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At the entrance to Burj Al Arab looking up to the helicopter pad

 

The Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the third tallest hotel in the world (although 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space). Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280m (920ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to resemble the sail of a ship. It has a helipad near the roof at a height of 210m (689ft) above ground.

 

Visiting

We had booked to have drinks at the Skyview Bar on the 27th floor. As you pass through security and across the private bridge you enter a different world, to the side of the main entrance are a line of white Rolls Royces and that are for staying guests, behind which is a veritable collection of expensive sports cars.

 

Your taxi has hardly come to a stop and people rush to open the doors and help you out. They are smiling and welcome you to the Burj Al Arab. They are also expert at taking pictures with almost any camera.

 

However, nothing can prepare you as you enter the building. From its sleek, minimal exterior, you enter a world of opulence, a mosaic tiered waterfall, a vast aquarium and rich blue and red decorations together with soaring gold columns that rise up from the entrance, there is no doubt you are in the Middle East. Everywhere you look you are overwhelmed by the contrast of the exterior of the building. And then you take the elevator to the 27th floor and again you enter an explosion of colour with ceilings of lime green and blue, deep comfortable chairs and glass side tables.

 

Skyview Bar and Al Muntaha ("The Ultimate"), is located 200m (660ft) on the 27th floor above the Persian Gulf, offering an amazing view of Dubai through the floor to ceiling windows. It is supported by a full cantilever that extends 27m (89ft) from either side of the mast.

 

The drinks list is pages long and thankfully divided into sections depending on the main alcohol ingredient used, and when you book (essential) you are made aware of a minimum spend which includes canapés which were delicious. Staff are extremely knowledge and friendly, without being stuffy and make the whole experience an evening to remember.

main alcohol ingredient used, and when you book (essential) you are made aware of a minimum spend which includes canapés which were delicious. Staff are extremely knowledge and friendly, without being stuffy and make the whole experience an evening to remember.

 

My gifts to all my flickr friends,.

Best free antivirus sofrware from microsoft.

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I use all of these and the only problem I have had is running spotify and listening to music while surfing flickr. The two together use to much bandwidth.

Anyway, this is the best I can do from here. Merry Christmas and have a great New Year.

This is my first homemade Christmas card

 

youtu.be/Chu9AorVuUU

 

youtu.be/uH8FvERQHtM

# www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSoY6Uv2OSA&feature=fvst

 

MPs' expenses: Full list of Labour MPs investigated by the Telegraph

 

All of the Labour MPs named by the Telegraph's investigation into how politicians exploited the system of parliamentary allowances to subsidise their lifestyles and multiple homes.

 

Last Updated: 3:26PM BST 25 May 2009

 

The Houses of Parliament in Westminster Photo: PA

MPs' expenses investigation in depth

 

Douglas Alexander spent more than £30,000 doing up his constituency home – which then suffered damage in a house fire. Claimed the cost of hiring a “media trainer” on their office expenses. Spent taxpayers’ money advertising at football and rugby league matches. Bought expensive gadgets. Claimed for party political propaganda

  

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Margaret Moran: Second home 'flip' paid £22,500 dry rot bill: MPs' expenses Hilary Armstrong was told that allowing the Labour Party to pay for and run a computer at her taxpayer-funded home could make her “politically vulnerable”

 

Ian Austin split a claim for stamp duty on buying his second home in London into two payments and tried to claim it back over two financial years.

 

John Austin claimed more than £10,000 for redecorating his London flat, which was 11 miles from his main home, before selling it for a profit.

 

Vera Baird claimed the cost of Christmas tree decorations

 

Ed Balls and wife Yvette Cooper “flipped” the designation of their second home to three different properties within two years. Balls , the Schools Secretary, also attempted to claim £33 for poppy wreaths

 

Margaret Beckett made a £600 claim for hanging baskets and pot plants

 

Hilary Benn claimed only £42,113 on his second homes allowance in four years. Faces questions over party funding after it emerged he paid rent to the Labour Party from expenses. Claimed for party political propaganda

 

Liz Blackman went on last-minute shopping sprees before the end of each financial year, in an apparent attempt to make sure she claimed as close to maximum expenses as possible

 

Tony Blair re-mortgaged his constituency home and claimed almost a third of the interest around the time he was buying another property in London

 

Hazel Blears did not pay capital gains tax on a property she sold despite having told the Commons authorities it was her second home. She has since agreed to paid the tax but denied any wrongdoing. Claimed the costs of accountancy advice using expenses intended to fund their parliamentary and constituency offices. Bought expensive gadgets. Claimed for party political propaganda

 

Ben Bradshaw used his allowance to pay the mortgage interest on a flat he owned jointly with his boyfriend

 

Kevin Brennan had a £450 television delivered to his family home in Cardiff even though he reclaimed the money back on his London second home allowance

 

Gordon Brown's house swap let the PM claim thousands

 

Nick Brown claimed £18,800, without receipts, in expenses for food over four years amid total expenses of £87,000

 

Russell Brown reclaimed the maximum allowed under the Commons expenses system for his bathroom to be refurbished at his rented designated second home in London

 

Chris Bryant changed second home twice in two years to claim £20,000

 

Andy Burnham had an eight-month battle with the fees office after making a single expenses claim for more than £16,500. Burnham, the Cutlure Secretary, avoided paying tax on a £16,600 property windfall. Claimed for party political propaganda

 

Dawn Butler, the Labour whip, over-claimed £2,600 in rent on her constituency home.

 

Stephen Byers claimed more than £125,000 for repairs and maintenance at a London flat owned outright by his partner, where he lives rent-free

 

Ronnie Campbell claimed a total of £87,729 for furniture for his London flat

 

Ben Chapman deliberately over-claimed for interest on the mortgage of his London house by about £15,000 with the approval of the fees office, documents seen by the Telegraph suggest. He is facing possible suspension from the PLP

 

David Chaytor admits claiming almost £13,000 in interest payments for a mortgage that he had already repaid. He has been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party

 

Michael Clapham submitted a receipt for the pair of glasses bought for his wife

 

David Clelland claimed for the cost of “buying out” his partner’s £45,000 stake in his London flat

 

Harry Cohen claimed thousands of pounds for redecorating his second home before selling it and charging taxpayers £12,000 in stamp duty and fees on a new property

 

Michael Connarty sold some of the contents of his London home to Jim Devine, a close colleague, before charging the taxpayer thousands of pounds for goods delivered to addresses in Scotland

 

Yvette Cooper and husband Ed Balls “flipped” the designation of their second home to three different properties within two years. Cooper bought expensive gadgets and claimed for party political propaganda

 

Jim Cunningham shunned the opportunity to by furniture and his expenses were in the bottom 40 of any MP

 

Tam Dalyell attempted to claim £18,000 for bookcases two months before he retired as an MP

 

Alistair Darling's stamp duty was paid by the public. Claimed the costs of accountancy advice using expenses intended to fund their parliamentary and constituency offices. Claimed for party political propaganda

 

Ian Davidson paid £5,500 to a family friend to renovate his flat and then took him shooting with members of the House of Lords

 

Tory defector Quentin Davies repaired window frames at his18th-century mansion, charging £10,000 to expenses

 

Jim Devine bought Michael Connarty's furniture on expenses

 

David Drew used to own a home in London but decided to forgo it in favour of staying in hotels while in the capital

 

Angela Eagle claimed just £155 a month mortgage interest on her second home for a period and even underclaimed for council tax

 

Maria Eagle claimed thousands of pounds on refurbishing a bathroom at one of her flats just months before switching her designated second home to a property with a higher mortgage

 

Natascha Engel went on a shopping spree within months of being elected, spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash

 

Frank Field claimed just £44,338 on his second home allowance between 2004 and 2008

 

Michael Fallon claimed £8,300 too much in expenses for the mortgage on his second home.

 

Caroline Flint claimed £14,000 for fees for new flat

 

Barbara Follett used £25,000 of taxpayers' money to pay for private security patrols at her home

 

Neil Gerrard made no claims against the second home allowance

 

Ian Gibson claimed almost £80,000 in four years for mortgage interest and bills on a London flat which was the main home of his daughter

 

Linda Gilroy said that she was paying back £1,891

 

Paul Goggins, the Northern Ireland Minister, claimed almost £45,000 for a "second home", while a friend lived there rent-free

 

Helen Goodman claimed for a week's stay in a cottage in her constituency over a bank holiday

 

Mike Hall claimed thousands of pounds in expenses for the cost of cleaners, cleaning products and laundry bills for his London home

 

Patrick Hall's second home costs were a modest half of the total allowance

 

Fabian Hamilton declared his mother’s London house as his main residence while over-charging the taxpayer by thousands of pounds for a mortgage on his family home in Leeds

 

Harriet Harman hired Scarlett MccGwire for “consultancy” services on the public purse. Claimed for party political propaganda. Bought expensive gadgets.Claimed for party political propaganda

 

Jimmy Hood used his second homes allowance to claim up to £1,000 per month without providing receipts

 

Geoff Hoon established a property empire worth £1.7 million after claiming taxpayer-funded expenses for at least two properties. He also did not pay capital gains tax on the sale of his London home in 2006. Claimed the costs of accountancy advice using expenses intended to fund their parliamentary and constituency offices. Bought expensive gadgets

 

Phil Hope spent more than £10,000 in one year refurbishing a small London flat. He has promised to pay back £41,000 to the taxpayer

 

Kelvin Hopkins claims just a fraction of the available second-home allowance by taking the train to Westminster from his home town

 

David Howarth has not made any claims on his second home allowance since 2004/05

 

John Hutton faces questions over party funding after it emerged he paid rent to the Labour Party from expenses. Spent taxpayers’ money advertising at football and rugby league matches. Used his office expenses to pay for a degree studied by a member of his staff

 

Glenda Jackson did not claim on her second homes allowance between 2004 and 2008

 

Brian Jenkins claims little or no mortgage interest for his property in London

 

Alan Johnson claimed just £43,596 for his second home in 2004-8

 

Diana Johnson claimed nearly £1,000 to cover the cost of hiring an architect for a decorating project at her second home

 

Helen Jones claimed £87,647 in second home allowances for her London flat between 2004 and 2008

 

Gerald Kaufman charged the taxpayer £1,851 for a rug he imported from a New York antiques centre and tried to claim £8,865 for a television

 

Alan and Ann Keen claimed almost £40,000 a year on a central London flat although their family home was less than 10 miles away

 

Ruth Kelly has claimed more than £31,000 to redecorate and furnish her designated second home in the past five years. She also claimed thousands of pounds to pay for flood damage at her home, despite having a building insurance policy

 

Fraser Kemp made repeat purchases of household items over the space of several weeks

 

David Kidney said he was were paying back £2,450

 

David Lepper he was placed 545th out of 645 MPs in 2007-08, claiming only £11,175 of his second home allowance

 

Tom Levitt agrees the fees office was right to reject a claim of £16.50 for a Remberance Sunday wreath

 

Bob Laxton insisted he was 'too busy' to shop around when he attempted to claim £1,049 for a TV

 

Ian Lucas made £45,000 profit when he sold a London flat on which he had claimed second home expenses

 

Khalid Mahmood enjoyed nine nights with his girlfriend at a luxury London hotel, costing the taxpayer £175 a night

 

Sarah McCarthy-Fry, a junior minister, tried to claim a pair of £100 hair straighteners on her parliamentary expenses

 

Lord Mandelson faces questions over the timing of his house claim which came after he had announced he would step down

 

Fiona MacTaggart claimed just £3,392 on her second homes allowance in 2007/08

 

Shahid Malik claimed £66,000 on his second property while paying less than £100 a week for his main house. He has resigned as justice minister pending an investigation

 

Judy Mallaber rarely claims for food

 

Bob Marshall-Andrews claimed £118,000 for expenses at his second home, including stereo equipment, extensive redecoration and a pair of Kenyan carpets.

 

Gordon Marsdon claimed just £9,739 on his second homes allowance in 2007/08

 

Michael Martin used taxpayers' money to pay for chauffeur-driven cars to his local job centre and Celtic's football ground

 

Tommy McAvoy claimed £86,565 in second home allowances between 2004 and 2008 for his flat in Westminster

 

Steve McCabe over-claimed on his mortgage by £4,059 during the course of two years

 

Sarah McCarthy-Fry tried to claim a pair of £100 hair straighteners on her parliamentary expenses.

 

Ian McCartney spent £16,000 furnishing and decorating his designated second home but paid the money back two years later. McCartney, a former Labour Party chairman, will not stand at general election, citing "health reasons"

 

Michael Meacher claimed just £32,825 on his second homes allowance between 2004-8

 

David Miliband's spending was queried by his gardener. Faces questions over party funding after it emerged he paid rent to the Labour Party from expenses. Claimed for party political propaganda

 

Ed Miliband claimed just £7,670 on his second home allowance in 2007/08. Hired Scarlett MccGwire for “consultancy” services on the public purse

 

Austin Mitchell claimed for security shutters, ginger crinkle biscuits and the cost of reupholstering his sofa. He has offered to donate his old sofa coverings to make amends

 

Laura Moffatt has given up a riverside apartment she used to pay for on her parliamentary expenses in favour of a camp bed in her House of Commons office.

 

Madeleine Moon spent thousands in furniture shops near her Welsh constituency house and claimed the money back on her London designated second home allowance

 

Margaret Moran switched the address of her second home, allowing her to claim £22,500 to fix a dry rot problem. She has agreed to repay the money while insisting she acted within the rules. She could face an investigation for allegedly using Commons stationery to keep neighbours away from her fourth property in Spain. She also billed the taxpayer for nearly £4,000 in legal fees in settling a dispute with one of her staff and faces a challenge at the next general election from Esther Rantzen .

 

Julie Morgan makes do with a small flat in south London costing the taxpayer less than 10,000 a year

 

Elliot Morley claimed parliamentary expenses of more than £16,000 for a mortgage which had already been paid off

 

George Mudie claimed £62,000 in expenses for his London flat in four years, while having a mortgage of just £26,000

 

Chris Mullin watches a 30-year-old black and white television at his second home and claims the £45 cost of the licence on his expenses

 

Paul Murphy had a new plumbing system installed at taxpayers’ expense because the water in the old one was “too hot”

 

John Prescott claimed for two lavatory seats in two years

 

James Purnell avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale of his London flat after claiming expenses for accountancy advice. Bought expensive gadgets. Spent taxpayers’ money advertising at football and rugby league matches

 

John Randall was entitled to a second home allowance but instead claimed the less lucrative London subsidy

 

John Reid used his allowance to pay for slotted spoons, an ironing board and a glittery loo seat

 

Geoffrey Robinson has not made any claims on his second home allowance since 2004/05

 

Joan Ryan spent thousands of pounds on repairs and decorations at her constituency home before switching her designated second home to a London property

 

Martin Salter has not made any claims on his second home allowance since 2004/05

 

Jim Sheridan used his allowances to reclaim the cost of a 42-inch plasma TV, leather bed and hundreds of pounds worth of furniture

 

Caroline Spelman made no claims for mortgage interest or rent on her second home in 2006-07 and 2007-08

 

Andrew Smith spent more than £30,000 of taxpayers’ money giving his house a makeover

 

Angela Smith sought payment for four beds for a one-bedroom London flat.

 

Jacqui Smith claimed the costs of accountancy advice using expenses intended to fund their parliamentary and constituency offices. Bought expensive gadgets

 

Jack Straw only paid half the amount of council tax that he claimed on his parliamentary allowances over four years but later rectified the over-claim. Used his office expenses to pay for a degree studied by a member of his staff

 

Mark Todd defended his expenses claims as "essentials" but included a marble table and an espresso coffee machine

 

Don Touhig spent thousands of pounds redecorating his constituency home before “flipping” his allowance to a flat in London

 

Kitty Ussher asked the Commons authorities to fund extensive refurbishment of her Victorian family home

 

Keith Vaz claimed £75,500 for a second flat near Parliament even though he already lived just 12 miles from Westminster

 

Claire Ward, the MP responsible for keeping the Queen informed about Parliament, submitted monthly expense claims for hundreds of pounds of "petty cash" while claiming maximum allowances.

 

Tom Watson and Iain Wright spent £100,000 of taxpayers' money on the London flat they once shared

 

Malcolm Wicks was entitled to claim for a second home allowance because he is an outer London MP but instead claimed for the more moderate London subsidy of £2,812

 

David Winnick claimed just £36,354 on his second homes allowance between 2004-8

 

Alan Williams claimed just £5,221 on his second homes allowance in 2007/08

 

Shaun Woodward received £100,000 to help pay mortgage

 

Phil Woolas submitted receipts including comics, nappies and women's clothing as part of his claims for food

 

Iain Wright and Tom Watson spent £100,000 of taxpayers' money on the London flat they once shared

 

Derek Wyatt billed 75p for scotch eggs

 

# www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5349413/...

 

Many individuals listen to the term "house enhancement" and also promptly get to for the Yellow Pages. There are great deals of diy techniques to house enhancement.

 

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Looking for a method to enhance your house? Rather of employing an indoor developer to embellish your house for you, purchase house design publications and also publications to utilize as motivation.

 

If you have any type of upseting views that you want to hide, think about placing some plants or blossoms on your home window sill or in a home window box. If you would certainly such as to take extreme steps in hiding your upseting sight, plant some bushes or big trees in front of your home window.

 

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Many individuals listen to the term "house enhancement" and also promptly get to for the Yellow Pages. There are great deals of diy techniques to house enhancement. When making house enhancements, it is essential to inspect all of your taps for leakages. When it comes to house enhancement, be certain to evaluate the expense of buying CFL light bulbs for your house. Rather of employing an indoor developer to embellish your house for you, purchase house design publications and also publications to utilize as motivation. interiordesign.com.ua/blog/

The Holsten Gate ("Holstein Tor", later "Holstentor") is a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This Brick Gothic construction is one of the relics of Lübeck’s medieval city fortifications and the only remaining city gate, except for the Citadel Gate ("Burgtor"). Because its two round towers and arched entrance are so well known it is regarded today as a symbol of this German city, and together with the old city centre (Altstadt) of Lübeck it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

 

APPEARIANCE

The Holsten Gate is composed of a south tower, a north tower and a central building. It has four floors, except for the ground floor of the central block, where the gate’s passageway is located. The side facing west (away from the city) is called the “field side”, the side facing the city the “city side”. The two towers and the central block appear as one construction when viewed from the city side. On the field side, the three units can be clearly differentiated. Here the two towers form semicircles which at their widest point extend 3.5 metres beyond the central block. The towers have conical roofs; the central block has a pediment.

 

PASSAGEWAY & INSCRIPTIONS

The passageway once had two gates on the field side, which have not survived. A portcullis installed in 1934 does not correspond to the original security installations. Instead, there was once a so-called "pipe organ" at this location, with individual bars which could be lowered separately rather than together as a set. Thus it was possible to first lower all but one or two rods, leaving a small gap for their own men to slip through later. There is an inscription over the passageway on both the city side and the field side.

 

On the city side it reads, “SPQL” and is framed by the years 1477 and 1871, the former being the supposed date of construction (the correct date is, however, now known to be 1478), the latter being the date of the gate’s restoration and the founding of the German Reich. This inscription was modeled on the Roman “SPQR” (Latin populusque Senatus Romanus - the Senate and People of Rome) and stands for Senatus populusque Lubecensis. It was, however, affixed only in 1871. There was previously no inscription at this location. It would also have been pointless, since the view of the lower parts of the Holsten Gate from the city side was obscured by high walls.

 

There is another inscription on the field side. The text is “concordia domi foris pax” (“harmony within, peace without”). This inscription is also from 1871 and is a shortened form of the text which had previously been on the (not preserved) foregate: “Concordia domi et pax foris sane res est omnium pulcherrima” (“Harmony within and peace without are indeed the greatest good of all”; see “Outer Holsten Gate” below).

 

FORTIFICATIONS ON THE FIELD SIDE

Functionally, the field and the city side have very different designs. While the city side is richly decorated with windows, this would be inappropriate on the field side considering the possibility of, combat situations. On the field side there are accordingly only a few small windows. In addition, the walls are interspersed with embrasures. Also, the wall thickness on the field side is greater than on the city side: 3.5 metres compared to less than 1 metre. The reasoning during construction may have been to be able to quickly destroy the gate from the city side in an emergency, so that it would not fall into enemy hands as a bulwark.

 

The loopholes and the openings of the gun chambers are directed toward the field side. In each tower there were three gun chambers each on the ground, first and second floors. Those on the ground floor have not been preserved. Since the building has subsided over the centuries, they are now 50 centimetres below ground level, and even below the new flooring. On the first upper storey there are, in addition to the aforementioned chambers, two slits for small guns which were above and between the three chambers. There are also small openings on the third upper storey with forward- and downward-directed slits for firing small arms.

 

The central block has no loopholes. The windows above the passage were also designed for dousing invaders with pitch or boiling water.

 

ORNAMENTATION

The most striking nonfunctional embellishments are two so-called terra-cotta stripes which encircle the building. These consist of individual tiles, most of which are square with sides of 55 centimetres. Each tile bears one of three different ornaments: either an arrangement of four heraldic lilies, a symmetrical lattice, or a representation of four thistle leaves. There is no apparent order to these recurring symbols, but each group of eight tiles is always followed by a tile with a different design. It has the form of a heraldic shield and bears either the Lübeck heraldic eagle or a stylized tree. These shields are flanked by two male figures who function as bearers of a coat of arms.

 

The terra-cotta stripes were repaired during restoration work between 1865 and 1870. Only three of the original tiles are preserved as museum specimens. The new tiles approximate the former design, although liberties were taken during the restoration. For example, the design of the heraldic eagle motif is by no means a reflection of the original.

 

The pediment was also not faithfully restored, but this is not the fault of the restorers, since in the 19th century it had long been gone and its original appearance was unknown. An old view on an altarpiece in the Lübeck fortress monastery shows a Holsten Gate with five pediment towers. But since this picture shows the Holsten Gate in the middle of a fantasy landscape of mountains and forests the credibility of the representation is disputed. Today, three towers crown the pediment, but they are visible only from the city side.

 

INTERIOR

Both tower interiors have the same design. The ground floor and first upper story have the highest ceilings, while the floors above are much lower. Two narrow spiral staircases wind their way upwards, in each case between the central building and the adjacent tower. On each floor corridors connect the rooms of the central block with tower rooms at the same level. The ceiling of the north tower’s second floor has been removed, so that today the second and third upper storeys there share a common space. This change dates from 1934 and does not reflect the original situation.

 

The gun chambers are in front of the loopholes. Today there are guns in the chambers of the second floor, but they are not originals and were placed there at a late date. Above the gun chambers are hooks from which chains were suspended and attached to the cannon to cushion the recoil after firing. The higher gun chambers of the first upper storey could only be accessed with ladders.

 

HISTORY

The rich and wealthy Hanseatic city of Lübeck felt the need in the course of the centuries to protect itself from outside threats with ever stronger walls and fortifications. Three gates gave access to the city: the Citadel Gate in the north, Mill Gate in the south, and the Holsten Gate in the west. To the east, the city was protected by the dammed Wakenitz River. Here, the less martial Hüxter Gate led out of the city.

 

These city gates were initially simple gates which were repeatedly strengthened over time so that they eventually all had an outer, middle and inner gate. Today, only fragments remain of these ancient city gates. The gate now known as the Citadel Gate is the former Interior Citadel Gate; the Middle and Outer Citadel Gates no longer exist. All three Mill Gates have completely disappeared. The gate now known as the Holsten Gate is the former Middle Holsten Gate; there was also an (older) Inner Holsten Gate, an Outer Holsten Gate, and even a fourth gate, known as the Second Outer Holsten Gate. So the history of the Holsten Gate is actually the history of four consecutive gates, although only one of them is left.

 

The names of the individual gates changed as a matter of course as their components emerged and disappeared. The Middle Holsten Gate was once the Outer Holsten Gate before the gates on either side were constructed. Still today there is a great deal of confusion about the names as one studies the historical record. The four gates and their history are described below.

 

INNER HOLSTEN GATE

The oldest Holsten Gate guarded the nearby banks of the Trave River. One had to leave the city through this gate in order to get to the Holsten Bridge, which crossed the river. It is not known when a gate was erected here for the first time. The Holsten Bridge was first mentioned in a 1216 deed signed by the king of Denmark. It is likely that already at that time there was a gate and a city wall along the Trave River. The designations “Holsten Bridge” (and “Holsten Gate”) are simply a consequence of the fact that the city’s western exit was in the direction of Holstein.

 

Historical records indicate that the Holsten Bridge and Holsten Gate were renewed in 1376. There is good evidence for the appearance of the gate erected at that time in a woodcut of a view of the city of Lübeck produced by Elias Diebel. Although this is a city view from the eastern, Wakenitz side of the old inner city hill, the artist has folded out essential parts of the gate’s west side, so that they too become visible. It was a rectangular tower with a wooden gallery on the upper part.

 

At an unknown date in the 17th century, the Inner Holsten Gate was replaced by a smaller, simple half-timbered gate - possibly because no point was seen in having a strong inner gate in light of the strong outer fortifications which had been erected in the meantime. The Inner Holsten Tor was connected to the dwelling of the tollkeeper, who guarded the access to the city at this location.

 

The half-timbered gate was replaced by a simple iron gate in 1794, which in turn was demolished in 1828, together with the tollkeeper’s house and the city wall along the Trave River.

 

It is likely that there was a gate also on the opposite bank of the Trave at an early date. But nothing is known of its appearance. If it existed, it was torn down before or after the construction of the Middle Holsten Gate.

 

MIDDLE HOLSTEN GATE

In the 15th century the entire gate construction was considered to be inadequate. The proliferation of firearms and canon made stronger fortifications necessary. It was decided to build another gate - the Outer Holsten Gate, later known as the Middle Holsten Gate and today only as the Holsten Gate. Funding was secured by a legacy of the councilman John Broling amounting to 4,000 Lübeck marks. In 1464 the city’s architect, Hinrich Helmstede, began construction, which was completed in 1478. It was erected on a seven-metre high hill raised for the purpose. Already during the construction period this foundation proved to be unstable. The south tower sagged because of the marshy ground and already during ongoing constructions attempts were made to compensate for its inclination.

 

OUTER HOLSTENN GATE

The exterior Holsten Gate was also known as the Renaissance Gate, the Foregate or the Crooked Gate. It was constructed in the 16th century when a wall was built west of the Middle Holsten Gate into which a gate was inserted. The outer Holsten Gate was completed in 1585. The new gate obstructed the view of the Middle Holsten Gate since its eastern exit was located only 20 metres from that construction. A walled area known as the Zwinger was created between the two gates.

 

Its foregate was small compared with the approximately one hundred years older Middle Holsten Gate, but much more richly decorated on the field side. The city side was by contrast left plain. The Outer Holsten Gate was the first gate to bear an inscription. It read, "Pulchra res est pax foris et concordia domi – MDLXXXV" ("It is wonderful to have peace without and harmony within - 1585") and was placed on the city side. It was later moved to the field side and slightly modified ("Concordia domi et foris pax sane res est omnium pulcherrima", "harmony within and peace without are the greatest good of all"). Connected to the gate was the home of the Wall Master, who was responsible for the maintenance of the fortifications.

 

The builder of the Renaissance gate was probably the city architect Hermann von Rode, who designed the front following Dutch prototypes. For example, the Nieuwe Oosterpoort in Hoorn is directly comparable. This gate existed for about 250 years and was in the end sacrificed to the railway; it was demolished in 1853 to make room for the first Lübeck train station and tracks. Today, this station no longer exists either; the present station is located about 500 metres to the west.

 

SECOND OUTER HOLSTEN GATE

At the beginning of the 17th century new city walls were built in front of the city moat, under the supervision of military engineer Johhann von Brüssel. As part of this construction a fourth Holsten Gate was built in 1621. It was completely integranted into the high walls and topped by an octagonal tower. The archways bore the inscriptions “Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos” ( "If God be for us, who can be against us?" on the city side and “sub alis altissimi ( "Under the protection of the Most High" on the field side. This gate was the last of the four Holsten Gates to be constructed and the first to disappear, namely in 1808.

 

DEMOLITION & RESTAURATION IN 19TH CENTURY

In the course of industrialization, the fortifications were considered to be only annoying obstacles. In 1808 the second outer Holsten Gate was demolished, in 1828 the inner Holsten Gate, and in 1853 the outer Holsten Gate. It was then considered to be only as a matter of time before the Middle Holsten Gate, the only remaining of the four gates, would be torn down. Indeed, in 1855, Lübeck citizens petitioned the Senate to finally demolish the remaining gate, since it hindered the extension of the railway facilities. This petition had 683 signatures.

 

However, there was at that time also growing resistance to the destruction of old buildings. Thus August Reichensperger wrote in 1852, “Even Lübeck, once the proud head of the Hanseatic League, does not seem able to endure the reflection of its former glory. It maims, crops and covers up so assiduously that “modern Enlightenment” will soon have nothing to be ashamed of any more”.[2] When King Frederick William IV of Prussia heard of this, he sent Prussia’s then-curator of historic monuments, Ferdinand von Quast, to salvage whatever could be saved.[3]

 

Controversy over the demolition went on for a long time. A decision was made only in 1863 when the Lübeck citizens decided by a majority of just one vote not to demolish the building but to instead extensively restore it. Meanwhile, the gate was in very bad condition, since every year it had sunk a few centimetres further into the ground. The lowest loopholes were already 50 centimetres below ground, and the inclination of the entire gate was beginning to be dangerous. This drastically altered the statics of the building, so that its collapse was feared. The Holsten Gate was thoroughly restored, with work continuing into 1871.

 

Afterwards there was a change in the relationship of the Lübeck population to the Holsten Gate. It was no longer perceived as a troublesome ruin, but as a symbol of a proud past. In 1925, the German Association of Cities made the Holstentor its symbol. As early as 1901, the marzipan manufacturer Niederegger used the Holsten gate in its company trademark. Other Lübeck companies did the same.

 

RESTAURATION IN 1934/36

Since the towers continued to slant and their collapse could still not be ruled out, a second restoration became necessary. This occurred in the years 1933-34, during which the Holsten Gate was stabilized so that it finally stood firm. In this final restoration, reinforced concrete anchors were used to secure the towers, which were girded by iron rings. Changes were, however, also made which did not correspond with the original character of the gate, including the above-mentioned merging of north tower floors. The Nazis turned the Holsten Gate into a museum. It was called the Hall of Honor and Glory, and was supposed to represent Lübeck and German history from the perspective of Nazi ideology.

 

In the second half of the 20th century minor repairs were made to the Holsten Gate which are no longer in line with current standards for architectural conservation.

 

RESTAURATION 2008/06

From March 2005 to December 2006, the Holsten Gate was again restored. The restoration was estimated to cost around one million euros, with 498,000 euros (the originally planned cost) being provided by the German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Possehl Foundation. The remaining costs were primarily covered through donations from individuals, companies and academic institutions. A swastika dating from 1934 was cut out and taken away by unknown parties a few days after the scaffolding was installed for the repairs. It was considered to be the last swastika still remaining on a public building in Germany and was supposed to be concealed with metal sheeting as part of the restoration work. A plate with the date 2006 was put up where the stolen swastika had been to commemorate the completion of restoration work.

 

On 2 December 2006, the Holstentor reopened to the public as part of a light show created by the artist Michael Batz. For safety reasons the gate had been obscured during restoration by a high resolution depiction of the gate before work had begun, printed on scaffolding tarpaulins.

