Dixie Peach: Happy Birthday, Magdeburg!

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Birthday, Magdeburg!

I'm watching a very cool thing on TV right now. At midnight began Magdeburg's jubilee year - she's 1200 years old! Right now at Magdeburg's cathedral there's an enormous fireworks show coupled with dramatic music to kick off the jubilee year events. I'd thought earlier tonight that I'd go down to see it live but it's puking rain outside and I'm probably getting a better view of things on TV anyway.

It's making me a little teary, actually. I'm very sentimental about the cathedral and it's my favorite spot in Magdeburg. The cathedral is quite old - a imposing Gothic structure all in stone that's seen the passing of many centuries and a lot of war and misery. Normally it has a slightly cold feel to it but tonight it's literally glowing. Very bright lights have been placed inside to make the windows glow and outside the cathedral, coupled with the normal skyrocket bursts of fireworks sailing over the cathedral's spires, various firework designs have been placed on the cathedral itself to make it blaze as if it were on fire or to make it sparkle and shimmer. It's an incredible sight. The music accompanying the show makes it even more dramatic.

I love this old city. It's tired and poor - so many depressed, sad, unemployed people here. It's gone from being one of the most gorgeous cities in Germany before the war (and when one speaks of "the war" in Germany they mean World War II) to being sort of crappy looking (thanks unimaginitive communist rule!) but since the reunion there has been some new building and restoration and she's looking better.

I guess what I love about Magdeburg is her resilience. The city was burned to the ground and most of its citizens slaughtered in 1631 during the Thirty Years War and she came back to life. Then in the last months of World War II Magdeburg was bombed and about 80% of the downtown was gone and she's come back to life. She's seen kings and emperors, facists and communists, feast, famine, plague, fire, occupation, tanks in the street and people marching in the street to regain their freedom. She takes her beatings and still manages to keep going and celebrates her happy times in style.

Herzlichen Gluckwünsch Magdeburg!


Blogger BranV said...

I get shivery thinking of a place being that ancient. I mean, I visited the Alama...eeeh. Add a thousand years and it might be more impressive (but still a whole lot smaller then you picture it should be given all the play it gets).

I've got to get to Europe.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

about how big is madgeburg, dix?

10:14 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Lis, Magdeburg has about 280,000 people living here. Maybe a little less now that a few years ago because people move away to find work. Unfortunately most of the industries that were located here are gone.

Magdeburg is one of the older cities in Germany and 1200 years does sound pretty ancient until you compare it to Rome or Athens. Then it's nothing!

You really do need to visit Europe, Brandi. I think everyone should visit Europe!

1:36 AM  
Blogger BarefootCajun said...

How very cool to live in a 1200 year-old city! Baton Rouge just made 300 a couple of years ago. LOL

E and I can't wait to see Magdeburg. We WILL make it there one day.

3:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Magdeburg was a gift from Otto to his bride! I learned that when Dix and I toured the Otto Exhibit!

That Cathedral is BEAUTIFUL!

I love The Burg- I think it is a lovely city!

10:16 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

That's right! Mollie has seen Magdeburg first hand and got to see all the really old stuff at the Otto the Great exhibit.

I love how she remembers the Otto the Great trivia...

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Otto is so Great.

That was too easy.


10:21 PM  

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