It was now January 1990, and I attended a NATO EW training course in Oberammergau, Germany – one of my favorite places to visit; and I took this series of photos of Schloss Neuschwanstein from the flat plain directly north of the castle.
I shot a panoramic view of the entire area in this series, and Neuschwanstein Castle can be seen in the distance in white – on top of the center hill in this picture.
The weather was picture perfect for these photos, and from the location of Schloss Neuschwanstein you can see how idyllic the setting really is on the northern edge of the Alps.
This is the “Pilgrims Church St. Coloman” in Schwangau, Bavaria, Southern Germany, and I can’t think of a more beautiful location for a church than at the base of the Alps.
This crucifix stands alone, casting a long shadow behind it – while mine is visible in the foreground taking the picture; and from this point on I began photographing every crucifix that I could during my travels.
The is the “Pilgrimage Church of the Scourged Saviour” in Wies or “Wieskirche” in a shortened German version of the name – southeast of the town of Steingaden in Bavaria, Germany.
I stayed in the ABC Hotel in Oberammergau while attending my EW training course at the NATO School, and this picture of the hotel is scanned from a postcard they had at the reception desk.
Oberammergau is the world famous setting for the “Passion Play,” and is known as well for attracting tourists and church patrons to its woodcarving shops – but away from the main streets and the tourists it is a sleepy, quiet village.
The mountains in this picture surrounding Oberammergau stand in beautiful contrast to the light blue sky on a crisp, cold January day.
The sign on this cafe house in Oberammergau shows the year – 1990 – which was a “Passion Play” year – performed only every ten years at the end of each decade.
This is the pedestrian zone or “Fussgängerzone” in Munich or “München,” called the Kaufingerstraße – which runs through the famous Marienplatz in front of the New City Hall or “Neues Rathaus;” while a single domed tower of the “Frauenkirche” stands in the background.
I went to Munich with three of my classmates from the NATO School – standing here in the Marienplatz – over the weekend, and my friend on the right drove his BMW the way it was designed to be driven on the Autobahn – FAST!
This is a view of the Kaufingerstrasse – the most famous shopping street in Munich that runs between the Marienplatz and Karlsplatz; a place to “see and be seen” while shopping and strolling through the heart of Munich.
This building is the Palace of Justice or “Justizpalast Munich” – a palatial courthouse built between 1890 and 1897 in Munich, and representative of all the great architecture on display in Munich.
This is the amazing New City Hall or “Neues Rathaus” on the town square or “Marienplatz” – an amazing building with wonderful architectural details.
The tower of the Neues Rathaus has a famous Glockenspiel that overlooks the Marienplatz below – a favorite for tourists who flock to the Marienplatz to watch the performances.
The Glockenspiel in the Neues Rathaus tower as viewed from the Marienplatz below – the central figures rotate to tell a story from the 16th century.
The carved statues and amazing double doors of the Neues Rathaus tower are beautiful works of art, and here the tower’s sections climb ever higher like a wedding cake.
On a crystal clear day in Munich, the Marienplatz remains in shadow as the tower of the Neues Rathaus pierces the sky above; while the twin domed towers of the Frauenkirche stand in the background.
The column standing on the left in the Marienplatz is the “Mariensäule” – erected in 1638 – with a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus on top of the column – in front of the Neues Rathaus.
Another view of the “fairy tale” like architectural elements, statues and towers decorating the Neues Rathaus on the Marienplatz in Munich, Germany.
A view looking up at the “Mariensäule” column as it rises into a beautiful Bavarian blue sky alongside the tower of the Neues Rathaus with its Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz in Munich.
A distant view looking across the Marienplatz towards the “Mariensäule” column, standing in front of the Old Town Hall or “Altes Rathaus” at the end of the pedestrian zone or “Fussgängerzone.”
The Old Town Hall or “Altes Rathaus” marks one end of Munich’s Kaufingerstraße Fussgängerzone, and continues through the Marienplatz square in front of the Neues Rathaus.
This beautiful May pole in Munich advertises the State of Bavaria (Blue and White), Munich (Black and Gold) and the Guilds through the entire pictorial series of craftsman Guild symbols.
The “Olympiaturm” communication tower rises 291 meters above the Olympic Park or “Olympiapark” in Munich, constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics.
A view looking down at the Olympic Stadium or “Olympiastadion” from the “Olympiaturm” communication tower, designed to resemble the Alps with its free formed design of “floating” clear panels and suspension cable roof structure.
The Olympic Park or “Olympiapark” in Munich was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics and was built in the Upper Meadow Field or “Oberwiesenfeld” area of Munich, and today it is often the center of festival and cultural events.
A view of southern Munich with the Alps in the distance, from the “Olympiaturm” communication tower at the Olympic Park or “Olympiapark” during our visit.
I loved the tent like roof design used for the Olympic Park and Stadium, suspending clear panels and cables between central poles – creating a mountain peak type silhouette.
When viewed up close, the suspension roof of the Olympic Park looks heavy and chunky – with lots of cables and connectors; but the elegance of the design is when the roof is viewed from a distance.
The Denver International Airport has a similar – if more modern – roof structure as the suspension roof that was built for the 1972 Summer Olympics – but it isn’t transparent.
I was really intrigued with the Olympic Park’s suspension roof structure from a graphic design aspect during each of my two visits over the years to the Olympic Park and Stadium.
The beauty of this suspended roof over the Olympic Stadium is in its organic and fluid design – and as in life – many of the best designs and decisions in life begin with what I call, “Organic Reasoning and Decision Making.”
What is, “Organic Reasoning and Decision Making?” – I only just now coined the phrase for myself – but it means to start anything at the most basic “elemental” level; and then questioning each incremental decision or design change made, using a default bias based on “natural design elements and reasoning” – borrowed from the natural world around us.
If you view this suspension roof from an, “Organic Design Perspective;” you break it down into its most basic natural design element – which is derived from a spider’s web – only replacing silk with cables and open spaces with clear panels.
Here I am sitting in the stands of the Olympic Stadium during my January 1990 visit; and someday I’d love to see a stadium roof design based on giant overlapping banana plant leaves! 🙂