 

THE HOLSTEN GATE TODAY

In 1950 the Holsten Gate again served as a museum, this time for municipal history. Relics from historic Lübeck were presented, the development of medieval Lübeck was shown using models and pictures, and models of the ships of the Hanseatic League and the flagship “Eagle of Lübeck” were exhibited. The features of this museum were also not historically accurate. For example, the museum also included a torture chamber with a dungeon, a rack and other torture devices. But the Holsten Gate had never contained anything like that.

 

The two monumental iron statues of reclining lions placed in an area in front of the Holsten Gate designed by Harry Maasz date from 1823 and are unsigned They are attributed to Christian Daniel Rauch and may possibly have been made with the collaboration of a member of Rauch’s workshop, Th. Kalide (1801-1863). One lion is asleep, the other is awake and attentively regards the other. They were originally placed in front of the house built in 1840 by the Lübeck merchant and art collector John Daniel Jacobj (1798-1847) at Große Petersgrube 18. In 1873 they were placed in front of the Hotel Stadt Hamburg am Klingenberg until its destruction in 1942 during World War II, and only later in front of the Holsten Gate. They are complemented by a bronze statue on the other side of the street, the Striding Antilope, by the sculptor Fritz Behn.

 

The Holsten Gate Museum was modernized in 2002. Not only was the torture chamber removed; all rooms were redesigned according tor a new concept that involved the integration of image and sound documentation. As of 2006, the museum has been managed by the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

 

SURROUNDINGS

The Holsten Gate is located in the Lübeck city wall complex on the main access road connecting the main railway station with the suburb of St. Lorenz and crossing the Puppen Bridge. The Holsten Gate Square (“Holstentorplatz”) is enclosed on one side by a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank; with new construction extending the original Reichsbank building to the rear. On the other side there is the brick expressionist Holsten Gate Hall (“Holstentorhalle”) between the historic salt warehouses and the DGB’s House of Trade Unions (“Gewerkschaftshaus”). This building was altered with funds from the Possehl Foundation to create a rehearsal and teaching facility for Lübeck’s University of Music (“Musikhochschule Lübeck”) was rebuilt. Another pedestrian bridge over the Upper Trave River was completed in spring 2007 to provide a connection the university’s main building complex in the old city centre.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

ON CURRENCIES & POSTAGE STAMPS

The Holsten Gate appears on the 50 DM bank notes produced from 1960 to 1991 and on the German two-euro coin issued in 2006.

 

In 1948 it appeared on the four highest denominations (DM 1, DM 2, DM 3 and DM 5) of the first long-term series of postage stamps in German mark currency, which featured buildings. In 2000 it appeared on the 5 DM and 10 DM postage stamp of another series, "Places of Interest".

 

WIKIPEDIA

My lower back has been hurting since the weekend. It's probably a combination of factors as the cause...added to the fact that I seem to have always carried a bit of a weakness in the area. For some reason, my mind always turns to psychological/energetic reasons for pain as well and I found this at chakraenergy.com:

 

Root or Base Chakra

Colour Association: Red

Sanskit Name: Muladhara

Location: Base of spine, coccyx

Lesson: Survival–The right to exist. Deals with tasks related to the material and physical world. Ability to stand up for oneself and security issues.

Imbalances: Anemia, fatigue, lower back pain, sciatica, depression. Frequent colds or cold hands and cold feet.

Root Stimulants: Physical exercise and restful sleeps, gardening, pottery and clay. Red food and drink. Red gemstones, red clothing, bathing in red, etc. Using red oils such as ylang ylang or sandalwood essential oils.

 

At the entrance to Burj Al Arab looking up to the helicopter pad

 

The Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the third tallest hotel in the world (although 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space). Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280m (920ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to resemble the sail of a ship. It has a helipad near the roof at a height of 210m (689ft) above ground.

 

Visiting

We had booked to have drinks at the Skyview Bar on the 27th floor. As you pass through security and across the private bridge you enter a different world, to the side of the main entrance are a line of white Rolls Royces and that are for staying guests, behind which is a veritable collection of expensive sports cars.

 

Your taxi has hardly come to a stop and people rush to open the doors and help you out. They are smiling and welcome you to the Burj Al Arab. They are also expert at taking pictures with almost any camera.

 

However, nothing can prepare you as you enter the building. From its sleek, minimal exterior, you enter a world of opulence, a mosaic tiered waterfall, a vast aquarium and rich blue and red decorations together with soaring gold columns that rise up from the entrance, there is no doubt you are in the Middle East. Everywhere you look you are overwhelmed by the contrast of the exterior of the building. And then you take the elevator to the 27th floor and again you enter an explosion of colour with ceilings of lime green and blue, deep comfortable chairs and glass side tables.

 

Skyview Bar and Al Muntaha ("The Ultimate"), is located 200m (660ft) on the 27th floor above the Persian Gulf, offering an amazing view of Dubai through the floor to ceiling windows. It is supported by a full cantilever that extends 27m (89ft) from either side of the mast.

 

The drinks list is pages long and thankfully divided into sections depending on the main alcohol ingredient used, and when you book (essential) you are made aware of a minimum spend which includes canapés which were delicious. Staff are extremely knowledge and friendly, without being stuffy and make the whole experience an evening to remember.

main alcohol ingredient used, and when you book (essential) you are made aware of a minimum spend which includes canapés which were delicious. Staff are extremely knowledge and friendly, without being stuffy and make the whole experience an evening to remember.

 

The Holsten Gate ("Holstein Tor", later "Holstentor") is a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This Brick Gothic construction is one of the relics of Lübeck’s medieval city fortifications and the only remaining city gate, except for the Citadel Gate ("Burgtor"). Because its two round towers and arched entrance are so well known it is regarded today as a symbol of this German city, and together with the old city centre (Altstadt) of Lübeck it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

 

APPEARIANCE

The Holsten Gate is composed of a south tower, a north tower and a central building. It has four floors, except for the ground floor of the central block, where the gate’s passageway is located. The side facing west (away from the city) is called the “field side”, the side facing the city the “city side”. The two towers and the central block appear as one construction when viewed from the city side. On the field side, the three units can be clearly differentiated. Here the two towers form semicircles which at their widest point extend 3.5 metres beyond the central block. The towers have conical roofs; the central block has a pediment.

 

PASSAGEWAY & INSCRIPTIONS

The passageway once had two gates on the field side, which have not survived. A portcullis installed in 1934 does not correspond to the original security installations. Instead, there was once a so-called "pipe organ" at this location, with individual bars which could be lowered separately rather than together as a set. Thus it was possible to first lower all but one or two rods, leaving a small gap for their own men to slip through later. There is an inscription over the passageway on both the city side and the field side.

 

On the city side it reads, “SPQL” and is framed by the years 1477 and 1871, the former being the supposed date of construction (the correct date is, however, now known to be 1478), the latter being the date of the gate’s restoration and the founding of the German Reich. This inscription was modeled on the Roman “SPQR” (Latin populusque Senatus Romanus - the Senate and People of Rome) and stands for Senatus populusque Lubecensis. It was, however, affixed only in 1871. There was previously no inscription at this location. It would also have been pointless, since the view of the lower parts of the Holsten Gate from the city side was obscured by high walls.

 

There is another inscription on the field side. The text is “concordia domi foris pax” (“harmony within, peace without”). This inscription is also from 1871 and is a shortened form of the text which had previously been on the (not preserved) foregate: “Concordia domi et pax foris sane res est omnium pulcherrima” (“Harmony within and peace without are indeed the greatest good of all”; see “Outer Holsten Gate” below).

 

FORTIFICATIONS ON THE FIELD SIDE

Functionally, the field and the city side have very different designs. While the city side is richly decorated with windows, this would be inappropriate on the field side considering the possibility of, combat situations. On the field side there are accordingly only a few small windows. In addition, the walls are interspersed with embrasures. Also, the wall thickness on the field side is greater than on the city side: 3.5 metres compared to less than 1 metre. The reasoning during construction may have been to be able to quickly destroy the gate from the city side in an emergency, so that it would not fall into enemy hands as a bulwark.

 

The loopholes and the openings of the gun chambers are directed toward the field side. In each tower there were three gun chambers each on the ground, first and second floors. Those on the ground floor have not been preserved. Since the building has subsided over the centuries, they are now 50 centimetres below ground level, and even below the new flooring. On the first upper storey there are, in addition to the aforementioned chambers, two slits for small guns which were above and between the three chambers. There are also small openings on the third upper storey with forward- and downward-directed slits for firing small arms.

 

The central block has no loopholes. The windows above the passage were also designed for dousing invaders with pitch or boiling water.

 

ORNAMENTATION

The most striking nonfunctional embellishments are two so-called terra-cotta stripes which encircle the building. These consist of individual tiles, most of which are square with sides of 55 centimetres. Each tile bears one of three different ornaments: either an arrangement of four heraldic lilies, a symmetrical lattice, or a representation of four thistle leaves. There is no apparent order to these recurring symbols, but each group of eight tiles is always followed by a tile with a different design. It has the form of a heraldic shield and bears either the Lübeck heraldic eagle or a stylized tree. These shields are flanked by two male figures who function as bearers of a coat of arms.

 

The terra-cotta stripes were repaired during restoration work between 1865 and 1870. Only three of the original tiles are preserved as museum specimens. The new tiles approximate the former design, although liberties were taken during the restoration. For example, the design of the heraldic eagle motif is by no means a reflection of the original.

 

The pediment was also not faithfully restored, but this is not the fault of the restorers, since in the 19th century it had long been gone and its original appearance was unknown. An old view on an altarpiece in the Lübeck fortress monastery shows a Holsten Gate with five pediment towers. But since this picture shows the Holsten Gate in the middle of a fantasy landscape of mountains and forests the credibility of the representation is disputed. Today, three towers crown the pediment, but they are visible only from the city side.

 

INTERIOR

Both tower interiors have the same design. The ground floor and first upper story have the highest ceilings, while the floors above are much lower. Two narrow spiral staircases wind their way upwards, in each case between the central building and the adjacent tower. On each floor corridors connect the rooms of the central block with tower rooms at the same level. The ceiling of the north tower’s second floor has been removed, so that today the second and third upper storeys there share a common space. This change dates from 1934 and does not reflect the original situation.

 

The gun chambers are in front of the loopholes. Today there are guns in the chambers of the second floor, but they are not originals and were placed there at a late date. Above the gun chambers are hooks from which chains were suspended and attached to the cannon to cushion the recoil after firing. The higher gun chambers of the first upper storey could only be accessed with ladders.

 

HISTORY

The rich and wealthy Hanseatic city of Lübeck felt the need in the course of the centuries to protect itself from outside threats with ever stronger walls and fortifications. Three gates gave access to the city: the Citadel Gate in the north, Mill Gate in the south, and the Holsten Gate in the west. To the east, the city was protected by the dammed Wakenitz River. Here, the less martial Hüxter Gate led out of the city.

 

These city gates were initially simple gates which were repeatedly strengthened over time so that they eventually all had an outer, middle and inner gate. Today, only fragments remain of these ancient city gates. The gate now known as the Citadel Gate is the former Interior Citadel Gate; the Middle and Outer Citadel Gates no longer exist. All three Mill Gates have completely disappeared. The gate now known as the Holsten Gate is the former Middle Holsten Gate; there was also an (older) Inner Holsten Gate, an Outer Holsten Gate, and even a fourth gate, known as the Second Outer Holsten Gate. So the history of the Holsten Gate is actually the history of four consecutive gates, although only one of them is left.

 

The names of the individual gates changed as a matter of course as their components emerged and disappeared. The Middle Holsten Gate was once the Outer Holsten Gate before the gates on either side were constructed. Still today there is a great deal of confusion about the names as one studies the historical record. The four gates and their history are described below.

 

INNER HOLSTEN GATE

The oldest Holsten Gate guarded the nearby banks of the Trave River. One had to leave the city through this gate in order to get to the Holsten Bridge, which crossed the river. It is not known when a gate was erected here for the first time. The Holsten Bridge was first mentioned in a 1216 deed signed by the king of Denmark. It is likely that already at that time there was a gate and a city wall along the Trave River. The designations “Holsten Bridge” (and “Holsten Gate”) are simply a consequence of the fact that the city’s western exit was in the direction of Holstein.

 

Historical records indicate that the Holsten Bridge and Holsten Gate were renewed in 1376. There is good evidence for the appearance of the gate erected at that time in a woodcut of a view of the city of Lübeck produced by Elias Diebel. Although this is a city view from the eastern, Wakenitz side of the old inner city hill, the artist has folded out essential parts of the gate’s west side, so that they too become visible. It was a rectangular tower with a wooden gallery on the upper part.

 

At an unknown date in the 17th century, the Inner Holsten Gate was replaced by a smaller, simple half-timbered gate - possibly because no point was seen in having a strong inner gate in light of the strong outer fortifications which had been erected in the meantime. The Inner Holsten Tor was connected to the dwelling of the tollkeeper, who guarded the access to the city at this location.

 

The half-timbered gate was replaced by a simple iron gate in 1794, which in turn was demolished in 1828, together with the tollkeeper’s house and the city wall along the Trave River.

 

It is likely that there was a gate also on the opposite bank of the Trave at an early date. But nothing is known of its appearance. If it existed, it was torn down before or after the construction of the Middle Holsten Gate.

 

MIDDLE HOLSTEN GATE

In the 15th century the entire gate construction was considered to be inadequate. The proliferation of firearms and canon made stronger fortifications necessary. It was decided to build another gate - the Outer Holsten Gate, later known as the Middle Holsten Gate and today only as the Holsten Gate. Funding was secured by a legacy of the councilman John Broling amounting to 4,000 Lübeck marks. In 1464 the city’s architect, Hinrich Helmstede, began construction, which was completed in 1478. It was erected on a seven-metre high hill raised for the purpose. Already during the construction period this foundation proved to be unstable. The south tower sagged because of the marshy ground and already during ongoing constructions attempts were made to compensate for its inclination.

 

OUTER HOLSTENN GATE

The exterior Holsten Gate was also known as the Renaissance Gate, the Foregate or the Crooked Gate. It was constructed in the 16th century when a wall was built west of the Middle Holsten Gate into which a gate was inserted. The outer Holsten Gate was completed in 1585. The new gate obstructed the view of the Middle Holsten Gate since its eastern exit was located only 20 metres from that construction. A walled area known as the Zwinger was created between the two gates.

 

Its foregate was small compared with the approximately one hundred years older Middle Holsten Gate, but much more richly decorated on the field side. The city side was by contrast left plain. The Outer Holsten Gate was the first gate to bear an inscription. It read, "Pulchra res est pax foris et concordia domi – MDLXXXV" ("It is wonderful to have peace without and harmony within - 1585") and was placed on the city side. It was later moved to the field side and slightly modified ("Concordia domi et foris pax sane res est omnium pulcherrima", "harmony within and peace without are the greatest good of all"). Connected to the gate was the home of the Wall Master, who was responsible for the maintenance of the fortifications.

 

The builder of the Renaissance gate was probably the city architect Hermann von Rode, who designed the front following Dutch prototypes. For example, the Nieuwe Oosterpoort in Hoorn is directly comparable. This gate existed for about 250 years and was in the end sacrificed to the railway; it was demolished in 1853 to make room for the first Lübeck train station and tracks. Today, this station no longer exists either; the present station is located about 500 metres to the west.

 

SECOND OUTER HOLSTEN GATE

At the beginning of the 17th century new city walls were built in front of the city moat, under the supervision of military engineer Johhann von Brüssel. As part of this construction a fourth Holsten Gate was built in 1621. It was completely integranted into the high walls and topped by an octagonal tower. The archways bore the inscriptions “Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos” ( "If God be for us, who can be against us?" on the city side and “sub alis altissimi ( "Under the protection of the Most High" on the field side. This gate was the last of the four Holsten Gates to be constructed and the first to disappear, namely in 1808.

 

DEMOLITION & RESTAURATION IN 19TH CENTURY

In the course of industrialization, the fortifications were considered to be only annoying obstacles. In 1808 the second outer Holsten Gate was demolished, in 1828 the inner Holsten Gate, and in 1853 the outer Holsten Gate. It was then considered to be only as a matter of time before the Middle Holsten Gate, the only remaining of the four gates, would be torn down. Indeed, in 1855, Lübeck citizens petitioned the Senate to finally demolish the remaining gate, since it hindered the extension of the railway facilities. This petition had 683 signatures.

 

However, there was at that time also growing resistance to the destruction of old buildings. Thus August Reichensperger wrote in 1852, “Even Lübeck, once the proud head of the Hanseatic League, does not seem able to endure the reflection of its former glory. It maims, crops and covers up so assiduously that “modern Enlightenment” will soon have nothing to be ashamed of any more”.[2] When King Frederick William IV of Prussia heard of this, he sent Prussia’s then-curator of historic monuments, Ferdinand von Quast, to salvage whatever could be saved.[3]

 

Controversy over the demolition went on for a long time. A decision was made only in 1863 when the Lübeck citizens decided by a majority of just one vote not to demolish the building but to instead extensively restore it. Meanwhile, the gate was in very bad condition, since every year it had sunk a few centimetres further into the ground. The lowest loopholes were already 50 centimetres below ground, and the inclination of the entire gate was beginning to be dangerous. This drastically altered the statics of the building, so that its collapse was feared. The Holsten Gate was thoroughly restored, with work continuing into 1871.

 

Afterwards there was a change in the relationship of the Lübeck population to the Holsten Gate. It was no longer perceived as a troublesome ruin, but as a symbol of a proud past. In 1925, the German Association of Cities made the Holstentor its symbol. As early as 1901, the marzipan manufacturer Niederegger used the Holsten gate in its company trademark. Other Lübeck companies did the same.

 

RESTAURATION IN 1934/36

Since the towers continued to slant and their collapse could still not be ruled out, a second restoration became necessary. This occurred in the years 1933-34, during which the Holsten Gate was stabilized so that it finally stood firm. In this final restoration, reinforced concrete anchors were used to secure the towers, which were girded by iron rings. Changes were, however, also made which did not correspond with the original character of the gate, including the above-mentioned merging of north tower floors. The Nazis turned the Holsten Gate into a museum. It was called the Hall of Honor and Glory, and was supposed to represent Lübeck and German history from the perspective of Nazi ideology.

 

In the second half of the 20th century minor repairs were made to the Holsten Gate which are no longer in line with current standards for architectural conservation.

 

RESTAURATION 2008/06

From March 2005 to December 2006, the Holsten Gate was again restored. The restoration was estimated to cost around one million euros, with 498,000 euros (the originally planned cost) being provided by the German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Possehl Foundation. The remaining costs were primarily covered through donations from individuals, companies and academic institutions. A swastika dating from 1934 was cut out and taken away by unknown parties a few days after the scaffolding was installed for the repairs. It was considered to be the last swastika still remaining on a public building in Germany and was supposed to be concealed with metal sheeting as part of the restoration work. A plate with the date 2006 was put up where the stolen swastika had been to commemorate the completion of restoration work.

 

On 2 December 2006, the Holstentor reopened to the public as part of a light show created by the artist Michael Batz. For safety reasons the gate had been obscured during restoration by a high resolution depiction of the gate before work had begun, printed on scaffolding tarpaulins.

 

THE HOLSTEN GATE TODAY

In 1950 the Holsten Gate again served as a museum, this time for municipal history. Relics from historic Lübeck were presented, the development of medieval Lübeck was shown using models and pictures, and models of the ships of the Hanseatic League and the flagship “Eagle of Lübeck” were exhibited. The features of this museum were also not historically accurate. For example, the museum also included a torture chamber with a dungeon, a rack and other torture devices. But the Holsten Gate had never contained anything like that.

 

The two monumental iron statues of reclining lions placed in an area in front of the Holsten Gate designed by Harry Maasz date from 1823 and are unsigned They are attributed to Christian Daniel Rauch and may possibly have been made with the collaboration of a member of Rauch’s workshop, Th. Kalide (1801-1863). One lion is asleep, the other is awake and attentively regards the other. They were originally placed in front of the house built in 1840 by the Lübeck merchant and art collector John Daniel Jacobj (1798-1847) at Große Petersgrube 18. In 1873 they were placed in front of the Hotel Stadt Hamburg am Klingenberg until its destruction in 1942 during World War II, and only later in front of the Holsten Gate. They are complemented by a bronze statue on the other side of the street, the Striding Antilope, by the sculptor Fritz Behn.

 

The Holsten Gate Museum was modernized in 2002. Not only was the torture chamber removed; all rooms were redesigned according tor a new concept that involved the integration of image and sound documentation. As of 2006, the museum has been managed by the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

 

SURROUNDINGS

The Holsten Gate is located in the Lübeck city wall complex on the main access road connecting the main railway station with the suburb of St. Lorenz and crossing the Puppen Bridge. The Holsten Gate Square (“Holstentorplatz”) is enclosed on one side by a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank; with new construction extending the original Reichsbank building to the rear. On the other side there is the brick expressionist Holsten Gate Hall (“Holstentorhalle”) between the historic salt warehouses and the DGB’s House of Trade Unions (“Gewerkschaftshaus”). This building was altered with funds from the Possehl Foundation to create a rehearsal and teaching facility for Lübeck’s University of Music (“Musikhochschule Lübeck”) was rebuilt. Another pedestrian bridge over the Upper Trave River was completed in spring 2007 to provide a connection the university’s main building complex in the old city centre.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

ON CURRENCIES & POSTAGE STAMPS

The Holsten Gate appears on the 50 DM bank notes produced from 1960 to 1991 and on the German two-euro coin issued in 2006.

 

In 1948 it appeared on the four highest denominations (DM 1, DM 2, DM 3 and DM 5) of the first long-term series of postage stamps in German mark currency, which featured buildings. In 2000 it appeared on the 5 DM and 10 DM postage stamp of another series, "Places of Interest".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 1978

 

:radio_button: π pics - all photos and collages Ⓒ Peter Callas

 

All photos taken with Pentax 35mm camera with Fujichrome 400 ASA Slide Film in 1978 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

 

Travel advice in the 1970s for Port Moresby was to check into a hotel and don’t leave unless you have to. Reading current advice, this seems to be still warranted.

 

From Wikitravel:

 

wikitravel.org/en/Port_Moresby

 

Stay safe (current advice)

 

Port Moresby is well-known for its crime. Car jackings, muggings and worse are common. There is a great deal of concern about the level of crime and civil disorder and about the ability and willingness of the police to cope. Police officers have been found to be complicit in major crime. Police brutality against minor offenders, complainants and witnesses has been the subject of criticism from the international group Human Rights Watch.

 

It is possible to minimise the chances of becoming a victim of crime by being aware of your surroundings, avoiding places where large groups are gathered and avoiding places where offences are prevalent. The Waigani area, particularly the area around the traffic lights and the Port Moresby Golf Club, has experienced numbers of car jackings.

 

It is always wise to seek the advice of a person familiar with Port Moresby before venturing into unknown areas.

 

Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are still common throughout all of Papua New Guinea. However, you are extremely unlikely to run into one.

 

See also: smartraveller.gov.au/Countries/pacific/Pages/papua_new_gu...

 

Car-jacking and crime hotspots: Car-jacking and robbery can occur throughout PNG at any time. Known high risk areas include the area around Parliament House in the Port Moresby suburb of Waigani, particularly outside of working hours, and along the highway between Lae and Nadzab Airport. Criminals use roadblocks on roads outside of towns to stop and loot vehicles and then attack the occupants. If you intend to travel in these areas, exercise a high degree of caution and consider using a security escort.

 

Travel at night: In major urban centres such as Port Moresby and Lae, it is dangerous to walk the streets, particularly after dark. Travel at night, if essential, should be made by car, with doors locked and windows up. Consider travelling in a convoy or with a security escort. Taxis are not a safe option, especially for women.

The Holsten Gate ("Holstein Tor", later "Holstentor") is a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This Brick Gothic construction is one of the relics of Lübeck’s medieval city fortifications and the only remaining city gate, except for the Citadel Gate ("Burgtor"). Because its two round towers and arched entrance are so well known it is regarded today as a symbol of this German city, and together with the old city centre (Altstadt) of Lübeck it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

 

APPEARIANCE

The Holsten Gate is composed of a south tower, a north tower and a central building. It has four floors, except for the ground floor of the central block, where the gate’s passageway is located. The side facing west (away from the city) is called the “field side”, the side facing the city the “city side”. The two towers and the central block appear as one construction when viewed from the city side. On the field side, the three units can be clearly differentiated. Here the two towers form semicircles which at their widest point extend 3.5 metres beyond the central block. The towers have conical roofs; the central block has a pediment.

 

PASSAGEWAY & INSCRIPTIONS

The passageway once had two gates on the field side, which have not survived. A portcullis installed in 1934 does not correspond to the original security installations. Instead, there was once a so-called "pipe organ" at this location, with individual bars which could be lowered separately rather than together as a set. Thus it was possible to first lower all but one or two rods, leaving a small gap for their own men to slip through later. There is an inscription over the passageway on both the city side and the field side.

 

On the city side it reads, “SPQL” and is framed by the years 1477 and 1871, the former being the supposed date of construction (the correct date is, however, now known to be 1478), the latter being the date of the gate’s restoration and the founding of the German Reich. This inscription was modeled on the Roman “SPQR” (Latin populusque Senatus Romanus - the Senate and People of Rome) and stands for Senatus populusque Lubecensis. It was, however, affixed only in 1871. There was previously no inscription at this location. It would also have been pointless, since the view of the lower parts of the Holsten Gate from the city side was obscured by high walls.

 

There is another inscription on the field side. The text is “concordia domi foris pax” (“harmony within, peace without”). This inscription is also from 1871 and is a shortened form of the text which had previously been on the (not preserved) foregate: “Concordia domi et pax foris sane res est omnium pulcherrima” (“Harmony within and peace without are indeed the greatest good of all”; see “Outer Holsten Gate” below).

 

FORTIFICATIONS ON THE FIELD SIDE

Functionally, the field and the city side have very different designs. While the city side is richly decorated with windows, this would be inappropriate on the field side considering the possibility of, combat situations. On the field side there are accordingly only a few small windows. In addition, the walls are interspersed with embrasures. Also, the wall thickness on the field side is greater than on the city side: 3.5 metres compared to less than 1 metre. The reasoning during construction may have been to be able to quickly destroy the gate from the city side in an emergency, so that it would not fall into enemy hands as a bulwark.

 

The loopholes and the openings of the gun chambers are directed toward the field side. In each tower there were three gun chambers each on the ground, first and second floors. Those on the ground floor have not been preserved. Since the building has subsided over the centuries, they are now 50 centimetres below ground level, and even below the new flooring. On the first upper storey there are, in addition to the aforementioned chambers, two slits for small guns which were above and between the three chambers. There are also small openings on the third upper storey with forward- and downward-directed slits for firing small arms.

 

The central block has no loopholes. The windows above the passage were also designed for dousing invaders with pitch or boiling water.

 

ORNAMENTATION

The most striking nonfunctional embellishments are two so-called terra-cotta stripes which encircle the building. These consist of individual tiles, most of which are square with sides of 55 centimetres. Each tile bears one of three different ornaments: either an arrangement of four heraldic lilies, a symmetrical lattice, or a representation of four thistle leaves. There is no apparent order to these recurring symbols, but each group of eight tiles is always followed by a tile with a different design. It has the form of a heraldic shield and bears either the Lübeck heraldic eagle or a stylized tree. These shields are flanked by two male figures who function as bearers of a coat of arms.

 

The terra-cotta stripes were repaired during restoration work between 1865 and 1870. Only three of the original tiles are preserved as museum specimens. The new tiles approximate the former design, although liberties were taken during the restoration. For example, the design of the heraldic eagle motif is by no means a reflection of the original.

 

The pediment was also not faithfully restored, but this is not the fault of the restorers, since in the 19th century it had long been gone and its original appearance was unknown. An old view on an altarpiece in the Lübeck fortress monastery shows a Holsten Gate with five pediment towers. But since this picture shows the Holsten Gate in the middle of a fantasy landscape of mountains and forests the credibility of the representation is disputed. Today, three towers crown the pediment, but they are visible only from the city side.

 

INTERIOR

Both tower interiors have the same design. The ground floor and first upper story have the highest ceilings, while the floors above are much lower. Two narrow spiral staircases wind their way upwards, in each case between the central building and the adjacent tower. On each floor corridors connect the rooms of the central block with tower rooms at the same level. The ceiling of the north tower’s second floor has been removed, so that today the second and third upper storeys there share a common space. This change dates from 1934 and does not reflect the original situation.

 

The gun chambers are in front of the loopholes. Today there are guns in the chambers of the second floor, but they are not originals and were placed there at a late date. Above the gun chambers are hooks from which chains were suspended and attached to the cannon to cushion the recoil after firing. The higher gun chambers of the first upper storey could only be accessed with ladders.

 

HISTORY

The rich and wealthy Hanseatic city of Lübeck felt the need in the course of the centuries to protect itself from outside threats with ever stronger walls and fortifications. Three gates gave access to the city: the Citadel Gate in the north, Mill Gate in the south, and the Holsten Gate in the west. To the east, the city was protected by the dammed Wakenitz River. Here, the less martial Hüxter Gate led out of the city.

 

These city gates were initially simple gates which were repeatedly strengthened over time so that they eventually all had an outer, middle and inner gate. Today, only fragments remain of these ancient city gates. The gate now known as the Citadel Gate is the former Interior Citadel Gate; the Middle and Outer Citadel Gates no longer exist. All three Mill Gates have completely disappeared. The gate now known as the Holsten Gate is the former Middle Holsten Gate; there was also an (older) Inner Holsten Gate, an Outer Holsten Gate, and even a fourth gate, known as the Second Outer Holsten Gate. So the history of the Holsten Gate is actually the history of four consecutive gates, although only one of them is left.

 

The names of the individual gates changed as a matter of course as their components emerged and disappeared. The Middle Holsten Gate was once the Outer Holsten Gate before the gates on either side were constructed. Still today there is a great deal of confusion about the names as one studies the historical record. The four gates and their history are described below.

 

INNER HOLSTEN GATE

The oldest Holsten Gate guarded the nearby banks of the Trave River. One had to leave the city through this gate in order to get to the Holsten Bridge, which crossed the river. It is not known when a gate was erected here for the first time. The Holsten Bridge was first mentioned in a 1216 deed signed by the king of Denmark. It is likely that already at that time there was a gate and a city wall along the Trave River. The designations “Holsten Bridge” (and “Holsten Gate”) are simply a consequence of the fact that the city’s western exit was in the direction of Holstein.

 

Historical records indicate that the Holsten Bridge and Holsten Gate were renewed in 1376. There is good evidence for the appearance of the gate erected at that time in a woodcut of a view of the city of Lübeck produced by Elias Diebel. Although this is a city view from the eastern, Wakenitz side of the old inner city hill, the artist has folded out essential parts of the gate’s west side, so that they too become visible. It was a rectangular tower with a wooden gallery on the upper part.

 

At an unknown date in the 17th century, the Inner Holsten Gate was replaced by a smaller, simple half-timbered gate - possibly because no point was seen in having a strong inner gate in light of the strong outer fortifications which had been erected in the meantime. The Inner Holsten Tor was connected to the dwelling of the tollkeeper, who guarded the access to the city at this location.

 

The half-timbered gate was replaced by a simple iron gate in 1794, which in turn was demolished in 1828, together with the tollkeeper’s house and the city wall along the Trave River.

