(work in progress)
I am enthralled by red brick Gothic architecture - maybe because in many ways it is the antithesis of baroque - and much of our motivation for exploring the Baltic coast of Germany was to marvel at this extraordinary legacy.
The Munster in Bad Doberan (or 'Bad Doberman', as our five year old daughter insisted on calling it) is arguably the pinnacle of red brick Gothic architecture, and however many superlatives you apply to the building, you still fall short of conveying the imposing power of the structure. I have no architectural pretentions (and apologise up front for any architects that I might insult with my simplistic take on their discipline), but it seems to me that the red brick Gothic churches of the Baltic coast are physical manifestation of the might of the Hanseatic league. Put simply, the League was a bunch of merchants who banded together for mutual benefit, and for whom trade was all. Unlike royal or imperial empires, they had little incentive to leave behind an artistic or cultural legacy, and so their medium of construction was not stone, but the ultimate workmanlike material: brick. And yet what they managed to achieve with such a modest material is quite extraordinary.
The most obvious characteristic of the Munster is its sheer size - it is absolutely huge. Yet, once inside, what strikes you most powerfully is not the length or breadth of the structure, but rather its soaring height. The height - combined with the huge amount of natural light - make the Munster feel light and airy (although I can't help feeling that it must be desperately cold in winter!) The simplicity of the decoration and the restrained colour palate are very much in keeping with the priorities that must have characterised the down-to-earth merchants who funded the construction and help to focus attention on the building itself, rather than the details of the interior.
The triangular park in the town centre, named Kamp, contains two pavillons in 'Chinese' style, built in 1808/09.
The 'red' pavillon is now used for art exhibitions.
The 'white' pavillon hosts a cafe, which is herewith recommended for a coffee or whatever break during your sightseeing walk.
In the late 18th century the Dukes of Mecklenburg chose Doberan as their summer residence and erected Germany's first seaside resort in nearby Heiligendamm.
A Ducal palace and other buildings to accommodate them and their escort were built and the settlement became a fashionable spa town. The palaces from that time are standing in a row along Alexandrinenplatz and August-Bebel-Straße.
Am Handelspark 5, Broderstorf, Bad Doberan, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, 18184, Germany
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
Alexandrinenplatz 8, Bad Doberan, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, 18209, Germany
Good for: Couples
Friedrich-Franz-Strasse 23, Bad Doberan, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, 18209, Germany
Good for: Couples
August Bebel Strasse 2, Bad Doberan 18209
Good for: Business
August-Bebel-Strasse, Bad Doberan, 18209, DE
Good for: Business
Am Kamp, Bad Doberan 18209
Alexandrinenplatz 4, Bad Doberan, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, 18209, Germany
Hotel Friedrich-Franz-Palais, Bad Doberan, Germany
A trip on this fantastic steam operated line out to Kühlungsborn on the coast.
A trip back in time, though this is a working rail line and not just for tourists, a must for anyone with an interest in transport old or new.
Prices very reasonable for this type of ride.
The Granddukes of Mecklenburg and their court spent their summers in Bad Doberan and in the seaside resort of Heiligendamm which is 6 kms away, as did more and more other guests. Travelling to Heiligendamm and back by carriage was cosidered a nuisance. So in 1886 a train connection was established. The railway line was extended to the seaside villages of Brunshaupten and Arendsee, now Kühlungsborn, in 1910.
The railway is a narrow gauge one with a track width of 90 cm. The historical early 20th century steam locomotives and train cars are still running. "The Molli" is still the only train connection to Heiligendamm and Kühlungsborn, trains run once per hour in the daytime.
See the website linked below for all details on fares and timetables etc. and enjoy a nostalgic train ride.
The Molli departs from the other side of the DB train station in Bad Doberan so you can easily change from 'normal' trains from Rostock and Wismar. It stops twice in town, too: at "Stadtmitte" (Alexandrinenplatz) and "Goethestraße".
The train got its cute name from a little dog who lived in a house by the railway tracks and used to bark his head off any time the train approached his home.
5 Reviews and Opinions
Visiting churches is one of the absolute highlights of a trip to Europe, and provides a fascinating insight into the most powerful influencethat has shaped European cultures of the past couple of millenia.
Unlike some other religions - where access to places of worship may be restricted to members of that religious group or a specific gender - the vast majority of Christian churches will allow tourists to visit at most times, including routine services (although some may charge an admission fee for doing so, and access may be denied for private events such as weddings and funerals). However, tourists should realise that most churches are still active places of worship, and so visitors need to exhibit a certain sensitivity to display respect to the culture and avoid giving offence to people at prayer.
