October 20, 2017

Gods, Porn and Generals in Rostock

When traveling I am always intrigued by the statues and fountains I stumble onto.  It’s through these that we learn more about the people or causes that are important to the citizens and sometimes the government.

While discovering the city of Rostock Germany, I was struck by a few interesting fountains and one statue.

Neuer Markt Sculpture Rostock Germany

The Neuer Markt has been the center of town for many years.  It is surrounded by Neoclassic and Baroque style houses which make this fountain an interesting choice.Modern Sculpture Rostock Germany

Maybe not surprising, this very modern sculpture garners a lot of controversial attention! The gods circling the sculpture – Neptune, Triton, Nereus and Proteus – are hard to recognize and cast a gloomy aura to the square.  The people who don’t like this sculpture think this gloomy feeling is in contrast to the traditional setting and felt a sculpture keeping with the style of the square would have been more suitable.  What do you think?Joy of Life Fountain Rostock Germany

Strolling along the pedestrian street you come to this unique fountain sitting in front of the University.  Titled “The Joy of Life”, this is a monument to the rebirth of Rostock after World War II.  I feel the artist was able to capture a fun feeling and I did enjoy the quirky nature of the art.  Locally it is known as the “Porn Fountain”.  What do you think Fun or Porn?

Joy of Life Fountain Up Close Rostock GermanyPorn Fountain Rostock Germany

 

 

 

 

 

Also near the University is a statue honoring one of Germany’s heroes, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.  Sitting under the trees you will find General Blücher who was a Napoleonic era Prussian General that was born in Rostock.  His crowning achievement was defeating Napoleon at Waterloo which was also the reason this statue survived the occupation!  The Russians hated Napoleon so also had some respect for General Blücher.General Blucher Rostock Germany

Yes to Germans he was a great man but upon hearing his name, Blücher, the sound of neighing horses kept running through my head.  Anyone remember Frau Blücher?



What fountains or statues have impressed you?

 

 

These photo’s are part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people at the Rostock Tourist Bureau!  To learn more about Germany off the Beaten Path, please visit the Historic Highlights of Germany website.

Wandering Freiburg

The wonderful picturesque town of Freiburg am Breisgau in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany has an honored location as the gateway to the Black Forest. The university town dates back to 1120 and is full of charm, culture, museums and great restaurants.  Freiburg is a wine center of the Rhine Valley and its historic old town has born witness to the varied history of the region.View from Tower Frieburg Germany

The best way of seeing Freiburg is by wandering the streets in the pedestrian friendly old town.  On this walk you’ll pass canals where medieval fisherman, tanners and other guild members once practiced their professions.  You’ll also have the chance to meet the people that helped shape Freiburg in the many statues honoring them.Along Canal in Freiburg Germany

Yes it is through the medieval facades, squares and streets where we meet the real Freiburg and since, in my opinion,  walking is the best way to experience Freiburg I’m sharing a few of the wonderful things I saw while wandering the streets its streets.

Let’s start in and around Rathausplatz where you will find not one but two Rathaus’ (Town Halls).  The Old Town Hall sits to the right of the New Town Hall and is now home to the Tourist Information office.   Both Town Halls were made by combining older homes – the Old in 1557 and New in 1896.  The New Town Hall was the original site of the university dating back to 1457. Most of the remaining parts of the square are taken up by a former Franciscan Monastery including its church which was built in approximately 1300. You will also notice a statue erected in 1853 honoring Berthold Schwarz, the inventor of gun powder and one of my guides during my stay in Freiburg!

Insel Area Freiburg GermanyMore Insel Area Freiburg Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you keep wandering Freiburg you will come upon many beautiful streets and buildings.  Konviktstrasse and the Insel area are two of the most beautiful and picturesque in the city. I loved them both and could spend hours just wandering.  As you’re wandering make sure to slow down to take notice of all the detail on the buildings!  If all your walking has made you thirsty a stop at the Roten Bären (Red Bear) may be needed.  This is Germany’s oldest pub and has been continuously serving since 1387.
Konvictstrasse Freiburg Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Historiches Kaufhaus or Historic Merchant Hall is one of the many beautiful buildings lining the Munsterplatz.  Dating back to 1520, merchants and officials governed and traded at this location during Medieval times.  Look closely and you will see sculptures of Hapsburg emperors. The Minster dominates Munsterplatz and should not be missed.  The Medieval Minster was completed in 1513 after 300 long years of construction.  Besides all the statues, gargoyles and relics found in the Minster, there is also a 381 foot high spire where you will be rewarded with wonderful views after climbing the many many stairs to top!Historiches Kaufhaus Freiburg Germany

As you have seen Freiburg is a beautiful city! There is much more to Freiburg and over the next few weeks we will explore more of this medieval beauty.Looking down from Minster Tower Freiburg Germany

If you haven’t seen enough pictures of Freiburg Germany, visit our Facebook page where you will find more!

 

This is my entry for Carnival of Europe hosted by DJ Yabis at Dream Euro Trip!  Take a look at all the wonderful European entries.

 

Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people with the Freiburg Tourist Office!  If you need more information on Freiburg, please visit their websites.

The “Other” Brandenburg Gate

Don’t you hate it when your younger sibling gets all the attention?  Well this is the case with the “other” Brandenburg Gate.

I bet you didn’t even know Germany had two Brandenburg Gates, did you?  Not only are there two but the gate in Potsdam is the older sibling to the better known Brandenburg gate in Berlin.

Potsdam Germany Brandenburg Gate with Fountain

There used to be a field here instead of fountain hence Country Side!

Yes, Potsdam’s Brandenburg Gate was built in 1770 which makes it about 20 years older than its sibling sitting in Berlin.  The Brandenburger Tor or Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam was ordered by Frederick II of Prussia as a symbol of his victory over the Austrians during the Seven Year’s War.

