When I put up some shots of the Saar-Spektakel, several commenters asked about the cruise boat that offers tours of the Saar. Here, across the rippling river, is the cruiser in question, and here is the stretch of water that was full of boats on the Saar-Spektakel weekend.
The most famous sight in Saarland.
Both Besseringen and Mettlach lie on the Saar and they are only 2km apart as the crow flies. The Saar, however, does not follow the crow, it makes an impressive 10km detour known as the Saarschleife, the Saar Loop. I am not the first to have discovered this pretty panoramic view. Friedrich Wilhelm IV, Adolf Hitler and Konrad Adenauer have passed by this spot, and in 2006, Angela Merkel organised a meeting there with Jacques Chirac and Lech Kaczynski, the Polish President.
Eugen von Boch (1809–1898)
Born in Luxembourg to a family from Lorraine, in France, Eugen von Boch built up the family firm in Mettlach and became a German noble. To those building such political structures as the Quattropole, he is a model of European integration before his time. Through his marriage to Oktavie Villeroy, he cemented the business alliance between the two ceramic firms and continued to build up the reputation of Villeroy & Boch as the maker of fine porcelain. A reputation that continues a century later.
The old tower
Der alte Turm in Mettlach is one of the oldest religious buildings still standing in Saarland and is an emblem of the province. It was built in the period 990–994 in octogonal fashion to serve as the burial chapel of Saint Lutwinus, the founder of the monastery in Mettlach.
I spy a turret
Burg Lichtenberg is the biggest (or at least longest) castle ruin in Germany. It was built around the year 1200 and was never conquered or destroyed in war. However, a fire in 1799 left it in ruins. It currently houses a youth hostel, a museum about the wandering musician tradition of the the region, an ultra-modern geological museum and is home to the Palatia Jazz Festival.
Due to the constant threat of flooding in Saarbrücken, where the main autobahn is often under water, the city is now testing a range of amphibious vehicles. I particularly like the tail fins on this model.
Basilica by night
The Basilika Sankt Johann is another fine building from the Baroque architect Friedrich-Joachim Stengel. It was built in the period 1754-1758, as the Catholics in Sankt Johann were once again allowed a church, a hundred years after the Reformation. Here it is in its night time colours.
Where the ghost lives
On a more mundane note, is anyone having problems commenting in Blogger? I cannot post comments when the box is "embedded below post" with Firefox 3.5. Not even on my own blog.
By the way, the ghost in question is this one.
Oasis of calm
A church garden bang in the middle of Saarbrücken city centre, cloistered from the bustle outside by an enormous privet hedge and a maze.
Apologies for the reduced blogging service. Deutsche Telekom have managed to kill my home internet connection.
Another old city apartment building, a few blocks away from 2009-08-02. This one looks more solidly Teutonic.
When taking shots of the wonderful variety of buildings in this part of town, I encountered an issue that all photographers must come across: privacy. People live here and do not want to take, nor look like I am taking, shots of the interiors of people's homes. I wondered how others handled this issue.
Inner city living
Although English towns rarely have them, three to five story apartment buildings dating back to the end of the 1900s are a common feature in the centre of many European and North American cities. In Edinburgh or Glasgow, they would be called tenements. This photo is an attractive example of Saarbrücken's variation on this theme. It is in a fashionable area, a few metres away from the art gallery with the big metal tentacle.
Old grey classic
I have put up photos of other old cars I have found on the streets of Saarbrücken, including several models from France and Britain. It is time I put up a photo of the all time German classic, the Volkswagen Beetle. Production of the Beetle stopped in Germany in 1978, and these days they are very rare sight, except in the kitschy “new” form. Indeed, the car in the photo actually has French number plates. I wonder if there are still plenty of Beetles in Mexico and Brazil where production was not phased out until 2003.