Day 284: BauhausNovember 25, 2017 in Germany
Incessant rain had drummed on the roof all night, and when we woke up this morning not much had changed. It was raining - a lot. Though we'd expected it, so had planned for today to be a mostly-inside day, rather than going to a parkland or something! Got dressed and headed out around 9am, straight back into Dessau as usual.
Here we headed to what was the second home of the Bauhaus School, a design and art college that had a tremendous impact on almost every field of modern art. Although founded in Weimar, it was based here for about 5 years before moving to Berlin in 1931, where it disbanded two years later (the Nazis considered it "un-German" and a hotbed of Communist liberalism).
The two main buildings of the college are still standing and that's where we headed first. Although it's still mostly used as a technical school, large parts of the building are a museum. Unfortunately we couldn't take Schnitzel inside as expected, so we did rock-paper-scissors for who'd go in first and who'd stay in the cafe with Schnitzel first. I lost.
So Shandos headed off into the museum, while I settled into the cafe with a cappuccino and a blueberry muffin. 90 minutes later she returned, and we traded places. I really enjoyed it, because even though in places there's not much to see, everything feels very familiar - from the layouts, the stairwells, even little touches like the light fixtures and the doorhandles which were designed by Bauhaus students. All very modernist, with straight lines, 90 degree curves, interesting uses of colour and materials.
The philosophy is quite interesting as well - that function should dictate form, but that functional items should also have beauty. It also blends together ideas of craftsmanship and artisan items with new techniques of mass production - all very interesting. I particularly enjoyed some of the displays about course curricula, since they were so obviously foundational and done from first principles. I mean, rather than studying "painting", you spend a couple of years studying art history, colour theory, anatomy, materials science and so on.
Eventually I finished up, and since we'd already spent 3 hours combined in the cafe we figured another hour wouldn't hurt, so we grabbed some lunch too. And hey, it was still raining outside.
Last thing we wanted to see here were the Master's Houses, a series of modernist houses about 500m away from the main school building, which were designed by the first architecture students at Bauhaus. Despite the names, the Masters of the school only lived here for a couple of years before the school moved off to Berlin. I filmed a bit more, but we haven't quite finished the video as there are more buildings to see in Weimar, where we'll be in a couple of days.
So we walked back to the station in the rain, caught the train back north to our little town, walked across the highway bridge and arrived home. Absolutely nobody around - it's quite spooky to be in a 15 room hotel with no other occupants! And as far as I can tell, the workers all go home at night too so there's just nobody else around at all.
Though we did manage to find the proprietor who we'd spoken to on Airbnb. We told him that since it didn't say we had to pay extra for the dog, we weren't going to, and that he needed to update his listings to mention the extra charges. He wasn't that happy, since apparently we were already getting a huge discount, and that on Airbnb he can't write "pets allowed but cost extra" and a few other crap excuses. In the end we got our way which was nice!Read more