Last week, Jan told me I should pick somewhere for us to go this weekend, so I looked around at places that are near here and chose Schwetzingen. The reason? They currently have an exhibition on The Magical World of “Figurentheater” (the only translation I can find for Figurentheater is “puppet theatre”, but they had examples of paper and shadow theatre as well so I’m not sure what to call it). The exhibition is on until 27 January 2013 but this Saturday only they had someone coming in to do a talk on the making of a marionette, from the idea to the acting of the story. Naturally I wanted to go (yes, mentally I’m probably about 5!).
It wasn’t snowing when we arrived in Schwetzingen, but as you can see from the above photo, there was still some white stuff lying from previous days.
The marionette talk didn’t start until 2pm, so our first stop was the castle, which is included in our Museum cards (which I got for my birthday last year). You could only go inside the actual castle as part of a tour, and the next one was at 1:30 pm (which would have prevented us from going to see the puppets), so we just went into the gardens instead.
I’ve heard they’re supposed to be beautiful, but right now they’re mostly just white. And all the plants are dead. There was an exhibition in one of the wings of the castle though, so we went to have a look at it. Art work by Miro. Can’t say I was particularly impressed.
On the square outside the castle there’s a sculpture called “Die Spargelfrau” (The Asparagus Lady). Apparantly Schwetzingen is on the German asparagus route… Germans are weird 😉
I liked the little dog best. His collar says his name is Nico.
It was 12:30 by this time, so we decided to grab some lunch. There was a brewpub right on the castle square – Brauhaus zum Ritter – so we went there. A Ritter is a knight, by the way. We chose a table with a view of the castle and ate some lovely German food. And, of course, drank some of the beer.
Once we’d finished lunch, it was time to head down to the Stadtmuseum (town museum) to see what we’d actually come for. The talk was really interesting and afterwards we were allowed to play with the puppets. Most of the audience were adults (only 3 kids were there!), so I’m obviously not the only childish one 😉
Then we went to have a look at the rest of the exhibition. We had a go at the shadow theatre. Here’s my attempt to do the alligator:
Jan tried his hand at the elephant, but to me it looked more like a bird. What do you think?
Making shadow creatures is more difficult than it looks!
I would have liked to play for longer, but the kids wanted a go so we moved on to the other exhibits.
Naturally I had to take a photo of this owl puppet!
Back in the town centre, we found the Evangelical church.
Close to the church, there was this stone sculpture that Jan thought was cool. There was no plaque or anything to tell us what it was supposed to represent though.
A little further on, we came across the Catholic church. If there’s one thing all German towns seem to be full of, it’s churches! I can think of six in Karlsruhe off the top my my head, and I bet there are more.
The sun had come out by this point, so I actually managed a photo with some blue sky on it 😀
Moving on, we spotted this peacock lying outside one of the town council’s buildings. I wonder where he belonged?
Schwetzingen is not the prettiest of towns, although it does have a few nice buildings. There’s also not a huge amount to do. If you’re going to visit, I’d recommend doing so in summer when you can take a proper long walk through the castle gardens. There seems to be a lot to look at there, but a lot was closed or inaccessible in the snow. Maybe you could even take a picnic. We certainly intend to go and look at those gardens when the weather’s more suitable for walking around!