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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How are you all doing ladies and gentlemen? In this thread I want to share some of the pictures I took from both my hometown as well as my travels near and far.

I wanted to do this for a quite long time actually and even moved away in the meantime, but I don't want to put it off anymore and finally showcase some of my treasures.


Index:

Small Towns in Germany

Limburg

My hometown, famous for it's cathedral and half-timbered buildings
  1. Introduction to my hometown.
  2. The Cathedral
  3. Cathedral Hill
  4. Old Town (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
  5. Grabenstraße (Wall Street) (1, 2, 3)
  6. New Town (1,2,3,4)
  7. WerkStadt
  8. Belle Epoque (Gründerzeit)
  9. Riverfront (1,2)
Runkel

A quaint town with a Game of Thrones-esque castle

  1. Town
  2. Castle courtyards
  3. Castle ruins
Weilburg

Set in a beautiful natural setting, this town is dominated by a large palace complex

  1. Mauerstraße
  2. Palace gardens
  3. Palace buildings
  4. Old town
Fronhausen

An idealized depiction of rural life

  1. Take a walk with me (1,2,3)
Amorbach
This villag is surrounded by lush hills and punches above its weight due to many beautiful buildings.

  1. Going Hiking
  2. Center of Town
  3. The Abbey
  4. An evening Walk

Linz am Rhein

  1. Wintery half-timberedland

Ludwigslust

Discover a formerly private royal town from the baroque era.

  1. Introduction and town
  2. The palace exterior
  3. Grandeur inside the royal palace
  4. The arts and science collection
  5. Servant's town
  6. Royal gardens


Germany's beautiful cities

Aachen

Germany's westernmost city has the country's first UNESCO landmark

  1. Introduction
  2. University
  3. Historical Center
  4. UNESCO Cathedral
Münster

This lively city reconstructed exemplary after WW2

  1. Introduction
  2. Prinzipialmarkt
  3. Churches
  4. Life
Heidelberg

Blessed with a beautiful natural setting, the intact old core of this city has a romantic castle ruin towering above it.


  1. Introduction
  2. Town (1,2)
  3. Castle (1,2)
  4. Nightly walk

Erfurt

This city is a true hidden gem as it has well preseved architecture from all eras.
  1. Introduction
  2. The southern districts
  3. Central station
  4. City center
  5. Old town
  6. Gera river
  7. The northern districts
  8. Krämerbrücke

Frankfurt

A trip to Germany's skyscraper capital.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Main Station
  3. Station District
  4. "Central Park" (Taunusanlage)
  5. Old Opera
  6. Central City

Bonn

The Federal Republic's former Capital boasts wonderful residential neighbourhoods and cherry blossoms in spring.
  1. Cherry blossoms
  2. City center
  3. Südstadt

Potsdam

Known as the "secret Capital" or "German Versailles", this city was home to the Prussian kings and later German emperors. Few other places will offer such a density of architectural attractions and places of significance.

  1. Introduction
  2. City palace, old market and central church
  3. Dutch quarter
  4. City centre
  5. Park and Palaces in Sanssouci
  6. Neuer Garten & Belvedere
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Limburg - Introduction

I'll start off this thread by introducing my hometown first.


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Logo_stadt-limburg.png

Limburg's location in central Europe:

(Google Maps)


(Google Maps)

This is a satellite image of central Limburg. It's a fairly typical German "Kleinstadt" with about 25,000 people in the core area with another 10,000 in the surrounding incorporated villages. It is situated on the Lahn river and about 60km northwest of Frankfurt in the state of Hessen. Unlike many other countries, where the majority of the population lives in and around major cities, the majority of Germans actually live in towns like these, with populations of well below 100,000.

What makes this town special and a kind of hidden gem for torists is its 900 year romanesque and early gothic cathedral as well as its well preserved timbered old town, which is now one of the largest in Germany.

To start with an eyecatcher, here is the aforementioned cathedral in pretty fall colours:


The statue seen there is on the historic bridge in the town and made of the somewhat well known "Lahn marble" from this area and depicts the patron saint of the bridge.


The bridge this photo was taken from is here:



This bridge was built in the 14th century after several prior bridges had been destroyed. It originally had two gates built on top, only one of which remains today. Those gates were used to fend off attackers, as well as to collect tolls, which made the town rich. The strategic position on the route between Frankfurt and Cologne had a stark influence on Limburg's development. Even today, the A3 Autobahn, B8 highway, as well as the Frankfurt-Cologne HSL pass though or by this town on that alignment.

This is the remaining gate on the bridge in a front-view:




The central area is divided into the very historic, mostly half timbered old town, as well as the new town which has buildings from the industrial era onwards. Those two areas are seperated by the former alignment of the city wall but more about that later.

To give you a small taste of what's to come, here is some typical "Altstadt" (old town) scenery:




As well as some "Neustadt" (new town) scenery




I hope I could entice your intereste to stay with me for a while so that I can see you guys next time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Limburg - The Cathedral

To keep your interest, I decided to start with one of the highlights right here - the cathedral.

