Big city living
Essen is a very cosmopolitan, busy and thriving community. Just like many other big cities in Germany, Essen has just about everything to offer. Travelling in and around the city can be a bit of a nightmare so try not to drive unless you feel very confident about where you are going. There are many underpasses in the city and their main mode of public transport is the Strassenbahn (tram) which takes you all over Essen and is an economical way to travel. Also when your there, take a visit to the Grugapark. One of Germany's largest, offering summer concerts, pony rides and playgrounds, all in wonderful settings to relax and enjoy the day.
This is a small...
This is a small shop which sells african fashion, instruments, jewelry and many more. This is a very nice shop and the owner is soo kind.
It's a bit hidden in Essen. It's not directly in the city, you have to take the tram 109 or 103 to Steele and get out at the station 'Parkfriedhof'. From the station it's not far away to the Knaudtstr.
The address is: Miriam Yeboah, Knaudtstr. 3 45138 Essen, Opentimes: Mo/Tue/Thu/Fri 10oo - 1800h and Wed/Sat 1000 - 1300h
The Grillo Theater in downtown Essen is now the city's main venue for spoken drama, but for many years it served as the opera house while city officials were agonizing over whether to build Aalto's version.
This theater was built from 1890 to 1892 with money bequeathed by a wealthy industrialist named Friedrich Grillo (1825-1888). It was in fact the first City Theater to be built in the Ruhr Valley area. (All the cities in this area are relatively new, since this was all sparsely settled farmland until the first railroads were built and coal mining started here in earnest around the middle of the nineteenth century.)
The Grillo Theater was destroyed by bombings in 1944 and was rebuilt in a simplified form after the war. In 1950 it was reopened under the name "Opera House", which is what it remained until the opening of the Aalto-Theater in 1988.
Second photo: This sign on the Grillo-Theater is entitled "Opera House".
The lake Baldeney is normaly a reservoir from the river Ruhr. It's in a valley and it's surrounded by forests and nature. You can make a boattrip on it, do alot of sportts around the lake , just walk and enjoy the nature.
Opera and cycling * in Essen…
The UNESCO World Heritage site Zollverein Shaft XII is an easy bicycle ride from the center of Essen -- only about five kilometers from the Aalto-Theater, for example. It's best to reserve a tour in advance, but I was lucky because I arrived at the Visitors' Center without a reservation a few minutes before eleven on a Sunday morning and found that there was exactly one place free on a tour that was leaving on the hour.
The tour was like a crash course in coal-mining, led by a man who obviously knew the colliery like the back of his hand, but he couldn't have been a miner because he was over sixty, and miners didn't live that long. Also no miner ever set foot in this compound, known locally as the Forbidden City, because Shaft XII was designed exclusively for the purpose of bringing up huge amounts of coal in wheeled tubs, and sending the empty tubs back down again. Nearby there were four older shafts that were used for transporting the miners and their equipment.
Long before I ever toured the Zollverein colliery in Essen, there was another phase of my life in which I was very interested in coal mining, and that was during the United Mine Workers strike of 1948. I was eight years old at the time and was just starting to realize that there were other pages in the newspaper besides the funnies.
We didn't subscribe to a newspaper, but my father bought the Chicago Daily News every day after work at the C&NW station and read it on the train. When he got home I eagerly snatched the paper from his hand, threw it and myself down on the living room rug and of course read the funnies first, but then turned to the front page to see if that awful John L. Lewis, the glowering union leader, was still blocking our coal supply.
I knew about coal because we had a big pile of it in a bin next to the furnace in our basement. My father assured me we had enough to keep us warm all winter, but I was dubious. Also I was worried that he might get stuck in downtown Chicago some day if the C&NW didn't have enough coal to run its steam locomotives.
A few years later we switched to gas heating, around the same time the railroad started phasing out its steam locomotives in favor of diesels.
Thus far I have seen two operas at the Aalto-Theater in Essen. The first, several years ago, was a blatantly anti-war staging of Verdi's Aida, which I of course liked very much, though some people thought they were overdoing it by having crippled war veterans hobble by to salute the king during the Triumph March.
More recently I went to the premiere of a new production of Rossini's Italian Girl in Algiers, a very funny opera which in this case was set in an ultra-modern airport in an Arab country. The stage set was designed by Hermann Feuchter, who lives near Frankfurt and has designed several sets for the Frankfurt Opera. (And yes, he was once a guest at one of my opera appreciation courses.)