Hello beautiful people. Yes, it’s been quite some time really since I managed to put something up on this blog, and here I am again with more of “what I did last year”. You may wish to ignore it, as all the others, but I hope you don’t.
Meissen is a gift that keeps on giving, for me but not only for me. Too large to be a village or hamlet, too small to be a city, it’s a medium sized town in the former East Germany, on the Elbe river, about 30 km downstream from the much larger Dresden. I’ve been there a few times now, and plan to return. You can help in this if you want to!*
The reason I first went to Meissen is porcelain. Meissen is the place where Europeans first figured out how the Chinese did it. A few enterprising souls used local clay and managed to reproduce something not entirely unlike what was being imported at great expense from the east.
The local satrap for it really was he responded to this development in a characteristic way: he locked up the inventors in his castle atop the hill overlooking the town so as to keep the secret secret. Well done!
That didn’t really work out. Once others knew it could be done, right there at home, they jumped into it.
All the same, Meissen kept on keeping on, and the local ruler, absorbed into the Saxon dynasty dominated by Dresden, commissioned and collected Meissen porcelain at the same time as he continued to import from China. Dresden has a marvellous museum of this collection and one day I will put up another photo story about that.
Meanwhile however Meissen porcelain has been produced all those centuries, right through the period of “Communist” rule to today. While the Commos ruled they made special medallions commemorating various achievements and I have one of these! No photo, sorry.
Generally, I think the Meissen version of Chinese porcelain, while top flight for the actual porcelain, the stuff you hold in your hand and rub, is not actually up to the mark when it comes to artistry. The best is not bad and most of that is in Dresden. The museum in Meissen (part of the factory), however, shows the limitations of the work there, with only a few pieces really worthy of attention. Sorry about that too!
The place, however, has a lot more going for it than that. For starters, it is beautiful. The castle and the church it encloses, set high above the river, are impressive, and the town itself is full of interesting features. Set in wine country, the surrounding hills are picturesque. It’s just nice. And there are the people. . .who I’ve been so fortunate to meet and get to know.
Here is the town, the castle and the “Dom” cathedral, seen from across the river, among the vines:
That’s an autumn view. In summer, from the old town:
There are heaps of churches and romantic street scenes, and touches of the past and present in public spaces:
Er, “folk wisdom”:
And the kind of spiritual blessing one gets from a cold autumn day, walking in the country:
There’s a lot more to this wonderful town and its people, and if I am really lucky, I’ll be back again to sample its beauties. Meanwhile, I just thought I’d share with you some of my photo memories. Thanks for having a look!
*Yes, dear reader, by waiting until after August 1 when the present giveaway season ends, and then buying at least one copy of all my books from smashwords or other e-retailers apart from Amazon, you too can assist! Go on – you know you want to. Give your spare copies to friends. To enemies. To innocent passersby on the street with a smartphone.