Saturday, 12 May 2012

Catching Up: On Top Of The World

...or, at least, (almost) on top of my home town!
This is where I found myself on the Saturday before going to England.

It was a lovely day, very warm for April at about 28 Celsius (82 F), and I knew I was going to have plenty of time on the Sunday to do all my packing and getting ready for travelling, so I intended to spend as much time out in the open as possible (especially since I knew it was not going to be anywhere near as warm or sunny in England...).

My Mum and I decided to go to a gardening exhibition at the castle grounds, but it was one of the very few times a year when one of the church towers was open to the public, and my Mum suggested we go there on our way.
It was an unforgettable experience - my very first time up there! - and I am grateful my Mum had the idea.

Of course, I took my camera with me, and here is what we saw:

The largest and most comfortable part of the staircase.

All very light and airy here.
It is getting a bit steeper now, and darker.

And narrower. Nobody there but my Mum and I!

Not quite there yet - this is the clockwork. The sound was fascinating, I imagined it being The Sound Of Time Itself.

Further up...
We're there! This little chamber in the top of the tower is still in use: every day at noon, a small group of people (volunteers, I am sure) climb up here and play a choral on brass instruments from the narrow balcony surrounding the chamber. I'm afraid I don't know for how long this tradition has been going on, but it dates probably back at least 200 years or so. The church itself was finished in 1726 - Ludwigsburg is a young town, having been founded only in 1704 on what used to be a favourite hunting ground of the then duke of W├╝rttemberg, Eberhard Ludwig.

We met the lady whose horn it is resting on the chair and talked to her a little bit. And then we went outside to enjoy the view:

The other tower, not open to the public, on the opposite side of the church roof; we had climbed its twin.

Looking north east across the market square. The arrows point to (from left to right): the park, where you have seen me spending a sunny afternoon every now and then already; the palace, where we were going to go next; the hospital, where I spent a week in September 2010 before I wrote this.

Looking west/north-west. This time, the arrows point to my old school (left) and the place I've shown you here.

Looking west, the arrow pointing to where my house is - you can see how close to town centre I am.

And now, looking down, to give you an impression of how high up we were:

The market is a bustling farmer's market and takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with Saturday usually being the busiest of the three.
There in the corner, between the yellow and the white house, is "my" Irish pub, where I so like going for quiz nights with my friends. The large white building in the top left corner of the picture is Ludwigsburg's town hall, where Steve and I got married; behind it and not visible properly is the library, where once upon a time I was trained and worked as a librarian.

A close-up of one of the stalls; I tried to do more such shots, but there were always so many people, I couldn't get a shot without them, and didn't want to show people I had not asked for permission.

We stayed a while up there, enjoying the view across our home town and the sun, before we carefully descended the stairs (somehow, going down is always a bit more difficult than getting up, as any cat who has ever climbed a tree will confirm) and walked on, towards the palace grounds.

(And don't worry - I am not going to make it a habit of posting more than once a day; today is an exception because I still have some catching up to do before I'll start on writing about my week in England.)

14 comments:

  1. Meike, Its fascinating to see the town , which is so well planned and with everything so close, yet not so big as to be overwhelming. And how safe it looks.
    Can you sometimes hear the music coming from the little nook at the top of the stairs? What a climb~
    stairs are the best for keeping in shape, I think.
    The clockwork reminds me a bit of the one in the movie 'Hugo' have you seen it?
    Best
    Julie

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    1. Hello Julie, no, I'm afraid I have not seen "Hugo". What is it about?
      From where I live, I can not hear the choral played from the tower. But I sometimes happen to be in town at that time, and hear it then.
      Yes, isn't it obvious how the town was really planned from scratch by the duke's architect, instead of naturally growing along a river or next to some particularly fertile fields etc., as usually happened with much older settlements? Only later, they left the original grid, which caused some severe arguments among those involved in building the town, and lead, I believe, eventually to one of the architects leaving.

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  2. Thank you for yet another wonderful 'exploring' day trip. I do so enjoy going with you and your Mum on these forays. I love your town!

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  3. You can post more than once a day when they are as fascinating as this, Meike. How wonderful to see everywhere from such a vantage point and on so beautiful a day. Somehow it brings many of your other posts more alive when we can visualise where they took place. And very well done your Mum for suggesting it!

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    1. Yes, John, I was hoping for my pictures to have that effect - to make everyone have a clearer picture of what I am talking about when I am on about the places I regularly go to.

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  4. Dear Meike,
    You know I loved seeing these photos!
    The little chamber at the top of the tower, I love that photo. There is something there that reminds me of a fairy tale...Sleeping Beauty pricking her finger? Rapunzel letting down her hair?
    Anyway, it looks so lovely, where you live. Thanks for sharing it!

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    1. Dear Kay,
      it certainly is a good place to live in, in my eyes, and I am not only saying that because it happens to be my home town. It is the right size - neither too big nor too small; you have all the shops to cater for your daily (and less frequent) needs, there is a lot going on in terms of culture and other events, and most of it is well kept.
      Yes, it is a bit like a fairy tale place, that chamber on top of the tower, isn't it!

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  5. Despite having been back in Eagleton over a week and despite not having croquet and the like to distract me from Blogland I've managed to spend far too little time in this virtual country of which I am a citizen. So I'm hoping this morning to rectify that and do some catching up, starting with this interesting and fascinating post. I always enjoy being able to place people and this has been a good post for that. I particularly enjoyed clicking on the photos and having a good look at the enlarged versions.

    I am always amused when we in Europe talk about a town founded in 1704 as being new or recent. I wouldn't have though that in the slightest bit unusual until I went to live in New Zealand where Europeans and the concept of a town didn't exist in1704.

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    1. Hello Graham, it is good, I think, to have our offline lives taking precedence sometimes. Keeping the balance is not always easy, and every now and then taking a break from the online world is healthy.
      Yes, the new/old bit certainly applies to NZ, and also partly to the US. The surrounding villages here (who have either turned into suburbs or have grown into towns in their own right) are all a lot older than the town/city itself, some go back more than a thousand years.

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  6. Visiting on your recommendation... Thanks for the view from above. My town dit get its town privileges back in 1621 but I wouldn't go as far as to call yours "young", I think :) But as one of the towns I visited in south Germany was Trier (with old Roman remains), I get the point!

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    1. Thank you for following my recommendation, Monica!
      Well, compared to most of the surrounding villages and also most of the larger towns in this area, Ludwigsburg definitely is one of the younger ones :-)

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  7. GB mentioned just what I was thinking when you implied that 1704 was not old. Wow! Our home in the country was built in the 1830s. THAT was old to me! I love your sharing about your hometown. I will have to look up old photos of my hometown. However, I don't live there. The town in which I live now has been my home for decades. All my children and grandchildren were born here. So it's home.

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    1. That way, you have two homes, Norma; one being your original home town and the other has become your home by choice :-)

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