these are the posts tagged ‘unesco’:


walking on history, VIII: maulbronn’s monastery

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hesse and kepler stepped on these same stones on their way to class on maulbronn’s monastery (which used to be home to a seminary). it’s a striking place — from the vaulted ceilings to the tombstones that lay on the cloister’s floors.

previously on this series.

the modernist housing estates of berlin

the museum island is berlin’s most famous unesco site, its central location and abundance of interesting museums ensuring its place in all guidebooks. but did you know that berlin has another, less well-known unesco attraction?

spread over 6 locations around the city, the modernist housing estates are a group of buildings built between 1910 and 1933, (especially during the weimar republic) which represent the building reform movement in berlin. here’s how unesco describes them:

The housing estates reflect, with the highest degree of quality, the combination of urbanism, architecture, garden design and aesthetic research typical of early 20th century modernism, as well as the application of new hygienic and social standards.

the estates were built at the end of the first world war (when demand for housing in berlin was higher than ever), by cooperatives and non-profit organizations in the (once) outer, rural areas of the city. they were innovative in their design but especially for the open-housing concept of “garden towns and cities” – in contrast with the 19th century corridor-like streets. the main architects involved were bruno taut, martin wagner, and walter gropius (one of the founders of the bauhaus school).

the pictures on this post are from the estate closest to our house, the Hufeisensiedlung. Hufeisen means “horseshoe” – which is what it resembles when you look at it from above!

one day in tallinn


going to tallinn wasn’t on our original plans for this trip, but when mikko came home one day with discounted boat tickets… well, how could we resist? so, with little preparation and some faith on our gps, we hopped on an enourmous boat (the kind that swallows trucks!) and made the 2 and a half hours journey to estonia.
the old historic center of tallinn is a magical place, and a unesco world heritage site:

The origins of Tallinn date back to the 13th century, when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. It developed as a major centre of the Hanseatic League, and its wealth is demonstrated by the opulence of the public buildings (the churches in particular) and the domestic architecture of the merchants’ houses, which have survived to a remarkable degree despite the ravages of fire and war in the intervening centuries. (from the unesco site)

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and the architecture is indeed opulent and well preserved, with a distinct medieval feeling, making it a joy to just wander around, with our noses up on the air, looking for little details in the buildings, streets and cathedrals…

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interesting though, most of our finish boat companions made the trip to estonia just to buy beer and other alcoholic drinks. prices were cheaper there, and as a result, on the way back we dodged a considerable number of “old lady” shopping carts, brimming with cases of beer :)