Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mannheim

Since our main focus in Mannheim was going to the Lego competition, we spent a lot of time at the Rosengarten convention centre but  we did find some time to wander around the city. The University is housed in very beautiful buildings, part of which was once the castle.  The nearby Jesuit church was being prepared for a wedding when we stopped in for a look and indeed it was an excellent June day for a wedding. The flowers in the parks were lovely.

We found the Angel of Peace sculpture "Friedensengel" by Gerhard Marcks which was removed from it's more prominent spot beside the Jesuit Church and hidden away in a non-tourist area (Mannheim, E6). It was created in 1952 to commemorate all those people who died violent deaths during the Nazi regime.  There is another memorial beside the Angel but it is only a dark block of rock and we didn't even realize we missed it until we were reading later.
We also found the Holocaust Memorial that is located in an equally strange place. It is right on the sidewalk of the ParadePlatz but it consists of a clear glass cube with names that are written so you would have to be on the inside to read. There is no identifying plaque and no one walking along this busy street even stops to consider it. There was supposed to be a plaque in the sidewalk, but we couldn't find it; maybe it was covered up by the construction boarding that was also placed along the sidewalk.



Mozart spent time in  Mannheim and that is being commemorated by a summer music festival advertised by these hot pink deer statues. Not sure about the design of these, but you can't miss noticing them.
Near the conference centre is a horseshoe shaped park dominated by the massive "water tower" (der Wasserturm).  The fountains, waterfalls,  and green arbours made this a very restful place in the centre of the city and it was a popular spot for wedding shots on Saturday afternoon.