Malchin — A Lesson In German Art And Architecture

I’m starting to think you need a degree in Art History to fully understand and appreciate the architecture found throughout Germany since terms like Gothic, Romanesque, and Baroque are thrown around constantly.

So be prepared to hear those names thrown around A LOT when you get to the town of Malchin.

A town this old is bound to have a variety of architecture because it had to be rebuilt time and time again. It has suffered terribly (it’s been bombed, looted, and set ablaze) over the centuries due to wars like the Thirty Years’ War, the Napoleonic Wars, and World War II.

Thankfully a few of its original 15th century gates and towers still stand. The Stone Gate is one of them, then there’s the Kalensche Tor, and the Fangelturm (standing 35 meters high) was once used as a prison.

Each of these were all part of the medieval fortification wall, called a Stadtmauer; and parts of this defense system still stand. Not only were wars a threat to the citizens of Malchin, “up to no good” marauders were always a problem.

Residents of Malchin aren’t just proud of their beautiful city gates, but also of their St. Johannis Church. It was originally a late Romanesque design, but after a fire in the late 14th century it was rebuilt in a Gothic design.

It has a Renaissance pulpit and a Baroque organ — that’s a lot of art and architecture right there in one place (didn’t I tell you). And the view from the top of its 67 meter high tower is phenomenal.

Over at the former mill is the town’s local history museum with an entire exhibit dedicated to its local boy, Siegfried Marcus — one of the founding fathers of the German automobile.

When spending all your time indoors isn’t an option, there are a few war memorials scattered around the eleven districts of Malchin, including one for the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II.

For a place of quiet reflection there’s the Malchiner See and the Kummerower See (i.e., two lakes). Maybe you might want to get yourself an art history book to learn more about all the types of architecture you’ll see while you’re here? Just a thought… ;-)

 

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