Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Monday, 15 November 2021

"Look for something and you will even find something quite different"

 This is one of my favourite quotations of Karl Foerster, the famous German breeder of herbaceous perennials. A powerfully eloquent man and writer, born 1874 in Berlin, he died 1970 in Potsdam, and was an universally sophisticated man - my idea of a Renaissance man. 

And yes: he wrote "will" and not "might" :-) 

True: I looked for something different on that slightly rainy Sunday in Bavaria. I pushed myself to join a guided tour of the town (I hate guided tours! but do a lot to fight November-Blues) with the title "On the traces of the Hohenzollern in Langenzenn". 

The town Langenzenn (10.652 inhabitants in 2020)  was first mentioned in 945  as "cinna", a royal court by King Otto I.) and belonged since 1248 to the mighty Noble House of Hohenzollern

And this is what I found: a jewel of a church. The then wooden church is supposed to be built in 945, burnt down 1388 in the City War from Nuremberg. Only a wooden Madonna survived, now "The Black Madonna", which became a pilgrimage destination. In 1467 the cloister was built for Augustiner monks, a three winged complex, built with sandstone and cloister and gothic cloistered courtyard  wonderfully preserved. 

In 1533 the cloister was shut down by the Lutherian Reformation (though they had the decency to wait till the last monk died - of course no novices were allowed).  

















Imagine: this beautiful place is in my very neighbourhood - just one stop with the little red train! I can even walk through the fields to get there - such a joy! 





23 comments:

  1. I too hated guided tours - and even worse those headphones people wear in galleries. But what a great find on your doorstep. The other week I discovered a new wood to walk in - that was joy too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Headphones, I agree, are even more awful than guided tours (there might be exceptions - I don't want to be unfair not having too much experience with audioguides). What I hate is that I should focus my attention at one moment to what the guide thinks important. I love to look and explore on my own and maybe want to stop longer to look at one exhibit. In Berlin before Covid I often went into the National gallery and looked at one (1!) painting only while visiting. I had a note-book and a fountain pen with me and wrote about what I noticed.
      Gathering information before or after I think is often valuable.

      Delete
    2. Recording success in cryptocurrency Bitcoin is not just buying and holding till when bitcoin sky-rocks, this has been longed abolished by intelligent traders ,mostly now that bitcoin bull is still controlling the market after successfully defended the $9000 support level once again ad this is likely to trigger a possible move towards $12000 resistance area However , it’s is best advice you find a working strategy/daily signals that works well in other to accumulate and grow a very strong portfolio ahead. I have been trading with total investment daily signals and strategy, his guidance makes trading less stressful and more profit despite the recent fluctuations. I was able to easily increase my portfolio in just 4weeks of trading with his daily signals growing my 1.5 BTC to 6.7 BTC. total investment daily signals are very accurate and yields a great positive return on investment. I really enjoy trading with him. He is available to give assistance to anyone who love crypto trading, you can contact him on Email:totalinvestmentcompany@gmail.com

      https://www.facebook.com/pg/Total-Investment-221964325813140/about/

      Delete
  2. Guided tour = standing around bored with either cold feet or an aching back, or both, while people who think themselves perceptive ask long complicated questions, when what you really want to do is wander off and look at something more interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Tasker, as always you put it into a nutshell. Of course, though clad in warm garments, I started to freeze during that tour - the little train, coming only once in an hour was a convenient excuse!
      (Really grown-up I will be when I am able to leave without any flimsy excuse - but even then I'll always be too polite: the chap put in such an effort...)

      We had the "interesting" coincidence (which in this case one might justifiable call "accident"), that a woman from another Hohenzollern region (there are deplorably many) was a keen guide too - so we could follow an "exciting" battle over very minor details :-) , yawn.
      Thus: even in the beginning I wandered off (how nice that a cellphone takes pictures - click, jump, click, hop, skip -- into the direction of the huge church door. In the Middle Ages people came in, now I left for: Freedom!

      Delete
  3. I have seen some beautiful, carved pulpits across Bavaria and this too was beautifully designed and created. But being held up on the head of ?Moses looked insecure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an interesting remark, Helen - and one that the guide had not printed as an answer on his laminated sheets - he quickly went around the pulpit to an epitaph of Veit Stoss.
      You give me a very good reason - beside the enchanting beauty of that place - to return and try to find out (especially who that poor carrying guy is).

      Yet I am not troubled very much: having existed for so long, and Fathers and parsons often being strongly built, it must be more solidly constructed than it looks.

      Delete
  4. I love visiting historic places but always wander off to take photos away from the group or crowds! I never use headphones either because they ramble on about the history which you will rarely recall, whereas taking photos of the beautiful bits will always be available for our memories in the years ahead!
    Hugs Britta - have a wonderful week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I feel that too about photographs, dear Mary: being the visual type they imprint things seen much more into my brain - same when one draws a thing.
      (My problem at the moment are too many photos - and no good access on my computer - I am struggling with my MacBook's system, when I put photos into files the huge bundle is still on the main side. I'm not a fan of manuals, but I feel I have to study one, I am drowning in not-sorted photos, and I am an orderly person).
      I wish you a beautiful week too!

