Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Frankfurt Communication Museum

Frankfurt, Germany

The group rose early today so we could catch a regional train to Frankfurt (after indulging at breakfast of course). One of the students had a first-hand experiential learning experience as to the impact of the clock this morning. Not knowing what time it was and not wanting to be late, she showered and washed her clothes, ready to go for the day, only to be told by her roommate that it was only 4:30 AM! Lesson #1 on the effects of media/lack thereof learned.

Waiting for the train (70's-style images courtesy of Jono Seneff's iPhone app)

At the Frankfurt Communication Museum

The Frankfurt Communication Museum is one of about 12 museums along the river, and easily among the best of the lot. They do an excellent job of portraying communication history before and after the electronic age, the moment at which the speed of communication was severed from the speed (and constraint) of transportation. Architecturally laid out in a circular pattern, you can take in as much as you want, and the museum is equally compelling for kindergartners and grad students alike. There is always one or two rotating/traveling exhibitions on the top floor, and this year it was on communication theorist Claude Shannon as well as an exhibit entitled "Dialogue in Stillness" about being deaf. The museum also has the original Marconi wireless cables sent between the Titanic, the Carpathia, and the California on the night of the tragic sinking of the Titanic.

All we like sheeple... (the black sheep was around the corner)

One of the original key boards

And then for lunch, we had some original, strange, and delicious German food at
Zum Gemalten Haus at the Schweizer Platz stop, not far from the museums.
Zum Gemalten Haus, offering Green Sauce,
Cow Tongue, and Hand Cheese with Music!
MMM Good

Before leaving Frankfurt, several students toured Saint Bartholomew's Cathedral, a massive Gothic cathedral constructed from the middle of the 14th Century to the middle of the 15th Century. The building was first destroyed in 1867 by a fire, rebuilt, and then, like so many other structures in Germany, destroyed in World War Two by allied bombing -- and then rebuilt once again. Starting in 1356, it was the place where the Holy Roman Emperors were crowned and later served as a symbol for the national unity of Germany. Today, it is more of a tourist destination than anything else. After leaving the cathedral, we headed back to Mainz, where we stayed for the rest of the evening.

St. Bartholomew's Cathedral

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