Thursday, September 17, 2015

Architecture and Street Art in Rostock

And now onto Part II: the lovely buildings and interesting street art of Rostock.

Fun facts: 

I never got a picture of it, but on one building at the waterfront that used to be a granary/silo used by shipping companies to house goods back in the day (the waterfront in the center of town, on the one side of the river), there's a griffin, the city's symbol. Under the griffin, it was pointed out to me, are a number of stones that have been replaced. That's because a swastika was put there, probably around the time when Mecklenburg was united under the Nazi government in 1934.

Graffiti is, like, a legitimate past-time for German kids and teenagers from what I can gather. And for university students who make some really good stickers and stencils, too. 
It's weird seeing these super cute, old buildings that look like pastel-coloured sugar grandmas' houses out of a book of fairytales with a layer of graffiti and street art on the bottom 6 feet, like there was a tidal surge of kids that left a defiant stain on them.

Brick gothic is the dominant form of architecture in this region, because they don't have many other resources to use for building materials. It's totally worth reading about on Wiki and then seeing for yourself, because the buildings may look ugly, boxy, mean, and imposing, but in person, they're also extremely impressive. 

These are parts of the old city wall, with some of dat classic brick gothic I was just telling you about

And this one here is Heiligen-Geist-Kirchhe, or the Church of the Holy Ghost, built from 1905 - 1908, and apparently classified as neo gothic:

This is the city flag; in the complete version, there's a griffin pictured in the blue part

This is the main part of the university; I think it's where the dean's office and the law school are. Another interesting fact, this city's university is one of the oldest in the world (third oldest in Germany, oldest in the Baltic region), originally established in 1419.

If this doesn't make you want to bust out some classic gothic fiction and imagine yourself in the 19th century, I don't know what will

This is City Hall, originally with a brick gothic facade, but with a baroque one stuck on over it. In German it's "Rathaus", and I was like, "Wow, your word for the seat of local politics is the 'Rat House'? Nice." Hannes was like, "Oh man, that's great, I never realised it sounded like that before!"

The "porno fountain" in the centre of town, so dubbed because of its many nude and frolicking pilates instructors and creatures

This one here is the Steintor, one of the four main gates of the old city and part of that aforementioned wall, built from 1574 - 1577. This style of architecture is actually Renaissance, despite its tricky bricky pointy appearance.

These aren't buildings, they're more like dessert mints or petit fours

This obviously became a running joke because of how close it was to being really awesome, were it not for that unfortunate typo

The upper text is anti-racist and anti-appearance-based political platforms

That image of flood stains is pretty fitting, don't you think? 
This part is so colourful and amateurish though, to me it looks more like someone released a particularly rambunctious gang of kindergartners with crayons to wreak havoc on the local bakery or something.

This artist I really like. We found another one of his, pictured a ways below.

And of course this Gundam stencil is awesome. It is a Gundam, right? It'll get less awesome if it ends up being from some other franchise, so let's just stick with Gundam.

These photos barely scratch the surface of that whole spiky star ball decoration phenomenon I mentioned in the first post about Rostock

This is in front of the super tall pointy church. Cute!



I'm no expert at camera settings and don't know why this extreme brightness thing was happening that day, but I really like it.

The inside of Petrikirche, 117 metres tall (it's also on a hill, making it seem even taller), originally constructed around the mid-1300's, and maybe constructed in something more like its present form around a century later. It was pretty thoroughly destroyed in WWII, and the pointy bit of note was only added in the late 90's.

It's a medieval maritime church if anyone's ever seen one.
I mean, I can totally picture them overseeing Viking-style funeral ceremonies.

Alright, taking a break from building facts for a second, here we've got a good old-fashioned statue fact. This is a memorial site for the revolutionary (or just brave, but in a propagandistic sense) seamen of WWI, used during GDR times as a rememberence of German-Soviet friendship and the November Revolution (that brought down the Reich and ushered in the Weimar Republic). Built in 1977.

I think this was actually a continuation of that other waterfront day with the pictures of wharves and chocolates, but I'm not completely sure anymore: 
Old shipyard building with lots of luscious texture

Just adjacent to this, in an interesting example of rapid gentrification, some investors erected some fancy, expensive apartment buildings, condos, and some other shit, but decided to do murals on the walls:  
Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?

Here's that same artist again. Fucking AJ, go home.

Mildly terrifying wall monkey

Back in the early- to mid-2000's, this "Bunker" place, which was indeed an actual WWII bunker, became the sort of de facto spot for alternative shows and clubbing events, along with another one called Trafo, and another underground rave venue in the same neighbourhood, which were all at the edge of town in those days.

Then the city realised - because it was a freaking War-era concrete bunker - that it didn't meet fire or other safety standards, forced it to close for a full 3 years in order to get their shit up to all of the current building codes, and in that time, of course, the crowd that had frequented it grew up and changed a lot, meaning that they had no interest in going back by the time the renovations were complete and the area became suddenly populated by monied old farts. So, that's why we didn't even go inside and have a drink lol.

This is another part of the university on the other side of town, 
adjacent to where Hannes studied

The Molotov, a bar we also didn't actually go to, though they apparently have clean toilets, a chessboard, and cheap beer

... And the vans parked outside The Molotov

To the right, "So where's the Christmas woman (as opposed to the traditional "Christmas man" we all know and love)?!"