Having just left Marburg on our way to Hamburg on the IC 2376 train we have about 3 1/2 hours to reflect on our visit to this proud town of culture and history. Thankfully the post won't take you anywhere near as long to read.

I won't pretend this is a travel advisory. No talk of accomodation standards, or things that might figure on a tourist's checklist. The focus was elsewhere on this, our second visit. This is more a personal reflection on impressions Marburg left with me.

Delicate colours in the winter sun; refinement, and understated wealth; hints of past political power: The Schloß pictured above had all these things. A bit like an old lady, dressed in finery, reposing in the midst of the accoutrements of past dynastic power. Is it a pity or a blessing that it sits aloof from the town that surrounds it; at the end of a challenging climb on a lengthy winding cobbled road?

It spoke of comfort in an established order, where civilized culture, built on the labour of townspeople, was marvelled at by all and enjoyed by few. Not that I am in any way suggesting this was a bad thing. It was just the way it was. Granted the common folk paid for finery like this Schloß, but they also enjoyed its protection, its laws, and the certainty it gave them in return.

Similarly for me, the Schloß was more than a thing of beauty. Vague well-being found me as I gazed at it, together with thankfullness that such places still exist. I am not as certain as I would like to be that some contemporary architecture will stand time's test half as well.

On the climb up to the Schloß there were some breathing stops. While my heart rate levelled out, this door to a private terraced garden begged to be photographed. I hesitate to estimate its age. The stone wall appears to have been rebuilt from one even older. Why does an old wooden gate evoke such responses in me? Is it because, better than any book, it gives a hint to the daily reality of lives long gone? For me, the answer is yes. The vestiges of comings and goings long gone cling to the stones, fibres and hinges of this old gate and its wall.

Bright sunshine striking a tired old street in winter. So out of place among the coats and scarves; Splashes of light like this one reassure long suffering Marburgians that winter will not last forever. Love the indented wheel tracks in the street.

An existential shot? A stairway to heaven?

Or just another shy gem waiting in a side alley to delight a passer by. Whatever it is, it encouraged me to stop for a moment and wonder. There was an iron gate so I didn't get to see for myself.

If you haven't yet visited Marburg, don't hesitate to do so. It has a lot to offer tourists. However, Marburg was a little more slick and tourist oriented than some of the places we visited in the former East Germany and in that sense we were a little disappointed by it. These shots were evidence of another side to the town, not yet conquered by McDonalds et. al.

Next stop Hamburg and then Copenhagen. We will see if there is something in Copenhagen to inspire a post.

 

 

 

 

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