vorhänge wohnzimmer 2017

vorhänge wohnzimmer 2017

the city of bayreuth may have beenfounded in the 11th century, but things didn’t really get going until 1603, when the margrave of brandenburg movedhis residence here from nearby kulmbach. and following many fires and invasions, there’slittle here from before the 17th century. there are some exceptions, of course. this apothecary, still a pharmacy today,is a bit older and boasts — if that’s the right word — elementsno modern designer would dream of today. running through the historic centre of bayreuthis maximilianstraãÿe, which is up to 45 metres wide,

making it one of the biggest examplesof a bavarian street-market. this is a feature of several bavarian cities,as opposed to the more normal market square, although calling it “bavarian”is slightly inaccurate: bayreuth didn’t become bavarian until 1810. on the day i was there, it was being put to usefor a kind of local automobile trade fair. the historic figure that has arguably hadthe most influence on the city is the 18th-centurymargravin wilhelmine of prussia. born in potsdam as the daughterof king frederick i, she suffered greatly at the hands ofher dysfunctional and ambitious parents

as well as a sadistic governess. her marriage to the eldest sonof the margrave of brandenburg was arranged, but apparently successful,and so she came to live here. although she couldn’t wait to leave berlin,she was very disappointed with bayreuth. the palace was dark and dusty,the upholstery ripped to shreds, the curtains around the beddisintegrated at the slightest touch. the people of bayreuthwere unsophisticated peasants, and even the food was boring. after the death of her father-in-law,when her husband became the new margrave,

she set about modernizing the place. she helped him in his attemptsto stamp out high-level corruption, and was herself an accomplishedmusician, composer, playwright, novellist, actor and architect. for her 35th birthday she was givena plot of land outside of bayreuth with a little palace, which sheimmediately set about extending. she also built a new palace which, in keepingwith the vaguely greek theme of the park, featured the sun-god apollo. back in bayreuth itself, when themargravial palace was damaged by fire,

wlhelmine helped to design the new palace. but perhaps the one thing she gave to the citythat really ended up defining it was the margravial opera house. it was opened to celebrateher daughter’s wedding in 1748, and the interior has changed little since. it’s currently being renovated, though, and isn’t expected to reopen until 2018. it was this opera house that later attracted the most famous name to be associatedwith bayreuth: richard wagner.

looking for a venue away from the big cities where he could put onproductions of his own works, he came here but foundthe opera house to be too small. still, he liked the city, and so built his own special festival theatre which opens only for a few days a year and is dedicated to performances of his operas. the first of these bayreuth festivals was in 1876. unfortunately, while wagner wasno doubt a great composer,

he was also brazenly antisemitic. later, his children actively supported the nazis. this makes wagner a difficult figurefor germans to deal with, and explains why the parkaround the festival theatre includes an exhibition on thenazi persecution of jewish musicians and the role played in it by the wagner family. wagner also built this housefor himself and his family: haus wahnfried. but he was getting oldand the climate disagreed with him, so he spent a lot of his time in italy.

and so it was that he died in venice in 1883. his body was returned and buried here. in the 1930s, wagner’s birthplace, the cityof leipzig, planned a memorial to wagner which was almost finishedby the end of the second world war. but after the war, because it was plannedand designed by nazis, it was never erected, but broken up and sold off. two panels are in bayreuth, in aneasily-overlooked spot on a busy road. it is a monument not so much to wagner but to germany’s troubled relationship with him.

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