GIANT STONES OF THE MARK

Till the modern times people used the glacial erratics and rocks for house building or church erection in this very agricultural dominated North-Eastern small region of Germany called Uckermark while ‘Ucker‘ is just a nearby river, and the term ‘Mark‘ means borderland where frontiers are crossed to other lands.  The countryside offers sometimes a more brittle charm, but you can discover interesting places and a lot of nature with tremendous stones.

There, on the outskirts of the small and otherwise unspectacular village Trebenow (near the city of Prenzlau) a relic of the Neolithic period has survived in quite good and original condition, a typical stone grave of the Funnelbeaker culture being constructed around 3,000 BC. This old burial place is also known as Hünenstein (i. e. Giant’s Stone), and the bearing granite stones had been dug nearly 1 m into the ground. The massive granite serving as the roof has a length of nearly 3 m and a weight of more than 4 t, as a whole a real delicate construction.

Even with today’s technical equipment it would be still a demanding task to erect the astonishing structure which was looted in the course of time. Archeological research in 1904 resulted only in very little findings inside of the grave chamber: 2 horse teeth, 1 burnt small hollow bone and 2 undecorated grey ceramic shards. At a small country road in Trebenow a very small direction sign – which can be easily overlooked – draws possibly some attention to this archaic location, but you cannot see the grave itself from the street because it lies well hidden behind an agricultural barn.

While this archeological site locates within used farmland, the ritual place is usually only completely visible after the harvest during fall or winter. Dozens of similar places can be found in the lands stretching along the Baltic and North Sea, but the greater public does not know much of them like this secret and lonesome stony space in the Mark.

For developping and farming the erratics and stones, left in the Uckermark after the last ice age, had to be removed from the landscape anyhow. Therefore, it is not astonishing that this rocky legacy has been often featured in local traditions and legends. Petrification, the turning of people into a stone, comprises one common topic in this respect like in other more well-known mythologies, because stones as natural monuments are always reminding us to the opening of known history and much older ages, a beginning in fascinating form and shape.

 

MYSTERIOUS SMOKE KITCHEN

When I visited Penzlin Castle some time ago, the small tour allowed a view into the old smoke kitchen but when entering, the room entirely was just black and dark, only some details and corners were rarely illuminated by small spotlights.

The open fire-place itself was not really visible and all appeared quite spooky although this really used to be the place where meals were cooked for the former owner of the ancient castle and his guests. So here you get only a more imaginative idea of how primordial, rural, smoky and simple life used to be mostly during these medieval times.

This photo shows a view of the funnel vault from 1520 with a 12 m high chimney which was also utilized for smoking fish or meat. The light conditions were really poor but at least some tools did emerge from this more creepy darkness.

But where to find an espresso machine? Even coffee not available for breakfast just wine and beer those days, the socalled medieval diet.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Kitchen

 

GREEN AUTUMN THOUGHTS

Various rays go out from the sun, and some of them when they strike an object cause light to scatter in its diverse colors and heat to be felt. So the whole vegetable world may be considered as a vast mill receiving its motorpower from the sun. But in November this special power regularly dissolves here in the Northern hemisphere, the days get rapidly shorter, and with the leaves falling down from the trees and plants retreating again to the deep undergrounds the color green simply disappears mostly in nature.

Green means for us a very particular color while we are living on a stone planet where plants emerged on the vast countrysides only 200 million years ago. So green was the first brilliant color sucessfully appearing on our planet Earth, before all was just looking more dark-greyish-brown like today in the very high mountains. Red appeared in fact much later in nature, so green sticks deep in our mind and genomic memories as a symbol of primordial life.

And plants took finally over all parts of the planet, even severe conditions not preventing their distribution like this alien looking cactus in the photo above. So for the first animals it was of great advantage to discover the plants more easily on the soil and subsequently learned to recognize the color green. At some remote period the red color became a part of nature, and a lot of animals also learned to observe this. But there are still some primates where just females can realize red and green, but the males only green.

So the green color represents an essential and original matter of our evolutionary being. Good to be not a cat in this regard which can only distinguish black and white because more is not required during an endless night.

 

 

 

ELUSIVE WINTER IDYLL

Now I understand the name of the place much better, because it seems that an invisible hammer of decay and time-passed-by has just hit some of the buildings there severely overnight.

Location: Hammer-Unterwiesenthal, Ore Mountains, Germany
with real winter weather in early January 2016

linked to  Dutch goes the Photo / Tuesday Photo Challenge Broken

Some snow already in the Ore Mountains this year by end of October. So the winter tourists will soon return, mostly for country ski, otherwise much more houses would look alike in this quite remote area near the Czech border.

 

AIRY MOSAIC OF LISBON

Early October 2017 in Lisboa, capital of Portugal, brought quite high and unexpected temperatures of 34° Celsius, so we deserved really some coolness then which we found at diverse tremendous places of the town. This small photographic overview is not at all comprehensive as we have just been around 3 days in town, you better calculate more time for this truly fascinating town on a possible future trip.

19th century park pavillon at Jardim da Estrela with blossoming trees

Small road at upper Alfama leading down to river Tejo

View on the interior yard of Belem monastery (UNESCO world heritage)

Typical pavement of black/white scobbletones and optical illusion

Nice corner with restaurant near the old cathedral

Dadaist grafitti in house ruins near Castelo de São Jorge

Old narrow street leading on one of the diverse hills

Elevador de Santa Justa, a lift connecting 2 quarters of the city