Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Long Overdue Neighborhood Post

I've been meaning to write this post since we moved in (now 4 weeks ago). There are 3 main things I want to show you: our building, our street, and our immediate environs (mainly Jakobstraße). Part of the reason I put off this post for so long is that when we moved in our building was being painted. The scaffolding came off a week ago or more, so I am out of excuses. Here it is in its freshly-painted glory:


When I first saw it (on the day when Tyler got to see inside and I did not), it was all white. It also had graffiti on it, as so many buildings (even really nice ones) in Aachen do. So we were lucky to get the chance to photograph it looking shiny and new. Here's a picture of my favorite feature, the fruit in the facade!


Those windows sticking up on top of the building are ours.

The foyer is also very pretty. Ceiling:





The rest:


That flight of stairs is the first of 4 (each broken into a long and short piece) we must climb to reach our apartment on the Dachgeschoss ("roof story" or attic). I finally remembered to count the stairs this morning as part of my pre-post research. There are 79. We climb these stairs 3-4 times per day.

Moving on. These are the highlights of the view from our front windows:




We still have a church tower view! Woohoo!

Our street is called Hubertusstraße. The next block up the hill has a little playground watched over by what we like to call a Mauerstück--a piece of the old city wall. Napoleon had the wall torn down during Aachen's French period, but a few towers and gates were left standing. (More on Napoleon and Aachen in an upcoming post.)


(See the swingset in the background?)


The plaque reads:

Lavenstein (a type of stone? not sure), 14th century, outer ring of the city wall

Jakobstraße is our new Solano Avenue. The buildings are just slightly prettier:




I never get tired of looking at facades, so expect to see a lot of them! There's so much to notice. Here are some of my favorite details from buildings on Jakobstraße and other streets in our neighborhood.


That guy is either being swallowed by a bear or wearing a bear head hood. Either way, I don't get it.


This is the gate to St. Paul's (also on Jakobstraße). St. Paul only gets a little side street named after him. Sadly, there are too few parishioners, so services are no longer held here. It's still used for concerts sometimes.



This ridiculous building is right next to the laundromat we use, just up the hill.


Unfortunately, there are very few restaurants on Jakobstraße, and the ones that exist are out of our price range, so it really is no substitute for Solano. (Is there such a thing?) This place, though, sells delicious fresh ravioli from the counter that we eat about twice a week (at home). Notice the blankets provided with the outdoor seating. It's getting cold here, but do the Germans stop sitting outside to eat? They do not. They get blankets.


Finally, Jakobstraße is named after this church, St. Jakob.


We actually have a picture of it in a previous post, the one where we talked about the apartment we really wanted but didn't get. Turns out the apartment we ended up in is even closer to St. Jakob. Take that, landlord of the fancy apartment who didn't want us!


  1. Very nice paint job on the building, and the rest of the area is perfectly charming. The buildings in Frankfurt don't look so stylish, at least ours doesn't! Yes, graffiti is common in Germany, but I still feel very safe. In Leipzig there were a handful of SpongeBob Square Pants images on various buildings. Our favorite was one where he had pulled off one of his arms and was holding it in the other hand, while the stub spurted blood. :)

  2. Beautiful pictures, Sara. I love the colors and the architecture. Those purple blankets on the chairs are the best idea--so glad you are sharing all this.

  3. This is Laura on the iPad. I truly love this post and you.

  4. Update on Lavenstein: perhaps it's more proper than we first assumed. WHy do I think that? Wikipedia, of course.

  5. Jacobstrasse is looking nice these days!


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