Dixie Peach: Fellow Citizens

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fellow Citizens

In an attempt to get in as much outdoor time as I can cram in before the weather turns lousy this weekend I took Bonnie down to the river for a walk. B can't get out with me during cold weather months so he told me to take the camera with me and take a picture of something he wouldn't have seen in a long time - my choice of subject.

Magdeburg is a flat city but it's built up a hill - not quite steep enough to call it a bluff - from the river. A wall once ringed the city, as was the case with most old cities, and some of the original wall is still along the river side of the city. I don't know how old the wall itself is - the city is just over 1200 years old and I know the wall was there 400 years ago when Magdeburg was sacked but that's as well as I can pinpoint its age.

What I took pictures of though isn't as old - my MIL told me they've been hanging on this section of the city wall since sometime in the 50s.

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They're sculptures of what are supposed to be people of Magdeburg from long ago, carved out of limestone. All of them have names carved on the sculpture itself.

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This one is named Blutappelsine - Blood Oranges. She seems to know how to advertise her wares.

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This is Fliejentuten-Heinrich - Flypaper Henry. When I was there I was thinking he looks important like a barrister, but he's the flypaper seller. Of course back when this wall was built, he may have been an incredibly important man.

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This is Feuerkäwer - Firebug. As the story goes, she had long, flowing red hair - hence the fire name - and the lighting bolts from her cup indicates she liked to drink. She also had a tobacco store and another "business" on the side. Her position may indicate what business that was.

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This is Lusebenecke - Lice Benecke. He was Herr Benecke and lived under bridges with his little dog. He was known to have a little trouble with keeping clean and the lice that he had made people stop calling him Herr Benecke and start calling him Luse Benecke.

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This is Schlackaffe - the stinky, dirty guy. His story is that he worked on the fishing docks along the river and was paid in fish which he would put in his pockets and leave there. Naturally this began to smell something terrible and from this story originates the terms verpattet or verschlackt which are very old words usually only used by old folks now to describe something extremely filthy dirty.

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This is Affenvater - Monkey father. He's an organ grinder who was up on the road where now my MIL's apartment is. A little monkey sat up upon his organ and so he was called the monkey father.

I don't know if these were real people or were just characters the sculptor made up to populate the imaginary Magdeburg in his mind but I don't think it would be hard to believe that such people really existed here long ago.

I did well. B said it they were definitely things he hadn't seen in a very long time - perhaps thirty years or so. I'd seen them many times but today was the first day I bothered to stop and take a closer look at them. It makes me wish I could somehow see back in time 500 years and see what Magdeburg was like back then.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dixie, Thanks for posting those pictures, they were awesome. I would loved to have walked with you and seen them....
Hugs LucyLov

12:58 AM  
Blogger Hilda said...

Very cool!


3:36 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Oh, Man, Dixie. We would have never left if you had taken me there! Those are adorable, and I love how you have told us about each one. You did good for B. :)

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is SO COOL! I love it! Your comments about each statue were classic!

Next time I am in Magdeburg, I would love to see these.

Bless you for taking these pics for your sweet Burkie!


9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very very cool.

uhhh and that's MY sweet Burkie.

1:04 AM  

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