Now in Freiburg

Where they have quite the cathedral, as it happens. Begun in 1200! And they’re still doing construction (which you cannot see but which is top of frame). Perhaps it’s no so much that they’re still doing construction as it is they’re doing a little reconstruction. But still. Nothing is perfect in God’s eye, apparently.

This is where I’m doing my reading tonight and as noted on Twitter, tonight’s reading is special because it’s taking place in a planetarium; the idea is that I and the German actor reading the translated piece will be performing under the stars for whoever decides to show up. I think this is neat and I’ll be interested to see how it works. If you’re in or near Freiburg, come to the Planetarium; we start at eight. Here’s the cool poster they made that tells you everything!

18 Comments on “Now in Freiburg”

  1. Aaaah, John, you have saved me from a fate worse than death.

    Here I sat, in some dank study corner of my college, working on the most terrible thing on the face of this or any planet: Algebra home work. And, if you think that is bad enough, it isn’t just any Algebra homework. It is GRAPHING ALGEBRA HOMEWORK. The kind where you have to smush together two functions and get a new one sprinkled with words like “Domain” and “Range”. Horrible stuff, right?

    Any way, here I sat, doing the terrible work and getting ridiculously stuck and tired and close to the breaking point of my good student sanity when I decided to take a break, check my email, and take a few deep breaths. And what is in my email but this post and this beautiful picture! Connecting this with one of your previous points about how we American’s aren’t used to old stuff made me chuckle and here I am, good as new! Ready to tackle that monster of math!

    So thanks! My algebra homework is in your debt.

  2. Funny (and quite embarrassing) story about this place. I went here when I was 15 with a bunch of other American kids (we were in a youth symphony doing a European tour). In front of the cathedral I was approached by the harpist (whom I’d had a gigantic crush on for years and had never spoken to–I was painfully shy and nervous around girls), and we started making small talk.

    “It’s really beautiful,” she said, looking up at the cathedral.

    “Yeah,” I said, “It BLUUUUAUUAAGAGHGH” as I proceeded to vomit all over the ground in front of her.

    I can laugh about it now, but at the time I hoped more than anything that the cathedral would fall and crush me. Man, being a teenager sucked.

  3. Wow! I like the unfinished part of the cathedral on top of the finished part. It looks like an interesting architectural statement. To bad it won’t stay that way.

  4. The planetarium reading sounds like a great idea. Next time you’re in Seattle, there’s a planetarium at the Pacific Science Center where you could probably have an event, or even better, there’s Lasarium!
    Though I’m an atheist, I do enjoy visiting cathedrals. They’re just amazing architecture. I’ve seen Notre-Dame de Sées, Notre-Dame de Paris, Westminster Cathedral, St. Paul’s in London, and the National Cathedral in DC.

  5. Freiburg!!!!!!!

    ‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
    And this bird you can not change!!!!

  6. In the 20 years I’ve been living near Freiburg I think I’ve seen the Cathedral without some scaffolding only once and that was because they were doing photographs from a helicopter. It’s mostly reconstruction because the rain is damaging the stone that was used to build it.

    Hope you’re having a great time in Freiburg and that you didn’t step into any of the ‘Bächle’ that are running through the inner city.

  7. My sister lived in Freiburg for some years, so I visted the city occaisonally. And I looove especially all those tiny streams mentioned above.
    Oh and since I’m terrible with directions she always told be to look for the Münster if I’m lost, because it’s that big and impossible to miss.

  8. I’m hoping to go to Germany in a couple of years. I hadn’t considered it before, but now I want to drop in on Freiburg and Tübingen. I love those old buildings! Now I have Wanderlust…

  9. The work being done is not so much construction but reconstruction and (when possible) preservation – these old buildings would be lost in a few decades (or a few centuries) without constant oversight and repair. Stonemasons, Sculptors, Smiths, Glassmakers, Engineers, in these days also Chemists (to protect the stone from water, applying chemicals that make it hydrophobic, and other tricks)… the list goes on.
    The so called “Bauhütte” has it’s origin in the original setup for the construction of these buildings, an organisation structure for all the crafts and craftsmen needed to build one of these.
    I hope you enjoy Freiburg – it is a wonderful city, and the surrounding country is also worth a look or three.

  10. John, How can you be in Germany this week and not make an appearance in Essen at one of the biggest gaming conventions in Europe?

  11. Bah humbug. You just don’t want to let on that you have a shiny new beamer at your disposal.
    How I know? You keep writing about traveling by train around here like you are enjoying it, or at least like it is not killing your soul. This is UNPOSSIBLE!

  12. So according to Vanades & Markus the “construction” on the church is mostly to keep the earth from doing it’s natural work of erosion like it does to other old things like mountains. Nice.

  13. Beautiful Innenstadt there. Years ago my wife and I sat in a cafe in the shadow of the cathedral at the center and spent a wonderful evening watching the world go by. Europe does that sort of experience very well.

    Side note: You might have noticed that Germans are really serious about fashionable eyeglasses. Or aesthetics in general. It makes Americans look like complete slobs in comparison.

    So, what knickknacks are you going to take home when you return?

  14. I lived there for a year. Beautiful town. The cathedral is definitely worth a look, and worth climbing up the spire. I think the scaffolding was off for the 875th anniversary celebrations when I was there.

  15. If you replace »Transporter« for »Beamer« my comment makes a bit more sense. I guess I shouldn’t be commenting past my bedtime.