“I mustn’t forget to show you something before we leave Wittenberg tomorrow”, says Jean Michel, “a modern building, the Martin Luther Gymnasium” (which means high school).
Wow, I am bowled over when I see it, tucked away behind the vegatation in a side street. It’s Sunday so there is no one about. What an inspiring place to go to school.
According to the official website, the architect, Hundertwasser, a visionary and reponsible creator, mobilizes the power of his art in order to spread his message for a life in harmony with nature and individual creativity.
He is a symbolic figure for a non-conformist way of life, a forerunner of environmental protection and an ambassador for a self-determined alternative existence.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser Regentag Dunkelbunt LiebeFrau was born in Vienna on 15th December 1928 and died on board the Queen Elizabeth 2 on 19th February 2000 on his way back to his home in New Zealand.
He was an artist, thinker and architect or, as he claimed in his manifesto of 24th January 1990, a doctor of architecture with a passion for water and colours. His deeply environmentalist message was expressed early on in everything he created: paintings, posters, postage stamps, houses, buildings, books.
Our next stop is Magdeburg, It’s already 31°C. We park just in front of the Green Citadel, in the middle of the city, another work by Hundertwasser, and said to be his architectural masterpiece.
For me, it’s love at first sight: golden globes on top of towers, “tree tenants” looking out of “dancing windows”, meadows of wildflowers on the roofs, “foot melodies” taking strollers through the inner courtyard.
We go round the other side and discover there is a restaurant inside, along with a hotel, shops and private apartments. The courtyard is cool and shady.
For a total of twenty euros, we have a glass of Riesling and the dish of the day brought by a friendly waitress speaking excellent English. We take our time to soak in the atmosphere of the courtyard with its little fountain.
Even the pay-for public toilets are part of the decor. The waitress gives me a token.
Reminiscent of the colourful works of the Gaudi in Barcelona, Hunterwasser’s buildings are quite unique. My photos do not do them justice.