"Walking in the footsteps of Caspar David Friedrich" Saßnitz by CatherineReichardt
Saßnitz Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 70 photos
This is the picture that inspired our desire to Rugen - Chalk Cliffs on Ruegen, painted by the German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich in 1818. This was painted just after his honeymoon, and the conventional wisdom is that he is the central figure, with his wife on the left of the picture. (for more on Friedrich, read my travel page on his birthplace, Greifswald).
I first saw this image in a German cookery book and was so staggered by its beauty that I promptly ordered a print and had it framed, so that it now has pride of place in our lounge. The more I looked at the painting, the more I wanted to see the place that inspired it, and when we started to discuss where we wanted to explore on that year's trip to Germany, this image made Ruegen the obvious choice.
I was frankly nervous about seeing the spot where this famous image was captured - after all, artists have a tendency to apply artistic licence to their compositions, and I was concerned that either Friedrich would have played 'fast and loose' with reality, or that the site may have changed in the 200 years since he immortalised it. I need not have worried, as everything was almost exactly as he painted it, from the milky blue sea to the whiteness of the chalk cliffs and the painstaking detail of the beech leaves, all illuminated by that characteristic Baltic light. It was like experiencing the painting from the inside: the only time a work of art has touched me in that manner.
Even in Friedrich's day, Ruegen was a fashionable tourist destination for the well-to-do, and remains so to this day. Today Ruegen's tourists are almost exclusively German, as though the rest of the world has yet to discover this gorgeous island.
As we approached the chalk cliffs that Caspar David Friedrich had immortalised, I began to fret - after all, that... more travel advice
Poms often view allotments as a very British thing, but tend to forget that they are also an integral part of post-war... more travel advice
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