Wednesday, February 01, 2006

GOSLAR, Germany: Half-Timbered & Carved

A week and a half later, I'm (drumroll, please) DONE with the Goslar photo album! On the wings of many an encouraging word, I might add! (Thanks--you know who you are!)

With that album is this last post on what I love most about these cities: Architecture. Today it's the houses. As in "Shiver Me Timbers!" The album, btw, is whittled down to only 150 photos. But do you think it was easy to pick and choose which ones would get highlighted for this post! I even roped Donica into helping me before she went off to work this morning because I wanted a good sampling for those of you who won't have time for the album. She reminded me that it was raining/drizzling through most of these pictures, but as a whole, they still came out. So thankful.

Notice our Kaiserworth Hotel in the background (above), on the Market Square.

What you see is what you get! Some of these houses looked so top-heavy (above) I was sure they'd fall on top of each other.

The Harz Mountains are there in the background (above).

Some of the older alleyways (above) were like out of a Three Muskateers' movie. And yes, people really live in these houses. They are not museum pieces.

This Brusttuch Hotel (above) was built in 1521 as a patrician house. While it's carvings are what it's known for, it's the roof that caught our attention. Donica wondered if all the hooks were for when they have to do repairs--to keep them from falling off?!

I've decided in one one my past-past lives I was a wood carver! It's not just the carvings themselves but the colors chosen and the paint job itself. Surely they have to be re-painted over and over again. Hmmm. Not a bad summer's job, maybe? (That's where my damn perfectionism comes in handy--and you knew I'd bring that up again, didn't you :)

Goslar is a 1000-year-old town of 250 acres with 1800 of these half-timbered buildings/houses, making it the largest coherent old city in Germany. I'm guessing its citizens cherish it, the old and the new alike, modernized to fit today's needs. The city is alive; it's not a dead museum! (The only other place I've seen quite like it is smaller Celle, with 500 half-timbered houses, another stone's throw away from Hannover.)

"Shiver me timbers" is right! I love stuff like this!


  1. Beautiful pics, Ginnie! I love half-timbered buildings, too. You will also find them in the Alsace (f.e. Strasbourg). We're planning a day trip there soon, so I'll keep you posted. By the way, I've been working with Photoshop for years now, so if you have questions, just e-mail me.

  2. Great pictures, Mom! I'm not sure where I stand on past lives, although if I had one I'm quite certain it was not as a wood carver (and if it was, shame on me for not remembering a thing I learned). However, I do find the intricate carvings on these buildings to be quite beautiful, and as you noted, I was also surprised to see how bright and vivid the paint is. Someone is definitely making sure these buildings are being taken care of!

  3. CS: Oooooh. Alsace/Strasbourg. I'm making a mental list of all the cities we need to see when we're here in Germany throughout the year. And thanks for the offer to help with PS. I need to keep plowing through my primer that Donica gave me for Christmas. That'll help! But if I have any questions, you and Gustav will be the first to know (and Prairie Girl, who helps, too!)

    Amy: Thanks! It helped, I'm sure, to brighten them up in PhotoShop so you could see them better (truth be known).

  4. hallo ginnie,
    aber.... wo bist Du denn wirklich ?
    In Deutschland?
    In Georgia ??
    Ich habe gleic Dir über zwei Dimensionen geschreiben und Du bist Allgegenwart !!

    DaB sind sehr schöne photos... In Spanien fast alle schöne Plätze sind niedergerreiBt um neue und groBe Bauwerke bauen.
    Tschüss !!

  5. Absolutely CUTE! Those photos exemplify why I love least the architecture. ;)

  6. Man, what a nice respite this was from all the prefab artificial buildings around here. Sometimes I think Florida is all doublewide trailers and strip malls.

    I'm jealous...

  7. JM: Actually, we're getting ready to fly back to Atlanta tomorrow. It's been a long, month's stay in Hannover this time around. Usually we're here for only 2-3 weeks at a time. I know what you mean about these beautiful buildings. Even in Atlanta the beautiful and "rough" can be seen side by side!

    Ruth: Gorgeous indeed!

    James: I may always be FIRST attracted to architective anywhere I travel. Then show me your stuff (kinda like with people, I guess :)

    Mr. Fab: Don't even get started on Florida! (Not all of it, of course!)

  8. These are wonderful photos Ginnie. A really good representation of the centre of Goslar. You've taken me to a place I've never visited before.

    Your choice of composition is particularly interesting in the 3rd, 4th and last photo. Sometimes there's a real advantage to an overcast day -- no shadows to distort the view, no high contrasts either.

    Really nicely done!

  9. A beautiful set of really great shots! I like clarity, colors but also the atmosphere you documented in your images.

  10. Yes, I have to go to Goslar too! And in this life not the next one.!

  11. That's right, Mei! HA--so many things to do, so little time :)

  12. Hi Ginnie. I promised some hints/tips regarding your photos.
    But it is not easy 'cause you're photos from Goslar are quite good.

    You seem to know the "Rule of third", if not look here
    Maybe more diagonals in your pictures could give them more live.

    Some of your pictures are a bit too overexposed (sky is white and the white in the building has few details), this can easily be adjusted in post processing by adjusting the levels
    If what I have mentioned here is "russian" to you, please let me know and I'll explain in details.
    But in generalt the pictures are good

    Btw. I know the feeling about not beeing satisfied with the pictures. I am rarely satisfied with my own...

  13. As James says why he loves Germany, I'd agree and I think that is why I am so homesick for Europe. Oh one day! So lovely...

  14. Gustav: Thanks for your help! No, it's not "Russian," but I may need to write you later.

    ET: Thanks! I know you're settling in at your new home but maybe a trip to Europe will be on your horizon sooner than you expect. I hope so.

  15. I spent three years in an apartment overlooking pictures #2 and #4. You have done an excellent job of capturing this wonderful community with these photos. It takes me back there...Thank you.

  16. MoreTAE: Two years in a place like that would have been like living in heaven for me! Thank you ever so much for stopping by and commenting!