Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Bayern’

St. Johannes der Täufer, Obergrainau, Grainau, Waxenstein, Wetterstein, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bayern, Bavaria, Oberbayern, Upper Bavaria, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday in the Alps: Grainau

An infrequent but sure way to get me up, oot, and aboot in early-morning is if there is good light; if there’s the promise of something sparkly and shiny; and if there’s the promise of a subsequent shot. This image takes place in late-spring at 645am in Grainau, about 15 minutes west from the Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany. The St. John the Baptist church and cemetery lie at the foot of the looming Wetterstein mountains. The country’s highest mountain, Zugspitze, pokes out from behind to the right of the church steeple.

I made the photo above on 28 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the following settings: 1/500-sec, f/10, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-glP.

KZ-Dachau Memorial Site: never again

Where: Dachau, 20 km northwest from Munich, Germany.
What: The blueprint by which murder became a methodical industrialized process.

I once thought I wasn’t prepared emotionally; perhaps I never would. But I couldn’t go further in my long-term examination of Germany and Jewish-German history without a visit.

It’s an overcast morning in early June, and a couple of rain showers accompany me along with a handful of other people, waiting for the site to open at 9am. A dark heavy cloak descends the moment I step through the main gate and into the site. There is dread, waiting. I promise myself to be open as much as possible, to really look and listen.

This is KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. The abbreviation KZ is “Konzentrationslager für Zivilpersonen” or concentration camp for civilians, although the initial terminology used by the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) was KL for “Konzentrationslager.”

There’s a lot to absorb. And maybe, it’s best not to.

Systematic torture and unrestrained cruelty. Forced medical experiments. Arbitrary execution by hanging or gunfire. The destruction of human dignity. The annihilation of hope. This camp as a “model” to broaden the scope and scale of industrial mass-murder. The first commandant of Auschwitz in 1940, Rudolf Höss, honed a career in brutality as SS support staff and block leader at the Dachau camp in late-1934.

I had planned to stay for a few hours at most and leave around noon. I didn’t notice the time. When I finally noticed clear skies and the change in sun-angle, I check my watch. It’s almost 5pm, closing time. Eight hours have flown by outside my bubble, which begins to dissolve.

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My Mittenwald: mountains, masks, music, Mahlzeit!

Above/featured: From the regional train: facing southwest over Schöttlkarstrasse and the eastern end of the Wettersteinwand at right.

The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1786 described the alpine town of Mittenwald as “lebendes Bilderbuch” or “a living picture-book”. Images and descriptions in print and provided by visitors became draw and lure. Funny thing is I’d set foot and stayed in nearby Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and hadn’t taken the easy 20-minute train hop to Mittenwald.

I took care of that with two visits within a 15-month interval.

Wandering through Mittenwald is a delight because of the abundant fresh mountain air, picturesque surroundings, and the easy compact nature of the town. It’s a very familiar refrain for alpine towns in this part of the world.

Mid-winter is special with the combination of seeing mountains freshly frosted with snow, people of all ages wearing masks and costumes during carnival season, houses painted in colourful “Lüftlmalerei”, and the town’s special place in music history. When clouds break in spring and summer, it seems like an endless vista of blue skies and lakes along with green meadows and mountains to accompany your time outside on walks and hikes in the area.


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Bahnhof Garmisch-Partenkirchen, train station, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bayern, Bavaria, Oberbayern, Upper Bavaria, Germany, Duetschland, fotoeins.com

Garmisch-Partenkirchen: glorious beaut (LAPC)

Above/featured: Garmisch-Partenkirchen train station, with the characteristic red of Deutsche Bahn’s regional trains – 27 Feb 2017 (HL, 6D1).

The Lens Artists Photo Challenge or LAPC is marking its one-year anniversary, and moderators and participants are going free with their own choices to highlight their respective images. I’m pleased to present here one of my favourite spots to visit in Germany: Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GAP)* is located in southern Bavaria near the international border with Austria.

I’ve stayed in GAP four times: 2002, 2011, 2017, and 2018; I’m kinda fond of Biohotel Bavaria.


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Augsburg: Fugger, Luther, & water in Germany’s 3rd oldest city

Above/featured: Facing north on Maximilianstrasse: Steigenberger Hotel Drei Mohren (left), Fuggerhäuser (orange) – HL, 12 Mar 2017.

Why Augsburg?

  • Fugger family legacy
  • Martin Luther and the Reformation legacy
  • Water supply management, newly inscribed World Heritage Site

I had come to Augsburg to find and understand traces Martin Luther left behind in the city. What I learned was the extent of the lasting legacy provided by the Fugger family, and how the city has for centuries provided safe clean water to her citizens, and how that water management system has become world-renowned as a piece of cultural heritage, forming the basis of an application for recognition as a World Heritage Site.

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