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Photo Diary - a small town in Germany

by senilebiker Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 05:39:21 AM EST

Cross posted from Daily Kos

I am often amused by comments on DKos about Europe, and that most people in the US have little or no real understanding of how we live, and what we think. This comes up in the health care diaries, second amendment, eco etc.

A combination of circumstances - my partner adopting a coonhound, my daughter (starting her career as a pro photographer) giving me her old camera - led me to walking the dog with a Nikon in my hand, and I thought I would share the results.

The diary is about one small town in Germany - Hattingen - which sits in the heart of the Ruhr - the German rustbelt, between Dortmund, Essen and Wuppertal, but is not anything like Flint, Mi.

Fine photo diary - welcome to senilebiker - afew


Altstadt

Hattingen dates from the 13th century, and the original town sat within a town wall constructed in 1390 and rebuilt in parts in the early 19th century.

town wall inside

The town was extensively bombed during WWII,but the old town was where possible repaired or reconstructed in the traditional building methods. Over the centuries, three castles were constructed around the town. Isenberg, on a hill to the West, was built in the 12th century, and destroyed in the 13th, and only a few ruins remain. Blankenstein, on a hill to the East replaced it in the 13th century.


Turm Blankenstein
,

and in the 17th century, Haus Kemnader was built, and is now a restaurant

Schloss Kemnader

Hattingen sits on the banks of the Ruhr, whose hills contain both coal and iron ore, and for this reason the town entered into a period of rapid development during the industrial revolution. In the mid 1700's there were over 50 coal mines within the town boundaries, and in the mid 1800's the Henrichshuette steel works were founded, which would later make the town one of the largest steel producers in Germany.  Unfortunately, the iron ore deposits were soon used up, and raw materials had to be shipped to the town by barge along the Ruhr

Disused lock on the Ruhr
Disused lock on the Ruhr

However, the unreliability of this transport, too much river in Winter, not enough in Summer would have doomed the town, except for the advent of railways. The steelworks prospered, and at its height in the 1950's it employed 11,000 people in a town with a population of around 50,000. But like most of the European steel industry, the Henrichshuette was doomed to competition from lower cost countries in the far East and India, and the plant declined until its eventual closure in 1987.

Today, all that remains of a an industrial complex that filled the flood plain on the South bank is an industrial museum, based around one surviving decaying Bessemer blast furnace.

Heinrichshutte

huttenwerke 2

But to think of the town as an industrial wasteland would be wrong.Hattingen nestles in a set of wooded hills, and the towns elevation varies between 200 feet and 1000 feet. Surrounding the town, within walking distance are woodlands and farms, and over 20 horse stables.

Homberg farm and stables
a working farm and stable  2miles from the town centre

Homberg hay wain

Kressenberg

Hattingen woods

stadtwald

However, there are always some downsides. Hattingen is not immune to the scourges of the 21st century.

mcDo
duelling fast foods

and to support my thesis  that high gas prices are not the end of the world

gas prices 6-29

Gas prices June 09

and that is Euros/litre, around $7 per gallon.

Hoping you enjoyed sharing this and more photos can be found here

Hat tip to Ed at tech for help in sorting out the html. Update - on the rec list on my first trip here. Thanks everybody

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Welcome to ET, senilebiker and hope to see more from you. :-)

Do you live in Hattingen? looks like a nice place. And I think it was a great idea your daughter had - to give you her old camera.

by Fran on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 04:00:48 PM EST
Thanks for the welcome. Jeromeaparis suggested I crosspost here, and I intend to visit regularly and hopefully contribute.
by senilebiker on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 04:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome, senilebiker, and sorry for the spammer-caused delay!

It was worth waiting for these superb photos. Thanks for showing them!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 04:45:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
help please?

is there a delay here for rating comments?

i just joined today (about 30 minutes ago)

by RiaD on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 04:50:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May I email you on your sign-up email?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 04:58:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
certainly!
by RiaD on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 05:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sent.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 05:12:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No problem for the probation period, I appreciate the fast response to my mail.
by senilebiker on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 05:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very Glad you made it here.
i'm new here (& at booman tribune) also.

i was born & adopted in germany so i find your pictures from there fascinating.

thanks ever so much for this photo diary.
i'm looking forward to seeing more from you!
♥~

by RiaD on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 04:25:19 PM EST
Thanks for the tips on how to get this up and posted. Still something to learn everyday.
by senilebiker on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 04:28:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no problem! we are ALL still learning.

& thank YOU. your cross-posting prompted me to finally join up here!

by RiaD on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 05:32:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome to you too, RiaD and hope you will enjoy ET.
by Fran on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 02:37:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thank you!
i'm sure i will, it's a lovely place.
♥~
by RiaD on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 05:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Man i love it when we get photos and comment from good englisch-speakers aus Ruhrgebiet! Hattigen is not anything like Flint MI. and these make me Heimkrank.

