Karlsruhe

In the weekend leading up to Rose Monday,  I went to Karlsruhe.  My reasons were selecting Karlsruhe were twofold:

First, Alex of ifs ands & butts and  Bev of Confuzzledom both live there, and they’ve been posting nifty things about the city for as long as I’ve known each of them, so meeting them and seeing their city was definitely something I wanted to do.

Secondly, Karlsruhe, is a category one train station, and I’m trying to see every category one train station before I leave Germany for good in October.  For those keeping score, this trip allowed me to see the Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Köln Messe/Deutz, Dortmund, and Duisburg stations.  Only six to go!

I did get to have dinner with Bev and her boyfriend Jan in the local Irish pub.  The food was delicious and the company was fabulous.  Alex was working, so she wasn’t able to hang out very much, but we did get to chat a little bit.  I very much enjoyed meeting Bev and Jan though; they’re both really neat.

All of the pictures I took in Karlsruhe were taken during my visit to the Badisches Landesmuseum, nestled in the Karlsruhe Palace.  The walk up to the palace is a big open space with some sculptures.  People were out enjoying the sunshine.  These gentlemen were playing a game in which they threw hand-sized metal balls at other metal balls, then picked them up with a magnet on a cord in order to throw them again.   I’m pretty sure it was Bocce, but I’m not certain since my only exposure to Bocce prior to this is that clip from Splash where the tour guide uses it as an exclamation.

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There are also a great many sculptures surrounding the palace, like this statue which is supposed to represent Hercules slaying Cerberus, but it looks more like a dragon than a hellhound to me.

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The Palace itself is beautiful, or at least it is in the photographs I’ve seen other people post.  For me, though, it was construction time.  Karlsruhe itself was under construction.  In fact, there’s a sandstone pyramid in the city that I was not able to find at all, even though I apparently walked within about ten meters of it:  Because of all the construction, it was completely wrapped and obscured.  (Google Maps claimed to know where the pyramid was, but following the map only led me to the Pyramide Shisha Bar.  In hind-sight, I should have taken a picture of their sign for posterity.)

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The museum is currently holding an exhibit called “Imperium der Götter,” or “Empire of the Gods.”  There were some really neat sculptures inside.  This one is one of my favorites- there’s so much going on here!

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The museum also holds lots of paintings of the royals from the region.  This is Princess Marie from Baden.

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Who doesn’t love a little statue of Sleeping Eros?

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Stained glass can be very pretty.  These panes were quite nice.

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A very, very old bicycle.  Note the pedals attached to the front wheel, just like a penny farthing.  The earliest bike builders didn’t figure out right away that using a chain to drive the wheel is more efficient.

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Here’s another statue I liked.  This one is tiny and bronze, no more than a foot tall.  I should have written down the name of it.

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There was a section of the museum dedicated to the Holocaust.  They even had a set of the famous striped pajamas behind glass.

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In their “1980s” section of the museum, they had a Commodore 64 with the original monitor and an old 1541 floppy disk drive.  Considering this computer was introduced when I was nine years old, there’s no reason at all for seeing this in a museum to make me feel old.

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Another of the sculptures that I liked was this tiny metal cat.  This sculpture was only a few inches tall, and it reminds me of the kinds of tiny sculptures that my grandmother used to have around the house. Hers weren’t museum pieces, though.

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The museum has a nice little gift shop attached, and I very nearly purchased one of these little fellows.  The originals were on display across the hall, but the gift shop versions were neat looking.  (And reasonably priced, too.)

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Have you ever been to Karlsruhe?

5 thoughts on “Karlsruhe

  1. Hercules slaying Cerberus? I’ve lived in Karlsruhe for over 7 years and I had noooo idea that’s what that statue was supposed to represent! I had always asumed it was a man beating a dragon with a club!

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  2. Amelie

    Did you ever find out what the statue of the giant man holding the boat was all about? I tried researching it, but apparently, giant guys holding boats is a common theme for sculpture. 😛 The tiny cat is my favorite.

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    1. The giant man is the Zeitgeist! I found a description which seems like what I do remember about the name card, and after running it through Google Translate, it says, “1896 mandated the eight largest cities bathing the sculptor Hermann Volz to customize this 1.42-meter-high bronze sculpture. It shows the Grand Duke as the driver of the ship of state on the shoulders of Herculean zeitgeist.”

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