      Delete
  5. I like guided tours because I get a chance to see some of the places I want to explore a little more. Of course there are often those out-of-the-way spots you would never see on a tour so both are nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mimmylynn, I have a good friend who is also joining many guided tours and of course thus she knows a lot more e.g. about Berlin.
      When we two made a vacation in Venice, I saw so many things - in a very short time - I never would have seen without her, yet I felt a bit exhausted. Maybe I am the type that does not react well to "must have seen" - when I travel I often go into an adventure: not knowing what will expect me, in very surprising places.

      Delete
  6. What a little jewel box! So much to admire. The cloisters are charming and look filled with atmosphere, despite the 21st century garb on your fellow tourists - isn't it looking cold already!

    I must say, I don't mind being a tourist in my own back yard for it really does make you look a bit more closely at the world we've chosen to live in. I will be reminded of herbaceous perennials now when I sort forth thusly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Pip, it is cold already here in Bavaria - shiver!

      I will go and look - in my rhythm - at the church - and when I saw the deplorable state the "garden" inside the cloistered courtyard was in - only badly trimmed (if at all...) lawns and three strange unkempt beds with nothing inside, bordered with miserable box - the seed of an idea popped up... .

      (First time ever that I thought "Good that HE - Karl Foerster - don't have to see that - the title of one of his books is "Flowering through the whole year!" - though the old sir formulated it as a very forcing imperativ (to the flowers!) - which I cannot translate adequately - maybe same as with "herbaceous perennials" - "perennials" might do in my sight - yet the old chap was a thunder-er with words.

      I often play "tourist in my own backyard", in Berlin I could do that every day with no danger of repetition (though I love repetition) for 365 days of the year. I am more interested in the little bits and pieces (as that angel in the photos above) than into the "whole" - which of course I value too.

      Delete
    2. he doesn't have to... of course :-)

      Delete
  7. The tour gave you new insight to lovely historic sites nearby and that will serve you well. The church has very interesting architecture. The church is not as ornate as some churches but it is strikingly beautiful and has an air of tranquility to it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear Susan, I was surprised of the interior as well. Now the church is long protestant - and those churches very often are very plain - but Bavarian churches are sometimes overflowing with gold and putti (especially when they were built in Baroque).
    The thing that delighted me most (this time) are the painted flowers on the last photo - looks very Italian and serene and cheery to me.
    And yes: tranquility - that is why I love the cloistered courts everywhere - I see Brother Cadfael and other men working mindfully there, so desirable.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I enjoyed the tour as you described. I took all the guided tours in my home city four years ago. I learned some new things and in some cases helped the guide with background information. Guided tours can be very useful. I paid for guide in Ely Cathedral. It was worth every penny. When I am abroad I often engage the services of guides. Perhaps I am the odd one out but I find their services invaluable. You have some beautiful towns where you are living. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Rachel, maybe I am the odd one out :-)
      Same with bestseller lists of books or films - it is not that I think they are not worth to know - but I enjoy to pick them of my own. I hate if someone tells me the content of a book (something good booksellers often do, and many friends of mine appreciate). But when I see in a blog a title I sometimes think: Oh, that sounds nice - I might have a look at it.

      True: the towns around here are very beautiful: Nuremberg is very near with the little train (and I bought a booklet which informed me on places inside the old city heart - it is the essence of what the guided tours visit - maybe it is more the tempo and self-paced way I prefer, not the information? xxxx

      Delete
    2. The historical knowledge of a place is often very useful from a guide, even if it needs to be checked later or leads to further personal research.

      Delete
    3. True, Rachel - and knowing something gives interest a different direction. xxx

      Delete
  10. "Look for something and you will even find something quite different"

    I am doing exactly what Karl Foerster suggested Britta. I am looking at your very first image and loving that wonderful sign showing a very elegant stork but now I am left wondering exactly what it represents?
    What a wonderful discovery Britta to find in your new neighbourhood - the church is a real gem. I love the painting seen on the fan vaulted pillars. It reminds me of Florentine paper from Italy which was inspired by traditional designs from the Renaissance.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Rosemary, I am so glad that you liked the quote - Karl Foerster was really a marvel. His language is so powerfully eloquent that a lot of contemporary people do not understand it (because many aren't used to that length anymore). And: difficult to translate the nuances of his sentences - you saw how I struggled with his wonderful title - in the form of an imperative :-)
    The sign with the stork hangs on the Storchennest-Apotheke (pharmacy) - I yet haven't found out why, but was surprised how many stork nests in Langenzenn and around exist (there are a lot of wet meadows, so they find frogs).
    f you look at photo six (through the "window" of the cloister) you might detect that on the chimney there is a stork nest - one of many, of course the birds have left a while ago, but will return every year again to "their" nest.
    You speak out of my heart when you quote the designs of Florentine paper - I have envelopes with those.
    I am really curious about that part of the church - it is different. I will find out about storks and flowers.

    ReplyDelete