Schöne Grüße aus Remscheid und Wuppertal (jetzt Hansastadt Bremen.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 07:09:16 PM EST
yup, this is a lovely diary, you can feel the pride and affection.

i like towns where you can find a working farm 2k from the centre!

the photos are really good, the countryside looks idyllic. thanks for joining and contributing such a nice first effort.

it looks like a sweet little town, with interesting history, quite charming.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 07:47:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is one more thing of interest in (well, across) Hattingen: the Ruhrtalbahn museum railway!



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 08:39:29 PM EST
I loved your diary!  I'm sitting here in the US remembering some wonderful years in the Netherlands and visits to Germany.  Damn!  If telekenisis was perfected, I'd be there in a flash!

Could you do a photoessay on the weekly markets in Western Europe, and especially in your town?  Seems pedestrian, but it would be fascinating for US readers who may never have seen a really good city center market.

Thanks again!

by altoid (tom.casadecampanas AT gmail dotcom) on Sat Aug 1st, 2009 at 09:27:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi altoid, nice to see you commenting here and hope you will stay around for more.
by Fran on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 02:40:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I posted this on DKos, several people requested a follow up, and I was thinking of one emphasising the differences, and street markets are one of those.

I intend calling it Royale with Cheese

by senilebiker on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 04:21:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If telekenisis was perfected, I'd be there in a flash!

You write that like they're working on it ;-))

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 08:38:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Markets !! What a great idea.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 08:38:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was intending to get some photos of this, but it only runs 3 time a day and 3 days a week in Summer, and I have never been there at the right time with a camera.

When I do I 'll be adding it to my Flick stream.

by senilebiker on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 04:25:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha! Checking, I see it runs just today, next time within an hour: Fahrplan.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 06:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks- may go down this afternoon - hope the light improves.
by senilebiker on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 06:57:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as we've thrown Wuppertal into the mix, how about a diary on the only railroad to have an elephant fall into the river running 20 meters below it.

Tuffi Rulz!

Link Here to earlier ET elephant fest.




"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 06:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
damn, link doesn't work.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 06:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Try this Link (and scroll way down.)

Sadly, it was also the diary where we lost Elco B, warmly remembered.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 06:28:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting story, but what I picked up is the part about the old industrial sites along the Wupper to Remscheid.

Been planning on a series of industrial decay, and this seems worth visiting.

ps - if my English is good, its because I am English ;)

by senilebiker on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 06:59:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Wupper valley and the Remscheid parts of Bergisches Land are the seat of the industrial beginning in continental Europe more than 500 years ago. (confluence of raw material and fuel.)  The story is amazing, and sadly i've not diaried it.  the existing ruins are stunning.

Sorry to hear you're English.  ;-))
(Only because we need more German speakers.)

Thanks for this fine diary.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 07:16:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aber , ich kann auch in Deustsche sprechen, et en francais egalement.
by senilebiker on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 07:28:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
three languages will keep you from becoming senile. ;-)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 07:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since you seem to be a Wuppertal expert, could you explain what a copy of the Trento fountain is doing there? I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw it.

Here is the original

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 07:51:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you mean this one

lots of discussion about its "erection", but not, why it was chosen. The only reason given is the 25th anniversary of the Elberfelder beautification Society, that wanted to celebrate their existence in 1901 and caused a storm due to the nudity of Neptune.

I would think, it was one of those Nouveau riche scemes, but cannot access this
book by Ruth Meyer-Kahrweg
which might give more information

by PeWi on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 08:32:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nouveau riche sounds reasonible.

Outside the Swedish town of Borås, this was recently placed:

It is a work of art, entitled Walking to Borås. What does Pinocchio has to do with Borås? Nothing as far as I - or many inhabitants of Borås for that matter - can see. But as it was privately financed, there was little to do about it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 04:05:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Historicism.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Aug 3rd, 2009 at 01:42:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, but it doesn't explain why they picked this fountain instead of a better-known one. I'm not aware of any connection between Neptune and Wuppertal (the connection with Trento seems to be a pun on Tridentum...)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Aug 3rd, 2009 at 04:11:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess Trento having been Trient in a German-primary-language empire at the time had something to do with it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Aug 3rd, 2009 at 04:37:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been there a few dozen times, that's all, and will be again in two weeks, but had no idea a Trento copy was there. Thanks for the tip.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Aug 3rd, 2009 at 04:23:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very nice pictures.

Welcome to ET!

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 05:44:33 AM EST
Welcome senilebiker, and please post more stories!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 02:40:08 PM EST
Clearly, that Nikon is now in good hands.

Very nice pictures, and the countryside and town are beautiful. Thank you.

by Mnemosyne on Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 at 11:37:12 PM EST


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