 

It is likely that there was a gate also on the opposite bank of the Trave at an early date. But nothing is known of its appearance. If it existed, it was torn down before or after the construction of the Middle Holsten Gate.

 

MIDDLE HOLSTEN GATE

In the 15th century the entire gate construction was considered to be inadequate. The proliferation of firearms and canon made stronger fortifications necessary. It was decided to build another gate - the Outer Holsten Gate, later known as the Middle Holsten Gate and today only as the Holsten Gate. Funding was secured by a legacy of the councilman John Broling amounting to 4,000 Lübeck marks. In 1464 the city’s architect, Hinrich Helmstede, began construction, which was completed in 1478. It was erected on a seven-metre high hill raised for the purpose. Already during the construction period this foundation proved to be unstable. The south tower sagged because of the marshy ground and already during ongoing constructions attempts were made to compensate for its inclination.

 

OUTER HOLSTENN GATE

The exterior Holsten Gate was also known as the Renaissance Gate, the Foregate or the Crooked Gate. It was constructed in the 16th century when a wall was built west of the Middle Holsten Gate into which a gate was inserted. The outer Holsten Gate was completed in 1585. The new gate obstructed the view of the Middle Holsten Gate since its eastern exit was located only 20 metres from that construction. A walled area known as the Zwinger was created between the two gates.

 

Its foregate was small compared with the approximately one hundred years older Middle Holsten Gate, but much more richly decorated on the field side. The city side was by contrast left plain. The Outer Holsten Gate was the first gate to bear an inscription. It read, "Pulchra res est pax foris et concordia domi – MDLXXXV" ("It is wonderful to have peace without and harmony within - 1585") and was placed on the city side. It was later moved to the field side and slightly modified ("Concordia domi et foris pax sane res est omnium pulcherrima", "harmony within and peace without are the greatest good of all"). Connected to the gate was the home of the Wall Master, who was responsible for the maintenance of the fortifications.

 

The builder of the Renaissance gate was probably the city architect Hermann von Rode, who designed the front following Dutch prototypes. For example, the Nieuwe Oosterpoort in Hoorn is directly comparable. This gate existed for about 250 years and was in the end sacrificed to the railway; it was demolished in 1853 to make room for the first Lübeck train station and tracks. Today, this station no longer exists either; the present station is located about 500 metres to the west.

 

SECOND OUTER HOLSTEN GATE

At the beginning of the 17th century new city walls were built in front of the city moat, under the supervision of military engineer Johhann von Brüssel. As part of this construction a fourth Holsten Gate was built in 1621. It was completely integranted into the high walls and topped by an octagonal tower. The archways bore the inscriptions “Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos” ( "If God be for us, who can be against us?" on the city side and “sub alis altissimi ( "Under the protection of the Most High" on the field side. This gate was the last of the four Holsten Gates to be constructed and the first to disappear, namely in 1808.

 

DEMOLITION & RESTAURATION IN 19TH CENTURY

In the course of industrialization, the fortifications were considered to be only annoying obstacles. In 1808 the second outer Holsten Gate was demolished, in 1828 the inner Holsten Gate, and in 1853 the outer Holsten Gate. It was then considered to be only as a matter of time before the Middle Holsten Gate, the only remaining of the four gates, would be torn down. Indeed, in 1855, Lübeck citizens petitioned the Senate to finally demolish the remaining gate, since it hindered the extension of the railway facilities. This petition had 683 signatures.

 

However, there was at that time also growing resistance to the destruction of old buildings. Thus August Reichensperger wrote in 1852, “Even Lübeck, once the proud head of the Hanseatic League, does not seem able to endure the reflection of its former glory. It maims, crops and covers up so assiduously that “modern Enlightenment” will soon have nothing to be ashamed of any more”.[2] When King Frederick William IV of Prussia heard of this, he sent Prussia’s then-curator of historic monuments, Ferdinand von Quast, to salvage whatever could be saved.[3]

 

Controversy over the demolition went on for a long time. A decision was made only in 1863 when the Lübeck citizens decided by a majority of just one vote not to demolish the building but to instead extensively restore it. Meanwhile, the gate was in very bad condition, since every year it had sunk a few centimetres further into the ground. The lowest loopholes were already 50 centimetres below ground, and the inclination of the entire gate was beginning to be dangerous. This drastically altered the statics of the building, so that its collapse was feared. The Holsten Gate was thoroughly restored, with work continuing into 1871.

 

Afterwards there was a change in the relationship of the Lübeck population to the Holsten Gate. It was no longer perceived as a troublesome ruin, but as a symbol of a proud past. In 1925, the German Association of Cities made the Holstentor its symbol. As early as 1901, the marzipan manufacturer Niederegger used the Holsten gate in its company trademark. Other Lübeck companies did the same.

 

RESTAURATION IN 1934/36

Since the towers continued to slant and their collapse could still not be ruled out, a second restoration became necessary. This occurred in the years 1933-34, during which the Holsten Gate was stabilized so that it finally stood firm. In this final restoration, reinforced concrete anchors were used to secure the towers, which were girded by iron rings. Changes were, however, also made which did not correspond with the original character of the gate, including the above-mentioned merging of north tower floors. The Nazis turned the Holsten Gate into a museum. It was called the Hall of Honor and Glory, and was supposed to represent Lübeck and German history from the perspective of Nazi ideology.

 

In the second half of the 20th century minor repairs were made to the Holsten Gate which are no longer in line with current standards for architectural conservation.

 

RESTAURATION 2008/06

From March 2005 to December 2006, the Holsten Gate was again restored. The restoration was estimated to cost around one million euros, with 498,000 euros (the originally planned cost) being provided by the German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Possehl Foundation. The remaining costs were primarily covered through donations from individuals, companies and academic institutions. A swastika dating from 1934 was cut out and taken away by unknown parties a few days after the scaffolding was installed for the repairs. It was considered to be the last swastika still remaining on a public building in Germany and was supposed to be concealed with metal sheeting as part of the restoration work. A plate with the date 2006 was put up where the stolen swastika had been to commemorate the completion of restoration work.

 

On 2 December 2006, the Holstentor reopened to the public as part of a light show created by the artist Michael Batz. For safety reasons the gate had been obscured during restoration by a high resolution depiction of the gate before work had begun, printed on scaffolding tarpaulins.

 

THE HOLSTEN GATE TODAY

In 1950 the Holsten Gate again served as a museum, this time for municipal history. Relics from historic Lübeck were presented, the development of medieval Lübeck was shown using models and pictures, and models of the ships of the Hanseatic League and the flagship “Eagle of Lübeck” were exhibited. The features of this museum were also not historically accurate. For example, the museum also included a torture chamber with a dungeon, a rack and other torture devices. But the Holsten Gate had never contained anything like that.

 

The two monumental iron statues of reclining lions placed in an area in front of the Holsten Gate designed by Harry Maasz date from 1823 and are unsigned They are attributed to Christian Daniel Rauch and may possibly have been made with the collaboration of a member of Rauch’s workshop, Th. Kalide (1801-1863). One lion is asleep, the other is awake and attentively regards the other. They were originally placed in front of the house built in 1840 by the Lübeck merchant and art collector John Daniel Jacobj (1798-1847) at Große Petersgrube 18. In 1873 they were placed in front of the Hotel Stadt Hamburg am Klingenberg until its destruction in 1942 during World War II, and only later in front of the Holsten Gate. They are complemented by a bronze statue on the other side of the street, the Striding Antilope, by the sculptor Fritz Behn.

 

The Holsten Gate Museum was modernized in 2002. Not only was the torture chamber removed; all rooms were redesigned according tor a new concept that involved the integration of image and sound documentation. As of 2006, the museum has been managed by the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

 

SURROUNDINGS

The Holsten Gate is located in the Lübeck city wall complex on the main access road connecting the main railway station with the suburb of St. Lorenz and crossing the Puppen Bridge. The Holsten Gate Square (“Holstentorplatz”) is enclosed on one side by a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank; with new construction extending the original Reichsbank building to the rear. On the other side there is the brick expressionist Holsten Gate Hall (“Holstentorhalle”) between the historic salt warehouses and the DGB’s House of Trade Unions (“Gewerkschaftshaus”). This building was altered with funds from the Possehl Foundation to create a rehearsal and teaching facility for Lübeck’s University of Music (“Musikhochschule Lübeck”) was rebuilt. Another pedestrian bridge over the Upper Trave River was completed in spring 2007 to provide a connection the university’s main building complex in the old city centre.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

ON CURRENCIES & POSTAGE STAMPS

The Holsten Gate appears on the 50 DM bank notes produced from 1960 to 1991 and on the German two-euro coin issued in 2006.

 

In 1948 it appeared on the four highest denominations (DM 1, DM 2, DM 3 and DM 5) of the first long-term series of postage stamps in German mark currency, which featured buildings. In 2000 it appeared on the 5 DM and 10 DM postage stamp of another series, "Places of Interest".

 

WIKIPEDIA

via

 

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Further Reading

 

Oil and Gas Industry:

 

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Manufacturing Industry:

 

Applications within the manufacturing industry: The manufacturing industry is a very demanding and competitive industry. On occasion, large machinery breaks down and consequently requires immediate servicing in order to keep the production facility operating. However, sometimes key service personnel are not able to respond quickly, due to logistical distances, thereby keeping the machinery at full stop and not producing.

 

The Xcaster ST-5000 has been designed with just such situations in mind. By utilizing the Monitor Systems Engineering wireless video conferencing technology, company officials and service agents can quickly via two-way audio and video, determine what the problem is by being able to actually see the faulty equipment directly from the site, back to wherever in the world the service agents are.

 

Through an established wireless network at the site, the Xcaster ST-5000 can quickly and effectively communicate utilizing IP video streaming to establish a true, in field and live mobile video conferencing collaboration session. The key service agents can thus maintain help to trouble-shoot the faulty machinery and in most cases get the machinery rolling again, so that manufacturing routines are not halted, and profits not lost. In this situation, discussion, diagnoses, and error checking can all be done in real-time!

 

In order to allocate more and dedicated service personnel, management and consultants to various operations, the wireless video conferencing systems by Monitor Systems Engineering, can help create a better forum of resources in which to pool from. In the case of heavy machinery, service companies can outfit a designated service person with the ST-5000 wireless video conferencing system, in order to collaborate and discuss a repair with other company service members that might be located anywhere in the world, in order to discuss a proper course of action for a repair.

 

Safety is also a major concern during repair operations. Service personnel can quickly and efficiently, utilize the real-time audio and video features of the Monitor Systems Engineering ST-5000, discuss an effective service routine with managers far away, to ensure that a safe work routine will done.

 

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Energy Industry:

 

Applications within the energy industry: The commercial energy industry is a very important segment of our global community. Large electrical and generating plants play a large role in our everyday lives. And with today’s focus on the environment, new and reusable energy sources are creating the need for technical and communications equipment and solutions that are environmentally friendly as well. The demands for more and simplistic methods to share work is increasing. The requirement for more information from the field is also on the rise.

 

On many occasions, researchers and scientists alike, require technology tools that allow them to discuss and be present in conferences, meetings and industry seminars to share their opinions and findings. The Monitor Systems Engineering line of wireless video conferencing equipment, including the Xcaster ST-5000 and EX-5000 model, allows these individuals to quickly and effective report directly from distant locations. They are able to share visual images of progresses, send high quality images of various findings, as well as discuss solutions and opinions with other scientists and participants around the world.

 

Monitor Systems Engineering with it solid knowledge regarding products designed to operate and function in demanding environments, has created a line of products that include the very latest wireless 802.11n technology and HD video. We have implemented them into a tough and durable package, that offers live mobile video conferencing capabilities, all in High-Definition (HD) quality images.

 

Large power plants rely on a high level of safety and predictability. The increasing number of power plants puts high demand on expertise and skillful understanding on how to address continual concerns on maintaining the optimal running conditions in these large facilities. With the Monitor Systems Engineering line of wireless, mobile video conferencing solutions, technicians, plant project managers and experts can maintain stabile communications from the field to any location in the world.

 

The Monitor Systems Engineering technology bridges distance, creates efficiencies and allows for real-time collaboration, so that knowledge can reach those areas of need.

 

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Shipping and Yard Industry:

 

Applications within Shipping and the Yard Industry: The commercial shipping industry requires precise and dedicated information to insure that cargo and ships adhere to logistical conditions and time requirements. The Xcaster ST5000 and EX5000 mobile video conferencing systems provide a stabile communication platform to provide shipping companies a method to review and check the status of loading and off loading operations and cargo registration in remote ports of the world. Featuring Wi-Fi based technology, crews are able to stream live video, while discussing specific load shipping with agents and customer alike, sometimes located continents away.

 

Ship Yards: are increasing utilizing parts and services from various locations around the world. Actual ship construction can take place in Norway, ship design in the United Kingdom and hull manufacturing in Poland. The key to a successful building platform is to ensure that all these parties are continual updated on work progress and that eventual delays and construction circumstances are reported promptly.

 

Introduction of the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster line of wireless video conferring cameras, has brought about a revolution in information gathering and information allocation to this industry If managers in Norway, require visual inspection of hull assembly in Poland, the Xcaster mobile video equipment can quickly be engaged to walk inside and outside the hull sections in Poland, to provide a real-time, IP video conference to any and all people in the organization, that need this information. By utilizing network video in this regard, all parties save travel time, and can otherwise gain useful knowledge from the comfort of their respected place of work, all without having to leave their office.

 

Transportation and storage: In locating items for transport or discussing load operations on ships in harbors, the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster series of wireless video conferencing technologies, helps transportation agencies by being able communicate with other staff members on or off location. Transport personnel can access files, talk with other crew members and discuss loading operations by way of high quality audio, IP video and data to an array of different groups.

 

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Surveillance Industry:

 

Application within the Surveillance Industry: Dependable surveillance equipment is a critical element of the total security efforts each company or organization puts forward to protect life and property. The ability to view, survey and detect an activity before a crime or intrusion is committed, saves costs towards theft and large scale property damage.

 

As a CCTV manufacturer, Monitor Systems Engineering can afford a company or organization at any level affordable and high-quality wireless CCTV solutions. Monitor Systems Engineering can custom design our security cameras to fit many types of physical and environmental settings. Monitor Systems Engineering designs its security camera systems to comply and interact with all types and standards of company network parameters.

 

As a leader in developing products associated with wireless technologies, Monitor Systems Engineering has many years of experience which is reflected in its line products and solutions. Monitor Systems Engineering has delivered its wireless CCTV solutions to military organizations, the oil & gas industry, security agencies, and energy industry to name a few. The Monitor Systems Engineering wireless security camera solution has been proven in many challenging circumstances, and continues to prevail as a high performance and reliable system for CCTV needs.

 

Rugged, corrosive resistant material and proven High Definition camera technology create a solid wireless CCTV security camera solution that is effective to combat the very toughest of environmental circumstances. By limiting the need for long and costly cabling and wiring, Monitor Systems Engineering can position a high quality security camera system to fit the needs of many different conditions.

 

Monitor Systems Engineering is able to deliver various wireless security camera configurations and solutions, dependent on the breadth and scope of what each individual customer requires. Additionally, Monitor Systems Engineering has the capability to apply solar panel driven wireless technology, should this be of interest.

 

Today’s world is becoming increasingly dependant on solid and well functioning surveillance technology. The increasing threats of terrorist groups and criminal activity are putting high demands on video quality. Monitor Systems Engineering has the skill and knowledge to present a full and dedicated wireless CCTV security camera solution for your organization today.

 

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Tele-medicine Industry:

 

Applications within Telemedicine Industry: Emergencies are critical periods, when seconds count. Quick, decisive action is required to save lives. Unfortunately, some accidents do happen in very remote locations, allowing only critical first aid to victims before extrication to a medical facility sometimes hours away. With the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster ST-5000 series of High Definition wireless video conferencing cameras, medics treating wounded person have an innovative tool at their disposal to help in their efforts.

 

By utilizing IP video, audio and data communication, the remote medical assistance groups are offered a way in which doctors, nurses and other medical personnel can be readily available to help at any time, regardless of location or time zone.

 

With the essential video collaboration link between field and hospital established, the Xcaster ST-5000 operating on SIP, H323 protocols, provides doctors at the hospital quality still images, and high quality High Definition (HD) video streaming to ascertain the nature of injuries, thus allowing them to prescribe a course of treatment to the medics in the field.

 

Real-time, Wi-Fi capable, the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster ST-5000 wireless video conferencing system allows for a visual and audio window between the remote location and the medical staff far away. Ultimately, the medics in the remote location, actually become “doctors in the field” as they can quickly gain strategic treatment recommendations by using the powerful visual medium and discussion, so that the wounded patient can receive the very best treatment for their injuries before arriving at the central hospital.

 

Quick, effective and reliable information can save lives. The Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster ST5000 can help bridge the gap that time and distance often brings to critical situations.

 

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Law Enforcement / Security Industry:

 

Applications within Law Enforcement / Security Industry: Police, intelligence officers, Law enforcement officers and security personnel are often times presented with many hazardous circumstances and situations which challenge their training and skill on a daily bases. Monitor Systems Engineering video collaboration technology can help give officers at every level an advantage, by utilizing real-time audio and IP based, live video streams during emergency situations to attain more insightful information to ensure that a proper course of action is taken.

 

In the event of a crisis situation, officers in the field utilizing the Xcaster ST-5000 are able to report, in real-time, back to command central, so that quick and precise planning and action can be taken. Through a dedicated Wi-Fi network, the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster wireless video collaboration tool can bring the situation to virtually anyone, anywhere in the world. The video streams are encrypted with highly advanced algorithms like AES.

 

With a greater visual and audio overview of the situation, officers stand a much greater chance of successfully ending a potentially tragic situation. Trough both a dedicated audio and visual medium, officers can quickly communicate back to commanders that can, in turn respond with tactical recommendations, thus creating a safer, more well prepared operation.

 

Monitor Systems Engineering can also help during training sessions. Officers allocated with the Xcaster ST-5000 wearable video conferencing system, can be educated on tactical methods from instructors that might otherwise be sitting in central locations somewhere else in the city, country or world.

 

Utilizing the stabile 802.11 abgn network standards, the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster wireless video conferencing technology brings reconnaissance routines, anti-terror training and skillful insights to a new level. Via powerful live video stream, over IP, the Xcaster technology delivers secure and tactical information to the sources that can help!

 

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Fire Fighting Industry:

 

Applications within Fire Fighting Industry: Firefighters often times arrive at a critical emergency scene with little actual knowledge of the situation they have been requested to respond to. A reported small contained structure fire at the time they leave the firehouse can quite easily escalate to a full, very complex, multi structural building fire by the time they arrive at the scene.

 

In order to help determine the best logistical approach to battle the fire, firefighters and on scene fire officials can quickly transmit live IP video and images from the scene, back to commanders ready to assist with instructions, guidance or suggestions on how to best combat the fire. The revolutionary Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster EX-5000 wireless video conferencing technology creates a running forum of up-to-date, real-time information for all the fire fighting personnel to join. Time is critical, and the more accurate and secure the information is, the better organized the firefighters will be when they engage the fire itself.

 

The explosive proof, Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster EX5000, is designed and certified to tackle harsh and unforgiving environments. And as the level of on-scene activity grows, and as temperatures rise, the Xcaster is able to deliver High Definition (HD) live and still images to fire command. In return, command officials can afford firefighters crucial tactical recommendations that otherwise create an advantage in how best to contain and resolve the emergency.

 

The Xcaster technology can also be recommended for use at fire training academies. Individual fire cadets, equipped with the Xcaster mobile video conferencing unit, allow training officials to monitor step by step maneuvers by the cadets and thus be able to quickly afford them insightful knowledge during the training exercise, which will ultimately serve them well once they are in the field in real operations.

 

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Military Industry:

 

Wireless Video Streaming within Military Industry: With the increased demand for peacekeeping missions, so is the demand for knowledge resources to help control, inform and delegate materials and mission critical information to those troubled areas.

 

Monitor Systems Engineering has a wide variety of products and solutions, that can help facilitate even the most troubling of situations, within the most demanding of environments. Should the need call for high-quality, mobile, wireless video conferencing, or durable weather proof antennas that confirm to toughest criteria, Monitor Systems Engineering has the solution to help the cause.

 

With the Xcaster ST-5000 mil spec. wireless video conferencing system, peacekeeping forces and aid workers can freely move within difficult terrain, maneuver through brush and obstacles, to report in real-time to operation centers, quickly and efficiently. With High-Definition image quality, the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster ST-5000, transfers the detailed images straight from the field, thought a dedicated network, back to the operations centers.

 

Should a dedicated wireless network not be readily available, the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster ST-5000 has a built-in flash memory allowing it to function as a rugged mobile video camera, as well as a still image camera, producing high quality video and pictures. Once the mission reporting in the field is complete, the mission worker can bring the Xcaster back the operations center, and upload all the video and images, and stream this information directly back to those decision makers, responsible for managing the mission. With the image information in hand, clear and decisive measures can then be taken as to how to handle a particular situation.

 

Should the demand require real-time, video streaming from the field, Monitor Systems Engineering can create custom wireless network infrastructures for very demanding customers, in demanding environmental conditions. The Monitor Systems Engineering EX-ANT-B antenna is one of a handful of wireless infrastructure products that are constructed to handle extreme conditions, poor weather and demanding environments. Designed principally for the Oil and Gas industry, the explosive proof, intrinsically safe, EX-ANT-B antenna has proven that it is very much able to work in other harsh and demanding environments, outside the bounds of this particular industry in order to help create a dedicated wireless network. The EX-ANT-B antenna can be affixed to a number of standard access points available on the market. Connected, the rugged EX-ANT-B antenna and access point deliver a dedicated wireless environment to which the Xcaster ST-5000 or EX-5000 can freely operate in order to report live and wirelessly from field.

 

As the situation in a troubled area intensifies, so does the need for constructive and meaningful information. Monitor Systems Engineering presents several levels of equipment and technology that can significantly help to keep workers, officials and commanders abreast of the situation, in real-time, in full HD image quality and in constant dialog. Anytime, anywhere the situation may call.

 

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Journalism / Media News Industry:

 

Applications within Journalism / Media News Industry: News organizations associated with print and visual media reporting depend on quick and reliable facts to ensure that their reports generate the clearest and most concise information possible. The Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster technology allows local, nation and global news agencies to report directly from the field, in real time, through both real-time video and audio streaming directly to network television or internet portals on their respected websites.

 

The Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster ST-5000, with its ability to operate as both a Wi-Fi still image camera or powerful video recorder, can otherwise quickly engage the wireless network (802.11 abgn) transferring into a real-time video streaming system to be able to report all the stored images or video segments directly to the network.

 

Should the reporters find themselves in the field covering an important news story, the Xcaster offers dependable, proven technology to help transfer images and dialog directly from the area or event. Sporting events, weather reports and critical news updates, can all benefit from using the revolutionary Xcaster technology.

 

Generating interest and opinion are critical factors in news content. The Xcaster gives the journalist a significantly greater opportunity to process these facts, allowing for more complete and accurate reporting.

 

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Architecture / Building Industry:

 

Applications within Architecture / Building Industry: Architects and civil construction engineers require a solid understanding of their work sites in order to correctly place, build and detail structures. In coordination with its customers and third party contractors, the architect or property developer can hold live, in the field, video conference meetings in order to gain insightful knowledge on the project. Quick, efficient and useful feedback from the customer, construction manager and project official are essential in order that the optimal building criterion is realized.

 

In today’s modern communications world, wireless networks are becoming more common and prominent, even on building construction sites. By engaging the wireless 802.11 abgn network at the construction site, the architect can deploy a Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster ST-5000, wireless video conferencing system to communicate with live IP video, real-time video steaming and full duplex audio to his/her clients virtually anywhere in the world. The Xcaster ST-5000 mobile video conferencing technology, can also allow architects to take high quality still images, as well as High Definition (HD) quality mobile video for archiving and storage on the Monitor Systems Engineering Xdrive.

 

It is often critical that architects work through problems and issues during the building process phases in close coordination with the builders themselves. Through efficient and effective wireless video conferencing, architects can establish solutions and criteria that are critical to the construction progress.

 

In essence, as buildings and construction routines become more complex, architects on location take advantage of the using a mobile video system by having the ability to send and receive, high quality HD video, high resolution still images and collaborate on specific project tasks from remote locations to central facilities or other locations situated elsewhere in the world.

 

The increasing presence in the construction industry of third party contractors with very narrow and specialized fields of know-how, requires a common, clear and thorough understanding of the work site.

 

Building construction: It is often critical that architects work through problems and issues during the building process phases in close coordination with the builders themselves. Regardless of where the building is being built, the architect can utilize the Monitor Systems Engineering Xcaster wearable video conferencing technology, to connect parties directly in real time at any situation requiring advanced collaboration dud ring the building process. Through efficient and effective wireless video conferencing technology and wireless networking, construction contractors and property developers can now start increasing efficiency, competitiveness and profit margins.

Then we choose our aircraft:

The silver wings simmered, and everything else did too. I personally didn’t like the color silver very much. But, I was stuck with this thing, so I told myself to deal with it. “Finally we can do something on our schedule,” Fatima said.

“Here’s the key, enjoy your ride.” The desk lady walked back inside the building after she gave Fatima the key.

“Urgh, let’s just make this over with.” I was becoming more sad as the days rolled by. Then Fatima pressed a button that made the entry way open, so I went inside the thing.

“Guys, I think you are not going to have very much company. Kimber and Vy need to go to the doctor, and I think Hail, Suki, and Andru are emotionally unstable for this.” Thunder got into the ship. “But, i’m going with you if you like it or not!”

“Kirami, you’re coming.” I got out of the ship, and pulled Kirami inside the thing.

“So, its just me, Thunder, Yuni, and Kirami then going through with this mission.” Fatima went inside the aircraft right after Thunder did. After all that happened only four of us were actually continueing with the quest.

“Is it me or does anybody else feel like there aren’t enough people in this thing?” Thunder asked while looking around the place.

“Yeah, something just doesn’t seem right with only four people here,” Fatima responded. The place we bought was not that fancy, but we had to make do with what we had.

“Wait...I know somebody that may help us out. Her name is Luka, and she is a person that knows how to kick butt and she has a husband named Wilden that might help us too.” I felt so smart for remembering Luka was available at the time, so I grinned.

“That may not be a bad idea. Okay, we have to go to the control room. Thank god that lady gave me a map for this thing.” Fatima pulled out a paper that was in her back pocket. “I will get this thing ready, Yuni, Thunder, and Kirami. Just give me the address and we will be ready to go.”

“Um...the biggest house in Basil.” My confidence plummeted down when I realized I didn’t know Luka’s address; I knew her for a long time yet I had no idea about her address.

“You don’t know her address, don’t you, Yuni?” Fatima slapped her head.

“Maybe, just maybe, Kirami knows,” Thunder suggested. The two girls glared at Kirami with glazes that made you feel like a thousand needles were piercing your skin all at once.

“Yes, just stop doing that.”

“Alright.” They had their normal looks on which was good.

“6904 Chi Drive in Basil,” he answered. Oh no wonder I forgot it, I thought, I wanted to forget about the word Chi.

“Alright then.” Fatima and Thunder walked down the hallway to the right of me making Kirami and I all alone.

“Yuni, what is up with you?” Kirami questioned. Now he gave me the look that Thunder and Fatima gave him.

“Nothing.”

“Stop lying to me you love sick puppy! You are going insane with rapture and Yuni you even bet the life out of Kimber!” I never saw this side of Kirami before in my life, the angry side.

“I...don’t know. Tyler would do anything for me; remember he got processed just for me, and now I am doing anything for him.” Then I ran away from Kirami before he could debate with me. He didn’t know what true love was, but he was right about me being a love sick person.

It was the longest thirty minutes in my life:

“We are here,” Fatima yelled. I went to the control room right after Kirami fought with me, and I was starting to wonder where was Kirami.

“Thank god.” So, I ran out of the aircraft as fast as I could, a couple seconds.

“Wait up, Yuni!” Thunder ran out of the plane that moment, panting. Then she saw me kiss the ground. “What the h*ll are you doing?”

“Kissing the ground.” If Kirami saw what I did, which he seemed to always be watching me like a stalker, he would have probably thought I was practicing for when Tyler came back.

“We are wasting time people; we get what we need and then get out of here.” Fatima was the next one out of the ship that day. Her faces both showed a scowl of impatience; she just needed to lighten up for one day, ONE FREAKING DAY.

“Can’t I just relax for one second?” I was still laying on the grass, and disobeying Fatima’s orders, I was a rebel.

“No.” Party pooper, I thought, Rikku died, Tyler disappeared to Mona knew where, and Andrea died I needed to rest for a bit. Apparently, Fatima was too heartless to understand.

“Gosh, I miss Hail already.” The wind blew making Thunder’s pinkish hair flow in the breeze and so did Fatima’s hair. Sometimes we just had to move on; I refused to follow those words and so did the others.

“Deal with it,” Fatima responded. Kimber and Fatima were both heartless, literally and mentally, but I wasn’t going to stand for this behavior for much longer.

“Make her have time, Fatima.” I rushed over to aide Thunder with her heartache; something Fatima never experienced in her life.

“We have to do this, and I will do this with or without you!” Fatima screamed like a siren on her period.

“Hey, sometimes you just got to live a little.” By then I was tired of Fatima’s seriousness and heartlessness. But I was shocked that neither Wilden or Luka came out of their house yet to shut us up.

“That is what you think, yet I cannot ‘live’ a little in this situation.” Fatima came up to me and Thunder. “Come on hit me like you did to Kimber. Make my nose bleed and my eye turn black.”

“Revenge is not the way I do things.”

“Who says it would be revenge?” Fatima walked towards the door of Luka’s mansion, so I did too and so did Thunder. Then Fatima rung the doorbell and I heard a baby cry.

“Is that a baby?” I realized that Kirami and I forgot to tell Fatima and Thunder that Luka had children. Before I could answer their question, Luka opened the door with Von in her arms. “It is.” Fatima stared at me in disappointed manner.

“Well, come in, Yuni...and,um, Yuni’s friends.”

“I thought Luka was a boy,” Thunder whispered to me.

“No, she is a girl.” It was weird that Thunder thought Luka was a boy, but she did have a boy’s name. Luka read Thunder’s mind about her and gave her ‘the look’.

“Take a seat, Yuni and...Fatima and Thunder at the couch over there. Wait where’s Rikku and Suki? Oh no, that can’t be true.” Luka started to cry, but Thunder and Fatima looked confused. Then I also realized that Kirami and I did not tell them Luka could read minds. “No way, that’s not true; tell me its just a lie and you’re messing with me.”

“Rikku is dead.” But, I began to cry also when Wilden came down the stairs; he was always upstairs for some reason with Violet holding his hand.

“What is going on?” Thunder asked. “Seriously, i’m so lost.”

“Well, I could tell you the whole story, but that would take about a couple years.” Luka laughed, but she was the only one doing so.

“Yeah, just briefly tell it then.” Fatima crossed her arms and her legs; she wanted answers to her questions.

“Okay, here goes nothing.”

“Just get on with it already, Luka.” Thunder also waited so she could know what was going on.

“Rikku and I knew each other ever since we met when she was 14 and I was only 11, and she was one of the most loyal person I knew. Then she joined the blah blahs whatever the stupid Ali Vran thing is called. Well, years past and I didn’t see her until she came knocking at my door with a man named Tyler; I think Fern is his last name but i’m not sure. She would do anything for her friends, so she sacrificed herself to save the others with her from whatever came in the way, but something changed inside her when Andrea died, something wasn’t right. I should have known she would die sacrificing herself I should have done something.”

