Germany tour: lessons learned

Architects for German Government public buildings built since the war, for ‘transparency’, like to use lots of glass – while new synagogues are often built like fortresses. Slide 1 is the Bavarian government building in Munich. The central part is the remains of a museum for the Great War (which had been left as a ruin until the 1980s and is still WW2 battle-scarred) with new glazed wings added. Slide 2 is the corner of the Ulm synagogue and Jewish community centre. In the right half the ‘old’ building behind Deirdre is a post war reconstruction of the 1534 ‘Steuerhaus’, used as a tax office in the Free City era and later as a local court, school and administrative offices.

See also my pictures of the ‘Bundestag’, (formerly ‘Reichstag’) building, seat of the German Government, Berlin, where the central roof dome is replaced by a public glazed space and, when they are in session, you can view the Government deep in the building at work below.

Germany tour: Leipzig Mdbk

‘Berliner Zimmer (a sorrow shared is misery halved)’, Leipzig version, 2002 at the MdbK (Museum der bildenden Künste). Volker Via Lewandowsky’s artwork – a split living room (including parrot) – represents the partition of Germany.

Germany Tour: Leipzig POLIZEI

While staying in Leipzig we witnessed a political sit-down protest and police closing off the road outside our hotel on Monday night. Mondays have special significance as a night of protest here since Monday 9 October 1989. On that evening there was a protest of candles and prayer, 70,000 people gathered outside St Nicholas’ church, Leipzig. This was one of the first public protests in the East that led, a few months later, to a reunited Germany and the end of the Cold War.

On leaving the main station after a day out we found ourselves in the midst of emergency services at a crash scene. Two trams had collided, a very few people hurt, and a long queue of traffic through central Leipzig – cars, buses, trams – was the result.

Germany tour: Colditz

Colditz, as you would expect, is far away from anywhere. A full day’s excursion from the nearest big city, Leipzig. We had to take a local train (one per hour) and then a long bus journey through the fields to get there. If you read this blog post further you’ll see captions for each of the pictures. On the day of my visit we were too late to be shown around – there are short and long tours with a guide available – but here is my personal ‘guided tour’.

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Germany tour: Bauhaus, Dessau

We got to stay at the Bauhaus! We had the top left room of Walter Gropius’ designed student accommodation for one night. Almost 100 years old, the building is now in the process of restoration, it was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996.