Brandenburg Gate Potsdam Germany City Side

City Side

Both Brandenburg Gates lead to the town of Brandenburg which was the old home to the Brandenburg and Prussian kingdoms.  The Potsdam gate was actually built by two different architects; one was the teacher and the other his pupil, which explains why the two sides are different!

Potsdam Germany Brandenburg Gate Country Side

Country Side

The Baroque beauty does resemble a Roman Triumphal Arch and well it should since it was modeled after the Arch of Constantine in Rome!

It is a grand Triumphal Arch, don’t you think?

 

I’m sharing these photos as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there!


Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people with the Potsdam Tourist Office for showing me around their beautiful city! For more information please contact either organization or visit their websites.

Tidbits from the Historic Highlights of Germany!

Germany is one of my favorite countries to visit so it was with great excitement that I set out on a whirlwind 6 city tour of Germany!  Every trip to Germany is exciting but this one was especially so since I was going to explore cities and regions I have never been to including 3 in former East Germany.

Map of my German trip

by David Liuzzo on Wikimedia

As the wonderful Deutche Bahn trains carried me far and wide, I was amazed by the green beautiful scenery passing by my eyes.  The rolling landscape is full of green meadows, dense forests, farmland and the ever present church steeple!  Even as I neared the Baltic coast the landscape was still rolling just not quite as high.

German Countryside from Train

German Countryside from Train

Today I’m sharing a few interesting tidbits I learned as I explored these historic highlights of Germany!

Cecilienhof Palace Potsdam Germany

Cecilienhof Palace Potsdam Germany

In Freiburg I enjoyed a guided tour by the monk, Berthold Schwarz, who invented Black Powder during medieval times in the very same city!

During a tour of Mainz my guide told me that Germany has a population of about 83 million people and is roughly the same size as the state of Montana, which only has a population of about 1 million people.  Interestingly, I’ve never thought of Germany being that crammed full!

Erfurt was the first city I visited that was once part of East Germany. While wandering the medieval streets I was struck by the number of pregnant women I saw (they were seriously everywhere!).  Matthias, my guide, said it was true and felt it was due to the fact that people are finally feeling they have a future!

Beautiful Potsdam was where I discovered that President Truman first learned the tests on the atomic bomb were successful at the beginning of the Potsdam Conference and approved the order to drop the bombs while still at the conference held at Cecilienhof Palace.

Dostoyevsky Bust Wiesbaden Germany

Dostoyevsky Bust Wiesbaden Germany

I really enjoyed the funny dry sense of humor my guide in Rostock possessed and had to chuckle when he explained that Rostock was once part of the German Democratic Republic of which they were neither Democratic nor really a Republic.  Times have definitely changed here!

My last stop was Wiesbaden which has been a town attracting the rich and famous for decades.  Originally drawn to Wiesbaden by its spa, the casino helped keep the rich entertained.  In fact, the casino in Wiesbaden is where Fjodor Dostoyevsky lost his fortune and subsequently became the inspiration for his novel, The Gambler.

During the next few weeks I’ll tell you more about the amazing cities I’ve visited and hopefully inspire YOU to explore some of Germany that is off the normal tourist path!

 

 

Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people at all the local tourist offices that made it all happen!  To learn more about Germany off the Beaten Path, please visit the Historic Highlights of Germany website.

Erfurt’s Krämerbrücke

There are many reasons to visit Erfurt and one of them is the Krämerbrücke or Merchant’s Bridge.Erfurt Germany Krämerbrücke Bridge View

Florence Italy may have its Ponte Vecchio but Erfurt Germany has the 120 meter long Krämerbrücke which is the only bridge in Europe that has houses along its entire length that are still inhabited!Erfurt Germany Krämerbrücke View

Spanning the Gera River and sitting at the center of Erfurt’s well preserved medieval city center sits the lovely bridge that has played a role in the city’s trade since at least 1117 when it was first mentioned.  The Krämerbrücke was originally built of wood to support Erfurt’s location on the Via Regia trade route but was replaced with a stone bridge in 1325 after fire kept destroying the wood structure.Erfurt Germany Krämerbrücke Outside View

Today the 32 buildings on the Krämerbrücke delight visitors with its galleries, boutiques, cafes and shops of local artisans.More Erfurt Germany Krämerbrücke Bridge View

Yes there are many reasons to visit Erfurt and the Krämerbrücke is a small representative of the beauty that lie within the city limits!

 

I’m sharing these photos as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

 

Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people with the Erfurt Tourist Office!  For more information please contact either organization or visit their websites.

First Impressions of Mainz

I’ve left a rainy Freiburg and have arrived in Mainz!

Glad to have left the rain behind, I wandered the Old Town, visited the Cathedral and roamed a very nice Wine Festival.

This is a little of what I saw.

Started off with a little lunch. . . yup I’m eating again:)Carrot Soup Mainz Germany

The Old Town was crawling with people for the Saturday market.  It was full of fresh produce, food and wine!  What a great way to spend an afternoon.Market in Mainz Germany

St. Martin’s Cathedral dominates Mainz and rises up from the market.  This Romanesque and Gothic structure is big and beautiful.
St. Martin's Cathedral Mainz GermanyInside St. Martin's Cathedral Mainz Germany

Mainz is one of the main wine centers in Germany so it is fitting they would host a wonderful Wine Festival.  The Festival is held in a lovely park, Stadtpark, and is a place where young and old come together to enjoy wine (maybe not the real young) and the outdoors.Wine Festival Mainz Germany

Well I’m off to spend the day exploring more of Mainz!

Have you been to Mainz? What were your first impressions?

 

Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people with the Mainz Tourist Office!