Category Archives: City Trips

Great Architecture and a nice view – Library Stuttgart

The weather is dreadful, don’t you think. I mean it’s the end of april and we got snow on the weekend! The only good thing about the cold and rain is that I finally put my long pushed plans into action regarding sightseeing in Stuttgart. One of the things I wanted to do for quite a while was a visit of the city library in Stuttgart. I heard about their architectural audio guide tour which I finally did last week.

library

When the new library was finished in 2011 people in Stuttgart were and still are quite sceptical about the unusual form of their new central library. The very clean and strict architecture didn’t meet the general taste. I have to admit that I was irritated by the building in the beginning as well but the longer I live in Stuttgart and pass the library during day and especially night the more I love its special look.

The library was built by Eun Yong Yi. His philosphy is to try to bring modern architecture back to its roots by for example bringing his buildings back to its basic forms. His ideas and the meaning of the different areas within the library are well explained in the audio guided tour.

audio guide

The tour is completely free of charge and if you are not only interested in the architecture of the building there is also another tour about how the library is structured and where to find the books you are looking for.

The architectural tour takes aproximately 45 minutes and guides you through the whole building. I don’t want to spoil too much, so I just share with you some pictures and you can go and get the information by yourself doing the tour.

heart of the libraryinsideheartThe tour not only leads you through the library but also on top of the building onto the roof terasse where you have a great view over Stuttgart. Head down to the library before 6pm because the terasse is closed after.

view over stuttgart I highly recommend giving the tour a chance. The guide is very well made. There is a mixture of explanations and comments by the architecture himself which gives you a good understanding of his intentions by building the library the way it is.

On top of that you get a free view over the city and can pop into the café on the top floor for some coffee and cake.

Let me know how you liked it if you go.

 

Brown’s Tea Bar – British Experience in the middle of Munich

english breakfast teaSince I have been back from England I am looking out for cafés which might be serving some good old English Breakfast Tea along with great cake. One week ago on my trip to munich I finally found  what I was looking for.

Brown’s Tea Bar belongs to the café chain “The Victorian House” which runs five cafés in Munich. All of them offering a vast selection of different teas and homemade cakes. They even offer scones with original Cornish clotted cream.

I literally entered the café and felt like being back in Britain. The cakes looked amazing and tasted like heaven. I tried the banofee pie and my friend settled on a coffee-chocolate-nut cake. Both were equally great.

Banofee PieIn addition to the great food the interior was very victorian. The room wasn’t very spacious and together with the thoughtful decoration, it felt very comfy. However, you need to be lucky or patient to find a spot for your visit.

interior Brown's Tea BarThe Victorian House also runs an online shop were you can buy all sorts of English biscuits and sweets and of course tea.

tea selection The café is located within walking distance to the Brandhorst Museum in the middly of the student quarter. We stayed there for quite some time and people just never stopped coming in ordering some cake or tea.

If you are in Munich you should definitely pop in and have a scone or two together with a warming cup of tea.

 

Painting 2.0 – interpretations of our modern world

While I was staying in Munich for a longer business trip I was able to squeeze in a visit of  the Brandhorst Museum. Until the end of april they are hosting an exhibition called “Painting 2.0 – Expression in the information age” focusing on modern and contemporary art.

Brandhorst Museum Munich

The museum is located near the university and can be reached easily by taking a bus from the central station. The exhibition features over 230 paintings by 107 different artists. With this, it is one of the biggest exhibitions of contemporary art. Since the 1960s, artists have been discussing societal changes and the meaning of art within their work.

“Painting 2.0” shows in three inter-related sections how artists handled questions like the meaning of corporality or the development of social networks.The first thing you see entering the gallery is a container filled with destroyed pictures. Martin Kippenberger addresses with this work the relationship of art and spectacle. This relationship is the focus of the first section. It concentrates on the question of how art is able to create spectacles itself but also how it can reflect a culture of spectacle.