As already shown in my second post, the cathdral is the largest structure in the old town. Built around 900 years ago, it has elememts of both gothic and romanesque architecture and is the seat of a bishop.

In addition to its own height, it sits on top of a rocky outcrop near the river, which makes it even more imposing and dominating of the townscape.




(Wikipedia)

Today its colourful appearance is quite unique amongst its peers, as the original paintwork couldn't stand the test of time.

Limburg's cathedral was no exception, it only got its current appearance in the post world war period, when enough knowledge about it's original design was accumulated. Before, it looked like this:


(Wikipedia)

If you miss that limestone look, then don't worry! Just two km away in the incorporated village of Dietkirchen, you can find the even older church St. Lubentius in pure romanesque style in a similarly spectacular setting:










But enough about that and back to the colourful cathedral!

If you look carefully enough, you can see the transition between romanesque and gothic happening everywhere on the building. Round arches, pointed arches, round windows and gothic details are all present here.




While the tower really reminds me of roman buildings,




The interior already has a lot in common with later gothic structures:

(Wikipedia)


(Wikipedia)


(Wikipedia)

But that's enough about the cathedral for now! Thanks for your attention!

Next up: Cathedral surroundings!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Limburg - Cathedral Hill

So as promised, let's move on to the Cathedral's surroundings!

Situated on top of a hill, it's a little seperated from the town centre but there are lots of interesting buildings around.

This is the square in front of the "Dom". The buildings you see there belong to the catholic church and used to be the Bishops' residence.


It was in the news a few yeard back because the modern addition in the back was built by Bishop Tebarzt-van Elst with more than 30 million Euros he embezzled from the church. This is the modern addition closer-up:



(Wikipedia)

Due to that scandal, that bishop now has a comfy job in the Vatican and his pet project will be used as part of a musuem soon.

It's a fairly large complex with several historic buildings and structures, the building on the right in the next picture is already part of the to-be-expanded musuem.



On the other side of the cathedral, there are more interesting buildings.

Stone buildings like this are extremely rare in Limburg and hints at the wealth of the original owner (the church, of course).


Walking past that, you reach the complex that might be responsible for Limburgs' name (Burg=castle). It is somewhat hidden and there aren't many perspectives from which it can be seen, so quite many people don't even know Limburg has a castle.

This is the inner courtyard:




While most of the castle is centuries old, some parts were demaged in a fire in the 1930s and rebuilt afterwards.

Nevertheless, from the few places it can be seen, it looks quite spectacular:


That's enough for today! I hope you could enjoy and watch out for my next posts. I plan to make the next two posts about Limburgs' old and new town respectively, after which I want to move on to different cities and towns for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old town 1

After a little hiatus, let's continue with this thread!

As promised, we'll now go into the the old town area.


If you enter the old town from the old Lahn bridge, one of the first sights you'll see is this:



In this rare case, you can see one of these old houses from the side, where it's evident that they can have quite funky shapes, with a short street-facing facade but going deep into the block




A large area of Germany once was full of this construction style. The largest old towns in this style used to be in Frankfurt. After the destruction in WW2, not many of these relatively easily inflammable buildings survived in the bombed out bigger cities (though there were some reconstructions) so today Limburg's is one of the largest intact half-timbered old towns in Germany. Bigger ones can probably only be found in Alsace like Strasburg.

But anyway, on with it!


From the very get-go, there is a very romantic atmosphere
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old town 2

Soon we'll come across one if the most significant half timbered houses:


This is called the house of the seven vices. It's called that because on the facade, the seven vices pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth are depicted:


The building was originally constructed in 1567 but since then the wooden upper levels have been replaced and restored several times.

The house of the seven vices and it's neighbour create a pretty little ensemble:


On the other side of the little square you can see a live example of a half-timbered house being restored:


Half timbered houses only rely on the wooden beams for structural support. Those beams are fit together only by carving out pieces of the wood to basically make a giant puzzle. No adhesives, nails or screws were used. The gaps between the beams are then traditionally filled with a mixture of hay and mud, but later mudbricks and regular bricks were also used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old town 3

Going further into the center, we come across many little alleys like this:









As you can see, the density of construction is very high, so these old towns used to have some severe fire safety issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old town 4

Let's take a look at some sights on the way:



The second house here is unique because it's the only one in Limburg with the literally translated "diamond cuboid painting" where colour patterns on the exposed wood imitate 3D effects:



The ground floor is decorated by highly ornate wood carvings:




This abstracted sculpture of a dancing couple celebrates the end of the black plague, which at one time killed a whole third of the German population in the middle ages.



For a long time, half timbered houses were considered antiquated and a sign of poverty, so people plastered the buildings to hide the wooden beams. It wasn't until the proliferation of Historicist architecture in Europe around the end of the 19th century, that people once again took pride in those buildings and started to restore the original appearances.

