‘Surreal Homes’ by Matthias Jung.

f721e45f-007e-4209-a8c9-e4ec164414fd-2060x1748On the way to Kamtchatka “As a child, I made a collage that looked quite similar. I love sheep. Having sheep on the roof symbolises reconciliation with nature.”
German graphic designer Matthias Jung first constructed “surreal homes” as a boy, using scissors and glue in his father’s photo lab.
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Land of evening “The ‘balloon’ in this image is from a photograph of a Gothic church I took in the small French city of Wissembourg. The landscape is a swamp area near the border with Poland.”
Taking photographs from his travels, Jung creates incongruous images that are intended to challenge perceptions of space and architecture. “Collages are like dreams,” he says, “or maybe dreams are like collages”
via Matthias Jung’s surreal homes – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian.

Something Grimm in Cologne.

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Once upon a time, there lived a photographer named Kilian Schönberger – and while he is not a character from your favorite fairy tale, his very real images spin some otherworldly fantasies.
Working in Cologne, Germany, the photographer’s own backyard serves as the source for his “Brothers Grimm’s Homeland” series and captures the woodlands and waterfalls that served as a backdrop for many infamous folktales.
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Schönberger – who, ironically, is color-blind – perfectly blends the misty, magical, and macabre in his intensely-atmospheric photographs.
Presenting everything from thickets full of brilliant sunlight to copses where things go bump in the night, his landscapes speak to the battles of good, evil, and everything in-between that pervade folklore tradition.
Although his images more often feature gingerbread cottages and ancient castles than human characters, Little Red Riding Hood would look perfectly natural running through them.
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See more Images via There’s Something Grimm About These Photos.

Stahleck Castle, Bacharach.

Stahleck Castle stands above colourful trees and a vineyard looking over the Rhine River near the village of Bacharach in Germany, October 2018.

Bacharach is a town in the Mainz-Bingen district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

It belongs to the Verbandsgemeinde of Rhein-Nahe, whose seat is in Bingen am Rhein, although that town is not within its bounds. The original name Baccaracus points to Celtic beginnings.

Above the town looms Stahleck Castle, nowadays a youth hostel.  via Wikipedia

Image Credit: Photograph by Michael Probst / AP

Image: The Castle in 1930 in the process of being restored to become a Youth Hostel. Meanwhile, Germany was in chaos with the rise of Adolph Hitler.

Source: Photos of the Week: Steam Train, Sheep Parade, Golden Rock – The Atlantic

For the Love of the Street, Frankfurt.

The European Central Bank has allowed graffiti artists to use the fence around the construction site of its new headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, as a public gallery where they can share their often politically charged art.
Justus Becker, who helps curate paintings at the site, and fellow artist ‘Bobby Borderline’ recently completed a new work of street art.
(Reuters Photos/Kal Pfaffenbach)
Artists Justus Becker and
Artists Justus Becker and
Justus Becker, aka COR, stands next to his sketch while working on his graffiti on a fence surrounding the construction site for the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt
via For the Love of Street Art | The Jakarta Globe.

Water Lilies Bloom in a Pond at Wilhelma Zoo.

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Magnificent Water lilies blooming in a pond in Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany.
Image Credit: Photograph by Ronald Wittek/EPA
Source: A boy in a pool of tomatoes, Kenyan elections and water lilies: today’s unmissable photos | News | The Guardian

The Brothers Grimm & their dark early fairytales.

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A postcard from the 1800s shows the seven dwarfs finding Snow White asleep in their bedroom. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Jack Zipes and Andrea Dezso
It’s well-known that our favorite fairy tales started out darker than the ones Disney animators brought to life. But you might be surprised by how much darker the originals were.
For the first time, a new translation of the Brothers Grimm’s tales reveals exactly how unsanitized and murderous the bedtime stories really were.
Jack Zipes, author of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, is the only person who has ever translated the first edition of their tales into English.
“Some of them are extremely dark and harrowing,” Zipes tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “Many are somewhat erotic and deal with incest. Most of them are not what we call fairy tales; they tend to be animal tales or warning tales.”
Take, for example, Snow White. In the modern version of the tale, the Evil Queen is Snow White’s stepmother.

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But in the first edition, Snow White is only 7 years old, and it’s her biological mother who wants to murder her for her beauty.
The stories are hardly appropriate for children by today’s standards, and at the outset, they weren’t intended to be.
The Grimms “collected these tales to show what life was like,” says Zipes. “And they wanted to reveal what they considered the divine truths of the tales.”
And the tales endure. Zipes says that’s because they resonate in every era. “I think they speak to the human condition. …
They also provide hope. For the most part, there is social justice in these tales and … we need that. We need the hope that these tales provide.”
Read on via Today’s Fairy Tales Started Out (Even More) Dark And Harrowing : NPR.

