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Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Floating Angel - by Ernst Barlach

There was an very abrupt end to last year's Home Swap blogging. I'm resuming it now before Season 3 gets under way.Yes, we are planning to do the same this summer again. Well, not the same put a swap or two!
We spent our last day near the Baltic in that big meandering house packing, cleaning- naturally and got one last interesting piece of sightseeing in. The town of Guestrow, near where we stayed has a Dom -German for Cathedral- that is well renowned for a sculpture by Ernst Barlach. It is called The Levitating one.
Barlach was a German sculptor who came to live in Guestrow. The sculpture was made of bronze in 1927 as a memorial for the fallen soldiers of World War I. Unfortunately, under the Nazis Barlach fell into disgrace and his works were declared Degenerate Art -together with many other artists, painters and writers. The Levitating one was removed form the Dom and melted down.

Shortly after World War II in 1953, a new sculpture was created out of a mould that had survived miraculously. A quote by Barlach explains the meaning of this unusual figure:"For me, time came to a standstill during the war. It couldn't be fitted into anything else earthly. With this figure I wanted to reflect this feeling of hovering in a vacuum..." His fomer house in the woods near the lake of Guestrow was turned into a museum and well worth a visit.
The Dom itself is a typical red brick building like so many churches in Norther-Eastern Germany. Guestrow also has a remarkable castle that underwent big reconstruction when we were there. It was fun to cycle around a little town, see the old parts, stop for a drink or ice- cream or make it out into the open, into its beautiful landscape that is totted with hundreds of lakes.
After that we left, going west into the direction of Hamburg where we had to drop our swapped car for our exchange partenres who came back from our house th enext morning. From there our next destination was to the south visiting my family before embarking on our second exchange.

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