Karlsruhe (to be continued)
29th January 2012: Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states. The town surrounding the Palace became the seat of two of the highest courts in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht) whose decisions have the force of a law in many cases, and the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (Bundesgerichtshof), the highest court of appeals in matters of civil law and criminal law. It therefore considers itself the home of justice in Germany, a role taken over from Leipzig after 1945.
Due to similarities to the U.S. capital city, it has been speculated that Karlsruhe was a model city for the cityscape of Washington, D.C. Both cities have a center — in Karlsruhe the palace and in D.C. the Capitol Building — from which the streets radiate outward. L’Enfant, Washington’s city planner, had been given the plans of Karlsruhe (among numerous other European cities) as an inspiration.
On the next day we visited our friend’s university: KIT – Karlsruhe Institut Of Tecnology (http://www.kit.edu/english/). And later we walked around the Marktplatz, which has the stone pyramid marking the grave of the city’s founder. Built in 1825, it is the emblem of Karlsruhe. The city’s nicknamed the fan city (Die Fächerstadt) because of its design layout, with straight streets radiating fan-like from the Palace.
And also saw The Karlsruhe Palace (Schloss), which is an interesting piece of architecture; the adjacentSchlossgarten includes the Botanical Garden with a palm, cactus and orchid house, and walking paths through the woods to the north.
Some other mainsights are:
The Stadtgarten is a recreational area near the main railway station (Hauptbahnhof) and was rebuilt in 1967 during the ‘Federal Garden Show’ (Bundesgartenschau). It is also the site of the Karlsruhe Zoo.
The city has two botanical gardens: the municipal Botanischer Garten Karlsruhe which forms part of the Palace complex, and the Botanischer Garten der Universität Karlsruhe which is maintained by the university.
The so-called Kleine Kirche (Little Church), built between 1773 and 1776, is the oldest church of Karlsruhe’s city centre.
Another sight is the Rondellplatz with its ‘Constitution Building Columns’ (1826). It is dedicated to Baden’s first constitution in 1818, which was one of the most liberal of its time. The Münze (mint), erected in 1826/27, was also built by Weinbrenner.
The main cemetery of Karlsruhe is the oldest park-like cemetery in Germany. The crematoriumwas the first to be built in the style of a church.
Karlsruhe is also home to a Museum of Natural History, an opera house (the ‘Baden State Theatre‘), as well as a number of independent theatres and art galleries. The State Art Gallery, built in 1846 by Heinrich Hübsch, displays paintings and sculptures from six centuries, particularly from France, Germany and Holland. Karlsruhe’s newly renovated art museum is one of the most important art museums in Baden-Württemberg. Further cultural attractions are scattered throughout Karlsruhe’s various incorporated suburbs. The Scheffel Association or literary society (established in 1924), is the largest literary organisation in Germany. Today thePrinz-Max-Palais, built between 1881 and 1884 in neoclassical style, houses the organisation and includes its museum.
Karlsruhe is also home to the Majolika-Manufaktur, the only art-ceramics pottery studio in Germany. Founded in 1901, it is located in the Schlossgarten. A ‘blue streak’ (Blauer Strahl) consisting of 1645 ceramic tiles, connects the studio with the Palace. It is the world’s largest ceramic artwork.
Another tourist attraction is the Centre for Art and Media (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, or ZKM), which is located in a converted ammunition factory.
*Where we stayed: We stayed at a friend’s house
Volunteer work in Karlsruhe: 13th september until 24th october 2013
During the time I was in Karlsruhe, I visited more of the city and really felt how it is to live there. On my first night there, I met some brazilian friends at the Cafe Emaille (https://www.facebook.com/CafeEmaille). During the weekend there was a Wine festival happening in Durlach, so we went there to enjoy it. There was a band, some food and obviously wine haha. It was great, until started raining.