Monday 29 May 2017

Old and new

Yesterday, in one of the churches in Würzburg, we saw one answer to how a traditional church might interact with modern art.

It was a representation of the prophet Isaiah, modelled strongly on the features of Sylvester Stallone! Today, in Bamberg, we saw more of this dynamic tension, as a city with World Heritage Site status because of its mediaeval delights works out how to preserve what is worth preserving while trying not to be simply a living museum.

The town hall, built over the river, looks down towards the wonderful waterfront of a sector known as Little Venice.

The backs of these houses are as interesting, if not quite as picturesque, as the fronts.

Some of the shutters have latches of which we noted several variations throughout the city.

The faces were sometimes rather posh as here. Others might be country bumpkins or knights in armour.

Above the town centre were more old, ecclesiastical buildings, designed to impress the visitor.

We discovered that one local Prince Bishop, of around the seventeenth century, had found the gaudiness of the baroque style not to his taste, and had removed much of the colour and sold off many of the artefacts. Today some will regret that, but the discussion as to what constitutes appropriate updating continues.

Some of the modern touches were very welcome. When our guided tour had finished we recovered our strength at a great little coffee shop – Rösterie M.A.G.

There was extensive range of coffees on offer, and an extremely good chocolate torte to go with it.

Thomas was our very helpful guide to the choices – and he knew all about Southampton FC! Thanks, Thomas! Then it was back to catch our transport by the city's concert hall,

which has modern depictions of local heraldic imagery dotted around.

Leaving Bamberg we have just come onto the canal that links the Main and the Danube. For a while we've been queueing at a lock – nothing changes!

At some point between here and Nuremberg, but probably in the middle of the night, we shall pass the watershed, and start the down-hill part of the journey.


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