Heidelberg, Germany – The Neckar, the Monkey, and the Thingstätte

Photographs taken on a recent Blather trip to Heidelberg, in Germany…


Unfortunately, I didn’t get much time for photographs, and the weather was quite dull. But there’s some interesting stuff to see thereabouts.
See Tom Galvin’s site about Heidelberg »
See Things to do in Heidelberg »
All photographs except the last one were taken on a Sigma SD-9. The last photograph was taken on a Canon S-330 IXUS, and I used the Photostitch function.

All Photographs © 2004 Dave Walsh

The river Neckar Heidelberg, Germany  (click for larger)
A view of the river Neckar, from Heidelberg (click for larger)
Print Academy, Heidelberg, Germany
The Print Academy, Heidelberg
Print Academy, Heidelberg, Germany
The Print Academy, Heidelberg #2
The Brass Monkey, Heidelberg, Germany
The Brass Monkey, Heidelberg. Apparently rubbing the big coin brings good luck. Though someone did tell me that it his rather formidable balls that had to be rubbed. Brass monkey… balls? The inscription beside it says, according to Ms. Wurzel Tod:

    As you look at me, world (or traveler), don?t laugh to quickly at me because if you were to look at humanity, or even into a mirror, you just might see something as funny as me.

The Brass Monkey, Heidelberg, Germany
The Brass Monkey, Heidelberg #2
Two mice, Heidelberg, Germany
Two mice, Heidelberg
Nazi Thingstätte at Heiligenberg, in the woods above Heidelberg, Germany
The stage of the Nazi Thingstätte at Heiligenberg, in the woods above Heidelberg.
This open air amphitheatre was built in 1935 by the Nazis – using forced labour. It was used, it seems, for Solstice festivals and the like. The atmosphere at the Thingstatte is rather eerie – it doesn’t take much imagination to image the uniformed fervour of the 1930s, or torch-lit processions up the hill. It’s a weird class of Roman and Deco design, coupled with a curiously anachronistic neo-paganism.
View of the seating in the Nazi Thingstätte at Heiligenberg, in the woods above Heidelberg, Germany
View of the seating in the Nazi Thingstätte at Heiligenberg, in the woods above Heidelberg.
View of the seating in the Nazi Thingstätte at Heiligenberg (click for larger)
Another view of the seating (click for larger)

daev
Chief Bottle Washer at Blather

Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and “known troublemaker” Dave Walsh is the founder of Blather.net, described both as “possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River”, and “the nicest website circulating in Ireland”. Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.


2 comments

  1. Sounds like an interesting place to visit. I enjoyed the links you posted. Did you drink any
    beer while you were there and if so was any of it memorable enough to remeber the brand name etc?

  2. I was in the US army 77-80 in nearby Mannheim. I spent many weekends in the company of local Germans at the Thingstatte. Some things I learned:
    The local beer is “Hofbrau” and yes it was one of my favorites.
    Thingstatte means “gathering of the tribes”.
    The Thingstatte has been a place of worship since before Christ.
    The amphitheater was designed by Albert Speer.
    The place is also the location of an ancient monastery.
    The place is inhabited by many “spirits” or “entities” or whatever you may want to call them.
    I attended some traditional ceremonies with germans there at night. I hear this has been made into a war memorial (sick) but I assure you nothing has changed in this place.
    There are a series of tunnels and rooms underneath the Thingstatte. Supposedly the tunnels go under the river to the castle but we didn’t explore that far.
    This place is one that provides a link from the ancient, to the Nazis, to today.
    The link is still there. Don’t let anyone fool you. This place will be used in the future.
    There are other places like this in other parts of the world but this is the only one I have firsthand experience of.
    It is best to have a guide.
    No you can’t find one at Travelocity.com.
    Have fun

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