“With that out of th-”

“Yes.” Luka knew she was going to ask her to be on the team with us and answered Fatima before she could finish her sentence. “I will join the team.”

“Bu-”

“Wilden, Von is two and Violet is five; I think you can take care of them for a little while.” So, Luka went up to Wilden and handed Von to him. The baby looked exactly like his father with his cute innocence.

“Alright, let’s...oh Kirami I didn’t know you were here.” She backed away into a wall and Luka banged her head.

“What’s going on?” I questioned. I did not know that Kirami and Luka didn’t like each other before that event happened. “Why don’t you like each other?”

“I’m not going on this journey.” Kirami stormed out of the house, and slammed the door.

“Let’s go.” Luka got out of her house before any of us could ask her what that was about.

“Wilden, do you know why they hate each other?” Thunder asked when she got up to his face; I was annoyed with Thunder because she always did that, ALWAYS.

“Kirami just thinks i’m evil and that i’m playing with Luka just to know secrets and have kids with her.” Von then began to cry, and wouldn’t stop crying no matter what Wilden did.

“Why does he think that?” Fatima wanted to have even more answers than she needed.

“Because, Luka can’t read my mind for some reason.”

“Oh, that is why she knew all of that stuff.” At least I did not have to tell them, I thought, Wilden told them for me. Violet pulled on my leg so she could get my attention.

“What is it Violet?”

“Yuni, be safe and protect my mommy,” Violet answered. The girl was also holding a doll with black hair and eyes that had black marker drawn all over them, but then Violet dropped the doll making it break into a million pieces.

“No!” A shard of the broken doll strangely pierced the remains of the doll’s midsection. “This happened just because Von drew on her.”

“Don’t blame your brother, Violet.”

“But-”

“No butts young missy,” scolded Thunder. What when was Thunder ever good with little children, I wondered. Then Fatima, Thunder, and I went out the door so we could embrace the adventure ahead of us.

So, we bought all the stuff we needed for the ship:

“Finally, we can do this!” Fatima was our new ‘leader’ and was sitting in the ‘leader’ chair; which reminded me about the old tv show/movies Star Trek. While thinking about Star Trek I thought about how Tyler used to be in a show named UnDead.

“Yeah, um, team...um, FatimaThunderYuniLuka!” I cheered. All of the other girls looked at me like mad.

“Enough with the stupid jokes. Let’s do this thing!” Thunder fistpumped in the air.

“At least we don’t have to walk the thing. That would be bad,” Luka said while trying to make people look at the bright side.

“It was a pain in the butt when I had to walk the whole thing with no food or water.” Wonder, but painful at the same time, memories played in my mind of going on the journey. Tyler and Rikku were still here.

“First off the Temple of Uki or Uki Temple or whatever the h*ll they call it.” Fatima pressed a couple of buttons to tell the aircraft where we were going.

“I’m going to find you Tyler.” Then I got out the sphere that I secretly took when Rikku wasn’t watching years back; the sphere played the image of Tyler going crazy over and over again. I didn’t care about the fact Tyler was going nuts in a cell I was going to find him but not the truth, whatever that was.

“We will succeed in this, Yuni, just wait. Hm, I wonder if he’s hot or not.”

“Thunder, he is MY boyfriend.” I scolded at her, and she did nothing.

“Please forgive me then.” For some reason Thunder went down on her knee like she was asking to marry me.

“I will. Gosh, its late i’m going to hit the hay.” My eyes feel like they were going to fail on me if I didn’t get any sleep.

“Alright then.” Thunder was still wide awake when she looked at the sunset like Rikku did way back when, and it made me want to cry thinking about her and how she was dead but walking.

“I’m going too.” Luka grabbed my hand, and pulled me down the hallway where Fatima and Thunder couldn’t hear us.

“What are you doing?” I questioned Luka; she wouldn’t let go of my hand, and I tried to shake her off, no use.

“Do you really think Tyler is worth this much?”

“Yes, Luka he is the love of my life. That’s like saying if Wilden is really worth this much to you.” By the tone in my voice, you could easily tell that I was angry.

“I know that, but really. Rikku is dead you hear me? Also, there is the possibility that you may not ever find him.” Luka then read my mind, and rushed to her room. I was thinking if she ever asked me that question ever again I would kill her without mercy.

“I will find you!” Then I fell down on the floor and cried uncontrollably until it hurt and I fell asleep on the cold iron floor.

“We’re here!”:

I woke up when I heard Fatima’s voice, and she was standing right next to me, staring. “You were really tired, weren’t ya?”

“What did you think? I was lying, ha.” All Fatima did was stare at me even more. “Can you stop it?” It hurt so much that I covered my face with my hands, and screamed.

“Pussy.”

“I am not a pussy!” So, I got up and stared Fatima down to give her a taste of her very own medicine.

“Yes you are, don’t deny it.” I wanted to scream at Fatima, but I knew she would just think of even more clever comebacks to prove I was a pussy.

“Urgh, my head hurts,” I complained. My head was felt like hell at that moment of time.

“Stop talking because we need to do some hardcore sphere hunting. We have to wake up the others.” But, I didn’t want to see Luka’s face after she done the night before.

“Alright, I will get Thunder and you will get Luka.” Fatima nodded her head in agreement to my plan, so I got Thunder while she got jerky jerk.

Lightning, beautiful but deadly:

Somehow it reminded me about when Jack, Tyler’s crappy father, hit me in the face. That was how being struck by lightning felt, but the place was completely empty because everybody left when Envy was defeated. “We have the place to ourselves so this shouldn’t be very hard to do.”

“Maybe, it will be, Fatima.”

“Don’t sweat it, Yuni, we can do whatever we want.” So, the four of us went inside the Uki Temple hopeing to find more spheres to add to our collection. The outside was exactly the same expect for the fact that nobody was here.

“The once great Uki Temple has fallen.” Thunder ran ahead of us, but the rest of us still walked.

“I wonder what is making the lightning if nobody is here to do so?” Luka questioned.

“Nature.” Fatima seemed to know everything about this temple, and that was kind of creepy. Because, not even I knew that about the Uki Temple.

“Cool.” I tried to sound normal, but I knew Fatima didn’t think the normal me was normal.

“Did you learn about the Uki Temple when you were part of MARKA?” Luka was getting into Fatima’s personal business; she already knew the answer so I guessed she wanted me to know it as well.

“Yes, MARKA was planning to attack the temple, but something stopped them and I don’t know what because only Nathan knows. Nathan knows every single f*cking thing there is to know.” Fatima’s faces started to show fear like it never did before. “The only reason why i’m good is somehow I got my sense of fear back.”

“Oh my god, I feel so sorry for everybody that is part of this mess. Sometimes I think that if I never became a dumbldorian in the first place this would have never happened.” But, I thought to myself, you might have never meant Tyler in the first place.

“You becoming a dumbldorian made this place have a little bit of more peace,” Fatima responded, “who knows what Envy would have done if you didn’t stop him.”

“Fatima is right, Yuni, all of us would probably be dead if Envy wasn’t stopped.” Luka was turning less and less of a jerky jerk, but she was still one because what she said about Tyler.

“I know, it is just a feeling that I can’t fight.”

“Come on you slowpokes I am waiting for you. Like, we always have to stick together now, which is stupid, but i’m not the boss of group FatimaThunderYuniLuka!” I was super shocked that Thunder was using the name I thought of; but I told myself that it was just because she couldn’t think of any names for the team.

“Just wait a freaking minute Thunder!” Luka was the one that ran up to Thunder to make her shut up, and not Fatima. More things made me confused as my life went on.

“We won’t hear the end of it if we don’t hurry up.” Fatima also ran making me all alone in the universe. So, I quietly whistled, but it didn’t work. There was no answer; there was always no answer.

“Wait for me!” I cried out while running after the other girls until I reached the inside of the temple. Everything was gone, but the artwork on the ceiling, walls, and floors, it was creepy.

“This place used to be filled with wonders.” Thunder went around in circles around the abandoned place, and watching her made me dizzy.

“The beginning of the real test was here.” I stood in the place I stood years back when I got stuck by lightning and did not feel a single thing. It was the test to see if the person was a true dumbldorian or not, and I passed. But, then the ground shook.

“Is that an earthquake?” Thunder asked.

“Nonsense there are no earthquakes here,” Fatima answered.

“Actually there are.”

“Shut up, Luka.” When the others were stupidly fighting, I tried to look for a place to hide, but everything was gone and the only thing to do was wait. Then I felt something underneath me, yet the feeling disappeared a couple seconds later.

“Yuni!” All the others were racing to where I was at, but it was to no avail. I fell down the hole in the ground, screaming and yelling. Yet, the others couldn’t save me.

Grass, why was there grass here, I thought:

Then I looked around the place that I landed in, it seemed like a meadow. “Did I die?” I got up to see I was in a different outfit; which that was this totally weird. But, when I finished looking around, I saw somebody with blonde hair. “Tyler?”

“What?” The guy turned around, and it was Tyler. It was really him in your face Luka!

“Akki?”

“It’s me Yuni, remember?” What was happening, I pondered, why doesn’t Tyler recognize me?

“Akki, it is me Trey.” Whoever this person was it wasn’t Tyler, but he was, but he wasn’t. I kept fighting with myself over the fact if he was Tyler or not.

“No, my name is Yuni, Tyler.”

“Stop messing around.” The guy came over to me, and hugged me, it wasn’t Tyler. Tyler would have been confused about where the others were and how my hair got shorter.

“I’m not Akki i’m somebody else! I just look like her!” I yelled. “Now-”

“Ha, Akki, stop trying to trick me,” Trey laughed. He still had his arms around me, and I tried to escape, but couldn’t.

“My name is Yuni not Akki!” But, Trey then kissed me on the lips; I hated it that was a thing only Tyler could do because he was my boyfriend not Trey. “You disgust me.”

“Ak-”

“I’m not Akki whoever she is,” I interrupted full of anger and hatred.

“Ha, you are still playing around but we don’t have that much time left to do our plan.” Then I was really scared; what was this guy thinking of?

“What plan?” If he answered to get marry I told myself to freak out and try to kill him or hurt him or get away from the hellhole I was in.

“Do I really need to tell you after a-”

“YES!”

“Remember we were going to steal the MARKA robot thing and create a world in our visions. A world without war.” With that being said, I thought this guy was dropped when he was a baby. Then I did remember the robot thing we found in MARKA; he was talking about that piece of crappy metal.

“And, what will that world be like?” The guy just laughed like an idiot when he heard my question.

“A world like only us in it.” I wanted to scream, but I knew nobody but weirdo would hear it.

“But, what about our family and friends?”

“Akki, MARKA told Vy and the rest of our family away a long time ago.” When he said that I was even more scared than before; the real Akki was dead, Vy is somebody he knew, and Trey was insane.

“Who’s Vy?” Trey still wouldn’t let me go because he loved me too much to let go and make me free.

“Our daughter.” My eyes literally popped at Trey’s answer.

“Just let go of me! I am not Akki i’m somebody that just looks like her!” I screamed at the top of my lungs after that. It was for no use, but I was really frightened of what Trey would do to me.

“It was good MARKA got her. She was an annoying brat that always wanted attention.” I kept trying to summon my staff and take out one of my weapons, yet I couldn’t.

“She our daughter you shouldn’t talk about her like that.” Then I tried to pretend to be Akki because this guy was nuts.

“You really aren’t Akki.” He finally let go of me and made me fall head first into the ground. “I will kill you!” Trey pulled out his sword, and went closer and closer to me.

“No.” At the moment Trey almost killed me, I finally got my staff, and defended myself. “Please stop this!” I pleaded with him; but he wouldn’t stop his violent behavior.

“You don’t know how much it hurts to have your heart broken, Yuni!” He kept trying to cut open my heart with his sword.

“Yes, I do. My true love disappeared two years ago, and I am still trying to find him!”

“You’re a liar!” But, I was telling the truth and Trey was too insane to know so.

“Stop it!” Yet, before he could stop, I fell into a body of water.

 

I then saw that I was in my bed:

“Oh my god how did you do that?” Thunder asked. All the other girls, Thunder, Fatima, and Luka, were all around my bed for some reason.

“Gosh, you are soaked.” Luka ran out of my room, and back in with a towel and brand new clothes.

“Yuni, where were you? You just appeared out of nowhere and now you are drenched!” Fatima, once again, wanted to know more answers.

“Really?” Luka questioned. Gosh, I hated it when Luka read my mind so she could know what was going on; I didn’t even liked her that much in the first place. “We have to go back to MARKA!”

“Wait, we this got here. So, we go to MARKA after because first we tried to find more clues for years second I don’t even know why we need to go back to that hell!”

“Well, this guy named Trey who looks exactly like Tyler is a nutjob and wants to kill the entire human race with the thing we found,” I answered truthfully. Also I wanted to take Rikku and Andrea out of their misery of being slaves of Nathan.

“That is messed up, but i’m the leader and I say we will try to find Tyler on this path first!”

“Fatima, I really don’t think that is a good idea.”

“SHUT UP THUNDER!” Thunder put her hand over her mouth and exited my room. But, Fatima stared at me not Thunder, and then Luka left the room after Thunder. It was just Fatima and I.

“I will never know how love or heartache feel like, yet I do. No matter what I am going to help you find your love and the truth.” Then Fatima went out of the room leaving me all alone.

“Tyler, I will find you even if Trey kills me.” Then I closed my eyes hoping for a good dream to come to me.

Away from reality dreams were deadly:

In my dream, I was with Tyler and running away from people who looked like MARKA agents. “No matter what happens I will be with you,” Tyler said. I wanted this to be real, but at the same time not.

“I know.” Strangely I was in the clothes that I had on when I meet Trey for the first time. Then we reached the door, so Tyler opened it. Inside it was a robot; the robot that we found while searching for Vy.

“Here it is.”

“I know.” Something did not feel right about this dream, something felt insidious.

“Time to do this thing.” But, then Kimber went in with her gun, she was a MARKA agent in this dream.

“You’re ours b*tches!” yelled Kimber.

“We failed.” Tyler and I embraced each other while looking into each other’s eyes.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” Then we kissed passionately in front of the old Kimber when other MARKA agents came in.

“Alright guys, shoot.” Kimber pointed at us, and grinned.

“Yes, commander Kimberly.” The guys and Kimber then aimed their guns at us.

“Shoot.” A bang went through my head while Tyler fell on the ground, probably dead.

“CRAP!”:

When I screamed I realized that it was just a short dream, not a real memory or the future. Then I saw that we were landing by looking out the window that I had in my room. “Let’s do this.” I went out of my room, which was a couple feet away from the control room, and, well, went to the control room.

“Looks like somebody is up.” Thunder went up to me, and she somehow had a hairbrush, so she brushed my black hair. “You’re hair is all over the place, Yuni.”

“Tell me something that I don’t know, Thunder.” I crossed my arms, but then she hit me with the hairbrush.

“I did that to wake you up.” She kept banging my head until I glared at her, and then Thunder went to the window. So, I yawned because I was bored until I realized where we were. The tree was still in the middle of the lake.

“Alright, we are on the ground so we can investigate now.” Fatima got out of her chair and Thunder ran to sit in it.

“I am Fatima and I am f*cking serious all the time,” Thunder joked.

“I am Thunder and I am a f*cking idiot all the time.” Fatima pulled Thunder out of her chair, and went outside with her.

“Wait, who is going to get Luka! Urgh, I guess I have to wherever she is.” Then I got the idea that I should sit in the chair because nobody else was there at that moment. So, when I sat down in the chair, Luka walked in with her arms crossed.

“What are you doing?” Luka questioned me.

“Being a rebel.” I made myself go in a billion circles with the chair, and then I felt like I was going to throw up.

“Get up, Yuni,” Luka commanded, “or I have to pull you up myself.” I did not want Luka to pull me, so I got up by myself.

“Come on we have to catch up with Fatima and Thunder!” Luka would not move and then I pulled her to the door.

The essential of Tyler was still at that place:

Happy memories made me cry; this place was filled with them. Tyler was here and he was not gone at the moments I remembered. Tears fell down from my face to the grass which was turning brown. “The last time I was here Rikku was alive and Tyler was with us.”

“Memories can be wonderful but could crush you from the inside.” Luka got out of my gasp, and started to look.

“This hurts too much.” I fell down on the grass and looked at the mid morning sky, the sky seemed to be laughing at me. If I stayed at the place I was at I knew I was going to turn mad. So, I forced myself to get up and go to the lake.

“Hey Yuni!” Thunder made me jump and fall into the lake; I was once again soaked, oh great.

“Don’t scare me like that.” Thank god the lake was not that deep, I thought. But, I was still soaking wet.

“Sorry, well I am just going to continue with searching...and. yeah, um, see you later.” She ran to an area of grass, and pretended to be doing her job.

“I guess I have to change again, urgh.” So, I got up and went up to Thunder to have my revenge. So, when I reached her, I pulled her to the lake and threw her in.

“What was that for?”

“Revenge.” Then I could not get the memories of this place out of my head, that was revenge for kissing me. Tyler and I had our first kiss here in the lake, and I got drenched but I did not care then. Only thing that ruined the moment was Kirami and processed Rikku.

“Earth to Yuni! You have been staring into nothing for the pass seconds! Hello!” She got out of the lake, and put her hand in my face, but I still was in a trance.

“Tyler!”

“What the...okay.” Then Thunder went back to what she was doing before I got my revenge. This is the end of my story, but I knew it was not the end of Tyler. Illusion, he was not an illusion in my mind.

“Where are you.” But, then I felt a hand on my shoulder, but nobody was there. When I looked back I saw the image of Tyler and I kissing. “Stop playing with me, Mona!”

“Yuni, what's wrong?” Fatima appeared from the lake; I didn’t know that she was there all that time.

“Emotions.”

“Oh, um, then fight away those emotions because I found this because I am the only one really looking.” Fatima showed a crystal blue sphere that was in the bottom of the lake.

“Fatima, you’re a lifesaver!”

“I’m not a candy, Thunder.”

“Let’s see the sphere,” Luka said while grabbing the blue sphere from Fatima. “Here goes nothing.” She pressed on the sphere, and it started to play something horrible. “How is this from the future?”

“This is messed up...Luka, where did you go?” I was watching the sphere when Luka disappeared; the sphere that showed Kirami and Wilden fighting with swords. “LUKA!” So, I stopped watching it when I realized that Luka just didn’t go away.

“Oh s*it!” Fatima yelled. The three of us looked up at the helicopter with the word MARKA on the side of it, and somehow Luka was there.

“Luka, we’re going to get you!” Thunder started to get stuff out of the backpack she was wearing, but nothing was going to help Luka.

“Go, before he gets you too!” she demanded. There were tears in Luka’s eyes; that was the first time ever I saw Luka crying that hard.

“Who?” But, something else answered that question for me, a man in the helicopter. A man named Wilden.

“Wilden, Kirami was right about him.” Then Wilden covered Luka’s mouth with his hand, and nodded.

“Why Wilden?” I asked, “why join MARKA!” I trusted Wilden with many things, but all this time he had been with MARKA. He was the one I trusted the most.

“I’ve been part of MARKA all this time, all of my life. It is such a pity that you have Fatima and Kimber on your team; they used to be so evil, so insidious.” Wilden laughed a, well, insidious laugh.

“You son of a b*tch, you have two kids, you have a family.” Fatima was trying to find the real side of Wilden, a side that was never there. “Continue our family.”

“What the h*ll are you talking about?” Was Fatima saying Wilden cheated with Luka with HER. I wanted to find the answers.

“I’m his wife,” Fatima answered.

“WHAT! But, i’m...no.” Wilden had put his hands off of Luka’s mouth, and Luka was shocked. “YOU F*CKER!” She pushed Wilden but he did not fall. “I thought I meant something to you.”

“Come home to Amaya and Enya.” Wait, Fatima did know how love felt like, I thought, she lied.

“Don’t you see that he was cheating on, Fatima!”

“Thunder, I don’t have any knowledge on how bad cheating is. I am a doll to MARKA!” She then sketched her legs, and Fatima jumped up. Of course, Fatima didn’t reach the heli.

“Time to die, Wilden!” When Wilden was too confused to do anything, Luka pushed him off of the helicopter.

“NO!” One of Fatima’s faces were overcoming the other. “Wilden!” Then Fatima had one face, no more two face.

“DIE!” Then Wilden’s body slammed into the ground, but he stood up after a couple of seconds of being dead. “What the?” Then the heli went away, taking Luka with it.

“No, Luka! I promised Violet to keep you safe.” The rain started to come down. Kind of a stereotypical moment for it to rain, I noted. Yet, Wilden attacked me. He stabbed my arm, and I screamed.

“Yuni, you are going down, Wilden.” Thunder lunged at Wilden, knocking him down. Fatima was just crying with her one face; she was a normal human being.

“Thunder, let me take care of him.” Fatima held out a panel with a big red button on it. She slowly pressed the button, and Fatima’s crying equaled the rain.

“This is not how it has to be.” Then the ground shook and unleashed a big groan when it opened underneath Wilden.

“Yes, this is how it is supposed to be how. Wilden, you have to die.”

“Ah!” Wilden fell into the darkness, screaming. He fell to his doom, screaming. He died, screaming.

“Crap, now Wilden is dead and who knows what happened to Luka.” I cried, I could not stop crying. Two of my friends were gone, gone and probably coming back. “Kirami was right.”

“Let’s get out of here before I freak out.” Then Fatima’s other face returned, frowning.

Next place:

“We have to do this before any tourist come.” Fatima’s face was back to the way it was at the beginning of this hellish journey. This was the place that Tyler wanted to visit and see the plants light up the blackness of the night.

“You just have to make me go through all this agony.” The plants were not lit yet because it was just the afternoon, but I wanted to see them as much as Tyler did.

“Yes.”

“Do you have to though?” Thunder questioned. “Maybe, we should go to MARKA headquarters.”

“Don’t you see-”

“I see that you are a selfish b*tch with that other face with I don’t know which one is evil.” Then I pushed Fatima into the river of plants, and she yelled. Fatima was on my last nerve. “It will only be Thunder and I now. I can teleport you to the others.” So, I chanted words, and Fatima disappeared.

“What did you do that for, Yuni?” Thunder then pushed me for revenge for Fatima, but she didn’t know how to teleport me. “We need all the people we can get.”

“Fatima needs to know how to not be the leader of the good.”

“Alright, you could have just told me.” Thunder jumped into the pool of water, and helped me out. Not like I needed the help but I still thanked her.

“So, what are we going to do now?” I asked. “We kind of don’t know what to do.”

“Go to MARKA.” Thunder ran to the ship, and I followed her. I knew Fatima would be super pissed at me; but I knew I had to face her one day or another and that was after we defeated Trey and Nathan, well hopefully.

“Wait for me, Thunder.”

“Do you really think I would leave you?” She then entered the ship after she said those words.

“Are you here, Tyler?” So, I did what I did everywhere, whistled. No answer just as usual. I was about ready to give up, but I told myself don’t think about quitting.

Revenge, I needed to fulfill the need:

Hell was exactly the same, but there was no helicopter in my sight. But, then I felt the ground shake, so I grabbed onto Thunder. “I don’t want to die.”

“I know.” We fell into the hole, but we didn’t die, we appeared to where Trey was. The grass was brown, and the water was completely gone; the paradise had turned into a hell.

“Oh look it is Yuni and one of her friends,” Trey welcomed. But, I summoned my staff; this guy wasn’t going to kill me after all that I had done to get that far. His sword had no blood on it. “I guess you know agent, well former agent, Kimberley GreenField.”

“You mean Kimber, yes.” I was still holding onto Thunder and I had my free hand protect us with my staff.

“She was the one that killed Akki.”

“Wait, my dream was your memory?” Trey nodded his head to my question which scared me.

“This is insane. So, you want to kill everybody ,us first?” Thunder seemed more frightened than I was. Death was inevitable, but neither one of us wanted to die this way. None of us wanted to die by the works of MARKA or the sly Trey until we saw Wilden.

“I’m going to be right back.” Then Trey walked to the injured Wilden, and laughed like Wilden did to annoy him.

“Don’t T-” A sword pierced through Wilden’s midsection, but he didn’t die. Then Trey looked at the blood shining on his once sinless sword. Trey went up to Thunder and I and somehow my staff vanished. We were going to die; we accepted our fate.

“Not so fast!” Kirami dropped from the whole, our new hero.

“Oh, wait I need to kill you.” Wilden jumped to where Kirami was at, and created a stone wall blocking the entrance. While Trey was distracted by the actions of the other men, so I brought out my gun and Thunder took out her lightning sword.

“It is OVER!” But, Trey disappeared and reappeared in a metal robot.

“MARKA is always bad with security.” He then started to shoot us with things that looked like powerful plasma, crap. “Should I do an evil laugh just for the fun of it, yes. BWAH HA HA!” Trey shoot the wall that separated us with Kirami, and then shoot Wilden making him turn into dust.

“Wow, you’re plan backfired.” I then started attacking the bottom of the machine with Thunder and Kirami.

“Stop it!” He tried to kill us, but he couldn’t hit us with anything. I wondered why Wilden’s knife wound didn’t hurt yet I pushed that thought out of my mind. I was away from reality making nothing make sense whatsoever.

“No, this is for revenge!” When I hit the robot again it fell down, and burst into flames. “Oh my god, thank goodness that is over.”

“I told you so.”

“This is not the right time, Kirami.” I fell down like the machine onto the dead grass.

“Yuni, I know you are heartbroken but still you can still celebrate this moment.” Thunder tried to pick me up, but I refused for her to do so.

“Can I just have some time alone?”

“Alright, Kirami and I will be out of this hole if you need anything.” She climbed up the hole with Kirami leaving me alone once again. So, I cried like a little child.

“Yuni, I can help you.”

“Leave me alone, Thunder, I said leave me alone.”

“I’m no Thunder.” With that being said, I got up and looked at a kid that was a ghost. “I can still help you.”

“How?” I thought I was going crazy because I was talking to a ghost that probably wasn’t even there.

“Tyler.”

“What about Tyler?” I questioned; I still could not believe that I was talking to a ghost. Then the place that we were in turned into something that was space-like with a cage in it, and only a cage.

“Go to him.”

“How?” The ghost kid gave me a beaten up jetpack with the name Yuni on it. So, I got the jetpack from the kid, and put it on.

“That is how.”

“Here goes nothing.” I then started to fly up the room; I wanted to see Tyler’s face again.

“If you get to him you keep him,” the kid yelled to me.

“I will keep him then because that would be easy.” So, I reached the cage in just a matter of seconds, and saw Tyler. His blonde hair was insane, and Tyler’s skin was dirty as well as his clothes.

“Tyler, its me Yuni!” I knocked on his cell, and Tyler turned around.

“Yuni...how...what. Its really you.”

“After years of searching for you I finally found you!” There were tears of joy rolling down my white cheeks. I tried to reach his hand, but Tyler wouldn’t move. “What?”

“Can you tell me what happened to the others when I was gone because I can’t move until I know what happened.” Tyler wouldn’t move a muscle, but his mouth and eye muscles.

“Well, Rikku is dead because her father...is the leader of MARKA and he made her die, and Wilden is also dead because he was a traitor and got shoot by this plasma thing. Luka is Mona knows where because MARKA took her, and the others I think are fine. We also meet some new people; I think you would like them.” My voice was tired after I said all of that, and I needed a rest.

“Well, s*it happened, but that doesn’t mean this would end in a bad way.” Tyler got up, and approached me, smiling. “It is good to see your face again.” He gave me a key, a silver key.

“You had the key all this time?”

“I can’t reach the lock.” He pointed at the top of the cage, and I saw the lock.

“Oh.” So, I flew up there. Then I put the key into the keyhole of the lock and opened the door on the top. I reached for Tyler’s hand and I felt it. He got out of the cage and hugged me.

“I love you, Yuni.”

“I love you too.” Our lips touched each other’s once again, and it felt so good to kiss Tyler again. But, then we separated when we noticed that we were falling into nothing.

“S*it!”

“Come on.” So, I flew us up, but it took a very long time because of all of the weight.

In the real world:

“What is taking her so long?” Thunder questioned. “We are in the MARKA territory.”

“She will come out of the sky now.” Then, right on cue, we fell out of the sky.

“Oh my god, is that Tyler he is cute.” I gave Thunder the eye, and got up.

“Um, okay then. But, I HAVE a girlfriend.” So, then we kissed again and Thunder moaned.

“Let’s get back to the others before we get noticed.” We all ran from the spot we were in. I was holding Tyler’s hand once more, my love was here and that what made me happy.

     

The Holsten Gate ("Holstein Tor", later "Holstentor") is a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This Brick Gothic construction is one of the relics of Lübeck’s medieval city fortifications and the only remaining city gate, except for the Citadel Gate ("Burgtor"). Because its two round towers and arched entrance are so well known it is regarded today as a symbol of this German city, and together with the old city centre (Altstadt) of Lübeck it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

 

APPEARIANCE

The Holsten Gate is composed of a south tower, a north tower and a central building. It has four floors, except for the ground floor of the central block, where the gate’s passageway is located. The side facing west (away from the city) is called the “field side”, the side facing the city the “city side”. The two towers and the central block appear as one construction when viewed from the city side. On the field side, the three units can be clearly differentiated. Here the two towers form semicircles which at their widest point extend 3.5 metres beyond the central block. The towers have conical roofs; the central block has a pediment.

 

PASSAGEWAY & INSCRIPTIONS

The passageway once had two gates on the field side, which have not survived. A portcullis installed in 1934 does not correspond to the original security installations. Instead, there was once a so-called "pipe organ" at this location, with individual bars which could be lowered separately rather than together as a set. Thus it was possible to first lower all but one or two rods, leaving a small gap for their own men to slip through later. There is an inscription over the passageway on both the city side and the field side.

 

On the city side it reads, “SPQL” and is framed by the years 1477 and 1871, the former being the supposed date of construction (the correct date is, however, now known to be 1478), the latter being the date of the gate’s restoration and the founding of the German Reich. This inscription was modeled on the Roman “SPQR” (Latin populusque Senatus Romanus - the Senate and People of Rome) and stands for Senatus populusque Lubecensis. It was, however, affixed only in 1871. There was previously no inscription at this location. It would also have been pointless, since the view of the lower parts of the Holsten Gate from the city side was obscured by high walls.

 

There is another inscription on the field side. The text is “concordia domi foris pax” (“harmony within, peace without”). This inscription is also from 1871 and is a shortened form of the text which had previously been on the (not preserved) foregate: “Concordia domi et pax foris sane res est omnium pulcherrima” (“Harmony within and peace without are indeed the greatest good of all”; see “Outer Holsten Gate” below).

 

FORTIFICATIONS ON THE FIELD SIDE

Functionally, the field and the city side have very different designs. While the city side is richly decorated with windows, this would be inappropriate on the field side considering the possibility of, combat situations. On the field side there are accordingly only a few small windows. In addition, the walls are interspersed with embrasures. Also, the wall thickness on the field side is greater than on the city side: 3.5 metres compared to less than 1 metre. The reasoning during construction may have been to be able to quickly destroy the gate from the city side in an emergency, so that it would not fall into enemy hands as a bulwark.

