Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Basel Museum

Basel is one of the $wiss cities we had not previously visited, it was sort of on the way, and we were particularly interested in its museum. The museum has a seriously enforced no fotos policy, but I did snatch a few of the more interesting/compelling items. Its collection of Holbeins, elder and younger and siblings too, is the largest there is. And there is much else, right up to present.
A Cranach Paris' Judgment (same model again)

I wasn't able to "document" all my pix; I
think this is a very different Cranach
madonna and child

As I said, there are dozens of Holbeins; here's Younger's

And a genre piece whose title I don't remember...damn!

And this, Junior's Entombed Christ, unusual if not
completely unique; early 1500s

Another unidentified (by me) but worthy 16th century gory

And another I've got to get the title/artist for
(help me, art fans!)

There was plenty of more recent stuff, a lot of Impressionism
and Post-Impressionism

Including this guy

Quite a few Picassos; story goes the museum wanted to
purchase a major Picasso, the local fiscal conservatives
got it put on the ballot, and the artsies won; Picasso was
sufficiently gratified that he gave the museum another
half dozen of his works

Even a couple Dalis: here his Burning Giraffe

Courtyard of this fine museum, with copy #1,743 of Rodin's

Freiburg Augustiner Museum

I really liked this museum. It is just a city museum, but it is superbly well done. It has collected much of the old regional art, much of it 14th and 15th century, so old that we will never know the artists, apart from "Master of the Upper Rhine," or "Master of Lake Constance," etc. It makes wonderful use of the very old Augustine monastery. And it preserves most of the great and very old art from the Freiburg Cathedral. I could post scores of pix...
Main hall, statues, gargoyles, etc. from the cathedral

A beautiful 14th century Pieta

A Hans Bladung Grien madonna and sleeping
child, 1520

Grien's Cupid and Flaming Arrow; early 16th

Martin Schaffner Last Judgement, c. 1500

Cathedral stained glass: "the sorrowful man"
was a genre piece in the later middle ages;
here's Mary as the sorrowful Madonna; ouch

From the cathedral treasury, a giant silver altarpiece

A marvelous tapestry on the sins of women; Vicki insisted
on individual pix of each sin

Higher view of the hall; the statues various
saints and biblical figures; the gargoyles
(later), the seven cardinal sins, etc.

Old organ

I never miss a circumcision; such a large knife?

A buxom 16th century Eve; interesting how
tastes change; this is about midway between
the skinny maidens of the 16th and Rubens'
full-figured beauties of the 17th; FWIW;
AND, Vicki asks, how come Adam gets a fig
leaf and Eve doesn't?

French-frying St. Vitus

More cathedral windows preserved now in the museum

And a final view of the hall, with gargoyles

Freiburg Cathedral

We briefly toured the Freiburg cathedral, spending a bit more time with the surrounding market day and downing a last couple wursts, but enjoying the cathedral nonetheless.
The cathedral as it appeared in the 1820s

In July, 2012; sorry about all the trucks;
market day was ending

The construction was largely sandstone and
in need of ongoing renovation

1295, right?

The usual Last Judgment tympaum at the stern, unusually
painted; the Hell section, of course

Nave view

Altar panel, coronation of the Mother Goddess; alas, I
didn't catch the artist's name

Because the putti peering out from under Mary's robes is as
cute as any of Rafael's

Speaking of putti, this is only the 2nd cathedral we have
seen in Europe that provided work space for the little ones

Very old medallions in the window here

And a nice sandstone Fall tympanum


We drove on to Freiburg and found the modestly-priced stellplatz, where we stayed a couple of nights. The first was an administrative day--the wash--the second we ventured the 20 minute walk into the old city.
On the walk in, a wild flower lawn at one of the apartment

Downtown scene

I like public transportation as much as the next person, but
when the sculpture is entrapped, it's a bit much

In one of the fast-flowing canals, a sculpture, The Crocodile

Soap bubble blowing machine outside a toy store; we're
very attentive to toy stores these days

Frau Merkel lemon press

Market day in the cathedral square; the marble merchant;
when was the last time you saw marbles for sale like this?

One of the beautiful burgher houses on the square

As elsewhere in Germany, outdoor sculpture everywhere

Leaving town the next day, a Goggomobil...cute, small 50s-
ish coupe; when it pulled away, it sounded much like a
lawnmower; further research revealed Goggomobils were
powered by 2 cylinder, 2 stroke engines, capable of 18.5hp;
a very powerful lawnmower; sorry, VW won that race

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bad Wimpfen

Having concluded our business in Rothenburg obT, we headed south and west, aiming for the Black Forest and then Freiburg, before entering Switzerland to see Basel. We were drawn to Bad Wimpfen by its promise of a free stellplatz, which we found right by the train station, overlooking the Neckar River. Bad Wimpfen turned out to be a beautiful medieval town, something of a resort now, full of more half-timbered houses, towers, a wall, and a major surprise as we strolled about in the early evening.
The Neckar, from Bad Wimpfen, near our campsite

More beautiful old half-timbered buildings


And thus, which is actually a local bank, advertising "off-
line banking" and a logo of shaking hands

The steeples of the city church

I was so proud to get this great shot
of the steeples on a wall of a nearby

And then staggered to see that said tower had been built in

The Blauer Tower

Walls of the fortress, built in 1200, we learned, just following
the reign of Frederick Barbarossa, who had stayed in
Wimpfen some years before; part of his Holy Roman Empire

More of the walls

Secondary tower

About the fortress

The Kaiserpfalz, same vintage

Impressed by Bad Wimpfen, we drove on the next day on
the Burgstrasse, "castle road," along the Neckar

Taking in a few more castles; but the weather turned ugly,
and our drive through the Black Forest to Freiburg saw
mostly clouds and rain