and 30 October 2016. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-9eN.

Thanks to IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus, the city of the city of Wittenberg for their support, and the Luther Hotel for the warm hospitality. IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus supported my visit to the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt from 25 October to 3 November 2016 inclusive. I also received assistance from the cities of Eisleben, Mansfeld, Dessau, Wittenberg, and Halle (Saale).

Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Lake Constance, Bodensee, Germany, fotoeins.com

4 weeks DE, 11 UNESCO WHS, 3000 km DBahn

Above: Foggy dawn over Lake Constance, 23 Sep 2017 (HL).

For over fifteen years, I’ve traveled with German Rail throughout the the country. I was always passing through the centre of the country; thanks to InterCity Express trains on journeys between Frankfurt and Berlin, I’d seen stops with names “Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe”, “Hildesheim”, and “Hannover”; and I’d wondered what there was to see in these places. I finally decided to stop and find out for myself.

I wrote about my return to Germany to explore the country’s central corridor from Lake Constance to Hannover. I covered about 3000 kilometres by train with a German Rail Pass. Over 4 weeks from mid-September to mid-October, I visited for the first time 11 of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS):

  1. Alfeld, Fagus factory
  2. Berlin Modernism Housing Estates, Gartenstadt Falkenberg
  3. Blaubeuren, Ice Age caves
  4. Goslar, Rammelsberg ore mines
  5. Hildesheim, St. Mary’s & St. Michael’s
  6. Höxter, Corvey Abbey
  7. Kassel, Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
  8. Lorsch Abbey
  9. Reichenau Island
  10. Unteruhldingen, Prehistoric Pile Dwellings
  11. Würzburg Residence.

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Table Mountain, Hoerikwaggo, Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa, myRTW, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: man vs. nature, Cape Town vs. Table Mountain

13 October 2012.

The summit station of the Table Mountain aerial cableway is visible from the M62 road near Fiskaal in Happy Valley, Camps Bay, located in Cape Town, South Africa. The curvature of the man-made overhead electrical wiring whose age is at most a few decades mimic the mountain’s layered striations of grey and red sandstone whose geologic age is over 400 hundred million years. Table Mountain was once a coastal plain and/or a large river delta.

Most who see the pictures or visit Cape Town refer to the flat-topped landmark as “Table Mountain.” However, the indigenous Khoikhoi (Khoekhoe) nomads gave the name Hoerikwaggo (“mountain of the sea”) to the prominent geographic feature. When Dutch sailors arrived and their colonizers settled here, they called the mountain Tafelsberg, literally “table mountain”. The Cape Floral Region which includes Table Mountain was inscribed in 2004 as UNESCO World Heritage site. From the top of Table Mountain (Hoerikwaggo), you can have these north- and south-facing views.

During my year-long RTW, I made the photo on 13 October 2012 with the Canon 450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/320-sec, f/8, ISO200, 53mm focal length (85mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-acs.

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