 

The loopholes and the openings of the gun chambers are directed toward the field side. In each tower there were three gun chambers each on the ground, first and second floors. Those on the ground floor have not been preserved. Since the building has subsided over the centuries, they are now 50 centimetres below ground level, and even below the new flooring. On the first upper storey there are, in addition to the aforementioned chambers, two slits for small guns which were above and between the three chambers. There are also small openings on the third upper storey with forward- and downward-directed slits for firing small arms.

 

The central block has no loopholes. The windows above the passage were also designed for dousing invaders with pitch or boiling water.

 

ORNAMENTATION

The most striking nonfunctional embellishments are two so-called terra-cotta stripes which encircle the building. These consist of individual tiles, most of which are square with sides of 55 centimetres. Each tile bears one of three different ornaments: either an arrangement of four heraldic lilies, a symmetrical lattice, or a representation of four thistle leaves. There is no apparent order to these recurring symbols, but each group of eight tiles is always followed by a tile with a different design. It has the form of a heraldic shield and bears either the Lübeck heraldic eagle or a stylized tree. These shields are flanked by two male figures who function as bearers of a coat of arms.

 

The terra-cotta stripes were repaired during restoration work between 1865 and 1870. Only three of the original tiles are preserved as museum specimens. The new tiles approximate the former design, although liberties were taken during the restoration. For example, the design of the heraldic eagle motif is by no means a reflection of the original.

 

The pediment was also not faithfully restored, but this is not the fault of the restorers, since in the 19th century it had long been gone and its original appearance was unknown. An old view on an altarpiece in the Lübeck fortress monastery shows a Holsten Gate with five pediment towers. But since this picture shows the Holsten Gate in the middle of a fantasy landscape of mountains and forests the credibility of the representation is disputed. Today, three towers crown the pediment, but they are visible only from the city side.

 

INTERIOR

Both tower interiors have the same design. The ground floor and first upper story have the highest ceilings, while the floors above are much lower. Two narrow spiral staircases wind their way upwards, in each case between the central building and the adjacent tower. On each floor corridors connect the rooms of the central block with tower rooms at the same level. The ceiling of the north tower’s second floor has been removed, so that today the second and third upper storeys there share a common space. This change dates from 1934 and does not reflect the original situation.

 

The gun chambers are in front of the loopholes. Today there are guns in the chambers of the second floor, but they are not originals and were placed there at a late date. Above the gun chambers are hooks from which chains were suspended and attached to the cannon to cushion the recoil after firing. The higher gun chambers of the first upper storey could only be accessed with ladders.

 

HISTORY

The rich and wealthy Hanseatic city of Lübeck felt the need in the course of the centuries to protect itself from outside threats with ever stronger walls and fortifications. Three gates gave access to the city: the Citadel Gate in the north, Mill Gate in the south, and the Holsten Gate in the west. To the east, the city was protected by the dammed Wakenitz River. Here, the less martial Hüxter Gate led out of the city.

 

These city gates were initially simple gates which were repeatedly strengthened over time so that they eventually all had an outer, middle and inner gate. Today, only fragments remain of these ancient city gates. The gate now known as the Citadel Gate is the former Interior Citadel Gate; the Middle and Outer Citadel Gates no longer exist. All three Mill Gates have completely disappeared. The gate now known as the Holsten Gate is the former Middle Holsten Gate; there was also an (older) Inner Holsten Gate, an Outer Holsten Gate, and even a fourth gate, known as the Second Outer Holsten Gate. So the history of the Holsten Gate is actually the history of four consecutive gates, although only one of them is left.

 

The names of the individual gates changed as a matter of course as their components emerged and disappeared. The Middle Holsten Gate was once the Outer Holsten Gate before the gates on either side were constructed. Still today there is a great deal of confusion about the names as one studies the historical record. The four gates and their history are described below.

 

INNER HOLSTEN GATE

The oldest Holsten Gate guarded the nearby banks of the Trave River. One had to leave the city through this gate in order to get to the Holsten Bridge, which crossed the river. It is not known when a gate was erected here for the first time. The Holsten Bridge was first mentioned in a 1216 deed signed by the king of Denmark. It is likely that already at that time there was a gate and a city wall along the Trave River. The designations “Holsten Bridge” (and “Holsten Gate”) are simply a consequence of the fact that the city’s western exit was in the direction of Holstein.

 

Historical records indicate that the Holsten Bridge and Holsten Gate were renewed in 1376. There is good evidence for the appearance of the gate erected at that time in a woodcut of a view of the city of Lübeck produced by Elias Diebel. Although this is a city view from the eastern, Wakenitz side of the old inner city hill, the artist has folded out essential parts of the gate’s west side, so that they too become visible. It was a rectangular tower with a wooden gallery on the upper part.

 

At an unknown date in the 17th century, the Inner Holsten Gate was replaced by a smaller, simple half-timbered gate - possibly because no point was seen in having a strong inner gate in light of the strong outer fortifications which had been erected in the meantime. The Inner Holsten Tor was connected to the dwelling of the tollkeeper, who guarded the access to the city at this location.

 

The half-timbered gate was replaced by a simple iron gate in 1794, which in turn was demolished in 1828, together with the tollkeeper’s house and the city wall along the Trave River.

 

It is likely that there was a gate also on the opposite bank of the Trave at an early date. But nothing is known of its appearance. If it existed, it was torn down before or after the construction of the Middle Holsten Gate.

 

MIDDLE HOLSTEN GATE

In the 15th century the entire gate construction was considered to be inadequate. The proliferation of firearms and canon made stronger fortifications necessary. It was decided to build another gate - the Outer Holsten Gate, later known as the Middle Holsten Gate and today only as the Holsten Gate. Funding was secured by a legacy of the councilman John Broling amounting to 4,000 Lübeck marks. In 1464 the city’s architect, Hinrich Helmstede, began construction, which was completed in 1478. It was erected on a seven-metre high hill raised for the purpose. Already during the construction period this foundation proved to be unstable. The south tower sagged because of the marshy ground and already during ongoing constructions attempts were made to compensate for its inclination.

 

OUTER HOLSTENN GATE

The exterior Holsten Gate was also known as the Renaissance Gate, the Foregate or the Crooked Gate. It was constructed in the 16th century when a wall was built west of the Middle Holsten Gate into which a gate was inserted. The outer Holsten Gate was completed in 1585. The new gate obstructed the view of the Middle Holsten Gate since its eastern exit was located only 20 metres from that construction. A walled area known as the Zwinger was created between the two gates.

 

Its foregate was small compared with the approximately one hundred years older Middle Holsten Gate, but much more richly decorated on the field side. The city side was by contrast left plain. The Outer Holsten Gate was the first gate to bear an inscription. It read, "Pulchra res est pax foris et concordia domi – MDLXXXV" ("It is wonderful to have peace without and harmony within - 1585") and was placed on the city side. It was later moved to the field side and slightly modified ("Concordia domi et foris pax sane res est omnium pulcherrima", "harmony within and peace without are the greatest good of all"). Connected to the gate was the home of the Wall Master, who was responsible for the maintenance of the fortifications.

 

The builder of the Renaissance gate was probably the city architect Hermann von Rode, who designed the front following Dutch prototypes. For example, the Nieuwe Oosterpoort in Hoorn is directly comparable. This gate existed for about 250 years and was in the end sacrificed to the railway; it was demolished in 1853 to make room for the first Lübeck train station and tracks. Today, this station no longer exists either; the present station is located about 500 metres to the west.

 

SECOND OUTER HOLSTEN GATE

At the beginning of the 17th century new city walls were built in front of the city moat, under the supervision of military engineer Johhann von Brüssel. As part of this construction a fourth Holsten Gate was built in 1621. It was completely integranted into the high walls and topped by an octagonal tower. The archways bore the inscriptions “Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos” ( "If God be for us, who can be against us?" on the city side and “sub alis altissimi ( "Under the protection of the Most High" on the field side. This gate was the last of the four Holsten Gates to be constructed and the first to disappear, namely in 1808.

 

DEMOLITION & RESTAURATION IN 19TH CENTURY

In the course of industrialization, the fortifications were considered to be only annoying obstacles. In 1808 the second outer Holsten Gate was demolished, in 1828 the inner Holsten Gate, and in 1853 the outer Holsten Gate. It was then considered to be only as a matter of time before the Middle Holsten Gate, the only remaining of the four gates, would be torn down. Indeed, in 1855, Lübeck citizens petitioned the Senate to finally demolish the remaining gate, since it hindered the extension of the railway facilities. This petition had 683 signatures.

 

However, there was at that time also growing resistance to the destruction of old buildings. Thus August Reichensperger wrote in 1852, “Even Lübeck, once the proud head of the Hanseatic League, does not seem able to endure the reflection of its former glory. It maims, crops and covers up so assiduously that “modern Enlightenment” will soon have nothing to be ashamed of any more”.[2] When King Frederick William IV of Prussia heard of this, he sent Prussia’s then-curator of historic monuments, Ferdinand von Quast, to salvage whatever could be saved.[3]

 

Controversy over the demolition went on for a long time. A decision was made only in 1863 when the Lübeck citizens decided by a majority of just one vote not to demolish the building but to instead extensively restore it. Meanwhile, the gate was in very bad condition, since every year it had sunk a few centimetres further into the ground. The lowest loopholes were already 50 centimetres below ground, and the inclination of the entire gate was beginning to be dangerous. This drastically altered the statics of the building, so that its collapse was feared. The Holsten Gate was thoroughly restored, with work continuing into 1871.

 

Afterwards there was a change in the relationship of the Lübeck population to the Holsten Gate. It was no longer perceived as a troublesome ruin, but as a symbol of a proud past. In 1925, the German Association of Cities made the Holstentor its symbol. As early as 1901, the marzipan manufacturer Niederegger used the Holsten gate in its company trademark. Other Lübeck companies did the same.

 

RESTAURATION IN 1934/36

Since the towers continued to slant and their collapse could still not be ruled out, a second restoration became necessary. This occurred in the years 1933-34, during which the Holsten Gate was stabilized so that it finally stood firm. In this final restoration, reinforced concrete anchors were used to secure the towers, which were girded by iron rings. Changes were, however, also made which did not correspond with the original character of the gate, including the above-mentioned merging of north tower floors. The Nazis turned the Holsten Gate into a museum. It was called the Hall of Honor and Glory, and was supposed to represent Lübeck and German history from the perspective of Nazi ideology.

 

In the second half of the 20th century minor repairs were made to the Holsten Gate which are no longer in line with current standards for architectural conservation.

 

RESTAURATION 2008/06

From March 2005 to December 2006, the Holsten Gate was again restored. The restoration was estimated to cost around one million euros, with 498,000 euros (the originally planned cost) being provided by the German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Possehl Foundation. The remaining costs were primarily covered through donations from individuals, companies and academic institutions. A swastika dating from 1934 was cut out and taken away by unknown parties a few days after the scaffolding was installed for the repairs. It was considered to be the last swastika still remaining on a public building in Germany and was supposed to be concealed with metal sheeting as part of the restoration work. A plate with the date 2006 was put up where the stolen swastika had been to commemorate the completion of restoration work.

 

On 2 December 2006, the Holstentor reopened to the public as part of a light show created by the artist Michael Batz. For safety reasons the gate had been obscured during restoration by a high resolution depiction of the gate before work had begun, printed on scaffolding tarpaulins.

 

THE HOLSTEN GATE TODAY

In 1950 the Holsten Gate again served as a museum, this time for municipal history. Relics from historic Lübeck were presented, the development of medieval Lübeck was shown using models and pictures, and models of the ships of the Hanseatic League and the flagship “Eagle of Lübeck” were exhibited. The features of this museum were also not historically accurate. For example, the museum also included a torture chamber with a dungeon, a rack and other torture devices. But the Holsten Gate had never contained anything like that.

 

The two monumental iron statues of reclining lions placed in an area in front of the Holsten Gate designed by Harry Maasz date from 1823 and are unsigned They are attributed to Christian Daniel Rauch and may possibly have been made with the collaboration of a member of Rauch’s workshop, Th. Kalide (1801-1863). One lion is asleep, the other is awake and attentively regards the other. They were originally placed in front of the house built in 1840 by the Lübeck merchant and art collector John Daniel Jacobj (1798-1847) at Große Petersgrube 18. In 1873 they were placed in front of the Hotel Stadt Hamburg am Klingenberg until its destruction in 1942 during World War II, and only later in front of the Holsten Gate. They are complemented by a bronze statue on the other side of the street, the Striding Antilope, by the sculptor Fritz Behn.

 

The Holsten Gate Museum was modernized in 2002. Not only was the torture chamber removed; all rooms were redesigned according tor a new concept that involved the integration of image and sound documentation. As of 2006, the museum has been managed by the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

 

SURROUNDINGS

The Holsten Gate is located in the Lübeck city wall complex on the main access road connecting the main railway station with the suburb of St. Lorenz and crossing the Puppen Bridge. The Holsten Gate Square (“Holstentorplatz”) is enclosed on one side by a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank; with new construction extending the original Reichsbank building to the rear. On the other side there is the brick expressionist Holsten Gate Hall (“Holstentorhalle”) between the historic salt warehouses and the DGB’s House of Trade Unions (“Gewerkschaftshaus”). This building was altered with funds from the Possehl Foundation to create a rehearsal and teaching facility for Lübeck’s University of Music (“Musikhochschule Lübeck”) was rebuilt. Another pedestrian bridge over the Upper Trave River was completed in spring 2007 to provide a connection the university’s main building complex in the old city centre.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

ON CURRENCIES & POSTAGE STAMPS

The Holsten Gate appears on the 50 DM bank notes produced from 1960 to 1991 and on the German two-euro coin issued in 2006.

 

In 1948 it appeared on the four highest denominations (DM 1, DM 2, DM 3 and DM 5) of the first long-term series of postage stamps in German mark currency, which featured buildings. In 2000 it appeared on the 5 DM and 10 DM postage stamp of another series, "Places of Interest".

 

WIKIPEDIA

The Holsten Gate ("Holstein Tor", later "Holstentor") is a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This Brick Gothic construction is one of the relics of Lübeck’s medieval city fortifications and the only remaining city gate, except for the Citadel Gate ("Burgtor"). Because its two round towers and arched entrance are so well known it is regarded today as a symbol of this German city, and together with the old city centre (Altstadt) of Lübeck it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

 

APPEARIANCE

The Holsten Gate is composed of a south tower, a north tower and a central building. It has four floors, except for the ground floor of the central block, where the gate’s passageway is located. The side facing west (away from the city) is called the “field side”, the side facing the city the “city side”. The two towers and the central block appear as one construction when viewed from the city side. On the field side, the three units can be clearly differentiated. Here the two towers form semicircles which at their widest point extend 3.5 metres beyond the central block. The towers have conical roofs; the central block has a pediment.

 

PASSAGEWAY & INSCRIPTIONS

The passageway once had two gates on the field side, which have not survived. A portcullis installed in 1934 does not correspond to the original security installations. Instead, there was once a so-called "pipe organ" at this location, with individual bars which could be lowered separately rather than together as a set. Thus it was possible to first lower all but one or two rods, leaving a small gap for their own men to slip through later. There is an inscription over the passageway on both the city side and the field side.

 

On the city side it reads, “SPQL” and is framed by the years 1477 and 1871, the former being the supposed date of construction (the correct date is, however, now known to be 1478), the latter being the date of the gate’s restoration and the founding of the German Reich. This inscription was modeled on the Roman “SPQR” (Latin populusque Senatus Romanus - the Senate and People of Rome) and stands for Senatus populusque Lubecensis. It was, however, affixed only in 1871. There was previously no inscription at this location. It would also have been pointless, since the view of the lower parts of the Holsten Gate from the city side was obscured by high walls.

 

There is another inscription on the field side. The text is “concordia domi foris pax” (“harmony within, peace without”). This inscription is also from 1871 and is a shortened form of the text which had previously been on the (not preserved) foregate: “Concordia domi et pax foris sane res est omnium pulcherrima” (“Harmony within and peace without are indeed the greatest good of all”; see “Outer Holsten Gate” below).

 

FORTIFICATIONS ON THE FIELD SIDE

Functionally, the field and the city side have very different designs. While the city side is richly decorated with windows, this would be inappropriate on the field side considering the possibility of, combat situations. On the field side there are accordingly only a few small windows. In addition, the walls are interspersed with embrasures. Also, the wall thickness on the field side is greater than on the city side: 3.5 metres compared to less than 1 metre. The reasoning during construction may have been to be able to quickly destroy the gate from the city side in an emergency, so that it would not fall into enemy hands as a bulwark.

 

The loopholes and the openings of the gun chambers are directed toward the field side. In each tower there were three gun chambers each on the ground, first and second floors. Those on the ground floor have not been preserved. Since the building has subsided over the centuries, they are now 50 centimetres below ground level, and even below the new flooring. On the first upper storey there are, in addition to the aforementioned chambers, two slits for small guns which were above and between the three chambers. There are also small openings on the third upper storey with forward- and downward-directed slits for firing small arms.

 

The central block has no loopholes. The windows above the passage were also designed for dousing invaders with pitch or boiling water.

 

ORNAMENTATION

The most striking nonfunctional embellishments are two so-called terra-cotta stripes which encircle the building. These consist of individual tiles, most of which are square with sides of 55 centimetres. Each tile bears one of three different ornaments: either an arrangement of four heraldic lilies, a symmetrical lattice, or a representation of four thistle leaves. There is no apparent order to these recurring symbols, but each group of eight tiles is always followed by a tile with a different design. It has the form of a heraldic shield and bears either the Lübeck heraldic eagle or a stylized tree. These shields are flanked by two male figures who function as bearers of a coat of arms.

 

The terra-cotta stripes were repaired during restoration work between 1865 and 1870. Only three of the original tiles are preserved as museum specimens. The new tiles approximate the former design, although liberties were taken during the restoration. For example, the design of the heraldic eagle motif is by no means a reflection of the original.

 

The pediment was also not faithfully restored, but this is not the fault of the restorers, since in the 19th century it had long been gone and its original appearance was unknown. An old view on an altarpiece in the Lübeck fortress monastery shows a Holsten Gate with five pediment towers. But since this picture shows the Holsten Gate in the middle of a fantasy landscape of mountains and forests the credibility of the representation is disputed. Today, three towers crown the pediment, but they are visible only from the city side.

 

INTERIOR

Both tower interiors have the same design. The ground floor and first upper story have the highest ceilings, while the floors above are much lower. Two narrow spiral staircases wind their way upwards, in each case between the central building and the adjacent tower. On each floor corridors connect the rooms of the central block with tower rooms at the same level. The ceiling of the north tower’s second floor has been removed, so that today the second and third upper storeys there share a common space. This change dates from 1934 and does not reflect the original situation.

 

The gun chambers are in front of the loopholes. Today there are guns in the chambers of the second floor, but they are not originals and were placed there at a late date. Above the gun chambers are hooks from which chains were suspended and attached to the cannon to cushion the recoil after firing. The higher gun chambers of the first upper storey could only be accessed with ladders.

 

HISTORY

The rich and wealthy Hanseatic city of Lübeck felt the need in the course of the centuries to protect itself from outside threats with ever stronger walls and fortifications. Three gates gave access to the city: the Citadel Gate in the north, Mill Gate in the south, and the Holsten Gate in the west. To the east, the city was protected by the dammed Wakenitz River. Here, the less martial Hüxter Gate led out of the city.

 

These city gates were initially simple gates which were repeatedly strengthened over time so that they eventually all had an outer, middle and inner gate. Today, only fragments remain of these ancient city gates. The gate now known as the Citadel Gate is the former Interior Citadel Gate; the Middle and Outer Citadel Gates no longer exist. All three Mill Gates have completely disappeared. The gate now known as the Holsten Gate is the former Middle Holsten Gate; there was also an (older) Inner Holsten Gate, an Outer Holsten Gate, and even a fourth gate, known as the Second Outer Holsten Gate. So the history of the Holsten Gate is actually the history of four consecutive gates, although only one of them is left.

 

The names of the individual gates changed as a matter of course as their components emerged and disappeared. The Middle Holsten Gate was once the Outer Holsten Gate before the gates on either side were constructed. Still today there is a great deal of confusion about the names as one studies the historical record. The four gates and their history are described below.

 

INNER HOLSTEN GATE

The oldest Holsten Gate guarded the nearby banks of the Trave River. One had to leave the city through this gate in order to get to the Holsten Bridge, which crossed the river. It is not known when a gate was erected here for the first time. The Holsten Bridge was first mentioned in a 1216 deed signed by the king of Denmark. It is likely that already at that time there was a gate and a city wall along the Trave River. The designations “Holsten Bridge” (and “Holsten Gate”) are simply a consequence of the fact that the city’s western exit was in the direction of Holstein.

 

Historical records indicate that the Holsten Bridge and Holsten Gate were renewed in 1376. There is good evidence for the appearance of the gate erected at that time in a woodcut of a view of the city of Lübeck produced by Elias Diebel. Although this is a city view from the eastern, Wakenitz side of the old inner city hill, the artist has folded out essential parts of the gate’s west side, so that they too become visible. It was a rectangular tower with a wooden gallery on the upper part.

 

At an unknown date in the 17th century, the Inner Holsten Gate was replaced by a smaller, simple half-timbered gate - possibly because no point was seen in having a strong inner gate in light of the strong outer fortifications which had been erected in the meantime. The Inner Holsten Tor was connected to the dwelling of the tollkeeper, who guarded the access to the city at this location.

 

The half-timbered gate was replaced by a simple iron gate in 1794, which in turn was demolished in 1828, together with the tollkeeper’s house and the city wall along the Trave River.

 

It is likely that there was a gate also on the opposite bank of the Trave at an early date. But nothing is known of its appearance. If it existed, it was torn down before or after the construction of the Middle Holsten Gate.

 

MIDDLE HOLSTEN GATE

In the 15th century the entire gate construction was considered to be inadequate. The proliferation of firearms and canon made stronger fortifications necessary. It was decided to build another gate - the Outer Holsten Gate, later known as the Middle Holsten Gate and today only as the Holsten Gate. Funding was secured by a legacy of the councilman John Broling amounting to 4,000 Lübeck marks. In 1464 the city’s architect, Hinrich Helmstede, began construction, which was completed in 1478. It was erected on a seven-metre high hill raised for the purpose. Already during the construction period this foundation proved to be unstable. The south tower sagged because of the marshy ground and already during ongoing constructions attempts were made to compensate for its inclination.

 

OUTER HOLSTENN GATE

The exterior Holsten Gate was also known as the Renaissance Gate, the Foregate or the Crooked Gate. It was constructed in the 16th century when a wall was built west of the Middle Holsten Gate into which a gate was inserted. The outer Holsten Gate was completed in 1585. The new gate obstructed the view of the Middle Holsten Gate since its eastern exit was located only 20 metres from that construction. A walled area known as the Zwinger was created between the two gates.

 

Its foregate was small compared with the approximately one hundred years older Middle Holsten Gate, but much more richly decorated on the field side. The city side was by contrast left plain. The Outer Holsten Gate was the first gate to bear an inscription. It read, "Pulchra res est pax foris et concordia domi – MDLXXXV" ("It is wonderful to have peace without and harmony within - 1585") and was placed on the city side. It was later moved to the field side and slightly modified ("Concordia domi et foris pax sane res est omnium pulcherrima", "harmony within and peace without are the greatest good of all"). Connected to the gate was the home of the Wall Master, who was responsible for the maintenance of the fortifications.

 

The builder of the Renaissance gate was probably the city architect Hermann von Rode, who designed the front following Dutch prototypes. For example, the Nieuwe Oosterpoort in Hoorn is directly comparable. This gate existed for about 250 years and was in the end sacrificed to the railway; it was demolished in 1853 to make room for the first Lübeck train station and tracks. Today, this station no longer exists either; the present station is located about 500 metres to the west.

 

SECOND OUTER HOLSTEN GATE

At the beginning of the 17th century new city walls were built in front of the city moat, under the supervision of military engineer Johhann von Brüssel. As part of this construction a fourth Holsten Gate was built in 1621. It was completely integranted into the high walls and topped by an octagonal tower. The archways bore the inscriptions “Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos” ( "If God be for us, who can be against us?" on the city side and “sub alis altissimi ( "Under the protection of the Most High" on the field side. This gate was the last of the four Holsten Gates to be constructed and the first to disappear, namely in 1808.

 

DEMOLITION & RESTAURATION IN 19TH CENTURY

In the course of industrialization, the fortifications were considered to be only annoying obstacles. In 1808 the second outer Holsten Gate was demolished, in 1828 the inner Holsten Gate, and in 1853 the outer Holsten Gate. It was then considered to be only as a matter of time before the Middle Holsten Gate, the only remaining of the four gates, would be torn down. Indeed, in 1855, Lübeck citizens petitioned the Senate to finally demolish the remaining gate, since it hindered the extension of the railway facilities. This petition had 683 signatures.

 

However, there was at that time also growing resistance to the destruction of old buildings. Thus August Reichensperger wrote in 1852, “Even Lübeck, once the proud head of the Hanseatic League, does not seem able to endure the reflection of its former glory. It maims, crops and covers up so assiduously that “modern Enlightenment” will soon have nothing to be ashamed of any more”.[2] When King Frederick William IV of Prussia heard of this, he sent Prussia’s then-curator of historic monuments, Ferdinand von Quast, to salvage whatever could be saved.[3]

 

Controversy over the demolition went on for a long time. A decision was made only in 1863 when the Lübeck citizens decided by a majority of just one vote not to demolish the building but to instead extensively restore it. Meanwhile, the gate was in very bad condition, since every year it had sunk a few centimetres further into the ground. The lowest loopholes were already 50 centimetres below ground, and the inclination of the entire gate was beginning to be dangerous. This drastically altered the statics of the building, so that its collapse was feared. The Holsten Gate was thoroughly restored, with work continuing into 1871.

 

Afterwards there was a change in the relationship of the Lübeck population to the Holsten Gate. It was no longer perceived as a troublesome ruin, but as a symbol of a proud past. In 1925, the German Association of Cities made the Holstentor its symbol. As early as 1901, the marzipan manufacturer Niederegger used the Holsten gate in its company trademark. Other Lübeck companies did the same.

 

RESTAURATION IN 1934/36

Since the towers continued to slant and their collapse could still not be ruled out, a second restoration became necessary. This occurred in the years 1933-34, during which the Holsten Gate was stabilized so that it finally stood firm. In this final restoration, reinforced concrete anchors were used to secure the towers, which were girded by iron rings. Changes were, however, also made which did not correspond with the original character of the gate, including the above-mentioned merging of north tower floors. The Nazis turned the Holsten Gate into a museum. It was called the Hall of Honor and Glory, and was supposed to represent Lübeck and German history from the perspective of Nazi ideology.

 

In the second half of the 20th century minor repairs were made to the Holsten Gate which are no longer in line with current standards for architectural conservation.

 

RESTAURATION 2008/06

From March 2005 to December 2006, the Holsten Gate was again restored. The restoration was estimated to cost around one million euros, with 498,000 euros (the originally planned cost) being provided by the German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Possehl Foundation. The remaining costs were primarily covered through donations from individuals, companies and academic institutions. A swastika dating from 1934 was cut out and taken away by unknown parties a few days after the scaffolding was installed for the repairs. It was considered to be the last swastika still remaining on a public building in Germany and was supposed to be concealed with metal sheeting as part of the restoration work. A plate with the date 2006 was put up where the stolen swastika had been to commemorate the completion of restoration work.

 

On 2 December 2006, the Holstentor reopened to the public as part of a light show created by the artist Michael Batz. For safety reasons the gate had been obscured during restoration by a high resolution depiction of the gate before work had begun, printed on scaffolding tarpaulins.

 

THE HOLSTEN GATE TODAY

In 1950 the Holsten Gate again served as a museum, this time for municipal history. Relics from historic Lübeck were presented, the development of medieval Lübeck was shown using models and pictures, and models of the ships of the Hanseatic League and the flagship “Eagle of Lübeck” were exhibited. The features of this museum were also not historically accurate. For example, the museum also included a torture chamber with a dungeon, a rack and other torture devices. But the Holsten Gate had never contained anything like that.

 

The two monumental iron statues of reclining lions placed in an area in front of the Holsten Gate designed by Harry Maasz date from 1823 and are unsigned They are attributed to Christian Daniel Rauch and may possibly have been made with the collaboration of a member of Rauch’s workshop, Th. Kalide (1801-1863). One lion is asleep, the other is awake and attentively regards the other. They were originally placed in front of the house built in 1840 by the Lübeck merchant and art collector John Daniel Jacobj (1798-1847) at Große Petersgrube 18. In 1873 they were placed in front of the Hotel Stadt Hamburg am Klingenberg until its destruction in 1942 during World War II, and only later in front of the Holsten Gate. They are complemented by a bronze statue on the other side of the street, the Striding Antilope, by the sculptor Fritz Behn.

 

The Holsten Gate Museum was modernized in 2002. Not only was the torture chamber removed; all rooms were redesigned according tor a new concept that involved the integration of image and sound documentation. As of 2006, the museum has been managed by the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

 

SURROUNDINGS

The Holsten Gate is located in the Lübeck city wall complex on the main access road connecting the main railway station with the suburb of St. Lorenz and crossing the Puppen Bridge. The Holsten Gate Square (“Holstentorplatz”) is enclosed on one side by a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank; with new construction extending the original Reichsbank building to the rear. On the other side there is the brick expressionist Holsten Gate Hall (“Holstentorhalle”) between the historic salt warehouses and the DGB’s House of Trade Unions (“Gewerkschaftshaus”). This building was altered with funds from the Possehl Foundation to create a rehearsal and teaching facility for Lübeck’s University of Music (“Musikhochschule Lübeck”) was rebuilt. Another pedestrian bridge over the Upper Trave River was completed in spring 2007 to provide a connection the university’s main building complex in the old city centre.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

ON CURRENCIES & POSTAGE STAMPS

The Holsten Gate appears on the 50 DM bank notes produced from 1960 to 1991 and on the German two-euro coin issued in 2006.

 

In 1948 it appeared on the four highest denominations (DM 1, DM 2, DM 3 and DM 5) of the first long-term series of postage stamps in German mark currency, which featured buildings. In 2000 it appeared on the 5 DM and 10 DM postage stamp of another series, "Places of Interest".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

The Holsten Gate ("Holstein Tor", later "Holstentor") is a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This Brick Gothic construction is one of the relics of Lübeck’s medieval city fortifications and the only remaining city gate, except for the Citadel Gate ("Burgtor"). Because its two round towers and arched entrance are so well known it is regarded today as a symbol of this German city, and together with the old city centre (Altstadt) of Lübeck it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

 

APPEARIANCE

The Holsten Gate is composed of a south tower, a north tower and a central building. It has four floors, except for the ground floor of the central block, where the gate’s passageway is located. The side facing west (away from the city) is called the “field side”, the side facing the city the “city side”. The two towers and the central block appear as one construction when viewed from the city side. On the field side, the three units can be clearly differentiated. Here the two towers form semicircles which at their widest point extend 3.5 metres beyond the central block. The towers have conical roofs; the central block has a pediment.

 

PASSAGEWAY & INSCRIPTIONS

The passageway once had two gates on the field side, which have not survived. A portcullis installed in 1934 does not correspond to the original security installations. Instead, there was once a so-called "pipe organ" at this location, with individual bars which could be lowered separately rather than together as a set. Thus it was possible to first lower all but one or two rods, leaving a small gap for their own men to slip through later. There is an inscription over the passageway on both the city side and the field side.

