The Brückenmännchen in Bonn –
a cheeky little sculpture on a bridge
When we visited Bonn earlier this year, we went for a walk along the Rhine, as you do. To our surprise, we spotted on the Kennedy Bridge the sculpture of a man rather cheekily sticking his bum out at us, the Brückenmännchen, which translates as “little bridge man”. It turns out that this little sculpture plays an important part of the history of the bridge.
The Brückemnmännchen in Bonn – also a welcome resting place for pigeons
Bonn’s bridges across the Rhine –
Connecting Bonn to its eastern neighbours
Bonn is situated on the western side of the river Rhine. Understandably, a way to cross the river has been important for a long time, both for commercial and military reasons. On the opposite, the eastern, side of the river is Beuel. Beuel has since 1969 been a suburb of Bonn, incorporating all the area on the right-hand side of the Rhine, which consisted of various parishes. One example is Oberkassel, where the couple from the Ice Age was found.
There is a legend that Julius Caesar had the first bridge built in 55 BC when fighting the Gauls. However, archaeologists say that’s all that it is: a legend. Continue reading
Thomas Barowe –
Richard III’s Master of the Rolls,
and bound by loyalty
Thomas Barowe was Richard III’s master of the rolls. It is a great pity that to most historians of the late middle ages that is all there is to be said about him, not warranting any further details.
Richard III chose as his motto ‘Loyalty Binds Me’. Obviously, he felt bound by loyalty to those around him, but it would also be fair to say that he appreciated the loyalty of others in return. One man who remained loyal to Richard until his own death – 14 years after the Battle of Bosworth – was Master Thomas Barowe. The following is an attempt to find out more about this man and to show him as an integral part of Richard’s closely interconnected affinity. Continue reading
The Liberei in Braunschweig –
a medieval library ahead of its time
Braunschweig in approx. 1550 (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
The Liberei in Braunschweig is a unique medieval building: 1. It was the first free-standing library building in Europe north of the Alps. 2. It was the southern-most example of Backsteingotik. 3. It was one of the first public libraries in Germany. 4. It was a famous centre for research. Quite remarkable for a building of just 5 by 5 metres. Continue reading
The Redemption Windows
in Leicester Cathedral
On 24 April this year, two new stained glass windows were dedicated in Leicester Cathedral. I had a chance to see them, face-to-face, in the beginning of June. A much-anticipated visit and I was not disappointed!
Redemption Windows, Leicester Cathedral
Braunschweig Now and Then:
The Gewandhaus in
Eastern facade of the Gewandhaus
One of the present-day tourist attractions of Braunschweig is the Altstadtmarkt with its historic buildings: the Altstadtrathaus (town hall), St Martin’s Church, the Altstadtbrunnen (fountain) and the Gewandhaus. Altstadt (old town) refers to one of the five medieval parts of Braunschweig, the others being the Neustadt (new town), Hagen, Altewiek and Sack. Each had its own market, church and town hall. The two most important parts, Altstadt and Hagen, also had their own Gewandhaus (cloth merchants’ hall). Only the one in the Altstadt has survived, so this is the one which is referred to as the Gewandhaus today. Continue reading
The Manor of Ware in Hertfordshire during the Middle Ages
The town of Ware has a long history. The oldest dateable artefacts found in the area go back to the late Paleolithic period (c.25,000 – 10,000BC). There is evidence for a more permanent settlement in the Mesolithic period (8,000 – 5,000 BC). The Romans were also there and so it goes on into the Middle Ages, which is the period this post will be dealing with.[i] Continue reading
The Eulenspiegel Fountain in Braunschweig
Braunschweig, in Lower Saxony, Germany, is a city rich in history. This became clear to me, when I recently had the opportunity to revisit the city where I was born. We moved away when I was seven, long before its history held much interest to me. Seeing it again, brought back to me the stories my grandfather used to tell me. He was a wonderful story-teller. His range covered stories by others (sometimes embellished to make them more attractive for his little granddaughter), and above all stories he made up on the spot, linking them to the buildings or monuments around us.
I would like to share with you a monument to one of the heroes of the stories he told me: Till Eulenspiegel. It’s not very often that you get a chance to touch one of the heroes of the stories of your childhood. However, this was what I able to do when I saw the Eulenspiegel for the first time, at the age of four or five. Needless to say, I went back to say “hello” to Till now.
Eulenspiegel Fountain in Braunschweig
Today would be the 101st birthday of David Guy Barnabas Kindersley, stone-carver and type designer. He was born on 11 June 1915 in Codicote, Hertfordshire. Among his extensive work is the Richard III Memorial Stone. Some of David Kindersley’s work is at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The memorial stone was originally in Leicester Cathedral. It had been a project of Rev T.C. Hunter-Clare, to which the Richard III Society had contributed. It was dedicated in August 1982.
Since January 2015, just prior to Richard III’s reburial in Leicester Cathedral, the memorial stone has been on permanent display at the King Richard III Visitor Centre, Leicester.
David Kindersley died on 2 February 1995 in Cambridge.
The photograph was taken in 2013, showing the memorial stone in its original position in Leicester Cathedral.
Richard III Memorial Stone
To learn more about David Kindersley, you may wish his obituary in the Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituariesdavid-kindersley-1571426.html
Congratulations to Leicester City on winning the English Premier League title. This morning, this was the first thing I read, when checking the overnight news on my phone. Imagine me cheering loudly in a still sleeping house.
Anyone who knows me, realises how utterly unlikely this reaction is. I’m not interested in sport, never have been, and least of all in soccer. Nevertheless, here I am supporting a soccer team on the other end of the world. Just don’t expect any technical analysis of the Leicester’s game plan from me here. Continue reading