The following guidelines are based on wonderful advice offered by Homer (homaned) - who does this for a living - in a forum response, and although specifically written for Christian places of worship, would apply equally to places of worship for other religions
So, here is a general list of do's and don'ts for people wishing to photograph during a church service:
READ THE SIGNS
If photography is not permitted - because, for example, it may damage paint on delicate murals - this will usually be indicated by a pictogram of a camera with a red line through it. Under most circumstances, you can assume that photography will be allowed (unless otherwise indicated), but may not be permitted during services. If in doubt, ask for clarification - this shows respect and will very seldom be met with anything other than a helpful response.
TURN OFF YOUR FLASH!
Every camera on the market has a button on it which will turn off the flash. The number one most alarming and distracting thing that can happen during a liturgy, and one which will even get you kicked out of some churches, is the bright flash that goes off when you take a picture. Not only is it distracting, but it usually makes the picture turn out dark, because your camera's flash only has about a 10-15' range. Turn off the flash, and hold the camera up against your eye, using the viewfinder, and you will likely get a better picture (and you definitely won't have any red-eye problems!).
DON'T MOVE AROUND ALL OVER THE PLACE! (UNLESS YOU HAVE PERMISSION)
Instead of walking all over down the main aisle and in front of everybody, pick a good place from which to take a picture at the beginning of the liturgy, and stay there. Unless you're a professional photographer with practice at stealthily moving during liturgies, you're a distraction, and you're being disrespectful. Even if you're a pro, try to stick to one out-of-the-way place, and use a zoom lens and zoom in to get pictures. Walking in front of people is a surefire way to distract and disrespect and closing in on priests or other celebrants just to capitalise on a photo opportunity is offensive.
TURN OFF THE CAMERA'S SOUND!
Every camera has some way to mute all its 'cute' beeps and clicking noises. If you press a button, and hear a beep, or if you take a picture and hear an obnoxious shutter clicking sound, you need to turn off those sounds (the muting option is usually in one of the menus). Along with the flashing, it's an obvious sign that someone is taking pictures and not showing much respect for those trying to pay attention to the liturgy.
TURN OFF THE 'FOCUS ASSIST' LIGHT!
If your camera can't focus without the little laser-light that shines in everyone's eyes before your camera takes a picture, then don't use your camera. You have to turn that light off! It is very distracting to be watching a lector or priest, and see a little red dot or lines pop up on his face all of the sudden. It's as if some rifleman is making his mark! Turn the light off (again, look in the menus for the option to turn off the 'AF assist' or 'focus assist' light). If you can't turn it off, put a piece of duct tape or some other opaque material over the area where the light is, so the light won't shine on someone.
TURN OFF THE CAMERA'S LCD!
You should never use the LCD to compose your shots anyways; just put your eye up to the viewfinder, and that will not only not distract, it will also steady your camera against your face, making for a better picture (especially if you don't have the flash on). And if you must review the pictures you've taken, hold the camera in front of you, down low, so people behind you don't notice the big, bright LCD display on your camera
CERTAIN PARTS OF THE CEREMONY ARE PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE
The consecration (blessing) of the eucharist (bread and wine) and distribution of communion to the congregation are considered to be particularly sacred parts of the service, and it is offensive to photograph these activities.
The main thing is to try to be respectful of the culture and of other people present at the service. Don't distract. And, if you are asked to not take pictures, or if there's a sign saying 'no photography allowed,' then don't take pictures. You can always ask a priest's permission before the liturgy, but if he says 'No,' put away your camera and enjoy the freedom you have to focus on the privilege of being able to share an experience with people who consider these religious rituals core to their culture and identity, rather than focusing on your camera's LCD!
Homer's Rules ... Homer rules!
Wieck dübel wieck, wieck wiet van my,
ick scheer my nich een hoar üm dy.
Ick bün een mecklenbörgsch edelmann,
wat geit die, dübel, mien suupen an?
Ick suup mit mienen herrn jesu christ,
wenn du, dübel ewig dösten müst,
un drink mit öm soet kolleschaal,
wenn du sitzst in den höllenqual,
drum rahd’ ick: wieck, loop, rönn un gah
efft by dem dübel ick tau schlah.
Run devil run, run far from me,
I do not give a hair about you.
I am a mecklenburgish nobleman,
my drinking, devil, is none of your business!
I drink with my Lord Jesus Christ,
while you, devil, have to thirst forever,
and drink with him sweet ... could not figure out what "kolleschaal" is
while you sit in the pains of hell.
So I advise: yield, run, race and go
before I beat you in the name of the devil.
Fondest memory: This lovely inscription in Mecklenburg dialect can be found inside the Münster church in the small side chapel of the noble family von Bülow off the northern side nave. It is written above the entrance next to the picture of Heinrich (Henricus) von Bülow in a knight's armour.
Great motto, eh?
Someone who understood you can be religious without giving up the pleasures of life because these were given by the Lord.
Anyway, I would like to know what exactly they were drinking - it is a local word and I cannot figure it out.