Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A rainy day in Bayreuth

The same night that a strong damaging storm passed through Maryland, a strong storm passed though Baveria. There was a lot of thunder and lightning, strong winds and heavy rain. Quite a performance.

The next morning, there was a little drizzle but we decided to set off for Bayreuth figuring that the weather is so changeable in Germany that the sun might be shining in Bayreuth by the time we got there. Unfortunately, just as we reached Bayreuth, it really started to rain.

These coloured figures climbing the wall can be seen in a few German citites.

We found the Margravial Opera House and were glad to go inside to get out of the rain. Very quickly we recognized that we were going to see something very special.

The opulence that takes your breath away.

It's not a big theater, holding only about 500.

The whole thing is made out of wood. It's amazing it hasn't been destroyed by fire.

The musicians pit in front of the stage.

The side of the stage which is very deep and this attracted Wagner to the town.

I would love to go to an opera there. Apparently they do put on some operas in September each year, but not this year or the following years since they are closing the theater for repairs.

Even the entrance staircase is grand, though not opulent.

Most theaters in Europe have a very good cloakroom system.

So perhaps we will come back in September sometime when it reopens.

Unusual wooden ball.

The New Castle.

The entrance to the Hofgarten from the Castle. Not exactly a place to linger in the rain but probably would have been lovely otherwise.

The old Rathouse.

Quite a number of old buildings survived the bombing of April 1945. Hitler visited the town quite often to go to see Wagner's operas.

Yet another theater.

It was odd to see this sign in the middle of a very German city.

The Germans do like splashes of colour.

A Piano Museum. I 

Marianne braving the rain in her green rain jacket.

Not the best of days to enjoy your coffee outside.

We wondered why Bayreuth needed a dinosaur.

A relic of times passed.

It looked like Bayreuth experienced the same winds that we did. There was tree debris all over the place.

This town looks to be very wealthy, probably because lots of very wealthy people turn up each year to see the Wagner Operas. There are still lots of grand looking hotels near the train station and quite a few of the shops are quite ritzy.

This is one place we would like to go back to some time when it is not raining.

We did drive out to see Wagner's Festspielhaus from the outside. Apparently the building needs substantial repair work. Seats are very difficult to obtain but you can see the price list here. I'm not a huge Wagner fan so I would not even bother applying since if I did get a seat it would be at the expense of a real Wagner devotee. I would like to go on a tour of the building which is possible at certain times of year.

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