 

On the city side it reads, “SPQL” and is framed by the years 1477 and 1871, the former being the supposed date of construction (the correct date is, however, now known to be 1478), the latter being the date of the gate’s restoration and the founding of the German Reich. This inscription was modeled on the Roman “SPQR” (Latin populusque Senatus Romanus - the Senate and People of Rome) and stands for Senatus populusque Lubecensis. It was, however, affixed only in 1871. There was previously no inscription at this location. It would also have been pointless, since the view of the lower parts of the Holsten Gate from the city side was obscured by high walls.

 

There is another inscription on the field side. The text is “concordia domi foris pax” (“harmony within, peace without”). This inscription is also from 1871 and is a shortened form of the text which had previously been on the (not preserved) foregate: “Concordia domi et pax foris sane res est omnium pulcherrima” (“Harmony within and peace without are indeed the greatest good of all”; see “Outer Holsten Gate” below).

 

FORTIFICATIONS ON THE FIELD SIDE

Functionally, the field and the city side have very different designs. While the city side is richly decorated with windows, this would be inappropriate on the field side considering the possibility of, combat situations. On the field side there are accordingly only a few small windows. In addition, the walls are interspersed with embrasures. Also, the wall thickness on the field side is greater than on the city side: 3.5 metres compared to less than 1 metre. The reasoning during construction may have been to be able to quickly destroy the gate from the city side in an emergency, so that it would not fall into enemy hands as a bulwark.

 

The loopholes and the openings of the gun chambers are directed toward the field side. In each tower there were three gun chambers each on the ground, first and second floors. Those on the ground floor have not been preserved. Since the building has subsided over the centuries, they are now 50 centimetres below ground level, and even below the new flooring. On the first upper storey there are, in addition to the aforementioned chambers, two slits for small guns which were above and between the three chambers. There are also small openings on the third upper storey with forward- and downward-directed slits for firing small arms.

 

The central block has no loopholes. The windows above the passage were also designed for dousing invaders with pitch or boiling water.

 

ORNAMENTATION

The most striking nonfunctional embellishments are two so-called terra-cotta stripes which encircle the building. These consist of individual tiles, most of which are square with sides of 55 centimetres. Each tile bears one of three different ornaments: either an arrangement of four heraldic lilies, a symmetrical lattice, or a representation of four thistle leaves. There is no apparent order to these recurring symbols, but each group of eight tiles is always followed by a tile with a different design. It has the form of a heraldic shield and bears either the Lübeck heraldic eagle or a stylized tree. These shields are flanked by two male figures who function as bearers of a coat of arms.

 

The terra-cotta stripes were repaired during restoration work between 1865 and 1870. Only three of the original tiles are preserved as museum specimens. The new tiles approximate the former design, although liberties were taken during the restoration. For example, the design of the heraldic eagle motif is by no means a reflection of the original.

 

The pediment was also not faithfully restored, but this is not the fault of the restorers, since in the 19th century it had long been gone and its original appearance was unknown. An old view on an altarpiece in the Lübeck fortress monastery shows a Holsten Gate with five pediment towers. But since this picture shows the Holsten Gate in the middle of a fantasy landscape of mountains and forests the credibility of the representation is disputed. Today, three towers crown the pediment, but they are visible only from the city side.

 

INTERIOR

Both tower interiors have the same design. The ground floor and first upper story have the highest ceilings, while the floors above are much lower. Two narrow spiral staircases wind their way upwards, in each case between the central building and the adjacent tower. On each floor corridors connect the rooms of the central block with tower rooms at the same level. The ceiling of the north tower’s second floor has been removed, so that today the second and third upper storeys there share a common space. This change dates from 1934 and does not reflect the original situation.

 

The gun chambers are in front of the loopholes. Today there are guns in the chambers of the second floor, but they are not originals and were placed there at a late date. Above the gun chambers are hooks from which chains were suspended and attached to the cannon to cushion the recoil after firing. The higher gun chambers of the first upper storey could only be accessed with ladders.

 

HISTORY

The rich and wealthy Hanseatic city of Lübeck felt the need in the course of the centuries to protect itself from outside threats with ever stronger walls and fortifications. Three gates gave access to the city: the Citadel Gate in the north, Mill Gate in the south, and the Holsten Gate in the west. To the east, the city was protected by the dammed Wakenitz River. Here, the less martial Hüxter Gate led out of the city.

 

These city gates were initially simple gates which were repeatedly strengthened over time so that they eventually all had an outer, middle and inner gate. Today, only fragments remain of these ancient city gates. The gate now known as the Citadel Gate is the former Interior Citadel Gate; the Middle and Outer Citadel Gates no longer exist. All three Mill Gates have completely disappeared. The gate now known as the Holsten Gate is the former Middle Holsten Gate; there was also an (older) Inner Holsten Gate, an Outer Holsten Gate, and even a fourth gate, known as the Second Outer Holsten Gate. So the history of the Holsten Gate is actually the history of four consecutive gates, although only one of them is left.

 

The names of the individual gates changed as a matter of course as their components emerged and disappeared. The Middle Holsten Gate was once the Outer Holsten Gate before the gates on either side were constructed. Still today there is a great deal of confusion about the names as one studies the historical record. The four gates and their history are described below.

 

INNER HOLSTEN GATE

The oldest Holsten Gate guarded the nearby banks of the Trave River. One had to leave the city through this gate in order to get to the Holsten Bridge, which crossed the river. It is not known when a gate was erected here for the first time. The Holsten Bridge was first mentioned in a 1216 deed signed by the king of Denmark. It is likely that already at that time there was a gate and a city wall along the Trave River. The designations “Holsten Bridge” (and “Holsten Gate”) are simply a consequence of the fact that the city’s western exit was in the direction of Holstein.

 

Historical records indicate that the Holsten Bridge and Holsten Gate were renewed in 1376. There is good evidence for the appearance of the gate erected at that time in a woodcut of a view of the city of Lübeck produced by Elias Diebel. Although this is a city view from the eastern, Wakenitz side of the old inner city hill, the artist has folded out essential parts of the gate’s west side, so that they too become visible. It was a rectangular tower with a wooden gallery on the upper part.

 

At an unknown date in the 17th century, the Inner Holsten Gate was replaced by a smaller, simple half-timbered gate - possibly because no point was seen in having a strong inner gate in light of the strong outer fortifications which had been erected in the meantime. The Inner Holsten Tor was connected to the dwelling of the tollkeeper, who guarded the access to the city at this location.

 

The half-timbered gate was replaced by a simple iron gate in 1794, which in turn was demolished in 1828, together with the tollkeeper’s house and the city wall along the Trave River.

 

It is likely that there was a gate also on the opposite bank of the Trave at an early date. But nothing is known of its appearance. If it existed, it was torn down before or after the construction of the Middle Holsten Gate.

 

MIDDLE HOLSTEN GATE

In the 15th century the entire gate construction was considered to be inadequate. The proliferation of firearms and canon made stronger fortifications necessary. It was decided to build another gate - the Outer Holsten Gate, later known as the Middle Holsten Gate and today only as the Holsten Gate. Funding was secured by a legacy of the councilman John Broling amounting to 4,000 Lübeck marks. In 1464 the city’s architect, Hinrich Helmstede, began construction, which was completed in 1478. It was erected on a seven-metre high hill raised for the purpose. Already during the construction period this foundation proved to be unstable. The south tower sagged because of the marshy ground and already during ongoing constructions attempts were made to compensate for its inclination.

 

OUTER HOLSTENN GATE

The exterior Holsten Gate was also known as the Renaissance Gate, the Foregate or the Crooked Gate. It was constructed in the 16th century when a wall was built west of the Middle Holsten Gate into which a gate was inserted. The outer Holsten Gate was completed in 1585. The new gate obstructed the view of the Middle Holsten Gate since its eastern exit was located only 20 metres from that construction. A walled area known as the Zwinger was created between the two gates.

 

Its foregate was small compared with the approximately one hundred years older Middle Holsten Gate, but much more richly decorated on the field side. The city side was by contrast left plain. The Outer Holsten Gate was the first gate to bear an inscription. It read, "Pulchra res est pax foris et concordia domi – MDLXXXV" ("It is wonderful to have peace without and harmony within - 1585") and was placed on the city side. It was later moved to the field side and slightly modified ("Concordia domi et foris pax sane res est omnium pulcherrima", "harmony within and peace without are the greatest good of all"). Connected to the gate was the home of the Wall Master, who was responsible for the maintenance of the fortifications.

 

The builder of the Renaissance gate was probably the city architect Hermann von Rode, who designed the front following Dutch prototypes. For example, the Nieuwe Oosterpoort in Hoorn is directly comparable. This gate existed for about 250 years and was in the end sacrificed to the railway; it was demolished in 1853 to make room for the first Lübeck train station and tracks. Today, this station no longer exists either; the present station is located about 500 metres to the west.

 

SECOND OUTER HOLSTEN GATE

At the beginning of the 17th century new city walls were built in front of the city moat, under the supervision of military engineer Johhann von Brüssel. As part of this construction a fourth Holsten Gate was built in 1621. It was completely integranted into the high walls and topped by an octagonal tower. The archways bore the inscriptions “Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos” ( "If God be for us, who can be against us?" on the city side and “sub alis altissimi ( "Under the protection of the Most High" on the field side. This gate was the last of the four Holsten Gates to be constructed and the first to disappear, namely in 1808.

 

DEMOLITION & RESTAURATION IN 19TH CENTURY

In the course of industrialization, the fortifications were considered to be only annoying obstacles. In 1808 the second outer Holsten Gate was demolished, in 1828 the inner Holsten Gate, and in 1853 the outer Holsten Gate. It was then considered to be only as a matter of time before the Middle Holsten Gate, the only remaining of the four gates, would be torn down. Indeed, in 1855, Lübeck citizens petitioned the Senate to finally demolish the remaining gate, since it hindered the extension of the railway facilities. This petition had 683 signatures.

 

However, there was at that time also growing resistance to the destruction of old buildings. Thus August Reichensperger wrote in 1852, “Even Lübeck, once the proud head of the Hanseatic League, does not seem able to endure the reflection of its former glory. It maims, crops and covers up so assiduously that “modern Enlightenment” will soon have nothing to be ashamed of any more”.[2] When King Frederick William IV of Prussia heard of this, he sent Prussia’s then-curator of historic monuments, Ferdinand von Quast, to salvage whatever could be saved.[3]

 

Controversy over the demolition went on for a long time. A decision was made only in 1863 when the Lübeck citizens decided by a majority of just one vote not to demolish the building but to instead extensively restore it. Meanwhile, the gate was in very bad condition, since every year it had sunk a few centimetres further into the ground. The lowest loopholes were already 50 centimetres below ground, and the inclination of the entire gate was beginning to be dangerous. This drastically altered the statics of the building, so that its collapse was feared. The Holsten Gate was thoroughly restored, with work continuing into 1871.

 

Afterwards there was a change in the relationship of the Lübeck population to the Holsten Gate. It was no longer perceived as a troublesome ruin, but as a symbol of a proud past. In 1925, the German Association of Cities made the Holstentor its symbol. As early as 1901, the marzipan manufacturer Niederegger used the Holsten gate in its company trademark. Other Lübeck companies did the same.

 

RESTAURATION IN 1934/36

Since the towers continued to slant and their collapse could still not be ruled out, a second restoration became necessary. This occurred in the years 1933-34, during which the Holsten Gate was stabilized so that it finally stood firm. In this final restoration, reinforced concrete anchors were used to secure the towers, which were girded by iron rings. Changes were, however, also made which did not correspond with the original character of the gate, including the above-mentioned merging of north tower floors. The Nazis turned the Holsten Gate into a museum. It was called the Hall of Honor and Glory, and was supposed to represent Lübeck and German history from the perspective of Nazi ideology.

 

In the second half of the 20th century minor repairs were made to the Holsten Gate which are no longer in line with current standards for architectural conservation.

 

RESTAURATION 2008/06

From March 2005 to December 2006, the Holsten Gate was again restored. The restoration was estimated to cost around one million euros, with 498,000 euros (the originally planned cost) being provided by the German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Possehl Foundation. The remaining costs were primarily covered through donations from individuals, companies and academic institutions. A swastika dating from 1934 was cut out and taken away by unknown parties a few days after the scaffolding was installed for the repairs. It was considered to be the last swastika still remaining on a public building in Germany and was supposed to be concealed with metal sheeting as part of the restoration work. A plate with the date 2006 was put up where the stolen swastika had been to commemorate the completion of restoration work.

 

On 2 December 2006, the Holstentor reopened to the public as part of a light show created by the artist Michael Batz. For safety reasons the gate had been obscured during restoration by a high resolution depiction of the gate before work had begun, printed on scaffolding tarpaulins.

 

THE HOLSTEN GATE TODAY

In 1950 the Holsten Gate again served as a museum, this time for municipal history. Relics from historic Lübeck were presented, the development of medieval Lübeck was shown using models and pictures, and models of the ships of the Hanseatic League and the flagship “Eagle of Lübeck” were exhibited. The features of this museum were also not historically accurate. For example, the museum also included a torture chamber with a dungeon, a rack and other torture devices. But the Holsten Gate had never contained anything like that.

 

The two monumental iron statues of reclining lions placed in an area in front of the Holsten Gate designed by Harry Maasz date from 1823 and are unsigned They are attributed to Christian Daniel Rauch and may possibly have been made with the collaboration of a member of Rauch’s workshop, Th. Kalide (1801-1863). One lion is asleep, the other is awake and attentively regards the other. They were originally placed in front of the house built in 1840 by the Lübeck merchant and art collector John Daniel Jacobj (1798-1847) at Große Petersgrube 18. In 1873 they were placed in front of the Hotel Stadt Hamburg am Klingenberg until its destruction in 1942 during World War II, and only later in front of the Holsten Gate. They are complemented by a bronze statue on the other side of the street, the Striding Antilope, by the sculptor Fritz Behn.

 

The Holsten Gate Museum was modernized in 2002. Not only was the torture chamber removed; all rooms were redesigned according tor a new concept that involved the integration of image and sound documentation. As of 2006, the museum has been managed by the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

 

SURROUNDINGS

The Holsten Gate is located in the Lübeck city wall complex on the main access road connecting the main railway station with the suburb of St. Lorenz and crossing the Puppen Bridge. The Holsten Gate Square (“Holstentorplatz”) is enclosed on one side by a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank; with new construction extending the original Reichsbank building to the rear. On the other side there is the brick expressionist Holsten Gate Hall (“Holstentorhalle”) between the historic salt warehouses and the DGB’s House of Trade Unions (“Gewerkschaftshaus”). This building was altered with funds from the Possehl Foundation to create a rehearsal and teaching facility for Lübeck’s University of Music (“Musikhochschule Lübeck”) was rebuilt. Another pedestrian bridge over the Upper Trave River was completed in spring 2007 to provide a connection the university’s main building complex in the old city centre.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

ON CURRENCIES & POSTAGE STAMPS

The Holsten Gate appears on the 50 DM bank notes produced from 1960 to 1991 and on the German two-euro coin issued in 2006.

 

In 1948 it appeared on the four highest denominations (DM 1, DM 2, DM 3 and DM 5) of the first long-term series of postage stamps in German mark currency, which featured buildings. In 2000 it appeared on the 5 DM and 10 DM postage stamp of another series, "Places of Interest".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

. . . background right: Saltware Houses and St.Petri Church

. . . background left: St. Mary´s Church _________________________________________________

 

The Holsten Gate ("Holstein Tor", later "Holstentor") is a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This Brick Gothic construction is one of the relics of Lübeck’s medieval city fortifications and the only remaining city gate, except for the Citadel Gate ("Burgtor"). Because its two round towers and arched entrance are so well known it is regarded today as a symbol of this German city, and together with the old city centre (Altstadt) of Lübeck it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

 

APPEARIANCE

The Holsten Gate is composed of a south tower, a north tower and a central building. It has four floors, except for the ground floor of the central block, where the gate’s passageway is located. The side facing west (away from the city) is called the “field side”, the side facing the city the “city side”. The two towers and the central block appear as one construction when viewed from the city side. On the field side, the three units can be clearly differentiated. Here the two towers form semicircles which at their widest point extend 3.5 metres beyond the central block. The towers have conical roofs; the central block has a pediment.

 

PASSAGEWAY & INSCRIPTIONS

The passageway once had two gates on the field side, which have not survived. A portcullis installed in 1934 does not correspond to the original security installations. Instead, there was once a so-called "pipe organ" at this location, with individual bars which could be lowered separately rather than together as a set. Thus it was possible to first lower all but one or two rods, leaving a small gap for their own men to slip through later. There is an inscription over the passageway on both the city side and the field side.

 

On the city side it reads, “SPQL” and is framed by the years 1477 and 1871, the former being the supposed date of construction (the correct date is, however, now known to be 1478), the latter being the date of the gate’s restoration and the founding of the German Reich. This inscription was modeled on the Roman “SPQR” (Latin populusque Senatus Romanus - the Senate and People of Rome) and stands for Senatus populusque Lubecensis. It was, however, affixed only in 1871. There was previously no inscription at this location. It would also have been pointless, since the view of the lower parts of the Holsten Gate from the city side was obscured by high walls.

 

There is another inscription on the field side. The text is “concordia domi foris pax” (“harmony within, peace without”). This inscription is also from 1871 and is a shortened form of the text which had previously been on the (not preserved) foregate: “Concordia domi et pax foris sane res est omnium pulcherrima” (“Harmony within and peace without are indeed the greatest good of all”; see “Outer Holsten Gate” below).

 

FORTIFICATIONS ON THE FIELD SIDE

Functionally, the field and the city side have very different designs. While the city side is richly decorated with windows, this would be inappropriate on the field side considering the possibility of, combat situations. On the field side there are accordingly only a few small windows. In addition, the walls are interspersed with embrasures. Also, the wall thickness on the field side is greater than on the city side: 3.5 metres compared to less than 1 metre. The reasoning during construction may have been to be able to quickly destroy the gate from the city side in an emergency, so that it would not fall into enemy hands as a bulwark.

 

The loopholes and the openings of the gun chambers are directed toward the field side. In each tower there were three gun chambers each on the ground, first and second floors. Those on the ground floor have not been preserved. Since the building has subsided over the centuries, they are now 50 centimetres below ground level, and even below the new flooring. On the first upper storey there are, in addition to the aforementioned chambers, two slits for small guns which were above and between the three chambers. There are also small openings on the third upper storey with forward- and downward-directed slits for firing small arms.

 

The central block has no loopholes. The windows above the passage were also designed for dousing invaders with pitch or boiling water.

 

ORNAMENTATION

The most striking nonfunctional embellishments are two so-called terra-cotta stripes which encircle the building. These consist of individual tiles, most of which are square with sides of 55 centimetres. Each tile bears one of three different ornaments: either an arrangement of four heraldic lilies, a symmetrical lattice, or a representation of four thistle leaves. There is no apparent order to these recurring symbols, but each group of eight tiles is always followed by a tile with a different design. It has the form of a heraldic shield and bears either the Lübeck heraldic eagle or a stylized tree. These shields are flanked by two male figures who function as bearers of a coat of arms.

 

The terra-cotta stripes were repaired during restoration work between 1865 and 1870. Only three of the original tiles are preserved as museum specimens. The new tiles approximate the former design, although liberties were taken during the restoration. For example, the design of the heraldic eagle motif is by no means a reflection of the original.

 

The pediment was also not faithfully restored, but this is not the fault of the restorers, since in the 19th century it had long been gone and its original appearance was unknown. An old view on an altarpiece in the Lübeck fortress monastery shows a Holsten Gate with five pediment towers. But since this picture shows the Holsten Gate in the middle of a fantasy landscape of mountains and forests the credibility of the representation is disputed. Today, three towers crown the pediment, but they are visible only from the city side.

 

INTERIOR

Both tower interiors have the same design. The ground floor and first upper story have the highest ceilings, while the floors above are much lower. Two narrow spiral staircases wind their way upwards, in each case between the central building and the adjacent tower. On each floor corridors connect the rooms of the central block with tower rooms at the same level. The ceiling of the north tower’s second floor has been removed, so that today the second and third upper storeys there share a common space. This change dates from 1934 and does not reflect the original situation.

 

The gun chambers are in front of the loopholes. Today there are guns in the chambers of the second floor, but they are not originals and were placed there at a late date. Above the gun chambers are hooks from which chains were suspended and attached to the cannon to cushion the recoil after firing. The higher gun chambers of the first upper storey could only be accessed with ladders.

 

HISTORY

The rich and wealthy Hanseatic city of Lübeck felt the need in the course of the centuries to protect itself from outside threats with ever stronger walls and fortifications. Three gates gave access to the city: the Citadel Gate in the north, Mill Gate in the south, and the Holsten Gate in the west. To the east, the city was protected by the dammed Wakenitz River. Here, the less martial Hüxter Gate led out of the city.

 

These city gates were initially simple gates which were repeatedly strengthened over time so that they eventually all had an outer, middle and inner gate. Today, only fragments remain of these ancient city gates. The gate now known as the Citadel Gate is the former Interior Citadel Gate; the Middle and Outer Citadel Gates no longer exist. All three Mill Gates have completely disappeared. The gate now known as the Holsten Gate is the former Middle Holsten Gate; there was also an (older) Inner Holsten Gate, an Outer Holsten Gate, and even a fourth gate, known as the Second Outer Holsten Gate. So the history of the Holsten Gate is actually the history of four consecutive gates, although only one of them is left.

 

The names of the individual gates changed as a matter of course as their components emerged and disappeared. The Middle Holsten Gate was once the Outer Holsten Gate before the gates on either side were constructed. Still today there is a great deal of confusion about the names as one studies the historical record. The four gates and their history are described below.

 

INNER HOLSTEN GATE

The oldest Holsten Gate guarded the nearby banks of the Trave River. One had to leave the city through this gate in order to get to the Holsten Bridge, which crossed the river. It is not known when a gate was erected here for the first time. The Holsten Bridge was first mentioned in a 1216 deed signed by the king of Denmark. It is likely that already at that time there was a gate and a city wall along the Trave River. The designations “Holsten Bridge” (and “Holsten Gate”) are simply a consequence of the fact that the city’s western exit was in the direction of Holstein.

 

Historical records indicate that the Holsten Bridge and Holsten Gate were renewed in 1376. There is good evidence for the appearance of the gate erected at that time in a woodcut of a view of the city of Lübeck produced by Elias Diebel. Although this is a city view from the eastern, Wakenitz side of the old inner city hill, the artist has folded out essential parts of the gate’s west side, so that they too become visible. It was a rectangular tower with a wooden gallery on the upper part.

 

At an unknown date in the 17th century, the Inner Holsten Gate was replaced by a smaller, simple half-timbered gate - possibly because no point was seen in having a strong inner gate in light of the strong outer fortifications which had been erected in the meantime. The Inner Holsten Tor was connected to the dwelling of the tollkeeper, who guarded the access to the city at this location.

 

The half-timbered gate was replaced by a simple iron gate in 1794, which in turn was demolished in 1828, together with the tollkeeper’s house and the city wall along the Trave River.

 

It is likely that there was a gate also on the opposite bank of the Trave at an early date. But nothing is known of its appearance. If it existed, it was torn down before or after the construction of the Middle Holsten Gate.

 

MIDDLE HOLSTEN GATE

In the 15th century the entire gate construction was considered to be inadequate. The proliferation of firearms and canon made stronger fortifications necessary. It was decided to build another gate - the Outer Holsten Gate, later known as the Middle Holsten Gate and today only as the Holsten Gate. Funding was secured by a legacy of the councilman John Broling amounting to 4,000 Lübeck marks. In 1464 the city’s architect, Hinrich Helmstede, began construction, which was completed in 1478. It was erected on a seven-metre high hill raised for the purpose. Already during the construction period this foundation proved to be unstable. The south tower sagged because of the marshy ground and already during ongoing constructions attempts were made to compensate for its inclination.

 

OUTER HOLSTENN GATE

The exterior Holsten Gate was also known as the Renaissance Gate, the Foregate or the Crooked Gate. It was constructed in the 16th century when a wall was built west of the Middle Holsten Gate into which a gate was inserted. The outer Holsten Gate was completed in 1585. The new gate obstructed the view of the Middle Holsten Gate since its eastern exit was located only 20 metres from that construction. A walled area known as the Zwinger was created between the two gates.

 

Its foregate was small compared with the approximately one hundred years older Middle Holsten Gate, but much more richly decorated on the field side. The city side was by contrast left plain. The Outer Holsten Gate was the first gate to bear an inscription. It read, "Pulchra res est pax foris et concordia domi – MDLXXXV" ("It is wonderful to have peace without and harmony within - 1585") and was placed on the city side. It was later moved to the field side and slightly modified ("Concordia domi et foris pax sane res est omnium pulcherrima", "harmony within and peace without are the greatest good of all"). Connected to the gate was the home of the Wall Master, who was responsible for the maintenance of the fortifications.

 

The builder of the Renaissance gate was probably the city architect Hermann von Rode, who designed the front following Dutch prototypes. For example, the Nieuwe Oosterpoort in Hoorn is directly comparable. This gate existed for about 250 years and was in the end sacrificed to the railway; it was demolished in 1853 to make room for the first Lübeck train station and tracks. Today, this station no longer exists either; the present station is located about 500 metres to the west.

 

SECOND OUTER HOLSTEN GATE

At the beginning of the 17th century new city walls were built in front of the city moat, under the supervision of military engineer Johhann von Brüssel. As part of this construction a fourth Holsten Gate was built in 1621. It was completely integranted into the high walls and topped by an octagonal tower. The archways bore the inscriptions “Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos” ( "If God be for us, who can be against us?" on the city side and “sub alis altissimi ( "Under the protection of the Most High" on the field side. This gate was the last of the four Holsten Gates to be constructed and the first to disappear, namely in 1808.

 

DEMOLITION & RESTAURATION IN 19TH CENTURY

In the course of industrialization, the fortifications were considered to be only annoying obstacles. In 1808 the second outer Holsten Gate was demolished, in 1828 the inner Holsten Gate, and in 1853 the outer Holsten Gate. It was then considered to be only as a matter of time before the Middle Holsten Gate, the only remaining of the four gates, would be torn down. Indeed, in 1855, Lübeck citizens petitioned the Senate to finally demolish the remaining gate, since it hindered the extension of the railway facilities. This petition had 683 signatures.

 

However, there was at that time also growing resistance to the destruction of old buildings. Thus August Reichensperger wrote in 1852, “Even Lübeck, once the proud head of the Hanseatic League, does not seem able to endure the reflection of its former glory. It maims, crops and covers up so assiduously that “modern Enlightenment” will soon have nothing to be ashamed of any more”.[2] When King Frederick William IV of Prussia heard of this, he sent Prussia’s then-curator of historic monuments, Ferdinand von Quast, to salvage whatever could be saved.[3]

 

Controversy over the demolition went on for a long time. A decision was made only in 1863 when the Lübeck citizens decided by a majority of just one vote not to demolish the building but to instead extensively restore it. Meanwhile, the gate was in very bad condition, since every year it had sunk a few centimetres further into the ground. The lowest loopholes were already 50 centimetres below ground, and the inclination of the entire gate was beginning to be dangerous. This drastically altered the statics of the building, so that its collapse was feared. The Holsten Gate was thoroughly restored, with work continuing into 1871.

 

Afterwards there was a change in the relationship of the Lübeck population to the Holsten Gate. It was no longer perceived as a troublesome ruin, but as a symbol of a proud past. In 1925, the German Association of Cities made the Holstentor its symbol. As early as 1901, the marzipan manufacturer Niederegger used the Holsten gate in its company trademark. Other Lübeck companies did the same.

 

RESTAURATION IN 1934/36

Since the towers continued to slant and their collapse could still not be ruled out, a second restoration became necessary. This occurred in the years 1933-34, during which the Holsten Gate was stabilized so that it finally stood firm. In this final restoration, reinforced concrete anchors were used to secure the towers, which were girded by iron rings. Changes were, however, also made which did not correspond with the original character of the gate, including the above-mentioned merging of north tower floors. The Nazis turned the Holsten Gate into a museum. It was called the Hall of Honor and Glory, and was supposed to represent Lübeck and German history from the perspective of Nazi ideology.

 

In the second half of the 20th century minor repairs were made to the Holsten Gate which are no longer in line with current standards for architectural conservation.

 

RESTAURATION 2008/06

From March 2005 to December 2006, the Holsten Gate was again restored. The restoration was estimated to cost around one million euros, with 498,000 euros (the originally planned cost) being provided by the German Foundation for Monument Protection and the Possehl Foundation. The remaining costs were primarily covered through donations from individuals, companies and academic institutions. A swastika dating from 1934 was cut out and taken away by unknown parties a few days after the scaffolding was installed for the repairs. It was considered to be the last swastika still remaining on a public building in Germany and was supposed to be concealed with metal sheeting as part of the restoration work. A plate with the date 2006 was put up where the stolen swastika had been to commemorate the completion of restoration work.

 

On 2 December 2006, the Holstentor reopened to the public as part of a light show created by the artist Michael Batz. For safety reasons the gate had been obscured during restoration by a high resolution depiction of the gate before work had begun, printed on scaffolding tarpaulins.

 

THE HOLSTEN GATE TODAY

In 1950 the Holsten Gate again served as a museum, this time for municipal history. Relics from historic Lübeck were presented, the development of medieval Lübeck was shown using models and pictures, and models of the ships of the Hanseatic League and the flagship “Eagle of Lübeck” were exhibited. The features of this museum were also not historically accurate. For example, the museum also included a torture chamber with a dungeon, a rack and other torture devices. But the Holsten Gate had never contained anything like that.

 

The two monumental iron statues of reclining lions placed in an area in front of the Holsten Gate designed by Harry Maasz date from 1823 and are unsigned They are attributed to Christian Daniel Rauch and may possibly have been made with the collaboration of a member of Rauch’s workshop, Th. Kalide (1801-1863). One lion is asleep, the other is awake and attentively regards the other. They were originally placed in front of the house built in 1840 by the Lübeck merchant and art collector John Daniel Jacobj (1798-1847) at Große Petersgrube 18. In 1873 they were placed in front of the Hotel Stadt Hamburg am Klingenberg until its destruction in 1942 during World War II, and only later in front of the Holsten Gate. They are complemented by a bronze statue on the other side of the street, the Striding Antilope, by the sculptor Fritz Behn.

 

The Holsten Gate Museum was modernized in 2002. Not only was the torture chamber removed; all rooms were redesigned according tor a new concept that involved the integration of image and sound documentation. As of 2006, the museum has been managed by the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

 

SURROUNDINGS

The Holsten Gate is located in the Lübeck city wall complex on the main access road connecting the main railway station with the suburb of St. Lorenz and crossing the Puppen Bridge. The Holsten Gate Square (“Holstentorplatz”) is enclosed on one side by a branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank; with new construction extending the original Reichsbank building to the rear. On the other side there is the brick expressionist Holsten Gate Hall (“Holstentorhalle”) between the historic salt warehouses and the DGB’s House of Trade Unions (“Gewerkschaftshaus”). This building was altered with funds from the Possehl Foundation to create a rehearsal and teaching facility for Lübeck’s University of Music (“Musikhochschule Lübeck”) was rebuilt. Another pedestrian bridge over the Upper Trave River was completed in spring 2007 to provide a connection the university’s main building complex in the old city centre.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

ON CURRENCIES & POSTAGE STAMPS

The Holsten Gate appears on the 50 DM bank notes produced from 1960 to 1991 and on the German two-euro coin issued in 2006.

