Visiting R 65 7

Landshut is not too far from where I live. Nevertheless, I have never made time to visit it. Always just passing by on the way to go somewhere else. A friend of mine from old times and I decided to meet there as it is in the middle between our two places and a good place to connect.

Also, it was a small adventure as this was the first time I took my EV for a ride outside the city and had to charge it at a station. Guess what, it all worked fine.

Old Town

Landshut is one of those beautiful Bavarian towns where you can stroll around for some hours and enjoy the buildings. Many of the buildings in the Altstadt (Old Town) of Landshut date back to the medieval and early modern periods. The houses often have detailed facades, with some displaying frescoes and ornamental designs.

3 story house with a lot of paintings on it.

If you take a closer look you can see that this large building used to be three separate houses.

View of the market place. Colorful houses.

Every four years there is a very famous event taking place in the city: the Landshut Wedding. However, as it was not taking place when were there, I am not going to write about it :).

The castle

The castle in Landshut, known as Trausnitz Castle, sits atop a hill overlooking the city. Which means you need to go uphill for quite a while. The oldest parts of Trausnitz Castle date from the founding of the city of Landshut around 1204.

A white castle with red roofs.

From there you have a wonderful view across the city.

View across the old town, a church with a large church tower in the middle

The ox piano

We were wondering why one of the paths we took up to castle is called “ox piano” (Ochsenklavier). Obviously, an ox usually doesn’t play the piano.

Steep path made from bricks

The name “piano” refers to the way they arranged the stones. It resembles the keys of a piano. In the past such steep ascents were a challenge for everybody, especially animals like horses and oxen. We were told, that having those kind of steps made it easier for them to use the path. However, I couldn’t find an official documentation so far online explaining the name.

Königmuseum – The Sphere

Landshut was home to a famous sculpture named Fritz König. He is best known for his monumental public sculptures and his work in metal. One of König’s most famous works is “The Sphere,” a large metallic sculpture originally located at the World Trade Center in New York City. Created in 1971, it stood in the center of the Austin J. Tobin Plaza, between the Twin Towers, until the September 11 attacks in 2001.

There is a museum dedicated to König’s sculptures in Landshut. In the museum you get a good overview about König’s work in general and about the Sphere. Until recently I didn’t even know that the Sphere came from somebody just living around the corner. I spent quite some time exploring all the different details they described about this sculpture.

In the background pcitures of the creation and damage of the Sphere, in the foreground a small model of the sculpture.

My link to New York

In 2023 I didn’t travel much in Europe because I did a major road trip with my kids in the US. This included visiting New York. Already in the year 2000 I stood on the top of the World Trade center and in 1985 I sat between the two towers next to the fountain which had the Sphere in its middle. And (as a lot of people), I still remember exactly where I was on 9/11 and how I felt that day.

While being in New York, I was looking for the Sphere. I knew it had been damaged, but it survived the collapse of the towers and was put back next to the Memorial Pools. It took some time to find it as its place is not somewhere next to its old spot but in Liberty Park. Well, Liberty Park sounds larger than it actually is. It is just a small green stripe across a rather big (mostly unused) street.

Here you can see the South Towner Pool with the museum at the bottom. If you take a very close look, you can spot the sphere in the upper right corner across the street. It is a small, golden ball with a black cut in it.

New York 2023: The Sphere and One World

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