Exhibition Painting 2.0

On the top floor, the museum shows works focusing on the question of corporality. Artists critically explore how technologies transform our image of us and others.

In the basement the exhibition is completed by paintings centred around social networks. So for example there you can find computer generated pictures or a painting of a huge socket symbolising our dependency on electricity.

For a good overview of the exhibition I found this video from the Bayerische Rundfunk.  Unfortunately it is only available in German but even without the text you get a good impression about the works shown in the exhibition.

Overall “Painting 2.0” looks at some of the pressing issues of our society. It explains and shows how art  paralleled societal changes since the 1960s and how it struggled around the question of its own meaning. The pictures might not have the beauty of a painting by Monet or Da Vinci but they challenge your perception and leave you with some deep thoughts about how technology changes our world.

For that reason and the great line-up of popular artists like Andy Warhol, Georg Baselitz or Martin Kippenberger the exhibition is worth every visit. It is running until the 30th April, so there is some time left for you to go.

Have you been to a great museum or exhibition lately?

Culture and Comfort Food – A Perfect Weekend in January

January was a month full of new starts for me. I started my first real job last Monday and moved in with my boyfriend. It’s all very exciting but at the same time it freaks me out how fast things are changing sometimes. I am not very good with changes, I have to admit. I always need some time to adapt to new situations.

So this weekend was perfect to step back and close the week with some of my most favourite things to do. Enjoying some art and indulging in deliciously heavy comfort food, made the last week with all its new experiences step aside and I was able to completely relax. I guess that’s what weekends should be about ;).

Now if you think we just stayed in bed all day, you got me wrong. On Saturday we headed off to Frankfurt to see the anniversary exhibition of the Städel Museum. The art museum is celebrating its 200th anniversary and is having a great exhibition till the end of January.

Städel Museum in FrankfurtMasterworks in Dialogue Städel Museum

The exhibtion is called “Masters in Dialogue” which describes well the essence of the exhibition. The museum is comparing some of their most popular works with other pictures from different museums from all over the world which have a relationship to each other. Sometimes the pictures were painted by the same paitner and you could see the development of the painter or two painters who didn’t know each other painted the same object or theme with different intentions.

– You can change the subtitles into English at the bottom of the video –

As you can see in the video, this exhibtion was quite different from the chronological presentation of a normal art museum and reminded me of the approach the TATE in Liverpool is taking with their exhibition “Constellations”. They also present a picture and arrange it with others who were inspired by this one picture or painter.

Art is something which really fascinates me and what could be better than spending an rainy and cold January Saturday being inspired by some great art work ;). Well I guess what makes a wintery day even better is some warming food. Since I left Britain in summer I miss the hearty food like pies and mash. So I combined these two traditional dishes in a warming Sheperd’s Pie.

Vegetarian Sheperd's Pie
To mix it up a bit, we decided to try a vegetarian version of the Biritsh meal. I found this recipe on BBC goodfood. Because I couldn’t find lentils in a can and was to lazy to boil dried lentils, I deciced to exchange the lentils for peas which turned out to be a great decision.

For a pie for 2 you need:

a small onion
one thick carrot
100ml red wine
200g chopped tomatoes
vegetable stock140g peas
500g sweet potatoe
butter
grated cheddar

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chopped onions. Add the roughly chopped carrots and pour in the wine, some water and the tomatoes. Simmer till the water is nearly gone. Then add the peas with their liquid and simmer again, till the liquid has nearly gone.

cooking

While you are doing this, boil the sweet potatoes till they are soft enough to be mashed with some butter to a nice potatoe mash. Pour the tomatoe-pea mixture into a bowl and cover it with the mash. Put some grated cheese over it and bake everything for 20 minutes in the oven (190°C/170° fan/gas 5).

vegetarian Sheperd's Pie

The combination of sweet potatoe mash, peas, carrots and tomatoes was heavenly and the perfect end to a chilly weekend in January. This recipe will definitely become one of our favourites, I am sure.

What are your favourite things to do in January? Wrapping up inside or heading out into the cold?