Monday, 10 October 2011

Melaten Cemetery Part II

Autumn. Very.
In this second post about the Melaten-Cemetery in Cologne i will talk about facts.

First the name: Melaten comes from the french word "malade" which has the same meaning in English: Malady. It was a crude hospital for the people suffering from leprosy.... Basically they were left to die there, so speaking of a hospital not really accurate.

Then the use of the Melaten got even more horrific: It used to be the place where the capital punishment took place. It had a gallow and the last execution took place in 1797.

The last and lasting use of this place however is the cemetery. And it goes down to Napoleon that it exists. Before his occupation of the Rhineland the burials were done beside or even inside the churches. That became a huge issue because the population increased dramatically and there was simply no space left for the dead. So for hygienic reasons the Melaten Cemetery was planned and build and finally opened in 1810.

It's philosophy was based on the the big model in Paris, the Pere Lachaise so it makes the Melaten Cemetery one of the first Park Cemetery in Europe.

This is an extreme BW-Image (still getting to know Lightroom...)

Another copy of one popular angel i've seen in quite a few cemeteries in Germany so far.
It's always a beauty to behold.

 This is another example of a the occasional protestant grave.... And it's as ugly as the other ones. I'm still wondering why in the name of all that's holy they go for the Kindergarten-Look. No Proportions, no beauty, no style.

Still, better than the dull headstone where nothing but a name and some dates appear.

Another Detail of the protestant grave: They even depictured grapes on the body of Jesus... My, oh my. That's not exactly subtle, is it?

Anyway, since Gothic is one of my favourite Topics and since i was in Cologne anyway it was unavoidable to visit the Cologne Cathedral....

Cologne Cathedral: Front


The stained glass is quite interesting, however: Some few years ago one big window was designed by Gerhard Richter and it was a subject of a very heated discussion:

Gerhard Richter Window: Looks a bit like a pixelated adult picture.... 

The cardinal of the Cathedral isn't very fond of it: He'd rather have pictures of brutally slain martyrs on it, but even he tried very hard he could not stop the abstract window.

It is a fine piece of  art though, but still  i'm with the cardinal....