Thursday, August 13, 2009

die Alte Brücke

[ The old Bridge ]



Everyday I cross the altebrücke, but if asked, I never would have guessed that it was near 500 years old! It is one of the oldest constructions in Saarbrücken and it was erected in 1546. Just a fact – it currently consists of seven of the original thirteen arches.

Just across the bridge is the theater of Saarbrücken, The Staatstheater. I have seen this building a few times as well, but I did not know that this building had such a unique history. Saarland was actually part of France a few times and after WW1 it was officially French, with German speaking people. When the people of the land were able to vote for their national standing, and they voted to be German and Hitler presented the construction of the theater as a gift to the people for their decision. [ As in many dictatorships, there were loopholes however, and the citizens of Saarland ended up learning that the the bill for the theater was footed by their taxes anyways ].

After WW2 Saarland was French territory again, and the US actually supported it belonging to the French, but after delegations between Germany and France, the territory was returned to German. There is a lot of ping-pong like stories to keep track of my host city and its Bundesland, but it is so interesting to me, and a little difficult to realize, just how many changes Europe has gone through in the past half century. For many, I see the affects of these changes daily.

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