Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Halle, Germany

Halle, Germany

The old Rathaus is a gorgeous piece of neo-Gothic architecture, and it's fairly typical of the buildings in Halle that survived the war and then the Communist period. In this city, the latter was more physically destructive -- most of the town escaped serious damage by Allied bombing, but a lot of it was cleared to make way for grim Stalinist apartment blocks. It's still got plenty of architectural gems like this, however, most in a sad state of repair and far too many unoccupied. Like most cities in the former DDR, not to mention the small towns, Halle is a pretty depressing place these days.

Halle, Germany

For real alienation, however, try living in a Stalinist apartment block. This one in Halle is actually vacant, and presumably awaiting demolition.

Halle, Germany

The Rasthof of Halle, in the former DDR. Nothing like some nice Stalinist architecture to reinforce the power of the state, even in the Socialist Worker's Paradise.


And Wartburg Castle begat the Wartburg car...made in the factory where BMW once made 328s! This was a distinctly different animal, a product of the former DDR, with all that implies.

Wittenburg, Germany

Herewith the church in Wittenburg, Germany to the door of which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses in 1517. (Presumably, it was made in wood back then; today's door is bronze, and the Theses are cast into it.) Shortly thereafter, he was imprisoned in Wartburg Castle, which overlooks the town of Eisenach...where BMW 328s were built in the 1930s.

Cottbus, Germany

Shot from the road in Cottbus, which the Sorbs call Chosebuz, an anonymous but rather interesting building. If anyone knows what this is, please let me know. I like it.