Posts about Heritage

Das Stue in Berlin is situated at the rim of the Tiergarten park.

Berlin: The diplomatic legacy of a luxury hotel

8.02.2016

Tales of a building: Das Stue in Berlin

Upon setting foot into the hotel’s lobby area, guests are greeted by a gigantic crocodiles’ head sculpted by Parisian artist Quentin Garel. Walls around the premises hold fine examples of black-and-white vintage fashion photography collected by one of the hotel’s owners. Artwork and objects placed throughout public spaces vividly pay tribute to a prominent neighbour, the fabled Berlin zoo only a hop away: an enormous giraffe and two gorillas made of painted chicken wire are complemented by fellow animals ready to serve as poufs or practical footrests.

Who might have anticipated in the late 1930s, that the sophisticated edifice erected to house the Danish diplomatic mission in Berlin, would see it being converted into a stylish luxury hotel more than 70 years later? To transform a repeatedly abandoned building into the fashionable spot Das Stue was destined to be, it had to go through extensive refurbishment. It received a novel wing now attached to its former back courtyard and a completely new contemporary identity enhanced by a blend of old and new elements.

When Das Stue opened its gates in December of 2012, it already looked back on a changeful past.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
A Camel Train: OBO-Thomas-expedition, Kingdom of Bahrain

Oman: Crossing the Empty Quarter revisited

16.11.2015

Responsibility, self-dependence and endurance are the magic keywords: the example the Sultanate of Oman is setting this December is of a practical but none-the-less spectacular nature. Predominantly addressed to young nationals, an adventure of Crossing the Empty Quarter previously undertaken in 1930, will now be reenacted to detail. The intended benefit: to symbolically illustrate to the young generation how to adopt the requirements of a rapidly changing world and to pursue their goals with ambition.

The most astonishing lesson for adolescents to be learnt may perhaps be, that survival is actually possible without an almighty digital device glued to one’s cheek. In all likelihood, internet reachability is limited in a quarter as empty as the one named Rub al Khali.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
19th century drawing: ladies in the gym. The German Gymnasium: A successful structural modification at King's Cross.

London: The German Gymnasium at King’s Cross

7.10.2015

For the conscientiously-thinking German of the past centuries, keeping physically fit was equal to a national duty to be fulfilled – like going to church on Holy Sundays. Not a chance of ever playing truant. The constant surveillance by a rigorously watchful society saw to these rules not being neglected. Meanwhile in Germany, like in any place else in the world, people who work out regularly on a voluntary basis have become rarer and those zigzagging between sporadic exertion and hard-core couch-potatoing a sad majority.

German discipline was worthwhile being exported to ensure that far-away expats would not forget to stay in shape. And this is how the German Gymnasium at King’s Cross came to be. The money for „the first purpose-built gymnasium in the United Kingdom“, opened in 1865, was raised entirely by the German Gymnastics Society and the German community in London. 6,000 pounds well invested. Even women were allowed to use the facility: a freedom otherwise alien to ladies of that era.

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The Corones is the sixth Messner Mountain Museum in South Tyrol. Architect is Zaha Hadid.

Messner meets Hadid: The Corones Museum in South Tyrol

28.08.2015

Admittedly, it takes a bit of an effort to get there, especially from far-away countries. But then again: who says that the good things in life are to be had in passing? Ask Reinhold Messner: If there were more „eight-thousanders“ to be conquered, he would most likely have done so and still always have chosen the most challenging variety of ventures. Similarly extraordinary and not seldom daring, are Zaha Hadid’s architectural structures which reliably become prized icons one by one – wherever and for whichever purpose they may have been established. The intriguing element uniting the random duo seems to be that reaching for the skies is an inborn ambition, and that achieving the utmost a natural consequence. Both personalities’ visions and disciplines merged, result in remarkable projects such as the Corones Museum, submerged into the South Tyrolean peak of Mount Kronplatz 2,275m above sea level. Read article

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Traditional Dhows in Musandam/Oman. 12 days in Oman

Twelve days in Oman – a short film

19.08.2015

Marko Roth and his friends Lucas, Dominik and Vivi were looking for a cheap random flight to anywhere on the map and ended up in Oman, a destination they had not even heard of before. Their 12-day adventure took them crisscross through the scenic Sultanate located at the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula that shares its shores between the Strait of Hormuz and the Indian Ocean. They devoured every inch of the country’s beauty, climbed mountains, dove into crystal-clear waters, and conquered the hustle-bustle of Muscat, Salalah, and Musandam streets and souks.

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Reading time: about 1 minute