Tag Archives: bunker

Random stuff spotted while driving through Krefeld

I had to go to Krefeld today. Not an exciting trip – just to a business area of the city. But while driving though I snapped a few images of… well random things.

First up… the aftermath of a Polterabend. This is the German equivalent of a stag night/hen night. The Germans don’t celebrate separately – they invite all their joint friends to one raucous party. Traditions include hanging up a washing line of baby clothes – just in case the bride-and-groom-to-be haven’t got the point about marriage.  There were also a few remaining shards of broken crockery on the footpath. Guests at a Polterabend traditionally smash crockery outside the house. The broken pots are swept up, usually by the groom, under the watchful eye of the bride, who will be getting the marriage started how she means it to go on.

Polterabend

Baby clothes to encourage the bride and groom

Next… a few streets further on… a relic from the last war.

This is one of the old bunkers, or air-raid shelters which still stand in many German cities.  Some of them are up for sale, if you want a very sturdy property with two metre thick walls and no windows. Handy if the teenage kids take up the drums, I suppose…

Bunker

A left over air raid shelter from the second world war

Third, a burnt out lumber yard. This, I admit, I came upon by accident because I took a wrong turning. But I had read a news report about a timber yard going up in flames the other day, and all of a sudden there I was, outside the gate of the very spot.

Timber yard

Aftermath of a “Großbrand”

Not far from there I turned round in a supermarket carpark – which interestingly enough is a solar powered supermarket.

Solar powered supermarket

Solar panels on the roof

And just in case you wanted to know how much solar energy is being generated – there is a notice board to tell you.

solar panels

One supermarket roof produces enough energy to power 25 households, apparently

 

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Filed under About Germany, Life in Germany, travel in germany

Düsseldorf’s fortified church

This evening we went to a concert in the world’s most heavily fortified church.

The Bunkerkirche in Düsseldorf has to be one of the most unique churches in the world. The land was acquired in 1928 with the intention of building a church on the site. Lack of funds during the 1930s depression meant that although plans were drawn up, construction was delayed for over a decade and then in 1940 the land was confiscated by the Nazis.

In 1941 the site which had been intended for the church was used to build an overground air-raid bunker. The building was deliberately constructed to look like a church from the air, in the hope of deterring allied bombers from targeting it.

After the war, the land (complete with fortified bunker) was returned to the Church and the bunker was converted and consecrated in 1949, in a lovely symbol of turning swords into ploughshares.

Interestingly, for a building which was constructed for entirely different purpose, it actually has rather impressive acoustics.

The concert (works by Schütz, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Bach, sung by the excellent choir and the fabulous Stringendo orchestra from Meerbusch) was a real treat… and the experience of being in such a historically unique setting added to the experience.

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Filed under About Germany, Life in Germany, World War 2