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Posts tagged ‘Magdeburg’

Petrikirche, Taufkirche, Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Tracing Martin Luther’s steps in 16 German cities

Above/featured: “Luther war hier. // Luther was here.” Eisleben, Germany (HL, 27 Oct 2016).

In pre-teen years, I attended a Catholic elementary school by weekday, and a missions-oriented Protestant church by weekend. I already had multiple questions running around my pre-scientist brain, like electrons appearing and dissipating in a fuzzy halo. When various disparate elements began to settle with few satisfying answers, I left behind the churches and their respective religions. But one thing that’s remained is my love of history. History has never been boring, because I carry the past (as offspring of immigrants), and I’m determined to bring history’s lessons into the present.

Even in youth, I had to ask: why was one set of churches called “Protestant”? What was under protest? How did one man help spark a movement that would help merge and create a version of a language that continues today, that would bring accessible means to literacy for the public, and that would begin to change rule by religion to rule by law?

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Lebenszeit, Zeitzaehler, Gloria Friedmann, Platz am Elbbahnhof, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Magdeburg: Elb(e) and flow of time

I feel every hour of every day more keenly, especially as some of my contemporaries have recently died far too early. As children, we all felt we were held back, against the sluggish crawl of time. Today, we’re holding on as hard as we can, engulfed within the surge of time. Is it better to give in to the flow, or is it better to stand and making turbulence in the tide?

Along the Elbe river promenade in the east German city of Magdeburg, a sculpture appears to keep track of time in a neighbourhood not far from the city’s Cathedral.

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Green Citadel, Grüne Zitadelle, photo by Andreas Lander, Magdeburg Tourism MMKT, Hundertwasser, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Magdeburg’s Hundertwasser landmark: the Green Citadel

“It’s so pink!”

“Yes, but by design, there’s a lot of green foliage integrated within and around the building.”

“But why is the building pink?”

“That colour irritates a few people, particularly some at the big bank next door and even some at state government offices nearby.”

Wouldn’t that be fitting for Hundertwasser, who declared straight lines as “godless” and called his final work “an oasis for humanity and nature in a sea of rational houses”?

In art and in architecture, there’s no mistaking an inevitable clash between what’s “fanciful” and what’s “functional”. Not only has this conflict always been around in some shape or form, it’s a sign there’s change, disruption, or rebellion against the staid of the contemporary. What’s also true is that what’s believed to be “common” has rarely been universal, by place or in time.

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Magdeburger Dom: oldest Gothic cathedral in Germany

As the largest Gothic church in northern Europe, Cologne’s Cathedral gets a lot of love in words and pictures for its size and splendour. But the distinction of oldest Gothic church in Germany goes to Magdeburg. The church is the city’s landmark and the church’s benefactor is part of the city’s nickname as “Ottostadt”. The full name of the church is “Dom zu Magdeburg St. Mauritius und Katharina”, or Magdeburg Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice, reflecting the history at this very location since the 10th-century.

Magdeburg Cathedral is important because:

  • it’s the burial place for Otto the Great, the first German Holy Roman Emperor,
  • it’s the first church constructed in Gothic style on German soil, and
  • it’s the largest consecrated space in east Germany.

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