The marks in the wooden beams here were once put there so that the plaster wouldn't fall off:



The sign "Edelsäcker" refers to the nickanme of Limburger (yes, that's what people of Limburg are called in German). "Säcker" literally translates to "bagger" which came from the time when there wasn't a fixed bridge over the river yet. As many goods on the ancient trade route between Frankfurt and Cologne passed through Limburg because of the shallow depth of the river there, day laborours would carry the goods in bags over to the other side, hence the nickname referring to the bags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old town 5

Soon, we'll enter the first market square we'll come across, the fish market:



I really like the cozy athmosphere here



On the right is one of several alleyways up the hill to the cathdral




Going further, we come across a once infamous spot. It used tobe the narrowest point on the road between Frankfurt and Cologne, so along the rest of the route signs were set up depicting the measurements. At that time, the walled city was very densely populated, so you can imagine the congestion!





Here, a hotel/restaurant rather tastefully added some m^2
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old town 6

We're now slowly reaching the center of activity

To give you some orientation: The Fischmarkt is in the right and we are moving "backwards" from this position. The main route is on the left of this house.







We're now surrounded by beautifully restored Fachwerk ensembles

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old Town 7

Here we are in Salzgasse (Salt Alley)











The ground floor of these buildings were used for storage. This means that the window openings were quite big and the ceilings tall, sometimes you can look right through the buildings:

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old Town 8

Salzgasse connects several market squares, which I'll show you now.

The first one is "Plötze"



It is dominated by this ensemble of cafes and restaurants as well as a statue of a continously drinking bloke :cheers:



Interesting about this square is that it once was considerably smaller, as there used to be three smaller buildings roughly in front of the building on the right. They were torn down in the post war period in an attempt at urban rewal.

On a more positve note, this square also hosts Limburg's youngest half-timbered building: the house in the middle was only built in 1955.



On the left corner is a relatively unspectacular building, but it hosts my favourite store in town. You can get the best gummy bears in Germany as well as some creative jelly creations there. 10/10 can recommend.

On the corner (right) is this freshly restored building with a wine shop inside.
The band of ornament above the ground floor depicts vinyards, as wine was traditionally sold there.



For orientarion purposes again: Up at that alley at the right is Salzgasse, to the left is where we came from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old Town 9

To go to the next market, we'll take a route parallel to Salzgasse, the Fleischergasse (butchers alley). As the name suggests, this place was home of the butchers and was considered the poor part of town compared to the posh Salzgasse (salt in medieval times= very expensive)

Nonetheless, it's quite beautiful:





Here, there are always small gaps between buildings. Not sure if it was for fire protection or other reasons.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Limburg - Old Town 10

The next market is the biggest one in the Altstadt - the "Kornmarkt" (Grain Market)

Unlike the two previous markets we've seen, this one has seen considerable additions after the medieval era.



Notable is this building from what I'd wager is from the renaissance period



This is one entrance to Salzgasse



The building on the left is one of my favourite ones in Limburg. Not because it's particulary beautiful but because you can so clearly "read" the facade:



Originally, the bay windows were either directly in the middle or flush on the sides. Once you know that, you can clearly see the original building in the middle that then got extended to the left. I'm very mediocre in "reading" facades this way but there are people who are really good at this. If you're interested and know a bit of German (or are fimiliar with google translate) you can check out the link below:
https://www.stadtbild-deutschland.o...d/1792-fachwerkbauten-in-limburg-an-der-lahn/

This building is less obvious but also relatively recent. It was built in the 1900's in the historicist period where medieval times were romanticised



The entire city of Marburg is full of these historicist half-timbered houses, which I will cover at some point in the future.

Looking towards the New Town, the square looks like this:



interesting is the building on the right at the end of the square. Since Fachwerk construction essentially consist of beams pre-made to fit together, it can be seen as a very early version of prefabrication methods. As such, it was relatively easy to take those buildings apart and to reassemble them. In this case, the half timbered house on top was disassembled, a new 2-story base was constructed in the late 1800s and then the old house was placed on top again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Limburg - Old Town 11

Let's wrap up ur little tour of the old town with the last significant market square, the "Bischofsplatz" (Bishop's square)



If you look closely, you might recognize this one from my profile picture :)


The building on the right is actually more lopsided than it looks like on the picture :lol:




A nicely ornamented doorway:



While there is more to see and discover in the wonderful old town, I think it's enough for now. Next, we'll get to Limburg's "Grabenstraße" which is a street where the fortifications once were. After that, we'll get to the New Town area.

Thanks for taking a look, I hope you enjoyed it!
 

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Thanks for sharing. You live in a stunning beautiful place. What is really good is that you appreciate your own surroundings as well as old architecture and restoration generally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Of course, it should be no secret I'm a fan of classic architecture. I recently moved away to study Architecture but I took tons of photos I intend to post here in due time both of my home region as well as from my travels to other cities and countries.
 
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