Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story

Posts tagged ‘Thueringen’

Wartburg Castle, Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Eisenach Wartburg at night

The light spring rain makes gentle syncopated patter on the surrounding forest canopy and against the stone walls and roadwork. Pitty pat, pit pit pat …

In the distance a spotlight fires up, announcing its presence with the soaring beam piercing through the mist. In the fading daylight, it’s become abundantly clear the mystery in this picture has remain unchanged over centuries.

As a part of exile at Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Martin Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German (1521-1522), giving accessibility of the book to the general population for the first time. This marked an eventual shift of requiring intercession from priests to a direct relationship betweeen people and God. Wartburg Castle gained UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999 for the surrounding forested beauty and the site’s historical significance.

I’m grateful to Thüringen Tourismus and the Germany National Tourism Board for supporting and providing access to places and activities in the region. I made the photo above on 25 April 2015 with the Canon EOS6D, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/160-sec, f/4, ISO5000, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on fotoeins DOT com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-77V.

Uni-Hauptgebäude, Bauhaus Universität, Weimar, Thüringen, Germany, UNESCO World Heritage, Weltkulturerbe, fotoeins.com

Weimar UNESCO WHS: Bauhaus Old and New

There’s a clear transition in time where architecture and design took a step from behind closed doors for the sole purview of the rich and royal and out into the open for public and general consumption. It’s no surprise the years from the end of the 19th-century into the 20th-century marked big changes, with Art Nouveau at the time as part of the Secession movement. Throughout Europe, rebellion and revolution were in the air, economically, politically, and culturally.

The Bauhaus movement also helped initiate a conversation, creating and fostering a relationship between industry’s machinery and artistic or cultural creativity. Bauhaus opened in Weimar in 1919, before moving to Dessau and Berlin. The rise of the National Socialists deemed Bauhaus “degenerate” and did all they could to eliminate a movement and her people deemed counter to National Socialist policy. With Bauhaus’ forced closure in 1933 by the Nazis, a number of practitioners escaped Germany to other parts of the world, including the United States and Argentina.

For their deep and wide-ranging influence on 20th-century art, architecture, and design, an incomplete list of names includes Martin Gropius, Lyonel Feininger, Gerhard Marcks, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Schlemmer, Herbert Bayer, Irene Bayer (née Hecht), Karla Grosch, Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, etc. In particular, László Moholy-Nagy would move to Chicago in the United States and established in 1937 the New Bauhaus which became the Institute of Design in 1944.

Tucked away on a university campus a few minutes south of the Weimar city centre, two important building lie across from each other: the Saxony Academy of Art1 building and the Grand Ducal Saxony School of Arts and Crafts (College of Applied Arts)2. The former is now the main building for the present-day Bauhaus University, and the latter now houses Bauhaus University’s Faculty of Design. In 1996, these two buildings formed a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) listing and designation for Bauhaus sites in Weimar and Dessau.


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Anger, Schlösserstrasse, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Erfurter Anger (Erfurt Commons)

With over 200 thousand residents, Erfurt is the capital city for the state of Thuringia (Landeshauptstadt Thüringens), and is included in the Historic Highlights of Germany. The city’s central square is the Anger with its first mention traced to a document in 1196. Anger develops over centuries as the town’s trading centre for wine, wool, wheat, and woad. Woad (“Waid” in German) is a source for blue dye after the plant is collected, dried, pulverized, and fermented. By the second-half of the 17th-century, Erfurt is a centre of woad trade and production; Anger is also known as the “woad commons” or “Weidt Anger”, “Waidanger”, “Waydanger”. Today, Anger has evolved into the present-day commercial hub of consumer activity, with Germain chain stores Karstadt (department), Saturn (electronics), and REWE (food) in “Anger 1”.

“Anger” is a German noun (m, der) representing an open common space in a small town (i.e., ‘village green or common’). The German word for anger is Zorn (m) or Wut (f). Confusion and similarity of words in English and German is an example of a “false friend”.

Hauptpostamt, Anger, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany, fotoeins.com

Erfurter Anger: Angereck, Hauptpostamt

Kaufmannskirche, Anger 1, Anger, Erfurt, Thüringen, Germany, fotoeins.com

Erfurter Anger: Kaufmannskirche, ‘Anger 1’

My thanks to Germany Tourism, Thüringen Tourismus, and the Erfurt Tourism and Marketing Board for supporting and providing access to places and activities, and to Mercure Hotel Erfurt Altstadt for their warm hospitality. I made these photos on 26 and 29 April 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6Z4.

GTM15, Weimarer Markt, Markt, Weimar, Thüringen, Germany, fotoeins.com

Weimar: an instant walk through the UNESCO town (IG)

Like Erfurt, Weimar is located near the geographic centre of Germany. It’s a small town with over 60000 people, but what it lacks in size is surely made up in history and the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city hosts multiple sites in two separate categories:

•   “Classical Weimar”, including the Anna Amalia Library and the Rococo Hall, and
•   “Bauhaus Sites”, including the Bauhaus University.

Erfurt, Weimar, and the state of Thuringia were hosts for Germany Travel Mart 2015 (GTM15), the annual meeting and workshop by the Germany National Tourism Board. Visiting the “heart of Germany” fulfilled my desire to spend time in the former East Germany. Many overlook Thuringia and the middle of Germany on their way elsewhere, but the following shots provide reasons why you should consider stop and embrace one of the “centres of classic and modern Germany.”

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Weimar: Duchess Anna Amalia Library, UNESCO WHS

As one of over ten buildings, residences, and properties making up what is called “Classic Weimar”, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library (Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek) has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.

To consolidate her love of books into a larger holding space, Duchess Anna Amalia commissioned in 1761 the State Architect to rebuild and convert the Renaissance-style French (Green) Castle into a library, which opened in 1766. Becoming one of the most important libraries in the country, the collections included some of the finest written and produced in German literature, art and culture, history, and architecture. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe himself was Library Director between 1797 and 1832.

The library has had its fair share of names: initially called the Ducal Library (Herzogliche Bibliothek); in 1815 renamed as the Grand Ducal Library (Großherzoglichen Bibliothek); in 1918 renamed as the Thuringia State Library (Thüringische Landesbibliothek); in 1969 renamed as the Central Library of German Classics (Zentralbibliothek der deutschen Klassik); and in 1991, renamed as Duchess Anna Amalia Library (Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek) in honour of the library’s founder.

An electrical short from aging damaged wiring sparked a fire on 2 September 2004; the fire held on for over two days before the final hotspot was put out. Over 100 thousand books were damaged or destroyed by fire, water, and smoke. The fire was the largest to strike a German library in post-war history. Subsequent donations and volunteers poured into Weimar from throughout Germany and Europe to help with rescue and preservation efforts. After conclusion of extensive restoration work to the building, the interior Rococo Hall, and to thousands of rescued books, the library was reopened on 24 October 2007, the birthday of the library’s namesake (Anna Amalia born 24 October 1739).

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