Saturday, 10 August 2019

deutsch-deutsch grenze

Temporarily cut off from the rest of Bavaria for several weeks now due to construction on the only road leading into our village from that direction and unable to travel west or south without taking a significant detour through Thüringen, I realise and appreciate that this is hardly a hardship—especially compared to what going west via routes eastward might have meant three decades ago in a partitioned Germany.

Along the way, we’ve been passing the sculpture park and memorial erected at a former border control point which we’ve previously visited but took the time to stop and take another look, in anticipation of the approaching anniversary of the border opening and reunification.
Several artists from the once divided region has contributed pieces, including these torii, steel figures and field of banners decorated by students.
A few kilometres further on, I took the chance to stop at a patrol tower from an earlier age but nonetheless was a more venerable and indelible mark on the countryside, the so-called Galgenturm, a watch station meant to provide early warning via a system of stations to the local ducal rulers in the case of the advance of marauding forces.  Reinforced from an earlier wooden structure in the fifteenth century, it was named in reference to the former gallows, last used for executions in the mid-seventeenth century, the twelve metre high tower provides a commanding view of the countryside and one could imagine the network of stations, turrets aflame, transmitting a distress-call.