Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


24.2.06
  Alien Architecture

This futuristic looking construction is called Josephskreuz (Joseph's Cross). It has nothing to do with the biblical character, but with one Joseph Count of Stolberg who in 1832 commissioned a tower to be built on the Auerberg near the town of Stolberg (Harz mountains).


The famous Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed a wooden tower ending in a double-armed cross. It had no stairs but could be climbed by ladders. In 1880 the building was destroyed by lightning, and some 15 years later the ducal house of Stolberg and the Club of the Friends of the Harz shared in the costs of erecting a new tower. The double cross design of Schinkel was kept, but the material used was iron bars, imitating the Eiffel Tower. It weighs 125 tons. A staircase was built inside the construction, 200 stairs to climb the 38 metres high tower. After you've walked up the mountain for some three kilometres of winding pathes. :-)

My father visited the place as a boy, and back then the Josephskreuz had the same brownish iron colour as the Eiffel Tower. Since the Stolberg area was part of Eastern Germany, the tower wasn't kept up and had eventually be closed for visitors. It was renovated and reopened in 1990. Though I have no idea who is responsible for the weird green colour.
 
Comments:
That looks pretty cool, I think. It must be quite the view from on high, too.
 
Wild. I still prefer ancient and mysterious, though.
 
Neat. It actually looks more futuristic than anything.

I finally got a picture up on my blog, btw. Come take a look.
 
Pat,
yes it's a great view.

Sandra,
don't worry, I've still some old castles and churches in store. :-)

Becca,
especially from this perspective. But I think some of the 19th buildings look more futuristic than modern skyscrapers indeed. The Glass Palace in London is another good example.
 
The structure is also a three-dimensional representation of a four-dimensional hypercube. If you take a three-dimensional cube and unfold it into two dimensions, you'll end up with a two-dimensional cross. If you take a four dimensional hypercube (or tesseract) and unfold it into three dimensions, you get the three-dimensional structure shown in the image.

Robert A Heinlein wrote a short story "And He Built A Crooked House", describing a house built in the form of this structure, which following an earthquake collapses through the fourth dimension to give a hypercube.
 
Hi Galgacus,
thanks for stopping by. You're right about the three dimensional cube, though my memories about anything maths-related tend to be a bit vague. ;)

I'll check out the Heinlein story.
 
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Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction and Fantasy author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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I'm a writer of Historical Fiction and Fantasy living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.


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