St. Nicholas Church in Potsdam

13 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Berlin, General Reading Time:  12 minutes

© Bärwinkel,Klaus/cc-by-3.0

© Bärwinkel,Klaus/cc-by-3.0

St. Nicholas Church (German: St. Nikolaikirche) in Potsdam is a Lutheran church under the Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg and Silesian Upper Lusatia of the Evangelical Church in Germany on the Old Market Square (Alter Markt) in Potsdam. The central plan building in the Classicist style and dedicated to Saint Nicholas was built to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the years 1830 to 1837.   read more…

Victory in Europe Day

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

8 May 1945 - Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall in London © War Office official photographer, Major W. G. Horton

8 May 1945 – Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall in London © War Office official photographer, Major W. G. Horton

Victory in Europe Day is the day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on Tuesday, 8 May 1945. Russia and many former Soviet countries celebrate on 9 May, marking the end of World War II in Europe. Several countries observe public holidays on the day each year, also called Victory Over Fascism Day, Liberation Day or Victory Day. In the UK it is often abbreviated to VE Day, or V-E Day in the US, a term which existed as early as September 1944, in anticipation of victory. The end of all combat actions was specified as 23:01 Central European Time, which was already 9 May in eastern Europe, and thus several former Soviet bloc countries including Russia and Belarus, as well as some former Yugoslav countries like Serbia, celebrate on 9 May.   read more…

Brewer’s Star

25 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building Reading Time:  7 minutes

Stammhauses der Riegeler Brauerei © Andreas Schwarzkopf/cc-by-sa-3.0

Stammhauses der Riegeler Brauerei © Andreas Schwarzkopf/cc-by-sa-3.0

The brewer’s star (also: beer star, beer pointer, brew star, in the Upper Palatinate also Bierzoigl and Zoiglstern) is a six-pointed star (hexagram) that is used as a guild sign for brewers and maltsters. The brewer’s star is also the symbol for the issuing office of the house drink of a brewery, which is therefore also called “star” or “stars”. The six-pointed Zoigl star, which is formed from two interlocking equilateral triangles, symbolizes the three elements involved in brewing, fire, water and air, and on the other hand the ingredients water, malt and hops that were common in the late Middle Ages. In the house book of the Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung from 1425, a brewer named Hertel is shown at a brew kettle with a brewer’s star. There are (so far) various hypotheses about the origin of the brewer’s star.   read more…

Schloss Wolfsgarten in Langen

20 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Hesse143/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Hesse143/cc-by-sa-3.0

Schloss Wolfsgarten is a former hunting seat of the ruling family of Hesse-Darmstadt, located in the German state of Hessen, approximately 15 kilometers south of Frankfurt am Main. The hunting lodge was established between 1722 and 1724 by Landgrave Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt.   read more…

Ahrenshoop Baltic Sea Resort

30 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Pkw98/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Pkw98/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ahrenshoop is a municipality in the Vorpommern-Rügen district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany on the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula of the Baltic Sea. It used to be a small fishing village, but is today known for its tourism and as a holiday resort.   read more…

Portrait: Richard Wagner, composer, theatre director, polemicist, conductor

23 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  6 minutes

Wagner bust in Bayreuth © Schubbay/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wagner bust in Bayreuth © Schubbay/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works were later known, “music dramas”). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).   read more…

German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

21 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  7 minutes

Main building, formerly the bulding of the Freemasons' lodge 'The Three Swords' © panoramio.com - Michael aus Halle/cc-by-sa-3.0

Main building, formerly the bulding of the Freemasons’ lodge ‘The Three Swords’
© panoramio.com – Michael aus Halle/cc-by-sa-3.0

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (German: Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina – Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften), short Leopoldina, is the national academy of Germany, and is located in Halle (Saale). Founded on January 1, 1652, based on academic models in Italy, it was originally named the Academia Naturae Curiosorum until 1687 when Emperor Leopold I raised it to an academy and named it after himself. It was since known under the German name Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina until 2007, when it was declared to be Germany’s National Academy of Sciences. The Leopoldina has a claim to be the oldest continuously existing learned society in the world. The validity of the claim depends in part on how certain definitional and historical questions are answered.   read more…

Marco Polo Tower in Hamburg

1 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hamburg, House of the Month Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Huhu Uet/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Huhu Uet/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Marco Polo Tower is a residential building in the HafenCity district of Hamburg‘s Mitte district. Together with the neighboring Unilever building, it forms a striking ensemble of buildings on the North Elbe.   read more…

Anne Frank Educational Centre in Frankfurt

27 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  8 minutes

Diary of Anne Frank © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0

Diary of Anne Frank © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Anne Frank Educational Centre (German: Bildungsstätte Anne Frank) was founded in 1997 and is located in the neighbourhood of Dornbusch, Frankfurt am Main in Germany where Anne Frank was born. The Centre is supported by the Anne-Frank-Fonds in Basel. In their work, the Centre uses the biography and the diary of Anne Frank as a unique tool to promote tolerance and educate people about the consequences of Nazism, discrimination and racism.   read more…

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