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I attended the annual CST User Conference in Darmstadt, Germany for a few days, and I managed to get away briefly with the Sony NEX-7. The weather wasn’t ideal, with low bright cloud cover providing skies with little excitement, but there were still many interesting things to enjoy and photograph. Close to the office is the Waldespiral (forest spiral), designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, it is a unique and colourful residential building complex built in the 1990s which includes a natural green roof.
The Mathildenhöhe district, the artists colony, was founded in 1899 by Ernest Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse where he brought together other Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) artists; a form of art considered to be a ‘total art style’ embracing architecture, graphic art, interior design and the decorative arts.
A little known gem in this district is the Haus Martinus (erected in 1921) and its Vortex Garden designed to balance natural ecosystems. Although private property, the current owner invites the public to explore and enjoy the space. The Vortex or spiral, is a basic movement in living systems and is mirrored throughout the garden and ornaments. Many of these ornaments have direct reference to mysterious crop circles occurring throughout Wiltshire in England.
Also in this region stands the Russian Orthodox church, it was built by the last Tzar of Russia Nicholas II in 1899 out of stone and upon soil transported by train from Russia. The chapel in Darmstadt, the birthplace of the Tzar’s wife Alexandra; was the only official church used outside the Russian Empire. The green five-fingered Wedding Tower is perhaps the best known Darmstadt landmark and is used solely for weddings.