 

In 1948 it appeared on the four highest denominations (DM 1, DM 2, DM 3 and DM 5) of the first long-term series of postage stamps in German mark currency, which featured buildings. In 2000 it appeared on the 5 DM and 10 DM postage stamp of another series, "Places of Interest".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

Author: Ángel Manuel Rodríguez

What biblical symbolism is associated with the four cardinal directions?

Cardinal compass points in the Bible are rich in meaning. Knowing their symbolism can help interpret some biblical passages. We often orient ourselves by facing north. In the ancient world the point of orientation was east. The east was before them, the west behind, the south to the right, and the north to the left. The future wasn’t in front, but behind, that is to say invisible. 1. The East: The importance of the east as the main point of orientation may be related to the rising of the sun and its importance in the religions of the ancient Near East. In the Bible its symbolism emerges for the first time in Genesis. The Garden of Eden was placed in the East (chap. 2:8), and its entrance faced the east (chap. 3:24). After sinning, Adam and Eve left the garden and went toward the east (chap. 3:24). This eastward movement continued with Cain (chap. 4:16) and culminated in the movement of the human race toward the east (chap. 11:2-4). Within this context the east is symbolically ambivalent. The garden placed there symbolized safety and security. After sin, when it was the direction of the exile, it represented a condition of alienation from God. It was also the place of the wilderness, from which destructive winds came, threatening life (Ps. 48:7; Eze. 27:26). To the prophets the east was a symbol of Babylonian exile and the saving presence of God. He traveled to Babylon and ultimately redeemed His people (Eze. 10:18, 19; 11:22, 23). The east became a place where God intervened on behalf of His people, bringing them salvation (cf. Rev. 16:12). 2. The West: The west symbolizes both negative and positive elements. To the west of the land was the sea, representing evil and death (Dan. 7:2, 3). In fact, the term “sea” often referred to the west (Num. 3:23). It is also the place of darkness because that’s where the sun sets (Ps. 104:19, 20). The positive meaning is its association with the Israelite tabernacle/Temple. Although it faced east, access to it required movement toward the west. In that sense the west pointed toward restored unity with God; a return to the Garden of Eden. When the Israelites traveled to and worshipped in the Temple they faced the west and had the rising sun behind them. This movement to the west began with Abram, who left the east and went to Canaan in the west in obedience to God (Gen. 11:31). It is a symbol of divine blessing. Once the exiles were liberated from their enemies in the east, they traveled west, to the land of Israel. In that journey, the Lord Himself traveled with them (Eze. 43:2-5). 3. The North: Bible students have suggested that the north is a symbol of the permanent or the eternal, perhaps because the polar stars were permanently visible in the sky. It is the place of God’s celestial dwelling (Isa. 14:13) and from which His glory descends (Job 37:22) with blessings or judgments (Eze. 1:4). He is the true King of the North. But the north—represented by the left hand—is also a symbol of disaster. The enemy of God’s people came from the north (Jer. 1:14, 15; Eze. 38:6), bringing destruction. In a sense, the enemy was the false king of the north who tried to usurp God’s role and is finally destroyed by the Lord (Zeph. 2:12; Dan. 11:21-45).

4. The South: The south is primarily a negative symbol. But the fact that it is represented by the right hand makes it also a positive one. It is negative because to the south of Israel was the wilderness, a region where life does not prosper (Isa. 30:6). To the south was Egypt, which opposed God’s power and oppressed His people. But the south was also the place where the Lord appeared to Moses, went with Him to Egypt, liberated His people, and appeared to them on Mount Sinai (e.g., Deut. 33:2). The ambivalent nature of the symbols of the four cardinal directions seems based on the fact that evil was perceived to be present everywhere and that God’s saving presence was always accessible to His people from any corner of the world (Ps. 139:7-12). In a sense they pointed beyond the points of the compass to the cosmic conflict between good and evil. Copyright: Copyright :copyright: Biblical Research Institute General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists:registered: The Four Symbols were given human names after Daoism became popular. The Azure Dragon has the name Meng Zhang (孟章), the Vermilion Bird was called Ling Guang (陵光), the White Tiger Jian Bing (監兵), and the Black Turtle Zhi Ming (執明). In 1987, a tomb was found at Xishuipo (西水坡) in Puyang, Henan. There were some clam shells and bones forming the images of the Azure Dragon, the White Tiger, and the Big Dipper. It is believed that the tomb belongs to the Neolithic Age, dating to about 6,000 years ago. The Rongcheng Shi manuscript recovered in 1994 gives five directions rather than four and places the animals quite differently: Yu the Great gave banners to his people marking the north with a bird, the south with a snake, the east with the sun, the west with the moon, and the center with a bear.

Cardinal directions in Chinese language: their cultural, social and symbolic meanings.Introduction In his discussions of dominant Ndembu ritual symbols, Victor Turner points out that one major property of symbols is polarization of meanings. That is to say symbols possess two clearly different poles of meanings - the physical and physiological (the sensory pole), and the abstract and ideological (the ideological pole) (Turner, 1967, p.28). At the sensory pole, the meanings represent "the natural and physiological phenomena and processes" and "arouse desires and feelings." At the ideological pole, the meanings represent "components of the moral and social orders, to principles of social organization, to kinds of corporate grouping, and to the norms and values inherent in structural relationships" (Turner, 1967, p.28).

 

The same kind of polarization of meanings can be detected in cardinal directions of the Chinese symbolic system. However, Turner did not focus his discussions on the interrelations between the sensory and the ideological poles of symbolic meanings. Durkheim's and Mauss's Primitive Classification represented one school of thought on this issue. They argued that the origin of logical classification was a result and an aspect of social classification (Durkheim and Mauss, 1963, p.84). In the case of cardinal directions, more evidence has indicated that the sensory pole of meanings determines the ideological pole rather than the other way around. In this article the author first applies etymological method to study the meanings of direction words in Chinese language. The author believes such analyses help to understand how directions have been perceived in the history of the written language. The latter part of the article discusses how cardinal directions and other orientation concepts are used as part of traditional Chinese symbolic system. Following Jung's definitions of "signs" vs. "symbols" (Turner, 1963), we can say the directional words are signs of the known meanings of directions, whereas directions and other orientation concepts are symbols of the unknown universe.Etymological studies of directional words allow us to trace the evolution of the Chinese characters, whose hieroglyphic nature is particularly conservatory of the ideological evolution of the words. The etymological data are mostly collected from a variety of well-recognized dictionaries and online dictionary sites in both English and Chinese. The semantic units in Chinese language arc words and characters. However, graphemes and phonemes of the characters have been studied in some cases in order to understand the origin of meanings. In addition, idioms and phrases are also informational sources as it usually takes a long time for them to be established. Hence, they are used to trace ancient meanings of the words as well. Space and time are two of the most fundamental concepts in all cultures, the essential reality of human life. Like the air we breathe and the water we drink every day, they are the daily necessity we could never do without but usually take for granted. Perception of space and time defines the essence of a culture's worldview, which differs in geography and in periods of history. It is especially so in Chinese culture, as cardinal directions have become an integrative part of its symbolic classification system that defines the physical and the social reality. Studying perception of space and time would allow us to tap into the depth of a culture's worldview. The Chinese Characters Before starting the discussions of the direction words, the author would like to give a brief introduction of some major etymological and linguistic principles of the Chinese writing system. This will provide the theoretical foundation for some later discussions. If we are to divide the writing systems in the world into three types: the logographic system (in which the minimal complete unit is a logogram), the syllabic system (in which the minimal complete unit is a syllable) and the alphabetic system (in which the minimal complete unit is an alphabet) (Writing system, Wikipedia), the Chinese writing system is a typical logographic system. According to Shuowen Jiezi, one of the earliest and most well recognized etymological dictionaries in Chinese, the ancient Chinese characters can be divided into six different categories in terms of how they were developed or formed (Xu, Shuowen Jiezi online; Shuowen Jiezi, Wikipedia; Zhongwen.com, online). The first category is the pictographs (xiangxing, [??]) (1), which are direct graphical depiction of the objects they denote. Examples include [??] (ri; the archaic form [??]) meaning the sun. The second category is ideographs (zhishi, [??]; or xiangshi, [??]) that represent abstract notions. For instance, the concepts of "above" and "below" are expressed as (shang, [??]) and (xia, [??]). They use signs like the dashes and dots to express abstract ideas. The third category is called logical aggregates (huiyi, [??]; or xiangyi, [??]) in which two or more parts are combined to indicate the meanings. One example would be the character for brightness (ming, [??]), which is a combination of the characters of the sun ([??]) and the moon (yue, [??]). The fourth group is phonetic complexes (xingsheng, [??] or xiangsheng, [??]), which are composed of phonetics that are indicative of the pronunciation and radicals that are indicative of the semantic category. An example of this category is (bei, [??]), which means the back of the body. It is a combination of a phonetics (bei, [??]) and a radical (yue, [??]), which indicates flesh. The fifth type of characters is called transferences (zhuanzhu, [??]) in which more abstract and complicated meanings are derived from the original concrete meanings of words. For an example, the word [??] (bei, the back of the body) gradually adopts the meanings of "turn one's back" and "betray and desert somebody or something." The last principle that Chinese characters developed is false borrowing (jiajie, [??]) in which words take on totally unrelated meanings from the original either intentionally or accidentally. There are two major writing systems used by Chinese language speakers in modern days. One of them is the simplified writing system currently used in Mainland China, which has been adopted as the standard writing system of the People's Republic of China since 1956. The other is the traditional and comparatively more complex writing system that is used by Chinese language speakers in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and other Chinese diasporas around the world. The simplified Chinese is a further evolution over the traditional Chinese, and is therefore less preservatory of the original meanings. All Chinese characters used in this article are simplified unless stated otherwise. Direction Words in Chinese Cardinal directions are some of those abstract concepts that do not lend themselves easily to pictorial representations. In Chinese, the meanings of direction words are mostly combinations of graphemes and phonemes, although some parts of the words are pictographs. The author believes the relations between the formation and the meaning of the direction words could be of cultural significance and indicative of some cognitive characteristics of the culture. Traditionally there are three sets of orientation terms in Chinese culture: si mian and ba fang , which are two-dimensional' and liu he , which is three-dimensional. Si mian, literally four sides, designates the four cardinal directions and is sometimes thought of as including a fifth point, the center. Ba fang, on the other hand, denotes eight directions, the four cardinal compass points plus northeast, southwest, northwest and southeast. In addition to the two dimensional systems is the three dimensional concept of liu he, which literally means unity of six. It is the four cardinal directions and up (heaven) and down (earth) and is used to refer to the universe.

The simplified Chinese characters for the five cardinal points are (east, south, west, north and the middle) or (east, west, south, north and the middle), in the particular orders of the five. (dong, the east). is the simplified character for the east that is currently used in mainland China. The script no longer shows its original connections with the meaning of east. However, its comparatively older form does. is an example of a logical aggregate, which can be broken up into two graphemes - (ri, the sun) and (mu, a tree). The combination of the two pictographs depicts vividly the sun rising behind a tree (Karlgren, 1923, p.324; Xu, Shuowen Jiezi online; zhongwen.com, online). In contemporary Chinese there are at least three characters that are formed by different combinations of the same two graphemes (the sun) and] (a tree). In addition to the cardinal direction word (the east), the other two are (gao ) and (yao). The character (gao) represents the sun above a tree, hence its meaning being bright and being high. (yao), which is the sun below a tree, means being deep and far, losing contact with somebody. Its more archaic meaning is darkness as implied by the combination of the graphemes. The two examples prove that the relative positions between the pictorial components of (the sun) and (a tree) is significantly indicative of the semantic meanings of the characters. In the character (the east) the position of the sun is between the root and the top of the tree, indicating the sun is rising. The composition of the logogram strongly indicates that the concept of east in the language is associated with the observation of the sun's movements in the environment. (xi, the west). The ancient form of this character is , showing a bird roosting on its nest (Karlgren, 1923, p.234; Xu, Shuowen Jiezi online; zhongwen. com, online). According to Shuowen Jiezi, the pictograph indicates that "when the sun is in the west, the birds perch over the nest" (Xu, Shuowen Jiezi online). The explicit meanings of the script are "being at home" and "being at rest." In Chinese idioms "birds returns to their nests" is usually associated with the meanings of dusk and sunset. Here the concept of sunset is borrowed to indicate the concept of the direction of sunset, the west. It is the concept of time that makes the logical link between this pictograph and its directional meaning. In many civilizations, the movements of celestial bodies define the concepts of time and space. Ancient people must have observed how the movement of the sun influences things in their environment. The sun creates days and nights, light and shadow, the seasons, and cycle of life, which all have great impact on people's livelihood. Records from all early civilizations show that ancient people established the first measurements of passage of time based on the movements of celestial bodies. For an example, the ancient Chinese read the positions of the shadow of a dial to tell the hours of a day. Our current 365 days solar calendar relies on the movements of the sun. The earliest Egyptian calendar depended on the movements of the moon. The Mayans of the Central America developed their 260 days calendar according to the movements of the Sun, the Moon and the Venus. In Chinese, the spatial division of east and west both contain some implications of time. East is connected to the beginning of a day, a year, and a life, whereas west to the end of work, a day, and a life. The Chinese character for the sun also means a day, daytime, and years. It also appears in many compound words and idioms with indications of time. Connecting east with sunrise and dawn and west with sunset and evening are common in many other languages as well. The English word east comes from Eastre, the name of a pagan dawn goddess whose festival was celebrated at vernal equinox almost at the same time as the Christian Easter (Weiner, 1989, p.36; Flexner and Hawk, vol. 5, 1993, p.615; Webster, 2002, p.716). In Latin and Greek among some other old Indo-European languages, the stem for east means dawn (Weiner, vol. 5, 1989, p.36). In English "go west" means "to die." There is exactly the same phrase in Chinese that means exactly the same thing. (nan, the south). is composed of a radical [??] and a phonetic [??] (Karlgren, 1923, p.203; Xu, Shuowen Jiezi online; zhongwen.com, online). The archaic form of [??] (bo) is [??], a picture of lianas indicating abundant and tangled vegetation. Living in the North hemisphere, ancient Chinese have observed that the southern side of a mountain, a tree, and a house receives more sunshine than the northern side. Vegetation is therefore more flourishing and abundant on the southern side. South is the direction where vegetation grows more luxuriantly. The phonetics [??], pronounced as (ren), is used as the phonetic in several other tree names (Karlgren, 1923, p.203). (bei, the north). The older form of this character is which indicates two persons positioned back to back (Karlgren, 1923, p.216; Xu, Shuowen Jiezi online; zhongwen.com, online). The picture strongly points to the meaning of back. In modern Chinese, another phonetic complex (bei) is used for the meaning of the back of human body, in which [??] (north) functions as the phonetic and ((flesh) as the radical. In some dictionaries the word it has two pronunciations, bei and bei (Guoyu Cidian, online; Xu, Shuowen Jiezi online). The meaning associated with the first pronunciation is "an equivalence to the back of human body." North and back in Chinese share the same pronunciation and the same meaning in archaic Chinese. The meaning associated with the second pronunciation can be an adjective "being disagreeable and harsh," or a verb "to flee," or "to be defeated, to turn back on." The pictograph of north is linked to the observer-centered concept of back. In Chinese, back means being opposite to front, being the back of or being in the shadow. North is linked to back in all three senses. North is opposite to the sun and the south. That is why it is in the shadow and darkness. This is similar to the back of a person. In Chinese culture, the north side of a building is usually its back, for gates and doors are opened on the south to receive more sunshine. Light and shadow are the major dichotomous concepts associated with north and south in Chinese. The characters of north and south indicate that north is the shadowed side whereas south is the lit side. The geography and landscape of the country stresses the dichotomous divisions. All major rivers and mountains in China run west-and-eastward, which divide the land into parallel stripes. The ancient Chinese have learned to tell directions by looking at the positions of light and shadow. The saying goes "the shadowed side of a mountain is north and the shadowed side of a river is south." The two characters for being in shadow and being lighted by the sunlight are (shadow; Yin) and (light; Yang) respectively. The two words are also used for the dialectic philosophical concepts of yin-yang, which classify things, phenomena, and their traits into dichotomy in many eastern cultures. The two concepts are often represented by two signs,--(a broken line, yin)--(a solid line, yang). The symbols are stacked together to create eight trigrams like . Legend has it that one ancient Chinese king developed the eight trigrams into a system of sixty-four hexagrams to represent different processes in divination. His theory was written in a well-known book, Yi Jin (I Ching), another classic work of the ancient Chinese symbolic system. (the middle or the center, zhong). The ideograph could be interpreted as a vertical line bisecting an enclosure or an arrow hitting the center of a target (Karlgren, 1923, p.360; Xu, Shuowen Jiezi online; zhongwen.com, online). It denotes the meaning of the center or in between.

The fact that the concept of the center or the middle is depicted by an ideograph instead of a pictograph indicates to some extent that it is comparatively more abstract than the other four cardinal directions. A boundary is required before the center could be defined. Limited geographical boundary was not uncommon among ancient people who had no efficient way of transportation to travel widely. The center is a concept relative to the periphery. When the center or the middle is present, the four directions become the relative periphery or the frontiers. In Chinese, China means the Middle Kingdom. The name comes from the country's geographical position in early history when the core territory was surrounded by frontiers on all directions. The Five Elements System In addition to the Yin-Yang and the eight diagrams, another major part of the primitive Chinese symbolic system is the Five Elements System (Wu Xing, Wikipedia). The five elements refer to metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Each of these elements is matched to many other aspects of the material world (See table 1). For example, five planets, five colors, seasons of the year, organs of the body, sense organs, flavors, and animals to mention just a few. The four cardinal directions plus a center are an integral part of the system, which is critical and widely applied in many areas of traditional Chinese culture. Traditional Chinese medicine is one area in which the Five Elements System plays a pivotal role. Five major blood circulation organs, five major digestion organs, and other parts of the human bodies are corresponded with the five elements based on similar attributes. Things belonging to the same category are considered as related with each other. For an example, patients suffering from liver problem usually have weaker sight, crave sour food, are easy to get angry, sometimes show unhealthy dark greenness in skin tone and more likely fall victim of the disease in springtime.The Five Elements System is also a fairly sophisticated symbolic system that uses the concrete relationships between the five material elements in nature to represent and explain the abstract interactions and relationships of all phenomena . In general the system specifies four kinds of relationships. Two of the four relationships create a positive balance state. They are called generating (mothering) relationship (Sheng), and restraining or counterbalancing (fathering) relationships (Ke, . The other two exist when there is a negative out-of-balance state either because one element is too strong or too weak. In a restraining relationship, if the restraining element overpowers and hence over-limits the restrained element, there is an over-restraining relationship (Cheng, . On the other hand, if the restrained overpowers the restraining, it could not be contained but instead controls the restraining element. This would break the balance of the system and create a humiliating relationship (Wu) The picture illustrates the four relationships among the five elements. Clockwise, each element in the circle is generated by the previous element and in turn generates the following one, restricts the third one and is restrained by the fourth one. For instance, fire is fueled (created) by wood, creates earth (ashes), melts (restrains) metal, and is extinguished (restrained) by water. Orders of Cardinal Directions The juxtaposition of the four Chinese cardinal directions, sometimes five, is an idiom in itself, a synonym to "everywhere" and "direction." This idiom has two forms, east-south-west-north and east-west-south-north. When present, the word for the middle is the last character in both arrangements. The orders of the four cardinal directions are different from that in English, which is usually north, south, east and west. Statistically speaking, there are twenty-four permutations for four cardinal directions. It is culturally significant that only one or two orders are used. It is not known why these particular orders exist to the exclusion of the other possibilities. The first order is clockwise starting from the east, which happens to imitate the movement of the sun in the sky. It represents a continuous cycle in both time and space. In the ancient Chinese classificatory system, the directions are matched with the seasons, east to spring, south to summer, west to autumn, and north to winter. The clockwise order of the cardinal directions also coincides with the chronological order of the four seasons. Again, space and time are inseparable from each other. East, a spatial concept standing out originally as the place where the sun rises, takes on the meaning of a start in time. The day starts at the east. The east wind from the seas brings warmth and rain, an indication of the advent of spring. Spring is taken as the beginning of a year, which starts the annual farming cycle. The Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival. The matching between directions and seasons results in substitution between the two sets of concepts. East wind is almost a synonym of spring wind, spring fanning is called east activities, and East Emperor is a literate alias of the god of spring. Correspondingly, west harvest means autumn harvest, and west wind usually refers to autumn wind that sweeps away leaves from the trees. The matching is certainly related to China's geographical and climatic situations. Warm and damp wind comes from the east and the south, and cold and dry wind from the north and the west. The former brings spring, the latter the winter. It's interesting to compare the Chinese classification with a similar one in the Zuni culture. The Zuni also attributes seasons, colors and animals to spatial divisions (Durkheim and Mauss, 1963, p.43). They also add the center to the four cardinal directions, and have zenith and nadir in their basic spatial divisions. Also like the Chinese, the Zuni associate winter with north, and fire and summer with south. This is reasonable as both peoples live in the northern hemisphere. However, the Zuni "attributed water, the spring and its damp breezes, to the west; ... the earth, seeds, the frosts which bring the seeds to maturity and end the year, to the east." (Durkheim and Mauss, 1963, p.43) This is exactly the opposite to the Chinese's. For the Zuni, who lived in Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, damp breezes and rain come from the west and frosts come from the east. The differences and similarities of the two systems provide strong evidence for how people's perceptions of spatial divisions are shaped by their environments. In the second Chinese order the cardinal directions are organized into two dimensions: east-west and south-north. The east-west dimension always comes before the south-north dimension in such an order. Southeast and Northwest are * Eastsouth and * Westnorth in Chinese. [??] (east-west) also means things in Chinese. That is because, as is explained in an ancient Chinese book, "things are produced in the four cardinal regions but are called briefly as east-west; that's similar to history being called briefly as spring-autumn though it records four seasons." (Guoyu Cidian, Online) In this case east and west stand for all the four cardinal points. This points to the comparative prominence of the east-west axis over the north-south axis. Within the axis, east always comes before west and south before north. Chinese has plenty of idioms with the structures of "east ... west ..." and "south ... north. ..." There are exceptions, of course, but the proportion is too small to be cognitively significant. The comparatively more dominant status of east and south can also be understood from a political and economic perspective. Due to its geographical features, the western parts of the country were mainly deserts and barren plateaus, and the north was associated with bitterly cold weather and infertile frozen lands while in the southeast parts the fertile rice fields that were the grain barn of the country. The north and the west were important only in terms of military defense. In a culture with a long history of agricultural civilization, it is understandable that the east and the south were more preferred and more important economically, politically, and culturally.

Social Orders of Cardinal Directions Facing south adopts cultural and social significance over time in ancient China. The general pattern of traditional Chinese building complexes and room arrangements look like a square, with the front gates facing the south in order to be warmed and lighted by the sun. This pattern can be seen in residential houses, palaces and temples. The southern side of buildings has front gates, doors and wide open windows. On the north side, there are merely walls and small windows. In a building complex the main rooms face south with the wings facing east and west. There are back doors on the north sides of buildings in a complex, but they are for convenience of connection between rows of buildings. Some units do have doors facing north, but these are called the reversed houses (daoxia) (Cao, 1996, pp.29-59) and are considered atypical. The arrangement of furniture is confined and determined by this architectural pattern and so is the order of seating. In this way the practicality of facing south becomes symbolically important.

The north seat that faces south is reserved for persons with the highest social status. In the imperial court the emperor's "dragon chair" was not only significantly elevated but also invariably facing south. Court officials stood underneath his feet on the east and the west sides of the hall. Because the emperors' thrones always faced south, the phrase "facing south" came to be used as a proper noun designating an emperor. "To face south" means to become the emperor or the king. Accordingly, to face north meant to be a subject of an emperor or a king. Being bright was an adjective to praise the rule of a good emperor. As the saying goes "a good emperor faces south to listen to the discussions of national affairs and rules brightly." Such seating arrangements were copied in military and civil courts at all levels, in schools, and even in family lineages. The person who dominated the group took the north seat that was usually elevated but not as significantly as was the imperial throne. In military and civil courts it was for the official with the highest rank. In a lineage this south-facing seat was reserved for the eldest and most influential male or female member of the lineage. In schools the south-facing chair was for the teacher. The expression "facing north to somebody/something" was a figurative expression meaning to submit oneself as a subordinate, or, in the context of schools, to be a student. The phrase "the white-haired still face the north" indicates an old person who is still a student. The person with the second highest rank was positioned on the east side. The individual ranked third in the gathering was located on the west side facing the second ranking person. Then, back and forth, east and west, all the way down through for all present. In Chinese, the east is a synonym of the host whereas the west also means the guest. Custom had it that when the host and his guests entered a house, the host used the eastern stairway while the guest entered by the stairway on the west. Hence, the host is called "dong dao" (east road). The landlord is "fang dong" (east of the house); the master, "dong jia" (east family); and the hotel owner, "dian dong" (east of the hotel). To be one's treat is "zuo dong" (being the east) in Chinese. In "xi xi" (west seat) and "xi bin" (west guest, west is related to the meaning of guest. This usage, still prevailing in contemporary common language, can be traced back to an ancient custom that the host sat on the east and the guest on the west. In the system the relative spatial concepts of left and right are also interwoven with the absolute system of directions and became substitutes for east and west. The Chinese characters for left and right are [??] (zuo) and [??] (you). In older manuscripts, these are written as and . The two icons represent a hand facing different directions. Thus left and right are related to the two hands and indirectly to the two sides of the body. This substitution is no longer active in contemporary Chinese culture. However, traces of this tradition are still found in a few idioms and place names. "You di" (right lands) means west lands. "Shan zo" (left of the mountains) and "shan you" (to the right of the mountains) refers to Shandong and Shanxi provinces that are located on the east and the west sides of the Taihang Mountains respectively. In like fashion "he you" and "jiang you" (both meaning to the right of the river) designate the area west of the Huanghe River (the Yellow River) in the first case and to the west of Changjiang River (the Yangtze River) in the second. Conversely, "he zo" and "jiang zo" (both meaning to the left of the river) are the areas east of these two rivers. Like east and west, left and right are also social status indicators. Facing south, the right side is the east and the left side the west. The right seat was considered more respectable than the left one. "Lu zo" (left side of the street) is equivalent to the other side of the tracks in Anglo culture of North America. In older times, the wealthy lived on the right side of the street and the poor inhabited the left. "You xing" (right surnames), "You qi" (right relatives) and "You zhi" (right positions) referred to the aristocracy, the imperial families and the high-ranking official positions (Contemporary Chinese Dictionary, 1996). The right has also taken on the meaning of being better as is in the idiom "no one is on his right," which means no one is better than he. An exception to the prominence of right is encountered in carriage where the person with the highest social status occupies the seat on the left. That is the source of the idiom "waiting with the left seat empty," which is a signal of showing respect to someone not yet present. Another pair of directional concepts are up and down. The two characters for up and down are [??] (shang) (Karlgren, 1923, p.251) and [??] (xia) (Karlgren, 1923, p.69). They are iconic signs. The long dash, the base line, represents the horizon (zhongwen.com, online). The short stroke to the right is above the horizon for shang and below it for xia. Up symbolizes high social status and down the reverse. To reinforce the imperial authority, feudal rulers elevated their thrones in the audience halls. Last but not least, the cultural significance of [??] (zhong, the center or the middle). The long history of highly centralized feudal regime stressed the cultural significance of centralization in the culture. The centralized pattern of feudal political regime is clearly embodied in the design of the capital cities and the imperial palaces. Beijing and its Forbidden City, the best-preserved imperial capital and palace, best illustrates the idea of centralization. The old city of Beijing is a fortified square with well-aligned grids running along the two axis of north-south and east-west. The imperial palace, the Forbidden City, occupies the central area of the city proper. The major palaces inside the Forbidden City line up in a row, forming a north-to-south line dividing the city into two symmetrical parts of east and west. Being at the middle is also an important philosophical concept in Chinese culture. Confucianism highly advocates the doctrine of being at the middle, or not going to the extremes, in attitudes as well as in actions. Conclusion These etymological analyses of Chinese direction terms show how observation of the celestial bodies and their impact on natural environment underlies the initial ancient Chinese definition of the cardinal directions. Comparisons with similar primitive classification systems originating in different natural environments also provide some evidence of how perception of time and space are significantly determined by the geography and landscape of the motherland. The limitations and definitions by the environment gradually come to impact other aspects of ancient Chinese livelihood as the culture developed. For instance, the environmental influences helped to define the architectural styles and structures in ancient China, which over time influenced social behavioral norms. As directions were integrated as an important part of the symbolic system, they become dominant symbols in the culture, which can be seen in the usage of directional terms in a variety of idioms and phrases as well as in many areas of the traditional culture. Medicine and divinations are two examples. Data from the study provide further evidence to support Victor Turner's theory that symbols possess bipolar meanings - one clusters around the physical and concrete, and the other the abstract and ideological. Durkheim and Mauss refuted Frazer's argument that the social relations of mean are based on logical relations between things, and argued that it is the social relations that have provided the prototype for the latter. (Durkheim and Mauss, 1963, p.82) In their article Durkheim and Mauss stressed the role of social organizations and social relations in human cognition. They believed the essential cognitive characteristics underlying the primitive classification are the same as that of the modern scientific classification, which both result from human tendencies to unify knowledge, to know as social beings and groups, and to extend the unity of knowledge to the universe. (Durkheim and Mauss, 1963, pp.81-84) In the case of cardinal directions, the Chinese characters clearly indicate the influences of the natural phenomena on people's understanding of them. The ancient Chinese architectural styles and structures were influenced by the environment, which in turn influenced the social lives of people. However, the study does not intend to deny that human beings see things from their own perspectives and understand the universe within the limitations of their perceptions. The limitations also exist for any anthropological interpretation of cultures, just as Victor Turner discussed in Forest of Symbols. It is the case in this current study as well. Generally speaking, the modern views of orientation terms are not often the same as what was originally meant in antiquity. Our understanding of the direction concepts must have drifted away from the empirical perceptions of the ancient people. Therefore, when trying to make sense of why things become what they are, sometimes it is inevitable that our understanding is limited by our perception of here and now. This is a paradox for all anthropological studies of the "other" cultures (both culture of the others, and the other culture of ourselves). Ancient Chinese culture is baffling to modern Chinese who are confronted with a similar paradox - try to understand the perceptions of the ancient Chinese but have to do it from the perspective of a modern Chinese. In this article, the author uses the four cardinal direction words and the fifth, the centrum, to present an outline of the primitive Chinese classification system. Yet it must be said that the Chinese classification system is far more complicated than what can be explained in this essay. Concepts of the Yin-Yang dichotomy, the eight trigrams, and the Five Element System are all phenomena worthy of an independent study. However, as an interesting and inseparable part of the symbolic system, the orientation words help to show the interconnections between the several important concepts of the ancient Chinese symbolic system. COPYRIGHT 2009 Institute of General Semantics

 

Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

      

After leaving the DeSmet overlook, I returned to Daniel to give Dee a cold can of a Pepsi, some cinnamon rolls, and my thanks. Then on to Daniel Junction, to buy a made on the spot deli sandwich to eat as I drove on.

 

Leaving Daniel Junction I headed toward Pinedale, then turned north on the road I had never driven and was looking forward to traveling: The Union Pass Road (Wyoming highway 352 to start with).

