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

Public service announcement: I have changed what happens when you click on images in this blog. Clicking an image on the start page, takes you to the blog entry with a slightly larger image. Clicking on this image in turn, should display an even larger version (1600x12000 pixels). Let me know if you do not see this behaviour, the images do not fit on your screen, or your browser blows up.


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.