stone, sign

Middle Cliff Way

As a nearby sign says in helpful English: The Felsenwege are natural ways for wandering. Pay attention to falling branches.


angel, christmas market,

Angel with trumpet

On the fountain in Sankt Johanner Markt, watching over the Christmas market.


stuffed bear, christmas market,

Mediaeval bear

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christmas market, mediaeval, musicians


At this time of year, every town in Germany has a Christmas market on its main square. Kirkel has a variation on that theme: its market is in a castle and mediaeval.


Kirkel castle

The first recorded mention of Kirkel castle was in 1075. In the 13th century the impressive round tower (2009-12-19) was added. Thereafter, the castle shared a fate similar to other castles I have pictured here. A series of fires and post-mediaeval wars reduced the castle to ruins, and the stones were scavenged for other purposes. Then in the 20th century reconstruction began, in this case the rebuilding of the round tower in 1955.


logs, fence


A fence in front of the dog club (2009-12-17). The middle log was presumably once parallel to the ground, but is now visibly losing the battle against gravity.


dogs, sport

Canine sport

At first, I only saw a green lawn, and wondered for what sport it was used. There were no markings on the lawn and no goals. Perhaps, it was no longer used? But the floodlights were new. And then I walked up the hill and saw this sign: Club for German Shepherd Dogs.

P.S. A note for British readers: German shepherd dogs are what we rebranded as Alsatians after World War I.

Update: I managed to find the club's web page (SV OG Kleinblittersdorf) with more photos of the site (Gelände) and of the dogs (Hunde).


gate, swimming pool,

Wet metal

The entrance to an open-air swimming pool, where business is slow in December.


terraces, alte schmelz,

Terraced housing

Some of the of the oldest houses for workers in the old ironworks have been tastefully renovated and painted yellow. These, on the other hand, are still looking rather grey and industrial.


alte schmelz, windows

Rusting windows

All the photos over the last few days labelled alte Schmelz are from an old ironworks in the town of Sankt Ingbert. The works date back to the beginning of the eighteenth century and represent some of the oldest industrial monuments in Germany.

Both the rusting windows and the slate clad wall belong to the Herrenhaus, the house of the Kraemer family who owned the ironworks. It was constructed at the beginning of the nineteenth century (larger view) and is located directly opposite the workers' houses.

Part of the site is still in industrial use as a cable factory. The rest consists of trendy new offices, beautifully renovated workers' housing, and a large concert and exhibition building – where I once saw the electro-tango group Gotan Project.


Prickly white

I have no idea what these plants are called. They are growing on a marshy area near the bullrushes (2009-10-09). Maybe, “lazy web” can tell me?


celts, sacrifice

Hansel and Gretel

Squint and you will see a male and a female figure here. They are signposted as the fairy-tale characters Hansel and Gretel, but, in fact, date back to the second century AD and are probably Celtic gods of the forest. They are located not far from the ancient boot-shaped stone (2009-10-11), in a secluded woody valley, and it is assumed that Hansel and Gretel also formed part of rituals of sacrifice.


woods, shelter

Strange toadstool

I wonder what this was for. To protect hikers from the rain?


barn, graffiti

Ramshackle shed

This shed is just behind the train in 2009-11-24. It looked so wonderfully dilapidated, I had to get to the other side of the railway lines and take a shot.


wildpark, sign,  wooden animals

Goodbye Wildpark

The reverse of the sign at the entrance / exit. This concludes our little tour of Saarbrücken's musical, geological wildlife park.


serpentine, wildpark,

Snake rock

Not a menhir, but one of the geology exhibits in amongst the goats, horses and boars in the Wildpark. This particular chunk of rock is serpentine from Greece, age ca. 171 million years.


Hare and hedgehog

A story from the Grimm brothers (original Low German, English translation), wherein is told the tale of a hare that ridicules the stumpy legs of a hedgehog. The offended hedgehog challenges the hare to a race to take place in a field. As the hare reaches the finishing line at the end of the field, he sees the hedgehog's wife who appears identical to her husband. Imagining he has been beaten, the hare challenges the hedgehog to another race. This is repeated 73 times. On the 74th race, the hare collapses and dies on the spot.