HOUSES OF FALL

A rather dreamy place worth a visit is the former rehabilitation centre Beelitz Heilstätten near Berlin in Germany. It is a vast area of varied buildings being constructed in the early 20th century with a quite modern concept for healing and recovery.

After WW II it was seized by the Soviet Red Army which left Germany and this area in 1994. Nobody felt responsible for the place  afterwards or had an idea for further use so nature took over control quite easily.

Some years ago the place was changed into some kind of openair museum, and a long freestanding bridge was built for viewing the amazing ruins from the very height which requires however the payment of an entrance fee.

You will find there also a lot of other houses on the huge premises which you can view free of charge. Guided tours are offered there also inside some buildings.

#ThursdayTreeLove – 49

 

 

LATE SUMMER MIRRORINGS

What is nowadays more touching and impressing, a reflective artwork swimming on an apart lake and becoming part of nature or the fluid mirror image of a tree transforming to a fragile visual sculpture being only changed by cool waves and smooth breezes? 

Although these pictures show a lot of water we are still waiting for some real rain now for six months here in Central-Europe. The summer started by mid of April and has not ended so far till today making it really easy to stroll around such eye-minded finds.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Reflection

 

LATE SUMMER POTPOURRI BY BEATRICE

Here are some of my favourite photos and/or places – just a very small selection for today’s pleasant viewing:

Flowers are a great passion in my own self-raised jungle.

Late afternoon on the outstanding clear Weissensee at Carinthia, Austria

Curious wildcat (felis silvestris) at animal park of Assling, Austria

Autumn is approaching steadily now each day.

Urban still life on our green balcony

Black swans (cygnus atratus) from Australia at animal park of Assling, Austria

Old El Puertito, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

View on the Atlantic Ocean near El Puertito, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Hiking in the Valley of Montafon, Vorarlberg, Austria

View on Rhaetian Alps, Valley of Montafon, Vorarlberg, Austria

 

DAHLIAS – PLEASANT MESSENGERS OF AUTUMN

Cool winds by now signalize the approaching autumn, so bloom dahlias, night frosts will hence come round in a short while and chase away you again.


Like many other flowers dahlias originate in Meso-America. Martin Kral writes in his well-researched paper Of Dahlia Myths and Aztec Mythology: The Dahlia in History that Aimè Bonpland and Alexander von Humboldt saw dahlias growing all around them as they traveled through all Latin America. But the first recorded picture of dahlias was designed by the native Mixtecs in Mexico in the 14th century which shows a Mixtec woman using dahlias in the form of headbands as a part of matrimony (see graphic hereunder). Other daily or ritual uses  of dahlias by the Mixtec and/or Aztec culture are so far not known because only few documents survived the Spanish Conquista in the 16th century.

Mixtec woman with dahlias, Oaxaca, Mexico, 14th century

Mixtec Palace of the Columns, Oaxaca, Mexico

In 1529 Friar Bernardino de Sahagún arrived in Mexico and would later write the first Western account of the dahlias. But only in 1790 the first seeds were sent from Mexico to botanical specialists in Madrid who did successfully raise the first plants in Europe shortly thereafter in 1791. During that period the species’ name dahlias was subsequently created in order to honour the Swedish botanist Andre Dahl.

Humboldt and Bonpland at Chimborazo volcano /  Friedrich G. Weitsch, 1806

During their famous trip leading to South and Central America (1799 – 1804) Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland did a vast research on plants and nature in general. When returning home to Europe in 1804  Alexander von Humboldt brought seeds of Dahlia coccinea to Berlin while it is assumed that Aimé Bonpland had presented Dahlia seeds to French Empress Josephine for her large collection of plants. In 1805 seeds are successfully germinated and also flowered in Germany and as well in England while in 1818 the first exhibiting of dahlias took place in Scotland.

Early botanical drawing, German newspaper, 1804

Claude Monet, The Garden at Argenteuil (The Dahlias), 1872

In the 19th century dahlias had spread over all Europe, there existed for example the Czech Dahlia Society, and besides it is also known that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe raised dahlias in his private garden, while in England the illustrious Lady Holland increased the popularity of these flowers. A real center of European dahlia culture became the small Thuringian town Bad Köstritz, where the commercial raise of dahlias was established by Christian Deegen in 1824 and with great success is existing till today.

Thousands of different dahlias are today to be found, but these hybrides are often much different compared to the wild plants still to be seen in Meso-America. The best overview on this subject offer dahlia gardens which may be visited in late summer at diverse locations in Europe like Milnthorpe in England, Gera in Germany or La Source in France and elsewhere of course.

All flower photos made at dahlia garden of Hamburg, Sept. 2018

Flower of the Day – September 19, 2018 – Delphinium

PRAVCICKA BRANA – GATE TO CZECH SWITZERLAND

Pravčická Brána is the largest natural stone bridge in Europe and a natural Czech monument, truly one of the most striking natural sites in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and symbol of the whole region. It is located approximately 3 km North-West of Hrensko in the national park Czech Switzerland not far away from the border to Germany. Wandering paths are leading there both from Czech and German side where Saxonian Switzerland stretches.

Barberine Rock in Saxonian Switzerland, Germany
Postcard from 1906 showing the very first ascent

So this gate and bridge is connecting both countries in a beautiful and stunning landscape and may be visited during opening times for an entry fee. In 1826 an inn was constructed by the gate, and in 1881 Prince Edmund of Clary-Aldringen built there the romantical hotel Sokolí hnízdo (English: Falcon’s Nest) with 50 beds which you can see in the photo hereunder. 

Jo’s Monday walk : A tale of three castles- 2. Alnwick