wander, stumble, wonder

By imo_weg

What Bach once saw. Maybe.

Did Bach ever look up while conducting or writing one of his five million cantatas or berating the choir boys and see this roof? It seems unlikely that it was this exact roof - the building was damaged in WW2, but the sentiment still stands.

I spent my morning on a freeeeeeezing cold walking tour - it was not the coldest weather I've had on this trip, but a breeze made it pretty chilly and our guide tried to hop us from shelter to shelter. I was reluctant to take out my camera, because it would have meant taking my hands out of my pockets. 

To recover, I warmed up in a bookshop cafe. Initially I felt a little bad - the bookshop is a chain, and there are so many other cafes around, but then they brought me my tea and I had no regrets about my choices - an enormous cup of loose leaf, brewed well and very strong. It was the best cup of tea I have had in weeks. As I was sitting watching out the window, a sprinkle of snow started to fall and I adjusted my afternoon's plans to be indoors. More specifically, to explore the city museum. 

I love local history museums - the ones that tell the story of the place I'm in. As a genre of museums, they are my favourite. The quality varies like no other type of museum, from one room exhibitions with type-written information cards last updated in the 1970s (including one infamous time when the card with the second half of a local story had gone missing and not been replaced, leaving the tale hanging mid-sentence), through to interactive extravaganzas with dress ups, 3D goggles, and a lot of speculation. 

The Stadtgeschichtlichtes Museum Leipzig is one of the excellent quality ones that goes through from the earliest settlements to the 1990s (and the end of divided Germany). I'm always surprised to learn that the first known settlements in an area of Europe were *only* in the early Medieval period (so around the 10th century for Leipzig), although the museum did note that the Saxons were here before the Germans, with remains dating earlier than that. On this trip, I've noted a few times that city museums seem to gloss over the non-Germanic settlements that preceded the 'official' settlement. From an Australian perspective, it seems a little bit like colonial erasure to me, but that's something I need to investigate further.

Despite this reservations, the museum tells a strong and coherent story, with a range of interesting displays and in a spectacular building - the old city hall that Dickens would probably feel very comfortable in. En route through the city's history, it includes information about the building as well - sometimes museums housed in old buildings take the structure for granted and forget that it is also deserving of explanation. 

Once again this has turned into a museum review, so I'll end with this top travel tip. If you snore so loudly that your dorm mates can hear you through ear plugs AND noise cancelling headphones over the top, you might want to consider whether a dorm is appropriate for you. And also perhaps seeing a health professional.

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