Kona and Kepler

This morning started out with breakfast at a little cafe called Kona, which has delicious bagels.  On the walk there and back, I delighted in the snowfall from the last few days.  As a life-long Florida resident, I’ve never really experienced snow on this magnitude.

Since I was looking around even more than I normally do, I noticed a structure across the street that I hadn’t noticed before, with some gold leaf around the outer edges and a golden shape on the top.

The structure turned out to be a memorial to someone who lived here in Regensburg-  Johannes Kepler, famed scientist, mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer.  People involved in the sciences might be familiar with Kepler’s Laws Of Planetary Motion.  I had already  noticed that there’s a lot of streets named for scientists here.  There are places named for Kepler, and Copernicus, and Max Planck.

Kepler moved to Regensburg late in his life, and he fell ill and died here.  Kepler’s original burial site was lost during the bombings of World War II, but the structure I noticed today is a newer Kepler memorial.

The memorial has a bust of Kepler, with his name misspelled- I’m not at all sure why the bust has two Ps instead of just the one.  There is a piece on the top which I think is supposed to represent the laws of planetary motion, and the outer edge of the canopy is ringed with astrological symbols.

Homeboy needs a new coat of paint.

…and a closer shot of the details on the Sagittarius glyph.

I’m going to have to do some checking to see if there is a definitive guide to all of the different statues and memorials and other interesting antiquities here-  most of the literature I’ve seen has focused on the old churches, but there’s also an ancient Jewish temple which has been razed to the ground some centuries ago, but there’s a memorial which stands on that site.  I walked past that memorial more than a dozen times before somebody told me what it was, and then I found the signs that explain it- one in German, one in English, and one in Hebrew.

Rough translation: "This is where Napoleon the 1st was wounded on 23 April 1809 during the bombardment of the city."

There are lots of that sort of thing here.  As I learn more about my new home, I am constantly astonished at the little bits of history that have happened here.  For example, Napoleon himself spent some time in Regensburg, after receiving a minor wound to his ankle during the Battle Of Regensburg before he moved on to Vienna.  One of my coworkers told me that there is a sculpted throne not far from here that was made for Napoleon to use during his recuperation.

This town is utterly fascinating.


5 thoughts on “Kona and Kepler

  1. I find the astrological symbols ringing the monument rather amusing, to say the least. It looks so stark in winter… summer foliage would give it the look of something from a video game, almost, I think. But winter makes it look right. Out of place and too fine for the hard edges around it.

    Incidentally, with all the winter around you, I find the café called Kona utterly entertaining: Kona is a district in Hawaii known for coffee growing. I like the contrast.


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