Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘river’

Worms’ Holy Sand: Europe’s oldest surviving Jewish cemetery

I’m looking for a “thousand-year history” in the city of Worms located in southwest Germany. This has nothing to do helminthology or nematology, as the town’s name is derived from “Warmaisa”, the former Jewish name of the city. This is about an important part of Jewish-German history and peaceful coexistence of the Judeo-Christian communities within Europe. The town’s fame and reputation is also partly derived from Martin Luther; I’ve already visited the site where Luther was on trial to answer charges of heresy, as well as the world’s largest Reformation monument.

This part of the Rhein river area is considered the “cradle of European Jewry”, known also as “little Jerusalem on the Rhine.” In medieval times, flourishing Jewish communities in the cathedral cities of Speyer, Worms, and Mainz facilitated the creation of a common Jewish league with the name ShUM (SchUM), spelled out by the first letters of the Hebrew names for the three cities. To emphasize the influence of Jewish heritage in Europe and to continue the ongoing process of preservation and education, the recent application by Germany for the ShUM cities to be inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site is at present in the Tentative list (2019).

On a breezy late-autumn afternoon, light fades quick, casting solemn shadows on this ground. In the town’s old Jewish cemetery, I’m the only person present, and I’ve placed a small stone on top of a number of gravestones. I’m surrounded by apparitions over an millennium’s age and by the remaining physical traces in various shapes, stones, and size.

( Click here for images and more )

Blautopf, Blaubeuren, Blau river, Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday um Ulm herum: Blautopf Blaubeuren

In Ulm, um Ulm, und um Ulm herum

That’s a well-known “Zungenbrecher” (literally, “tongue breaker” or tongue-twister) which translates as “In (the city of) Ulm, around Ulm, and round about Ulm”.

Ulm is located in southern Germany in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. In the nearby town of Blaubeuren, there is the URMU or Urgeschichtliches Museum with important local archaeological finds highlighting prehistoric human civilization. There is also an unusual deep lake called Blautopf whose waters rise from the deep and appear very blue. The Blautopf is also the source of the Blau river which flows through Ulm’s Fischerviertel (Fisherman’s Quarter) before converging with the Danube.

Blaubeuren is a short 15-minute trip with a regional train from Ulm. From the Blaubeuren train station, there’s a 1.7 kilometre (1.1 mile) walk northeast to the Blautopf. There is also (limited) bus service between “Blaubeuren, Bahnhof” and “Blaubeuren, Museum.”

I made the photo above on 26 September 2017 with a Canon 6D mark1, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/125-sec, f/11, ISO1000, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-dBS.

Fischerviertel, Fishermen's Quarter, Grosse Blau, Blau river, Danube, Danube river, Donau, Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday um Ulm herum: Fischerviertel and the Blau

In Ulm, um Ulm, und um Ulm herum

That’s a well-known “Zungenbrecher” (literally, “tongue breaker” or tongue-twister) which translates as “In (the city of) Ulm, around Ulm, and round about Ulm”.

Ulm is located in southern Germany in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Towards the southwest corner of Ulm’s Old Town is the Fishermen’s Quarter with historic buildings including the Schiefes Haus (Leaning House) which is the building in partial shadow at lower-centre. From this vantage on the Blaubrücke (Blau bridge), the Blau river flows through the Fischerviertel on its way to converge with the Danube a mere 130 metres to the southeast; I’ll show the source of the Blau in the fourth and final installment of Ulm photos next week.

I made the photo above on 25 September 2017 with a Canon 6D mark1, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/640-sec, f/16, ISO1000, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-dBK.

Jahnufer, Neu-Ulm, Ulmer Münster, Metzgerturm, Ulmer Stadtmauer, Donau, Danube, Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Bavaria, Deutschland, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday um Ulm herum: medieval Münster & Mauer

In Ulm, um Ulm, und um Ulm herum

That’s a well-known “Zungenbrecher” (literally, “tongue breaker” or tongue-twister) which translates as “In (the city of) Ulm, around Ulm, and round about Ulm”.

Ulm is located in southern Germany in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. On the other side of the Danube (Donau) river is Neu-Ulm in the state of Bavaria. After a quick ride on the bus and short walk to the river shore on Jahnufer, there’s this great view of Ulm with the central spire of the Münster (cathedral, 1377-1890 AD/CE) at left and the Metzgerturm (butcher’s tower, c. 1350 AD/CE) at right and subsequently incorporated with the Mauer (city wall, c. 1480 AD/CE).

I made the photo above on 25 September 2017 with a Canon 6D mark1, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/500-sec, f/16, ISO800, and 45mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-dBs.

My Heidelberg: Highlights from Home

Above/featured: From Philosophenweg: across the Neckar, over the Altstadt, and up to Königstuhl – 21 May 2016 (HL).

Some have called this place “scenic, natural, and spectacular”; some call it “boring, provincial, and extortionate”. I could be referring to Vancouver, but that’s a subject for another time. I’ve long struggled with questions of place: what defines “home”? Can those definitions and qualities change with time? Do people have choice(s) and do they apply their choices in their search? Can people find meaning with “home”? Must “home” be restricted to only one place, or can different needs be met from different places?

Images can provide access to memories of having lived in a new country, experiencing the shock of the new, and settling into the mundane. I remember advice someone once gave me which became constant companion and reminder: that I was inhabiting a place at the same latitude as my birthplace, 8000 km in distance and 9 time zones apart on the other side of the planet, a place that’s seen its compact share of activity with flair and impact.

Most recall is naturally connected to sight. Occasionally, it’s a rush of the senses: the quick breeze on the skin, the ankle-spraining undulations of the cobblestone, how fog clings like a cold clammy cloak, the sing-song of birds among tall trees in the forest on the hill, the smell of grilled sausages in town by day, and the satisfying late-night noms of a spicy Dürüm Döner with a cool Ayran. And other times, human history leaps out and buries its claws, when the unthinkable must be acknowledged and understood in a synapsis of memory and senses.

In the autumn of 2001, I moved to Germany and Heidelberg: both sight unseen and without having learned any of the language. I stayed in town for a little under two years. What’s astonishing is I have no pictorial record of my time in Heidelberg, Germany, and Europe: I had no camera before the dawn of the smart-phone.

I have some great memories, even if time is casting long shadows. What I lost (no, gave away) was some part of me that actually has little to do with the “Schlager” hit song “Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren“. It might be a piece of the heart, a part of the soul, or simply a scrap of good sense; but what it is precisely still remains undefined and shapeless. Finding solid answers about what I’ve surrendered might take years. And so, for the sake of clarity, I’ve returned many times since leaving town in 2003. A sharper focus comes through the post-departure blur whenever I step off the train in town.

I couldn’t have possibly known the experience of moving to and living in Heidelberg would be life-changing. Time so far has been kind, because it didn’t take long for me to adopt Heidelberg as “home”.

( Click here for images and much more )

%d bloggers like this: