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Old November 4th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #1921
keepthepast
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Originally Posted by Mr Bricks View Post
What? Pre-war London was possibly the greatest architectural adventure in the world. Victorian architecture is spectacular, just look at old photographs of British cities and see for yourself. .
Opinions range across a wide scope, but london as the greatest architectural adventure pre war is a not-very-widespread belief.

wolfpaw's point that the vast list of medieval and 19th century cities in germany that were pre war jewels far outnumbered those in GB is a reality that is a fact of the matter. The fact that germany was a nation of several prior nations, each of which created a keepsake collection of wonderful cities and towns, gave the unified country a much larger and more impressive list of historic structures.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 03:14 AM   #1922
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What? Pre-war London was possibly the greatest architectural adventure in the world. Victorian architecture is spectacular, just look at old photographs of British cities and see for yourself. They were certainly not architecturally inferior. When it comes to historic buildings no German city can compete with Rome or Florence either.
Pre-war London did NOT compare with any of the great cultural cities in Europe! It had some fantastic Victorian buildings, and still has many of them. And as for comparing places like Leeds and Manchester with Dresden...


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Two very different choices here. Bath is mostly a product of the 18th and 19th centuries while York is 2000 years old and has many medieval streets and buildings. There are many old beautiful cities and towns in Britain such as Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge etc. Many of the larger cities are beautiful as well for example Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Newcastle. Not to mention London.
Manchester is hideous, as is Liverpool and Bristol too, especially since WW2. Oxford is only beautiful because of the colleges. The town centre is pretty dull really. The best of historic urban Britian today is to be found in the small market towns, like Warwick and Ludlow.

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Well Coventry comes close. Itīs medieval heart was considered one of the finest in Europe. It was heavily damaged in the war and whatever remained standing was demolished.
This is a great myth! Coventry was not a British version of Frankfurt before the war. It had some medieval buildings, true, but many of them had already been knocked down by the Victorians and during the first decades of the 20th century, years before WW2 even started.

http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/main/main.php

There are no pictures there to suggest that Coventry had the same sort of medieval landscape that could be found in Frankfurt, Nuremberg or a dozen other German cities.

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The thing that puzzles me the most is not why nothing was rebuilt in Britain, but why everything was pulled down. Britain did not suffer as much as Germany so very little would actually have had to be reconstructed. Visit the the Lost London thread in the UK section. Almost everything grand that London lost was due to demolition in the post-war decades.
That is the million dollar question. I've no idea what the answer is. Amongst architects and city councils there was a contempt for historic architecture that defies explanation.

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Old November 5th, 2010, 03:21 AM   #1923
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Originally Posted by keepthepast View Post
Opinions range across a wide scope, but london as the greatest architectural adventure pre war is a not-very-widespread belief.

wolfpaw's point that the vast list of medieval and 19th century cities in germany that were pre war jewels far outnumbered those in GB is a reality that is a fact of the matter. The fact that germany was a nation of several prior nations, each of which created a keepsake collection of wonderful cities and towns, gave the unified country a much larger and more impressive list of historic structures.
I think that is an incontrovertible fact! As you say, Germany had lots of smaller states originally and each enriched its own capital. Maybe space was always an issue in the UK too. England is a lot smaller than Germany or France so perhaps that's why the same land was always being reused. In Exeter, apart from two small medieval suburbs, the city didn't actually expand outside of its Roman city walls until the 18th century. Until then all the main building went on inside the walled city centre.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:21 AM   #1924
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I agree with wolf. The UK has some pretty dreadful cities. I was in Glasgow last year and it was not a pretty site.

There are some jewels in GB though. I wouldn`t call London beautiful, but cities like York, Bath, Edinburgh and Cambridge are all very pretty.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #1925
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Originally Posted by jan 1968
It is not fake. It is reconstruction! And when that is fake in your opinion, than better fake that the typical post war crap that has been built anywhere else. They should have done it at more places in Europe!
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Originally Posted by durden5573
Are you kidding, there is nothing 'fake' about it. I'm amazed how historically accurate the buildings are, and the fact the artistry and craftsmanship still exists today to build those baroque masterpieces. If anything its an extension of history and in time will be a footnote.
Yes itīs fake, itīs a reconstruction of the past i.e. not the real thing. Very interesting to walk around in a city that looks 400 years old yet most buildings were built in the 21 century. I can hear the tourist guides already:"This magnificent baroque building dates back to 2008, but you can probably imagine if it had actually existed and survived wars and demolition". Very interesting

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Originally Posted by Kampflamm
I don't think we can use tags like "fake" anyway. Is Warsaw's old town fake? What about St. Mark's Campanile? These are reconstructions of buildings that stood there for centuries and will once again be there for centuries (which probably can't be said about a lot of modern architecture).
Theyīre definitely fake. Riga oldtown was also rebuilt after the war and looks incredibly cartoonish and boring. Not to mention the god awful "old town" in Frankfurt.

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Originally Posted by keepthepast
Opinions range across a wide scope, but london as the greatest architectural adventure pre war is a not-very-widespread belief.
Widespread belief? Maybe you just donīt like British architecture? Victorian London was seen as the most progressive and urban city of its time, a 19th century Babylon. Apart from Rome no other European capital could possible claim to be more architecturally magnificent.

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Originally Posted by keepthepast
wolfpaw's point that the vast list of medieval and 19th century cities in germany that were pre war jewels far outnumbered those in GB is a reality that is a fact of the matter. The fact that germany was a nation of several prior nations, each of which created a keepsake collection of wonderful cities and towns, gave the unified country a much larger and more impressive list of historic structures.
There were probably more medieval cities in Germany, but how does that make Britain inferior? Until the 18th century Britain was not a very populous place, not compared to France or Germany anyway. By the 19th century British cities were most definitely among the greatest in the world.

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Originally Posted by wolfpaw
Pre-war London did NOT compare with any of the great cultural cities in Europe! It had some fantastic Victorian buildings, and still has many of them. And as for comparing places like Leeds and Manchester with Dresden...
And what are those "cultural cities" if I may ask? What are we talking about here? Architecture? Culture? History?

Well, I wasnīt really comparing Manchester and Leeds with Dresden was I?

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Originally Posted by wolfpaw
Manchester is hideous, as is Liverpool and Bristol too, especially since WW2.
So are Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg etc, whatīs your point? Compared to Prague or Rome they are architecturally insignificant. From what Iīve seen and heard people like both Bristol and Manchester.

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Originally Posted by wolfpaw
Oxford is only beautiful because of the colleges. The town centre is pretty dull really. The best of historic urban Britian today is to be found in the small market towns, like Warwick and Ludlow.
If you consider Oxford to be dull, most of the worldīs cities are hell holes.

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Originally Posted by wolfpaw
This is a great myth! Coventry was not a British version of Frankfurt before the war. It had some medieval buildings, true, but many of them had already been knocked down by the Victorians and during the first decades of the 20th century, years before WW2 even started.
Well according to wiki: "...Hitler launched the attack as revenge for the bombing of Munich by the RAF six days before the Coventry blitz and chose the Midlands city because its medieval heart was regarded as one of the finest in Europe."

You can probably find other sources.

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Originally Posted by wolfpaw
There are no pictures there to suggest that Coventry had the same sort of medieval landscape that could be found in Frankfurt, Nuremberg or a dozen other German cities.
There are no pictures? Doensīt prove much. In any case the loss of coventry was a great tragedy.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #1926
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Widespread belief? Maybe you just donīt like British architecture? Victorian London was seen as the most progressive and urban city of its time, a 19th century Babylon. Apart from Rome no other European capital could possible claim to be more architecturally magnificent.
That is simply not true! Paris and Vienna, with their grand avenues, boulevards and squares were the great role models of the 19th century in city planning, not London! London was mostly stuck with it's cramped, medieval layout. Contemproraries even stated that London felt provincial (architecture wise!) compared to mentioned cities.

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Old November 5th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #1927
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Yes itīs fake, itīs a reconstruction of the past i.e. not the real thing. Very interesting to walk around in a city that looks 400 years old yet most buildings were built in the 21 century. I can hear the tourist guides already:"This magnificent baroque building dates back to 2008, but you can probably imagine if it had actually existed and survived wars and demolition". Very interesting
I don't know about all the the buildings but the Frauenkirche was rebuilt using parts of the original ruins.

Also it's a bit simplistic to refer to a building as a "fake". Paris city hall burnt down in 1871 and was rebuilt to ressemble its former self. Is it now a fake building? The White House was burnt down in 1814, subsequently rebuilt, and then after WW2 was completely gutted and rebuilt again. And yet it still ressembles a late 18th century mansion. Is it a fake? Of course not.

White House c. 1950 - pic from wikipedia
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #1928
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Yes itīs fake, itīs a reconstruction of the past i.e. not the real thing. Very interesting to walk around in a city that looks 400 years old yet most buildings were built in the 21 century. I can hear the tourist guides already:"This magnificent baroque building dates back to 2008, but you can probably imagine if it had actually existed and survived wars and demolition". Very interesting
This definition of "the real thing" is a bit absurd, imho. I guess, therefore, all of us are fake since we're not the original humans; each time a show is performed on stage is fake since it mimicks the original performance, etc. A reconstruction is just that; the efforts to restore and save the Mona Lisa has not rendered the work a fake. Such narrow understanding of how culture, history, and preservation works reflects a odd bias that is difficult to comprehend.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 01:19 AM   #1929
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Well according to wiki: "...Hitler launched the attack as revenge for the bombing of Munich by the RAF six days before the Coventry blitz and chose the Midlands city because its medieval heart was regarded as one of the finest in Europe."

You can probably find other sources.



There are no pictures? Doensīt prove much. In any case the loss of coventry was a great tragedy.
I'm not saying that Coventry didn't have medieval buildings and that they weren't destroyed in WW2, as it did and they were. The fact remains that Coventry did not have 'one of the finest' medieval centres in Europe before WW2. Wiki is plain wrong. The so-called cathedral that was bombed wasn't even built as a cathedral. It was a large parish church and only became a cathedral in name at the beginning of the 20th century. Even York, regarded now as England's finest surviving medieval city has relatively few medieval streets with medieval buildings compared with other cities on the continent. The best place to see medieval England now is in small market towns and villages, such as Lavenham in Suffolk:

http://www.google.co.uk/images?hl=en...w=1024&bih=590

A small village, it has more listed buildings (over 340) than many English cities do.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 01:23 AM   #1930
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I don't know about all the the buildings but the Frauenkirche was rebuilt using parts of the original ruins.

Also it's a bit simplistic to refer to a building as a "fake". Paris city hall burnt down in 1871 and was rebuilt to ressemble its former self. Is it now a fake building? The White House was burnt down in 1814, subsequently rebuilt, and then after WW2 was completely gutted and rebuilt again. And yet it still ressembles a late 18th century mansion. Is it a fake? Of course not.
The same thing happened at 10 Downing Street in London, which was completely gutted and rebuilt in the 1960s. The fireplaces, plasterwork, etc. is genuinely old, but the floors, walls, roof, etc. has all been replaced. It doesn't make the building 'fake', IMO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10_Down...0.E2.80.931990
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Old November 7th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #1931
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Some of the anti british bias on these last few pages is laughable, oxford, bath, cambridge and most notably edinburgh (being a regional capital like Dresden was) are all comparable to pre war Dresden, and seeing as none of them were heavilly destroyed in the war are superior to Dresden architecturally now. i think more people have heared of Oxfords dreaming spires than Dresdens skyline (although there are lots of reasons including the cold war). Did you know for example that Norwich has the most complete medieval city in the UK? i bet you've hardly heared of it! York has plenty of medieval streets and i refer you to my north east england photopage to see for yourselves All of this is congecture as britain has always been a progressive country in terms of architecture, probably a reason why we dont have the architectural uniformity found in other larger european cities (like paris, vienna etc.). For the poster who said bristol was ugly then you really need to revist it as its a beautiful city, manchester is also a very grand and modern city with some poor streetscapes spoiling architectural beauties. glasgow is one fo the grandest cities in Europe, with its grid street pattern of beautiful buildings and some excellent museums and beautiful suburbs (some are suburbs highlighted in british media are not so good but lest we forget the awful estates of post war europe?). All in all Germany has always looked to the past IMO (probably because as a unified nation its quite new) and while this isnt a bad thing, neither is looking to the future.

All this is pointless as none of us instigated or were involved in the war, and none of us will truely know what our cities were like back then, or if they are better cities to live in now.

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Old November 7th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #1932
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Expand on Germany looking to the past. I think these days plenty of decent modern architecture can be found in places like Berlin, Hamburg or even Cologne (let me just quickly plug my own thread on a modern regeneration project in the city ).
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Old November 7th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #1933
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Some of the anti british bias on these last few pages is laughable, oxford, bath, cambridge and most notably edinburgh (being a regional capital like Dresden was) are all comparable to pre war Dresden, and seeing as none of them were heavilly destroyed in the war are superior to Dresden architecturally now. i think more people have heared of Oxfords dreaming spires than Dresdens skyline (although there are lots of reasons including the cold war). Did you know for example that Norwich has the most complete medieval city in the UK? i bet you've hardly heared of it! York has plenty of medieval streets and i refer you to my north east england photopage to see for yourselves All of this is congecture as britain has always been a progressive country in terms of architecture, probably a reason why we dont have the architectural uniformity found in other larger european cities (like paris, vienna etc.). For the poster who said bristol was ugly then you really need to revist it as its a beautiful city, manchester is also a very grand and modern city with some poor streetscapes spoiling architectural beauties. glasgow is one fo the grandest cities in Europe, with its grid street pattern of beautiful buildings and some excellent museums and beautiful suburbs (some are suburbs highlighted in british media are not so good but lest we forget the awful estates of post war europe?). All in all Germany has always looked to the past IMO (probably because as a unified nation its quite new) and while this isnt a bad thing, neither is looking to the future.

All this is pointless as none of us instigated or were involved in the war, and none of us will truely know what our cities were like back then, or if they are better cities to live in now.
I think the point being made about European cities is a valid one. Outside of London there are few British cities that truly match the great cities of Europe for historic architectural merit, (or any other type of architectural merit for that matter). Most British City-centres are quite small affairs, with a handfull of interesting streets with great Georgian/Victorian or earlier facades, many great European cities have block after block, square mile after square mile of the stuff, even some relatively small cities. You can walk around the likes of York and Oxford in minutes and as picturesque as they are they are no Barcelona, they are tiny. Try doing the same some with the cities on the continent. You can go on their metros for miles and still be in grand streets. It could be a British thing, but Liverpool for instance once had miles and miles of victorian high streets feeding into the city centre from all directions. It gave the impression almost of an unending downtown. Now, nearly all of these are gone with rows of fine buildings lost forever. Many other British cities suffered similarly in post war years and even earlier purges of all that was old.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #1934
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@ cardiff
"anti british bias"

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i think more people have heared of Oxfords dreaming spires than Dresdens skyline(although there are lots of reasons including the cold war). Did you know for example that Norwich has the most complete medieval city in the UK?
Luckily you aren't biased at all!
Why do you think Oxford is so much more prominent than Dresden? Really because of it's "dreaming spires"? Or might it be, because unbiased Anglo-Saxon media (already for centuries) is pushing the superiority of Oxford's colleges and university down our (the rest of the world) throats, in books, films and every other media?
Of course today everyone knows Oxford! And as you said yourself, Dresden is most of all known just for it's bombardement and maybe Cold War. You and most other people actually don't have any clue what a beauty this city once was and what heritage was actually lost.
And now ask yourself and your countrymen about small medieval cities and towns in Germany. The list they'd come up with, would be by far smaller, than if you ask Germans (and the rest of the world) about well known and preserved english cities.
"Anti british bias"...

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Old November 7th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #1935
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Mr. Bricks


This definition of "the real thing" is a bit absurd, imho. I guess, therefore, all of us are fake since we're not the original humans; each time a show is performed on stage is fake since it mimicks the original performance, etc. A reconstruction is just that; the efforts to restore and save the Mona Lisa has not rendered the work a fake. Such narrow understanding of how culture, history, and preservation works reflects a odd bias that is difficult to comprehend.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #1936
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Manchester is hideous, as is Liverpool and Bristol too, especially since WW2. Oxford is only beautiful because of the colleges.
I think you'll find that despite decades of decline, mass demolitions, and a bigger and longer blitz than the likes of Coventry, Liverpool still has more listed buildings than any other city outside of London. It also has many great civic and commercial buildings, 2 great cathedrals (not over-hyped parish churches). A fine collection of neo-classical architecture, some of which is world class. A large Georgian quarter, several victorian parks surrounded by block after block of merchants houses and mansions.... and of course one of the most recognisable and impressive waterfronts in the world.....
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Old November 7th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #1937
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Yes itīs fake, itīs a reconstruction of the past i.e. not the real thing. Very interesting to walk around in a city that looks 400 years old yet most buildings were built in the 21 century. I can hear the tourist guides already:"This magnificent baroque building dates back to 2008, but you can probably imagine if it had actually existed and survived wars and demolition". Very interesting
Restorations of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel over the centuries made quite a lot of changes to Michelangelos original work. Does that make them fake? Should they be removed? Does a building that stood for centuries and became part of a city but unfortunately was destroyed by a bomb and subsequently rebuilt is somehow of less value? No. Reconstruction is reconstruction. If you want to see fakeness then look at Vegas.

Same painting, before and after restoration. The painting is from 16th century. The changes were made just a few years after it was finished, so it spent most of its life with the original background painted over. Which version would you describe as fake?





Did you know that the famous Anglo-Saxon helmet from Sutton Hoo is a reconstruction?

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Some of the anti british bias on these last few pages is laughable.
You know whats laughable? The tendency of certain SSC trolls to label people 'anti-British' or 'anti-watever' for having different opinion. Whats even more laughable is the fact that after you accused people on here of being 'anti-British' you launched into nationalistic rant putting down other countries and calling them backwards. Im sorry, son, but that does not do your argument any favours.

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Did you know for example that Norwich has the most complete medieval city in the UK?
No it doesnt. Predominant architectural style in Norwich is Victorian, only Elm Hill (one tiny street) is truly medieval.

"The 19th century saw an explosion in Norwich's size and much of its housing stock, as well as commercial building in the city centre, dates from this period."
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York has plenty of medieval streets
No it doesnt. Only The Shambles is medieval. Once again the predominant style is Victorian. If you want medieval then you need to go to the Wool towns of Suffolk such as Lavenham or Rye in Sussex.

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(like paris, vienna etc.)
They are not uniform. Theres plenty of medieval, Art-Nouveau, Haussmannian and Gründerzeit (Paris and Vienna), Secessionist, Modern etc buildings.

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All in all Germany has always looked to the past IMO
At least you put 'IMO' and did not present your opinion as fact. Germany has always been progressive country, just like Britain (and pretty much every other state, otherwise we would still have cavemen). If it was looking to the past then, surely, it would not be Europes largest economy with infrastructure that can easily rival Asian cities such as Singapore.

In the end this 'who has the most beautiful cities' bullshit only leads to flamewars and mods having to work overtime cleaning up threads! How do you measure beauty? How do you measure grandness? Is a city with grid street plan and 19th century buildings 'better', 'more beautiful' than a city with medieval streets and buildings or vise versa? Or how about modern, functional one? Its all very subjective. Every country has something to offer. Every country has something beautiful.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 11:10 PM   #1938
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Moving on and ignoring El_stinko

Expanding on Germany looking towards the past, its not so much the whole of Germany but more the south / bavarian regions, preciseley where Dresden lies and where most of Germanys medieval and less developed historic towns are. Its a very conservative area, but northern Germany is more modern and more comparable to the UK in terms of architecture and developmental history.

Tiaren its laughable putting across biased western media. Media is media. Oxfords universities ARE superior to others, wasnt it named best this year in the world (although contentious as the top ones are all pretty similar). Maybe British historical places are more well know abroad because most Germans holiday at home and therefore there is a bigger tourist market at home than abroad, i cant remember a single advert for german tourism in the UK, wheras we get loads from india, turkey, australia, states etc etc. its Germanys own fault your cities arnt better known! And how would you know any differently to me how beautiful it was before the war? You must have been very lucky to have survived the bombardment during the war!


Tom hughes, are you seriously comparing the Uk with thew whole continent and all its capital cities and major cities? Try comparing Britiain with just one country such as Spain, France Germany etc. On this level Britiain has just as many larg cities, if you think cities in the UK are smaller then you need to compare stats, which i think you will find show that britians cities are not comparably smaller despite having a smaller population than most European countrys. British cities are rarely built on a block system, glasgow is the only real one and it does have block after block of beauitul victorian and georgian architecture



post war planning in the UK resulted in demolition of terraced housing (deemed slums of the day), how many miles of comie blocks will you find in most European large centers nowadays? most are being demolished in the uk, In fact there is an apreciation thread in the UK forums. I am not anti Europe at all, in fact i am pro, but alot of forumers seem to have little to no knowledge of UK cities, and teh resugence that has happened over the last 10-15 years. The common myth that there is nothing outside London is the same bias that Tiaren doesnt like about British media (though this is slowly being addresed).

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Old November 7th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #1939
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Moving on and ignoring El_stinko
I see you still havent learnt how to have a civilised debate.

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Expanding on Germany looking towards the past, its not so much the whole of Germany but more the south / bavarian regions, preciseley where Dresden lies
Dresden is not in Bavaria or the South, its in the East and youll find medieval stuff all over the place, ever heard of Lubeck? Its in the North.

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Try comparing Britiain with just one country such as Spain, France Germany etc. On this level Britiain has just as many larg cities, if you think cities in the UK are smaller then you need to compare stats, which i think you will find show that britians cities
Get back to your homework, son!

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how many miles of comie blocks will you find in most European large centers nowadays?
Tower blocks are pretty rare in European city centres. Do you want me to post birds-eye views of them and destroy your argument?

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I am not anti Europe at all, in fact i am pro, but alot of forumers seem to have little to no knowledge of UK cities
You seem to have no knowledge not only of Europe but Britain. You cant even spell the name of your country!
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Old November 7th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #1940
cardiff
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I would have a civilised discussion with you El_stinko but as you have proved many times, you have no ability to change your opinion or listen to evidence, you state myths and opinions as fact and then leave the thread once youve been proven totaly wrong. Enough said.
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