The Berlin Wall: 1961-1989.

Why was the Berlin Wall erected?
The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop an exodus from the eastern, communist part of divided Germany to the more prosperous west.
Between 1949 and 1961 more than 2.6 million East Germans, out of a total population of 17 million, had escaped. Many were skilled professionals and their loss was increasingly felt in the German Democratic Republic, or GDR, as it was called.
With the country on the edge of economic and social collapse, the East German government therefore made the decision to close the entire border, and erected the wall overnight, on 13 August 1961.
It was often referred to by eastern authorities as the anti-fascist protection barrier, to protect East Germans from the west.How was it built?
The concrete barrier, complete with 300 guard towers at regular intervals, was 96 miles in length and 13 feet high, though to start with it comprised temporary barriers of barbed wire coils.
The erection date of 13 August 1961 was deliberately chosen because it was a Sunday during the summer holidays. Over days and weeks the barbed wire was replaced with vertical concrete slabs reinforced with iron bars, and hollow blocks.

Photograph: East German soldiers set up barbed wire barricades in Berlin on 13 August 1961. Photograph: AP
Nothing was allowed to stand in the way of the wall. Houses on streets, such as Bernauer Strasse, where the pavements were in the west, and the backs of the houses were in the east, became part of the border construction.
The authorities simply ordered the bricking up of front entrances and windows. There are documented cases of people jumping from windows to avoid being locked into the east in their own homes.
Read on further Source: Whatever happened to the Berlin Wall? | News | The Guardian

Plantscapes by Anton Kerner von Marilaun’s Pflanzenleben, 1887.

1022px-Lophophytum+Sarcophyte_sp_vMH373Four remarkable images from the 19th-century Austrian botanist Anton Kerner von Marilaun’s Pflanzenleben, one of his most important works.
Some 20 years after its initial publication in German in 1887 the work was brought to the English speaking world in a translation by F. W. Oliver under the title The Natural History of Plants their Forms, Growth, Reproduction, and Distribution.
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The images here come, via Wikimedia Commons, from Kurt Stüber’s wonderful collection of historical botanical illustrations housed at his BioLib site, definitely worth an explore.
Rhopalocnemis+Helosis_sp_vMH371via “Plantscapes” from Kerner von Marilaun’s Pflanzenleben (1887) | The Public Domain Review.

Big Hair Hits Munich in the 1960s.

The prize-winning coiffures in a contest in Munich, Germany on 1 May, 1964.
They were designed for evening wear and hairdressers at the time said that anyone with a little time could copy them.
Image Credit: Photograph by AP Photo
Source: 1964: The World 50 Years Ago – The Atlantic

Truth, Beauty & Volapük.

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Johann Schleyer on a harp given to him as a 50th birthday present by his colleagues at Sionsharfe, a magazine devoted mainly to Catholic poetry, which Schleyer edited and in which he first published on Volapük in 1879 –
Johann Schleyer was a German priest whose irrational passion for umlauts may have been his undoing.
The German alphabet consists of 26 characters plus 3 umlauts: ä, ö and ü. Umlauts are used as independent characters in the German language. 
During one sleepless night in 1879, he felt a Divine presence telling him to create a universal language.
The result was Volapük. It was designed to be easy to learn, with a system of simple roots derived from European languages, and regular affixes which attached to the roots to make new words.
Volapük was the first invented language to gain widespread success.
By the end of the 1880s there were more than 200 Volapük societies and clubs around the world and 25 Volapük journals.
Over 1500 diplomas in Volapük had been awarded. In 1889, when the third international Volapük congress was held in Paris, the proceedings were entirely in Volapük.
Everyone had at least heard of it. President Grover Cleveland’s wife even named her dog Volapük.
Though Schleyer was German, a large part of the Volapük vocabulary was based on English.
“Volapük” was a compound formed from two roots, vol (from “world”) and pük (from “speak”).
However, it was often hard to spot the source of a Volapük word because of the way Schleyer had set up the sound system of the language.
“Paper” was pöp, “beer” bil, “proof” blöf and “love” löf. He had rational reasons for most of the phonological choices he made. For simplicity, he tried to limit all word roots to one syllable.
He avoided the ‘r’ sound, “for the sake of children and old people, also for some Asiatic nations.” The umlauts, however, were there for löf.
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The International Logo of the Organisation.
Read on further via Trüth, Beaüty, and Volapük | The Public Domain Review.