“Germany – Culture and Landscape”: Illustrated Encyclopedia | NDR.de – Culture

Status: 03/13/2022 07:21 AM

With an area of ​​about 360 thousand square kilometers, Germany is historically and culturally very diverse. Three illustrated volumes are devoted to North, Central, and South. Introduction to the North.

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by Janek Wiechers

“Germany. Culture and Landscape. The North”. In addition to the great pictures, the book offers a wealth of information. These include details you may not have heard of before – such as the language district in Oldenburger Münsterland.

The municipality of Satterland is located in the northern part of the county of Kloppenburg. What makes it special is that around 2,000 people make up the smallest language community in Europe, all speaking Saterland Frisian, the eastern branch of the Frisian language family.
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Selected landscapes in focus

The heavy volume showcases more than 20 cultural scenes across northern Germany. Among others, East Friesland, the Baltic Sea coast, the views of Boden and the Mecklenburg Lake District. Emsland, Hamburg and Bremen, the Lüneburg Heath, Wendland, the Harz and Solling low mountain ranges – and the Braunschweiger Land.

Königslutter am Elm: The symbol of the small town is the Romanesque church, which can even rival Speyer Cathedral in importance: the imperial cathedral. A first-class natural feature (also) is the Kaiser Lothar lemon tree, which is said to have been planted there when construction began about 900 years ago.
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Read, stare, forget the time. The book is more like an illustrated dictionary or encyclopedia than an illustrated book in the traditional sense. Publisher Ludwig Könemann says he aims to offer a diverse journey of discovery in words and pictures: “This book is a must-have for everyone, because this book describes all aspects of German life, German culture, German nature. I have an engaging local history from eight to 80 years. Everything is It makes Germany special, it makes Germany interesting and worth living in, you have it in three volumes. In principle, you get from us Joyklopedia.”

Beautiful postcard – sometimes it’s almost beautiful

The book lives above all from its many images. In addition to hundreds of small formats, there is a double page spread and color-intensive images. Lower Saxony, the Wadden Sea under the hot sun. A view from the top of the port of Hamburg and the Elbe. A candied yellow field of rapeseed against the blue of the Baltic Sea at Cape Arkona on the island of Rügen. Beautiful postcard. so beautiful. Sometimes it’s almost too beautiful. Because there was sometimes a lot of digital post-processing – in fact it wasn’t necessary.

Brief texts display the area in question, accompanied by a short narration. The writers then select individual cities and towns to present their remarkable features. Again and again, there is a thematic focus on important historical events and characteristics of the flora and fauna of northern Germany. Did you know, for example, that there are many other species of seagull in the North in addition to the black-headed seagull?

Herring gull is a type of seashore. The common gull is not limited to getting close to the sea. If you want to distinguish between a lion-backed gull and a great black gull, take a closer look. And kittiwake breeds only in Helgoland.
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A visual expedition – albeit with a little depth

Maps and historical landscapes complete the textual and visual journey of discovery. It’s a good read, you learn a lot, it’s entertaining. However, words are rarely so profound. But they make you want to get more detailed information elsewhere. Squeezing more content into the book won’t work either. The book is already much more comprehensive than publisher Könemann originally intended: “We didn’t plan on this scale, but we are a lot smaller. And then we saw how diverse and diverse Germany is, and what’s out there. It’s always hard to leave anything out of that. In the end, this rather huge monster came out of it.”

The book is not at hand! It can be difficult to take it with you on the tram or to a coffee shop to browse. The large volume of the new trilogy weighs nearly five kilograms and contains more than 700 pages.

A small drop of bitterness with great pleasure

It’s annoying that the authors haven’t always researched comprehensively. For example, Witzenhausen in Hesse is incorrectly located in Braunschweiger Land. Here and there the sheer mass of text and images seems to come at the expense of the accuracy of the content.

But this is only a small drop of bitterness, because “Germany Culture and Landscape Vol 1 – North” is always fun. It presents the familiar and the surprising. You will be amazed at the number of castles, palaces, churches, hills, monuments, lakes, works of art and interesting people in the north. The book also makes you want to travel: in a way you want to get away from yourself – to see everything on site.

Additional information

A woman and two men look at a selection of books on shelves full of books and on piles - Photo at the Frankfurt Book Fair © imago / Rupert Oberhäuser Photo: Rupert Oberhäuser

Lots of exciting books coming out this year. For example, it was composed by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Yasmina Reza, Orhan Pamuk and Fatma Aydemir. more

Germany – Culture and Landscape. North

By Thomas Hoff, Daniel Kekul, and Detlev Arens

page number:
704 pages
additional information:
Konnemann Verlag
Release date:
Feb 01 2022
Order number:
33.33 €

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Culture NDR | 03/13/2022 | 5:40 pm

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