Day 279: Fagus FactoryNovember 20, 2017 in Germany
Today's exciting World Heritage site - a factory! Off to the main station in Hannover where we caught the train 90 minutes west to the town of Alfeld. A short walk later, and we were standing in front of the Fagus Factory. This was built in 1910, and for the last 107 years has manufactured shoe lasts, ie, the models that are used to build shoes around. It's notable because it's a very early example of modernist industrial architecture, sort of like the Van Nelle factory we'd visited in Rotterdam. This one was also notable because it was an early work of the famous Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius.
So we wandered in, after filming the outside of course! We had a look around the small visitors centre, then a longer look around the enormous paid museum which went into what I would call "exhaustive" detail about shoe lasts and the shoe manufacturing process. But it was also interesting to see detail about the factory and its construction as well.
There was even a section on the war, when the factory was visited personally by Hitler and held up as an example of a model factory. It was then forced to manufacture weapons parts for the war effort, naturally.
Unfortunately, the one thing we couldn't do was go inside the factory itself, since it's an active industrial workplace and of course they don't want competitors stealing their trade secrets either! So we had to content ourselves with staying outside. Finished off our filming and figured we'd head to the old town of Alfeld, but as we were walking just near the station (in the rain of course), the once-hourly train back to Hannover was approaching. So we ran for it, made it, and headed home.
Arrived back around 2pm, bought some dog food as we were running low, then headed back on the subway. Only a half day, but with the incessant drizzle and cold temperatures neither of us felt particularly inclined to stay out any longer. Stayed in the rest of the day, though Shandos ventured to the supermarket and bought ravioli and sauce for dinner.Read more