Fotoeins Fotografie

a question of home: 鹹水埠溫哥華? Or elsewhere?

Posts tagged ‘Via Regia’

An afternoon at Roemerberg, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: animal kingdom (Frankfurt am Main)

I’ve been reading about photographer Joel Meyerowitz and studying his pictures. Meyerowitz said:

You look at it [a photograph] and all around the real world is humming, buzzing and moving, and yet in this little frame there is stillness that looks like the world. That connection, that collision, that interfacing, is one of the most astonishing things we can experience.

Photography is a response that has to do with the momentary recognition of things. Suddenly you’re alive. A minute later there was nothing there. I just watched it evaporate. You look one moment and there’s everything, next moment it’s gone.

At the Römerberg square in the German city of Frankfurt am Main, I stand apart from the crowds pointing their cameras at the fountain or at the reconstructed famous buildings to the side. I slow down, stop, and take a breath. I happen to look down at the small dog in the bag, attached by a ribbon to the gentleman holding a purse in his other hand. He’s adjusting his pants in a semi-reluctant pose and although he’s facing away from me, the pose is almost as if he’s been “caught holding the bag.” The purse’s owner has gone out of the scene, looking at something else that’s caught their eye or perhaps they’re looking for souvenirs.

Are they visitors or residents? Does it even matter? The tiny pocket-sized canine is the key.

The dog looks at me distinctly unamused, whereas the pigeon “inside” the cord sits calmly on the cobblestone, seemingly unconcerned by the surrounding bipedal hustle and bustle. Once I’ve taken the frame, I’ve witnessed the rhythm of legs, corners, and triangles; sometimes amusement strikes without warning. Does the dog somehow sense it’s at the bottom of the hierarchy? Is the dog’s pleading look a request for escape? Of course, I’m also thinking about Elliott Erwitt’s “Snaps“.

I made the above photograph on 9 May 2015 with the Canon EOS6D, 24-105 L-zoom, and the following settings: 1/200-sec, f/16, ISO1000, and 105mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9Fo.

Erfurt: Martin Luther’s start at the Augustine Monastery

You can almost imagine a 16th-century monk walking these halls, contemplating various aspects of spirituality, and reconciling them with the hardships of everyday living.

In the federal state of Thuringia in central Germany, the Augustinerkloster (Augustine monastery) in Erfurt is a notable place for the history of Martin Luther and the Reformation.

Martin Luther arrived in 1501 and began studies in liberal arts, law, and theology at Erfurt University. In 1505, Luther experienced a big personal event (the scare of his life, as legend goes), and decided to leave his studies by entering the Augustine Monastery to become a monk, much to his father’s displeasure and objections. Built originally around 1300, the Augustine Monastery was home for Martin Luther until 1511, and it’s here where he was ordained as a priest. The site underwent extensive post-war reconstruction after suffering heavy bombing damage in the Second World War. The monastery is now a seminary and a modest hotel: guided tours of the monastery provide a glimpse to Luther’s early years as a monk, and visitors can now reserve rooms for overnight stays in a no-frills technology-free setting and a peaceful comfortable environment.

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in Germany.


Augustinerkloster, Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt, Thüringen, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Inside the Lutherpforte gate: east to the Gästhaus (guest house)

Erfurt Augustinerkloster, Toma Babovic, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Cloister (TB/TTG)

Erfurt Augustinerkloster, Toma Babovic, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Reconstructed library (TB/TTG)

Erfurt Augustinerkloster, Toma Babovic, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Recreation of Luther’s spartan room, a monk’s cell (TB/TTG)

Augustinerkloster, Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt, Thüringen, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Vulgate Bible, printed in 1491 by Johann Amerbach in Basel and subsequently bound in Erfurt. Shown are the gospels of Mark and Luke in the New Testament. The “Q” at the upper-right is the first verse of the first chapter in the gospel of Luke: “quoniam quidem multi conati sunt ordinare narrationem quae in nobis conpletae sunt rerum …” The NIV translation goes as: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us …” Photo by HL

Augustinerkloster, Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt, Thüringen, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Copies of Martin Luther documents. Top: “Ein schon sermon tzu Erffurdt …”, printed 1522 in Erfurt by Michael Buchführer. Bottom: “Allen frommen Christen zu Erfurt. Vorrede zu Justus Menius: Wider den hochberühmten Barfüsser zu Erfurt …”, printed 1527 in Wittenberg by Hans Lufft. Photo by HL

Augustinerkloster, Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt, Thüringen, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Luther-Festsaal, Renaissancehof (HL)

Augustinerkloster, Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt, Thüringen, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

From the reception area towards the newer “Haus der Versöhnung” (HL)

Augustinerkloster, Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt, Thüringen, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Klostergarten (HL)

Augustinerkloster, Augustinian Monastery, Erfurt, Thüringen, Thuringia, Germany, fotoeins.com

Kreuzhof (HL)


Thanks to Germany Tourism, Erfurt Tourismus, and Visit Thuringia for their support during GTM15 and for access to various venues throughout the city and region, and to Mercure Hotel Erfurt Altstadt for their generous hospitality. Three photos labeled “TB/TTG” indicate photos made by Toma Babovic for Thüringia Tourismus GmbH. I made the other photos on 26 April 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-98x.

Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt, Christmas market, Markt, Leipzig, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: A Christmas star shines on Leipzig

It’s time once again for the Christmas markets, and in Leipzig, I found this beautiful illuminated star at the Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt at the city’s market square. Leipzig has continued the tradition of a Christmas market for the last 500-plus years (since 1458). It’s a reminder for me to find the nearest market and get me some Glühwein. You can read much more about the Leipzig Christmas Market (in English) here.

I made the photo above on 2 December 2014 with Canon EOS6D, EF 24-105 zoom-lens, and the following settings: 1/1000s, f/5, ISO10000, and 58mm focal length. Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH (LTM) hosted my visit on 2-4 December. Access to public transport was kindly provided by LTM and the MDV Mitteldeutscher Verkehrsverbund regional transport authority. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-7aj.

Spinnerei, Leipzig, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Leipzig Spinnerei: from cotton mill to arts centre

The Leipzig Spinnerei is a former cotton mill (Baumwollspinnerei) in the western industrial suburb of Plagwitz. The massive site at an area of 10 hectares (over 1 million square feet) with rows of factory buildings began operation in 1884 and eventually became the largest cotton mill in Europe with thousands working and living on-site. After the site ceased to produce spools of cotton thread shortly after reunification, artists took advantage of the cheap empty space, and transformed the area into studios, galleries, and exhibition halls. Much has been written about the impact and examples of art and space on Leipzig as the “new Berlin” as well as the “New Leipzig School.” The site as art and culture space celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015.

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ShUM, SchUM, medieval Jewish cities, Speyer, Shpira, Worms, Warmaisa, Mainz, Magenza, Germany, Ashkenaz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Rhineland-Palatinate, fotoeins.com

Jewish ShUM on the Rhine: Speyer, Worms, Mainz

When threats of destruction to property and life follow and linger over a group of people through no fault of their own over centuries, there’s something to be said about an eternal need to keep a watchful eye. Words like Verfolgung, Vernichtung, and Vertreibung1 have been etched into memory. I have all this in mind as I explore Jewish history in Germany as part of my need to answer the following question:

How did a nation of people which fostered composers Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Strauss; and writers Goethe, the Brothers Grimm, Heine, Hesse, Heinrich and Thomas Mann, and Schiller sink to the worst depths of human atrocity and depravity in the first half of the 20th-century?

It’s easy to forget Jewish people have lived in what is now Italy and southern Europe since the middle of the 2nd-century BCE and inhabited southern Germany from the late 10th-century AD/CE2. During the High Middle Ages, three important bishopric (and cathedral) cities of Speyer, Worms, and Mainz along the Rhine river formed an important league or federation of Jewish communities (Kehillot) from the end of the 10-century to about the mid-to-late 14th-century. The word שו”ם or ShUM (SchUM in German)4 is an acronym consisting of the first letters of the Hebrew names for the three cities:

•   Shin (ש), Sh for Shpira (שפירא) → present-day Speyer;
•   Waw or Vav (ו), U for Warmaisa (וורמש) → present-day Worms;
•   and Mem (ם), M for Magenza (מגנצא) → present-day Mainz.

The ShUM cities became centres for learning, training, religion, culture, and trade within medieval Germany (Ashkenaz3) and throughout Europe. Today, the three ShUM cities establish key destinations for historical travel, provide rich examples for continuing research on medieval Jewish life, and add up to a comprehensive project in recognizing an important chapter of the history of Jews in Germany.

Germany has presently over 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but none of them relate to the long-standing Jewish history in the country. The German federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate) submitted the ShUM cities for national consideration in the summer of 2012. Having passed the rigours of internal ranking among other worthy candidates within the national committee, the application entered the UNESCO’s tentative lists for World Heritage Sites in 2015. In 2020, the German Foreign Ministry will submit to UNESCO all documentation relating to the nomination, says Susanne Urban, Managing Director of the ShUM-Cities Association. Urban adds that a final decision by UNESCO regarding the ShUM cities as a new World Heritage Site is not expected until 2021.


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