The first stop on our Historical Walk Through Ystad should have been at Charlotte Berlin’s Museum but when we arrived the Museum hadn’t opened so we resolved to return a bit later and reserve places on the 11 o’clock tour. This largely intact ‘mansion’ [according to the leaflet; but really it’s just a typical Ystad brightly painted, single storey house with first floor rooms in the high-pitched roof] offers an opportunity to view and gain insight into a Swedish 19th century home and its owner.
This year the Abbey at Ystad celebrates its 750th anniversary.
The Coast South of Hammershus, 1870, by Holger Drachmann (1846-1908)
Hammershus, 1849, by Anton Edvard Kieldrup (1827-1869)
At the Art Museum we saw several paintings of Hammershus Castle. The dramatic castle ruins have attracted artists and visitors for centuries. So, the next stop on our first day’s tour itinerary was to drive to the very northern tip of the island to see the castle for ourselves.
Gerhart Hauptmann (1862-1946) is another winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was a German novelist, poet and playwright; although he was born and died in what is now Poland. I visited his former summer house on the island of Hiddensee in June.
The original gate entrance to Gerhard Hauptmann House and Garden
Our first port of call of arrival in Hull was the newly reopened and freshly renovated Ferens Art Gallery. After coffee we visited each gallery but no photography is allowed. There’s a very good permanent collection for a provincial gallery, the Freud, Mueck, Tunick SKIN show had us mesmerised (I’d seen Muick’s Wild Man at Belsay Hall in 2010 as part of the Extraordinary Measures show) and my favourite display was Rembrandt’s The Shipbuilder and his Wife and related paintings. The Rembrandt lent by Her Majesty The Queen. Masterpieces from the Royal Collection will see five exceptional works of art travel from Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace between 2017 and 2021 as part of a five-year partnership between the Royal Collection Trust and Ferens Art Gallery. I hope I am able to revisit during this time to see more.
New eyes each year
Find old books here,
And new books,too,
Old eyes renew;
So youth and age
Like ink and page
In this house join,
Minting new coin.
The excellent Buddenbrook Book Shop
Lübeck is proud to claim three Nobel Prize winners among its residents: Thomas Mann (1875-1955) Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929); Willy Brandt (1913-1992) Nobel Peace Prize in 1971; and Günter Grass (born in Danzig in 1927 died Lübeck 2015) Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. All three claim this Hanseatic city as their home. The writer Thomas Mann was born here and for the first 18 years of his life called this city on the river Trave his home. The politician Willy Brandt was also born in Lübeck and, similarly, spent his formative years in the Hanseatic city. The author Günter Grass moved to Lübeck at the age of 68 – to be, as he once stated, “closer” to Thomas Mann and Willy Brandt.
Yesterday I met my friend Ann at The Singing Ringing Tree. I had read about this sculpture or Panopticon, just over the border in Lancashire, in one of those magazines that you find in the pocket of your airline seat. It sounded fascinating. And indeed I can now say that it sounds fascinating too. The wind blows through the open pipes and amazingly creates music when you get close up to it (it’s a few 100 metres from the blustery car park).
At the weekend staying with friends near Gateshead it was suggested that we visit Corbridge on the Saturday. I’d heard of Corbridge’s Roman connections but wasn’t quite sure what was there nor how extensive the and well-preserved they would be. I was to find out. We parked in the free car park on the opposite side of the river from the village and Roman site; spent some time in some of the multitude of small shops – including gifts and cards, kitchenwares and books; ate lunch in an excellent deli then walked to the former Roman Town about half a mile away. It was a beautiful day crisp and sunny but very very cold.