cruise boat, ripples, saar

Saar cruiser

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.


bridges, saar

Old bridge, new bridge

The 500 year old Alte Brücke as seen through the arches of the modern Wilhelm-Heinrich Brücke


boats, lake, park

Yellow boats in the sun

The Franco-German Express is not the only means of transport available to the visitors of the park. Yellow pedal-boats are available for the energetic, too.


open-air theatre, garden,

Theatre through the Trees

Another open-air theatre, this time in the Franco-German Garden.


gardens, train

The Franco-German Express

One of the means of transport in the Deutsch-Französischer Garten (Jardin Franco-Allemand), a 50 hectare landscape park on the border between France and Germany.


river bend, saar


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.


church,  leudwinus


Built around 1900 and honouring Saint Leudwinus, the church cuts an imposing figure on the hill overlooking Mettlach.


red face

Red faces

One of a row of such faces before the Old Tower. I wonder who he was modelled on.


art, ceramics

Homo Ceramicus Mettlachiensis

A work by J. van Mijnsbrugge, to be found in the shadow of the Earth Spirit. Mr Ceramics is somewhat dwarfed by his companion.


Mystery object

Mystery object

If you have any idea what this is, let me know. It is in the grounds of the old Villeroy & Boch building. So, presumably it has something to do with the making of ceramics.


eugen von boch, statue

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.


bird, ivy

Earth spirit

Opposite the Alter Turm, and constantly gazing upon it, is the Erdgeist, a 14m high bird figure, created in 2000 by André Heller for the World Wildlife Fund's stand at the Hannover Expo.


church, octogon

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.


castle, turret, window.

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.


castle, path

Path to the castle

Were it not for the Portakabin, this is presumably the same view you would have had 800 years ago when you were making your way to the castle with your ox cart.


sunset, woods

Blazing sunset

The gap in the trees for the power lines is the only place, apart from the tower, where you can look out from the big, woody Schwarzenberg hill onto the town below. Sometimes the sunsets are spectacular.


boat, saar spektakel

Saarbrücken ahoy!

I was sure this boat was about to crash into both the bank and me, but in the last second it turned to line up along the bank.


boats, saar, saar spektakel


Usually, this spot on the river in the centre of Saarbrücken is home to only one boat, the one that offers tours. However, once a year all the other boats on the Saar come here to party.


amphibious car, tail fins


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.


basilika, church, nighttime illumination

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.


eerie lights

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.


dream city, kindergarten, posters

Our dream city

As envisaged by the St Michael Kindergarten and displayed on posters in the centre of Saarbrücken.


graffiti, tubes

Communicating with the Underworld

I was not sure what these were. I guess they are ventilation shafts. But, I was sure I had to photograph them.


garden,  fountain

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.


fountain, square, street café

Baroque fountain and street café

Sankt Johanner Markt, where people go to be seen.


building, corner, turret

Corner turret

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.


tenements, street

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.


beetle, classic car, käfer, vw

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.