Visiting L 68 1

Imagine you are a beautiful old city. You used to be an important saline. But all you are known for today is that your name is the brand of a German savings and loan association. Even if you google yourself the links to this company will be ranked higher than links to the city itself. Time to pay Schwäbisch Hall a visit, a city that – until then – I only knew as a slogan.

Welcome to a cute city

Schwäbisch-Hall is simply a nice city. Walking their eases your mind and makes you relax.

An old stone tower with a framwork extension at the top in the middle of old houses
St. Jodokus, a former church spire, then extended and a part of the city wall
Pink house with light columns, floral elements, golden heads, gargoyles that look like dragon heads
Building with numerous ornaments and impressive gargoyles on the old market
Old houses at the river Kocher
The city lies on the Kocher River
Three framework houses: Framework reddish brown and dark red shutters, framwork and shutters red, framework dark brown and green shutters
Colorful frameworks and shutters

Again going back in time

After discovering the oldest oldest city hall in Germany in Walldürn I came across another remarkable building. This time it is one of the oldest houses in Germany. According the information sign the frame structure of this house is from 1289!

Side of an old house with framework

Let’s look at the 13th century a little more closely.

  • Large parts of Europe and Asia became part of the largest land empire in world history, the Mongol Empire, through the expansion of the Mongols by Genghis Khan.
  • The Sultans of Delhi took power.
  • The money economy continued to develop, so that in the course of the century, gold coins were used in long-distance trade in addition to silver coins. Money and profits from trade became important to wealth, while landed property became less important as a source of wealth.
  • Glasses were invented
  • The mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci brought the knowledge of Indo-Arabic numbers he had aquired in the Arab world to Europe.
  • Just in case you might have a different impression: people at that time didn’t think the earth is flat but were already aware of the spherical earth (for a long time).

Everything differently

2020 was the year of the Corona pandemic. Even though the incident numbers were quite low during the summer normal indoor events were not possible. In Schwäbisch Hall thinking differently was the new principle. Their motto of 2020 was "Everything differently" ("Alles Anders"). I like that approach. Instead of looking at what was not possible they had a lot of open air activities. Unfortunately this was something I haven’t expected and I wasn’t prepared to stay overnight so I couldn’t join the evening activities. But there was so much preparation going on and so much energy that you simply had to be positive (ok, and the perfect weather also helped).

Poster that lists all the activities from July to September, with the motto in large letters "Alles Anders", the second A is upside down
Poster with all the activities in the summer
Church on a small hill with a wide staircase leading towards it, a lot of chaires on the square in front of it
The festival on the outside staircase of St. Michael

Normal is still not attractive?

I unerstand that normal is not interesting enough to catch someones attention. However, I start to hate display dummies. Normally they just look totally bored which is annoying enough. To make a difference it seems like now it has to be more hysterical and exaggerated.

Male display dummy looking into the distance with an umemotional face
"I am so cool and so bored"
Display dummy representing a child with exaggerated wide eyes and mouth.
Is this a kid with a total sugar shock? Do we need an exorcism here?

Please can we just get something that really invites us in instead of scaring us off?

Fading history

On my way to and from the old part of the time I had to cross an old cemetery. Parts of it were still visible even though it looked like it was falling more or less apart.

Two old tombstones, the left one looks like it is tipping; death date from 1902

A pile of tombstones indicated that they recently cleared part of the cemetery. I know that after the rental period of graves they get removed. But seeing it this explicitly was new to me. For me tombstones mean that there is a chance to be remembered and as long as you are remembered you are not dead. On the other hand, there needs to be space for all the new that comes. We need to accept the fact that we are just a drop in history. However, drops can be powerful so we should still live our life to the max.

Pile of tombstones, two visible dates from 1926 and 1935

This picture in an underpass touched my heart. I don’t know what the artist had in mind and maybe I was influenced by the graveyard but for me there is a deep sadness in her face. It is like she is saying good bye to something. I think it is remarkable to create such a picture with spray cans.

Graffiti, green background, white female face and neck, red eyelids, ears, nose and lips, looking with big eyes slightly to the left

It was just a flying visit but at least now I know more about what was just a brand before for me.

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