Fascination captured in stone

Uta von Ballenstedt was the wife of Margrave Eckard II von Meissen, member of the German dynasty known as the House of Ascania. Their marriage created no heir, and any chance of furthering their line ended with Eckard’s death in 1046, followed shortly thereafter by Uta’s. Her entire estate was donated to the construction of Naumburg Cathedral being erected in the early 13th century.  A little bit later the anonymous Naumburg master created a dozen donor figures for the cathedral, including representations of Eckard II and Uta.

These life-size statues are relatively rare in the annals of art history, as they depict neither king nor emperor, and are considered masterpieces of Gothic art.Indeed, some art connoisseurs consider Uta von Ballenstedt’s sculpture to be of exceptional beauty, even placing her on the same level as Botticelli’s Venus. She attracts many visitors to Naumburg Cathedral to this day – an UNESCO World Heritage site.

Naumburg Cathedral, postcard of early 20th century

P S.  The very nice town of  Naumburg (Saale) is nearly 1,000 years old, and there one can visit also the Friedrich-Nietzsche-Haus, a museum dedicated to the life and work of this well known German philosopher.

Street scene near the cathedral / Sunday 9 August 2020 / 36,2° Celsius


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Jo’s Monday walk : From Bay to Beautiful Bay



In Unteruhldingen, Germany, on Lake Constance, wooden posts in the water still serve as reminders of the houses that once stood there.

During the Neolithic Period (4,000 BC), the first farmers settled by the lakes around the Alps. They often built their villages directly in or by the water and protected themselves from the wet grounds and floods by building their homes on wooden stilts. These pile dwellings are an early form of settlement offering the people protection against enemies and predators. And the close proximity to water was also vital for survival by the direct access to the lucrative fishing grounds.

The pictures here were all taken some days ago at the Pile Dwellings Museum of Unteruhldingen, Lake Constance. This site comprises an open-air museum with 23 reconstructed houses from the Stone and Bronze Age (4,000 until 850 BC). After archeological excavations in the lake the first houses were reconstructed in 1922 based on replicas and original findings making a fascinating submerged world visible again.

Towards the end of the Bronze Age (approximately 850 BC), a dramatically worsening climate and rising lake level pushed the settlers back inland into the surrounding hills. Since then, the remains of the sunken villages have been resting well protected at the bottom of Lake Constance. Complex underwater excavations brought numerous finds of building parts which allowed for accurate reconstruction of the houses.

Other diverse finds can be seen in a small museum, and in the houses you get also a deep insight of ancient living conditions being really worth a visit.


Tuesday Photo Challenge – Connections