Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin
Friday, 15 February 2013
Cad (Welsh for fight), mael (Welsh for prince)
Oh no, you're not in Shrewsbury, nor in Budapest - where, as you might know, they built the TV set for 'Cadfael'. These (still) are Britta's letters from Berlin - and as I am writing about a tiny aspect of Cadfael at the moment, I thought: why not take a day off and look what Berlin has to offer from the Middle Ages?
Above are the ruins of a Franciscan monastry, the building started in 1250, the three aisled basilica in 13th and 14th century, destroyed by bombers in 1945.
The Fernsehturm (TV Tower) at the Alexanderplatz overtowers everything: also the Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church), built in the Middle Ages when Berlin and Cölln were twin towns. What wasn't destroyed by the war often was razed by the city planners of the GRD - they had not much money for restoring and wanted space and place for cars.
There is ample space now - right in the middle (Mitte) of Berlin (normal rush hour on a working day!):
Without any hidden agenda about that they try to restore the Dance of Death in the northern tower vestibule of the Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church):
And if you come to see the Heilig Geist-Kapelle (Holy Spirit Chapel), also nearby, built in 1300 as part of the Holy-Spirit-Hospital, and now surrounded by the Humboldt-University of Berlin, mind that you come on Thursday from 12:00 - 13:00 - otherwise (as I) you have to peep through a little window at the beautiful 'starry sky' of it:
Very near is also the oldest church of Berlin, the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), built between 1220 and 1230, but I was a bit frustrated because today it is only used as a museum.
Cadfael I haven't met, and, though we have the Berlinale film festival at the moment, I am sorry to say: nor Sir Derek Jacobi (oh would I have loved that, he has such a beautiful voice!). But even that voice couldn't have lured me into the Middle Ages which I see as DARK - I have a very distinct vision what they would have done with a woman like me :-)