 

I had spotted the Kendall mountain fire all the way from the DeSmet overlook, and it was now in my constant view as I drove north on Wyoming highway 352. It would flare at times and the topography looked very much like both Mann Gulch and Storm King Mountain (only no major river flowing beneath it).

 

I read later that this fire was being allowed to burn and "managed" as long as it didn't threaten life or property. Lightening caused natural fires clear thick dense underbrush and are a natural part of the "health" of a forest. The fires are essential to the propagation of some trees and play a vital roll in the well being of other tree species; like aspen.

 

The fire camp I had stopped at earlier in the day was responsible for the: Packer Creek fire; the Kendall Mountain fire; and the Green fire.

A public information sign board (a good idea), located off the Union Pass Road gave me the information on the wildfires I could now see: The Green Fire and the Kendall Mountain Fire.

 

The road forks after pavement turns to dirt and one road leads to the Green River Lakes and by a super rare fish species called the Kendall Dace, who live in warm springs water that is 84 degrees year round. I took the Union Pass Road turn at the "Y" but want to go back and check out the other route to the Green RIver Lakes (a good trailhead for some hiking in the northern Wind River Range).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Union Pass, Wyoming & Green River/Horse Creek - Road Trip.

 

I had been suffering from what felt like "walking pneumonia" for a couple of weeks, and had just started feeling a little better. I decided what would do me a lot of good, would be get on a road trip.

 

I left my hiking and backpacking gear at home, and determined to just enjoy driving back roads and visit and travel a few historic and scenic places along the way. A "windows down", back road, take your time....road trip.

 

DAY ONE: I drove the freeway from my home in Eastern Washington to Pocatello, Idaho on day one. I got a good night's sleep at a motel in Pocatello and started driving early the next morning, with back road routes on my mind.

 

DAY TWO: I headed south a short ways on I-15 then turned east on highway 30. I would travel in reverse a scenic back highway route, that I had driven for the first time a year ago. I drove through Lava Hot Springs; Soda Springs; Henry (a major city); and over to Freedom - - on the Idaho and Wyoming border.

 

From Freedom it was north to Alpine, Wyoming then highway 26 to Hoback Junction. The stretch of highway from Alpine to Hoback Junction was a "zoo". LOTS of people traveling to squeeze in that last vacation before school starts.

 

There were so many river rafters (commercial) carrying 12 to 16 "river tourists" like eggs in a double wide carton, on the Snake River, that you could walk across the river and up and down the river without getting your feet wet, jumping from overcrowded rubber raft to the next. All the support camps and transport buses added to the carnival like atmosphere. Though not for me, those on the commercial rafts seem to be having a great time, and that is what life is all about.

 

Most of the automobile traffic headed north towards Jackson, Wyoming at the Hoback Junction. I turned up the historic Hoback River road (hwy 189/191) and enjoyed less traffic and great scenery as I headed for Daniel Junction via Bondurant.

 

Before I reached Daniel Junction though irony and serendipity converged and I came upon a "wildfire fighting camp", just off the highway and spread out across a sage brush flat.

 

I had moved a photograph of the victims of Mann Gulch up to the front of my Flickr photostream page just before I left home. August 5th, 2013 was the 64th anniversary of the Mann Gulch fire fatalities, and it just seemed like something I wanted to do.

 

Also I had just finished reading the story of the 1994 fire fighting tragedy of Storm King Mountain in Colorado. I had also been exchanging a few emails with a person telling me they were friends with the sister of one of the Mann Gulch victims (David Navone).

 

So, as I left my home, it seemed as though "wildfire" stories were very much in my mind, including the most recent incident at Yarnell, Arizona ~ where 19 firefighters lost their lives.

 

There were no signs telling the public to keep out, so I drove in to see a wildfire fighting camp first hand. I drove slowly, and moved completely off the road when any "official" vehicle came the other way. I did not want to interfere in anyway with the job they were doing.

 

I drove to far end of the camp to the Helitack unit. I parked off in the sage brush and asked two firefighters if I could take some photos, if I stayed out of the way. Permission granted. Then I drove back on the dirt road, to the center of the operation. What a collection of agencies there were. I saw signs and personnel of the forest service; BLM; Homeland Security; and every fire fighting agency and group you could imagine.

 

Again, I approached some of the men appearing to be in charge, and asked if I could take some non-commercial photos if I stayed out of the way. Permission granted. My car was parked off the road in front of what appeared to be the mess tent.

 

I clicked away at the "mobile shower" unit; the chow line trailer; the mess hall tents; the "sleeping" camp tents, and so forth. I finally ended up at a yurt that appeared to be an "information center", with one fellow working on a computer and maps of the fire fighting activity around the inside.

 

When I asked if I could take some photos of the inside of the yurt, again permission was granted but a young lady asked if she could speak to me, after she finished up a conversation with one of the firefighting people.

 

Her name was "Holly". She said she was the public relations and public information "manager" for the operation. Though she said she was not an employee of the BLM or Forest Service or any other agency, she appeared to be "official" and recognized as such by all those in camp.

 

Holly told me she could escort me around and that I could probably take photos of most everywhere we went. I sheepishly admitted, I had already "toured the area", asking permission as I went, staying out of the way, but had taken LOTS of photos. She grinned.

 

Holly took me around the heart of the camp and gave me a lot of interesting information about the operation. I found out that the mess hall was being operated by "inmates", who had one guard with them and were being paid $200 a day for their work. Holly said all of them were polite and did everything they could not to do something to spoil being able to work outside and be able to see the stars in the night sky, when their work day was done.

 

I spent a lot more time at the fire camp than I had intended but it was so interesting, timely, and informative ... that I had a hard time leaving (especially when I met the official camp dog, a large easy going loveable black Labrador Retriever).

 

I told Holly of my intentions to visit the Green River Rendezvous "exact site" on this trip and then drive up over historic Union Pass towards Dubois, Wyoming...a dirt road that would take me over the north end of the Wind River Range. She told me that there were a few active fires in the area, but didn't think I would have trouble crossing the pass or camping in the area.

 

I left the fire camp and drove to Daniel Junction to get a bite to eat, gas up the RAV4, and see if I could find a road that would take me as close as I could get to where Horse Creek joined the Green River.

 

I had visited and photographed the Green River from Trappers' Point Monument last year, but that was three miles down the Green River from where the center of the fur trappers' rendezvous had taken place and I wanted to see the exact location as close as I could come to it.

 

The rendezvous system was unique. Supplies were brought in from St. Louis by wagon. Mountain men, Indians, missionaries, an artist or two, overland travelers - - all showed up. It was primarily a place and an event, to allow the Mountain Men to sell their beaver pelts, and buy up supplies for the next year of trapping (without the need to travel to and from St. Louis). It was also a time for them to spend much of their money earned on gambling and drinking. There were horse races, tall tales, and a celebratory atmosphere to the whole thing. A rendezvous might last three or four weeks. A good time was had by many and most.

 

The 1833, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1839, and the last rendezvous of 1840 - - all took place at the confluence of Horse Creek and the Green River. The lay of the land remains much like it was then but private ranches and farms now fill the entire area around the confluence.

 

I took the wrong turn and ended up visiting the Fort Bonneville site first. It has quite a history of its own as does Captain Bonneville (Spy, agent, military man, fur trader, or all of the above?).

 

Then I returned to Daniel Junction and took the correct turn to Daniel, Wyoming, where I parked my car and went into the small town post office at Daniel. I was armed with maps and questions. Fortunately I met another helpful type.

 

Holly had been of great help at the fire camp and now "Dee" was more than happy to give me exact, accurate, and precise information about the De Smet memorial, where I would have outstanding landscape views and be able to look down right at the confluence of Horse Creek and the Green River.

 

I hurried off and followed Dee's instructions to the letter, and arrived at what she told me would be a place of outstanding views. I took photograph after photograph of this interesting site. A private ranch is at the end of the road. There is a cemetery. A tall water tank tower.

 

A stone monument where Father De Smet performed one of the first Catholic masses in the west. And then there was the incongruent boulder and plaque monument to: Pinckey W. Sublette. He was the youngest of the five Sublette brothers, several of whom were famous participants in the fur trading, trapping, and rendezvous activities.

 

I haven't been able to find much information about Pinckey Sublette, but I will keep looking. This is what makes a road trip so much fun. Finds like this, that ask questions that demand attempts at answering them.

 

I returned to Daniel and took a cold can of soda and a few Pocatello, Idaho cinnamon rolls into Dee, and to thank he for helping me out with directions.

 

Now to Union Pass....or so I hoped. I had a bed made out in the back of my RAV4 and also had an inexpensive but functional "camp tent" with me. My thought was to camp up high near Union Pass and hopefully be out of mosquito territory, by being up high, where the nights should be cool (or so I of course hoped). I did note that one of the lakes I would travel by on my drive up over Union Pass, would be......Mosquito lake.

 

I had spotted a wild fire from the De Smet Monument, which I could see burning in the Wind River Range in the distance. I didn't know it then, but what I was seeing was the Kendall Mountain fire, which was being allowed to burn, as long as it didn't threaten the ranches and buildings to in the valley to the west. Seems aspen need a good fire to do well and this was part of the strategy of letting the Kendall fire to continue to burn within a perimeter agreed to by the fire fighting managers.

 

I drove toward Pinedale, Wyoming and then turned north on highway 352. This was the paved highway that would take me to the dirt, Union Pass road. I had never driving this highway and I had never crossed Union Pass. The pass had been on my "to do list" for a few years, and it felt great to be on my way.

 

I had made a note to check out the Kendall Dace, along the way. They are two inch long freshwater fish, that occur no other place in the world. They live in a hot springs creek where the water temperature stays at 84 degrees, all year round.

 

As it turned out, I got so caught up with the scenery, the wildfires,- - that I forgot to take the turn toward the Green River Lakes, and see the dace. A good excuse for a return to the area.

 

The Union Pass dirt road was fun to drive. Windows down but I had to roll them up from time to time, when ATV riders came by the other way. There were plenty of them and they all seemed to be having a great time despite all the dust they had to eat, from time to time, traveling the road.

 

I got on a long stretch of the dirt road with no ATVs in sight, and I saw a lone backpacker hiking north, the same direction I was heading, along the road. I slowed way down so I wouldn't cover him in a cloud of dust as I passed him.

 

He was a young man (30s), in outstanding shape, tanned, carrying a large internal frame pack that was perfectly organized. He had a smile on his face that only a skilled, competent, motivated, and dedicated backpacker can have.

 

His name was Gary. He had, what to me was a strong English accent, but when I asked where he was from he said the Adirondacks. I smiled and said "then you know of the only black bear in North America, who has learned the trick to opening "bear proof" bear vaults." He laughed and in his nice English accent added "....and she has a cub now that has learned the trick as well".

 

I offered Gary an ice cold soda from my ice chest giving him a choice of Pepsi or caffeine thick Mt. Dew. He went for the can of Mt. Dew. He asked where I was headed and I told him Union Pass, but I half expected to run into a road block, due to all the fire activity I was seeing in the area.

 

He told me he was looking for the Gros Ventre trail head. I told him he had missed the best part of the Wind River Range by not hiking the Cirque of Towers and/or the Titcomb Basin area. Again he smiled, and said that he had started his hike at the south end of the Wind River Range, so he hadn't "missed much". He told me he had got off the route due to the wildfires and was no planning to backpack to Jackson, Wyoming.

 

Gary spotted my Wyoming topo atlas on the seat and asked if he could have a look. It seems, when he had abandoned his original route due to the fires, he didn't have any map at all for his proposed "detour" to Jackson. He fixed that by taking my topo map atlas and spreading across the hood of my car, and taking photos with his cell phone. Smart thinking.

 

I offered to move my stuff around so I could give him a ride to where he would leave the road for a trail, but he seemed happy and determined to "walk". I took his empty can of Mt. Dew and then gave him a large cold plastic bottle of Mt. Dew, which he gladly accepted, then we parted ways. Holly, Dee, and now Gary. You meet the nicest people on a road trip.

 

My drive over Union Pass (the historic route over the continental divide north of the Wind River Range) and dropped down to the highway north of Dubois. I now started for Lander, Wyoming with the thought of a motel room there OR keep driving and camp among the sage on South Pass (the historic wagon trail route over the Continental Divide, south of the Wind River Range).

 

I watched antelope and wildfire smoke on my drive toward Lander, Wyoming. The wind picked up and it seemed as though a storm might be on the way. Then serendipity struck once again on this road trip. A pow wow. Outstanding. I always love to attend a Native American pow wow. The beating of the drums, the chants, the dancing and most of all the fascinating costumes. And now, here was one going on in a small park in Lander, Wyoming on a week day (31 July 2013).

 

I grabbed a camera and headed for the dancing. What fun! Snap, snap, snap went my camera shutter. The Wind River reservation is home to both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone. The Arapaho outnumber the Shoshone on the reservation two to one. Sacagawea was a member of the Lemhi Shoshone band of Northern Shoshone.

 

After many traditional dances, the MC invited spectators to dance and that the best would be given "Sacagawea" metals, with the Indians serving as judges. The tom toms started up and a lively and brave group of "tourists" did their best. I was standing by the tom tom and chanting group, when the biggest of the four, encouraged me to join the dancing and to hand him my camera and he would take photos. I convinced him that I would be an embarrassment to all present if I danced...so he let me off the hook.

 

Like the fire fighting operation between Bondurant and Daniel Junction, I had a hard time leaving the pow wow...though it seemed to be winding down to its conclusion. I didn't want to get a motel and the wind was still picking up, so I decided to drive to South Pass. A few years ago I had parked my four wheel drive pickup among the sage and hiked the gentle saddle that is "South Pass".

 

I had always intended to return on day and spend the night at this historic crossing and this night seemed to be the "right night" to do so. I drove into the dark and remembering well the lay of the land at South Pass, drove to a prominent point among the sage and bedded down in the back of my RAV4 for the night. The Milky Way was bright at this high desert pass and I got a good night's sleep. I had covered a lot of back roads and enjoyed many wonderful experiences on this second day of my road trip.

 

Looking at my map that night with the aid of my LED headlamp, I saw for the first time that the Continental Divide splits south of South Pass. It travels around the Great Divide Basin of Sweetwater county Wyoming. I hadn't realized that such a basin exists. Water flowing off the continental divide almost always ends up in the Pacific or the Atlantic ocean but not here in Wyoming. Here the water flowing into the Great Divide Basin...goes nowhere, except the basin itself.

 

DAY THREE -SIX: Leaving South Pass early I headed for Salt Lake City. There I spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with my wife, kids, and granddaughter. On Sunday we took our 10 month old granddaughter to the Salt Lake City zoo. What a hoot...for her...and for all of us.

 

DAY SEVEN: I left Salt Lake City and drove the freeway to Ontario, Oregon. There was lots of smoke in the air all the way across Idaho. A dust storm came up outside of Boise, and strong winds continued all the way to Ontario, where I got motel room for the night.

 

DAY EIGHT: Looking over maps at a big chicken friend steak, gravy, hash browns, and eggs breakfast at Denny's, I decided to take my time going on home and drive a couple of roads I had never driven before. So, I skipped the freeway and headed from Ontario to Vale and up over the Blue Mountains.

 

Oregon highway 26 from Vale through Brogan and Unity and on to Bates, Oregon - - was fun driving. Relaxed. I saw a black angus chasing a coyote across a pasture (too close to a calf). I checked out campgrounds for future reference and use all the way across the Blue Mountains, finding one I favored.

 

Then at Bates I took a road never before traveled. I drove the Middle Fork of the John Day River from Bates to highway 395. The canyon was pretty but the river seemed sad with all the cattle traffic it endured, more like a moving water trough and cattle toilet, than I fine clear country stream. White tail deer raced me along the road in several places and I enjoyed the blue heron, fishing along the river banks as I drove with my window rolled down.

 

Once on Oregon 395 I was on familiar road, as I drove north, but just to get in one more "new" section of back road, I took the Butter Creek Road to reach Hermiston, Oregon. That was fun and beautiful farm country. At Hermiston, I once again gassed up the car, ate too much fast food, and headed for home.

 

I hope you enjoy some of the photographs of the people and places, I took along the way on this short week long road trip.

 

OMT 14 August 2013

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Secure system with SELinux and tcpwrappers.

 

Password and kernel security.

 

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On Sunday I marched for three and a half miles with an anarchist group that was determined to create a conflict at the NATO protest in Chicago.

 

I shot them all the way from the Petrillo Bandshell in Grant Park where they staged for the march to the end of the march where many of them were arrested.

 

"The Black Bloc is a tactic that has been used in demonstrations for years. It is used as a security and safety measure. In it's essential form, each participant of a Black Bloc wears somewhat of a uniform (see the Clothing section). The idea of wearing this uniform is that if every single person in the Bloc looks relatively alike, it is hard for the police to determine which individual did what. For instance, if a Black Bloc participant throws a brick at a store window and runs into the Bloc, she will easily blend in with everyone else. However, if a person wearing normal street clothes happens to throw a brick and run into the Bloc, chances are that she will have been filmed or photographed and later caught by the police.

 

Also, since Anarchist presence has been a very hot issue in the past few years, law enforcement has been known to film and take photos of random activists and keep files on those individuals. This can lead to problems in the future. It's better to be safe than in jail." ~ taken from a website called 'Black Bloc' mlcastle.net/raisethefist/bloc.html

 

Let's take a three and a half mile walk with a bunch of idiots...

PRESS BRIEFING BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS Via Conference Call. 2:05 A.M. AFT.

 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us here -- or there; we're here. This is on background -- senior administration officials. Once we're completed with the briefing, there's no embargo so you can use it from there. I'll turn it over to my colleague.

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Great. Thanks, everybody, for getting on the call. We're happy to talk to you here from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan where the President was just able to visit with some troops. I'll just say a few words about the purpose of our visit and the President's speech, and then my colleague will discuss some of the elements of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that we signed earlier today.

   

President Obama traveled to Afghanistan today to sign an historic Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United States and Afghanistan, as well as to visit with our troops and to thank them for their service. He'll also shortly address the American people about the five elements of his policy to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan while achieving our objective of defeating al Qaeda and denying it a safe haven.

   

Again, I'll wait for my colleagues here to brief on the SPA. What I will say is that the Strategic Partnership Agreement that we reached today was something that we negotiated for 20 months with the Afghans. President Obama and President Karzai both had a goal of signing this agreement before the Chicago NATO summit later this month, and we had a goal of signing this agreement on Afghan soil to demonstrate our commitment to Afghan sovereignty and this new chapter in our relationship.

   

The SPA provides a long-term framework for the relationship between our two countries after the drawdown of U.S. forces. It details how our partnership will be normalized as the war comes to a responsible end. And just as we did in Iraq, we're focused on building an enduring partnership with Afghanistan that strengthens Afghan sovereignty, stability and prosperity while advancing, of course, our shared goals of defeating al Qaeda and contributing to the security of this region.

   

I think it's important to note that this agreement comes at a time when we have made significant progress toward achieving our core goal in Afghanistan, which of course is to defeat al Qaeda and deny the safe haven. It is also of course the one-year anniversary of the day that Osama bin Laden was taken out -- of course, a terrorist who had brought much suffering to Afghanistan and launched the 9/11 attacks against the United States from within this country. We believe, again, that we have put al Qaeda on a path to defeat, and the effort that we're doing today helps ensure the long-term security of Afghanistan and the region.

   

The SPA is one component of the strategy that the President will discuss later this evening about how he will responsibly end the war in Afghanistan. That strategy has five elements: Transitioning to an Afghan lead by 2014; training Afghan security forces so that they can provide for the security of Afghanistan, building an enduring partnership with Afghanistan, pursuing reconciliation within Afghanistan, and promoting regional stability.

   

So first, we have begun the responsible transition to the Afghans, who are moving into the lead for security here in Afghanistan. Already, I’d note nearly half the Afghan people live in areas where Afghan security forces are moving into the lead.

   

At the Chicago summit, our coalition will set a goal for Afghan forces to be in the lead for combat operations across the country next year. International troops will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghans, and fight alongside them when needed, but we will be shifting into a support role as the Afghans move into the lead.

   

And then of course we will complete that transition with Afghans taking full responsibility for the security of their country in 2014. In that context, we’ve removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan last year. Another 23,000 troops will leave by the end of the summer. And as the President has said, steady reduction will continue after the end of the summer.

   

The second component of our strategy is training Afghan security forces to get the job done, and as our troops are drawn down, (inaudible) Afghan forces surge in their size and capability. And this year, those forces will peak ahead of schedule at 352,000 Afghan troops and the Afghans will sustain that level for a number of years. In Chicago, we will come together to determine what proposals to support for a long-term security force of Afghan soldiers and police that, again, can provide for the security of their own country into the future.

   

The third element of our strategy, of course, is the enduring partnership with Afghanistan. And, again, my colleague will address the SPA here shortly. It send a very powerful message that as the Afghans stand up, they will continue to have the support of the United States and our allies.

   

I would just note within that framework, we will continue to work with the Afghans to determine our levels of support for their security forces and for their effort to pursue greater peace and prosperity here in Afghanistan.

   

Fourth, we are pursuing Afghan-led reconciliation. As you know, we’ve been coordinating with the Afghan government and making it clear to the Taliban that they can be a part of Afghanistan in the future if they break with al Qaeda, renounce violence and abide by Afghan law.

   

We believe that many members of the Taliban -- from soldiers in the field to leaders of the Taliban -- have demonstrated an interest in pursuing that reconciliation process. But they who refuse to pursue that reconciliation process now know that they will have to contend with both strong Afghan security forces backed by the United States and our allies, and again an Afghan government that is engaged in the long-term partnership with the United States.

   

And fifth and finally, we are building an international consensus to support peace and stability in South Asia. Within that context, we believe Pakistan can be an equal partner if they are -- can be an equal partner, and we believe that that can be done in a way that respects Pakistan’s sovereignty interest in democratic institution. What we’ve made clear here in Afghanistan and to the Pakistanis is that the United States has no design beyond, of course, an end to al Qaeda safe havens and respect for Afghan sovereignty.

   

I would just note again that we’re essentially pursuing several phases of our effort to responsibly end the war. We’ve already begun a phase of transition where Afghans take over parts of the country. Next year, they will be fully in the lead across the country. In 2013, we will be in a support role when we cross that milestone. And then, in 2014, this process will be complete -- the Afghans will have total responsibility for the security of their country.

   

And the enduring commitment to the United States on the security side beyond 2014 will be focused on two very narrow missions: continued counterterrorism efforts if we need to target al Qaeda and their affiliates in this part of the world, and continued training of Afghan security forces on Afghan facilities here in the country -- so an entirely different set of missions and presence for the United States.

   

With that, I’ll turn it over to my colleague. I’ll just say before I do that, of course, another critical part of this visit is thanking our troops. The President, I know, is always energized and inspired to see our men and women in uniform, and that is certainly the case here today. And so I think it’s an important opportunity for all Americans to recognize the sacrifices that they and their families are making.

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Good, thanks a lot. So I want to just go in depth on one of the lines of effort that my colleague talked about -- mainly partnership.

   

Back in May 2010, President Obama and President Karzai committed our two countries to negotiate and conclude a strategic partnership that would provide a framework for future relations, not just on security issues, but on a wide range of regional, economic, government and development issues. The two Presidents signed the agreement about an hour and a half ago down at the palace in Kabul.

   

The agreement details how the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan -- two sovereign powers -- will be normalized as the war comes to an end. Similar to what we did in Iraq, we are seeking an enduring partnership with Afghanistan that strengthens Afghan sovereignty, stability and prosperity, and that contributes to our shared goal of defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies.

   

Importantly, the Strategic Partnership Agreement comes on the heels of two very important memoranda of understanding that were negotiated and signed by Ambassador Crocker and his counterpart, and General Allen and his counterpart, here in Kabul over the course of the last two months -- one on detention operation and the other on night operations or special operations -- both designed to put Afghans in the lead on those two crucial issues.

   

In 1989, the international community abandoned Afghanistan to years of civil war followed by Taliban rule. That’s a mistake that President Obama is determined to not repeat. This agreement will make clear to the Taliban, al Qaeda and other international terrorist groups that they cannot wait us out. The SPA is not only a signal of long-term commitment by the United States, but a document that enshrines commitments by both countries to each other and with common purpose.

   

Our commitment to support Afghanistan’s social and economic development, security, institutions and regional cooperation is matched by Afghan commitment to us to strengthen accountability, transparency, oversight, and to protect the human rights of all Afghans, men and women.

   

The SPA is also a crucial component to bring the war to an end responsibly. It does not do that on its own. There are still challenges ahead. And we must continue pursuing the other pillars of our strategy that my colleague has laid out. But the SPA complements and strengthens each of those efforts.

   

A framework for our long-term partnership is necessary to make credible the sufficiency and sustainability of the Afghan National Security Forces. It is essential to our plans to transition to Afghan security lead, that bolsters our efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, where they can talk about the future of Afghanistan with the Afghan government, and publicly outlining plans for our future presence, will help reduce anxiety in the region about our intentions and provide Afghanistan’s neighbors with the assurances they need to take their own steps critical to supporting long-term Afghan peace and stability.

   

When it comes to an enduring U.S. presence, President Obama has been clear -- we do not seek permanent military bases in Afghanistan. Instead, the Strategic Partnership Agreement commits Afghanistan to provide U.S. personnel access to and use of Afghan facilities through 2014 and beyond. The SPA provides for the possibility of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after 2014 for the purposes of two clear and cavined missions: training Afghan forces and targeting the remnants of al Qaeda.

   

The agreement commits the United States and Afghanistan to initiate negotiations on a bilateral security agreement, to supersede our current status of forces agreement. To be clear, the strategic partnership itself does not commit the United States to any specific troop level or levels of funding in the future, as those are decisions that will be made in consultation with the U.S. Congress. It does, however, commit the United States to seek funding from Congress on an annual basis to support the training, equipping, advising and sustaining of Afghan National Security Forces, as well as for social and economic development assistance.

   

President Obama intends to maintain the downward trajectory of our troop numbers as he has announced. He will not make specific decisions on further drawdowns before the current drawdown is complete in September in 2012. But you’ve also all heard him say that reduction will continue at a steady pace. When he makes these decisions, he will do so based on our national interest, taking into account the advice of our military and in consultation with Afghan and ISAF partners.

   

So let me just, in closing, list the six sections that encompass the Strategic Partnership Agreement, which if it is not yet made public, it will be made public shortly, so you’ll be able to see these for yourself: Protecting and promoting democratic values; achieving long-term security; reinforcing regional security and cooperation; social and economic development; strengthening Afghan institutions and government; and finally, a section on implementing arrangements and mechanisms.

   

Importantly, the agreement creates a United States-Afghanistan bilateral commission that will be chaired by foreign ministers on both sides that will meet semi-annually and that will oversee implementation of this agreement and other agreements with the Afghans.

   

So with that lay-down on the SPA, why don’t we open it to questions.

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Great. Operator, we’ll be happy to take some questions.

   

Q Thank you very much for taking the time to do the call and thank you for your service. I’d like to ask a question about the reconciliation piece you mentioned. You didn’t talk at all about the month-long effort by the administration to negotiate directly with the Taliban a deal that would involve the Taliban opening up a representative office in Qatar and the potential release of five Taliban commanders from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. Could you please tell us what’s the status of those negotiation? Are you still in direct contact with the Taliban and are your discussions with the Taliban part of the conversations that you’re having with the Afghan government today in Kabul? Thank you.

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thanks for the question. As related to reconciliation, it is one of the five lines of effort that my colleague laid down. It’s a critical piece of the puzzle. We do, obviously, continue to remain in contact with various Taliban leaders that we have several indications of intense interest in the reconciliation process.

   

As it relates to the one strand of reconciliation that you referred to, for reasons that appear to have to do with internal political turbulence among the Taliban, those efforts have been basically put on hold for the time being. The Taliban understands very well what needs to happen in that channel for those talks to re-continue and I think to restart and we’ll see what they do with that knowledge. But it’s quite clear to us that there’s a range of interest among Taliban in reconciliation and there’s quite a bit of internal political turbulence within the Taliban on that score.

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And I’ve got one or two quick points. First of all, as these reconciliation discussions have been ongoing, Afghan-led reconciliation discussions, we’ve see continued progress at the integration of certain lower-level fighters who have sought to leave the Taliban insurgency and become a part of Afghanistan’s future. So that line of effort continues as well.

   

And then just secondly, with the Strategic Partnership Agreement that we’re reaching today, coupled with the Afghan security forces that we’re building and garnering international support for going forward, there’s a clear message to the Taliban that those who pursue a path to peace can be a part of a better future in Afghanistan. Those that do not will have to contend with a very strong Afghan National Security Force that has the backing of the United States, NATO and the international community.

   

We’ll take the next question.

   

Q Hi, two things. First, I guess this will be answered when we see the specific language of the agreement, which we haven't yet, but can you just tell me whether it does indeed cover the 10 years that had been planned for it to cover earlier? We haven't seen any specific reference to the expiration date yet. And more generally, aren't you opening yourselves to charges of fairly craven politics here by doing this on the anniversary of the bin Laden raid? Thank you.

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I'll take your second question first. I think that what could not be clearer is that for 20 months, the United States and Afghanistan have been negotiating a Strategic Partnership Agreement. The negotiations were completed in recent weeks, and the documents of the Strategic Partnership Agreement went to the Presidents for their review. The two Presidents had set a clear goal for the agreement to be signed for the summit in Chicago. So we had a window of time here of a number of weeks to sign this agreement. It was the President's preference to sign that agreement on Afghan soil. It was President Karzai's preference to invite President Obama to sign that agreement on Afghan soil, because it's an indication of the progress that we have made together and the future that we are building together here in Afghanistan.

   

Given that window of time, it is certainly a resonant day for both of our countries given the anniversary of the bin Laden operation. Osama bin Laden set up his safe haven for al Qaeda here in Afghanistan, and frankly, his actions brought great suffering to the Afghan people over many years. Of course, his attacks on 9/11 also began our involvement in Afghanistan and the war that we are seeking to responsibly end today.

   

So the bin Laden operation, of course, is a part of our core objective here in Afghanistan, which is to destroy al Qaeda and to deny them safe haven going forward. And the Strategic Partnership Agreement that we're signing, the very important piece of business that we accomplished today, is a part of that effort.

   

I'd also just add that it was already the President's intention to spend this anniversary with our troops because, of course, it was an extraordinarily capable group of U.S. servicemembers who carried out that operation. What better place to spend time with the troops than with those here in Afghanistan who are in harm's way? So I think this was a unique opportunity to achieve a core objective of our policy in Afghanistan -- to sign this agreement, to do it on Afghan soil, to visit with our troops, and again, to do so as we mark a point in time that put al Qaeda on the path to defeat, and again, helps open the door to a better future for both Afghanistan and the United States.

   

And I'll turn it over to my colleague on your other question.

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, Anne, on the question of whether the 10-year agreement -- it is a 10-year agreement.

   

Q Hi. I wonder if you can talk a little bit more about the long-term troop presence. Is there any discussion between President Obama and President Karzai today on how many troops you've outlined, what those missions would be? Do we have any greater clarity of what the post-2014 troop strength will be?

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes, thanks for the question. It was a very good bilat that the Presidents had. They did not discuss numbers of troops. As you understand, I think the agreement itself allows for a troop presence after 2014, as was agreed in the Lisbon summit by the ISAF countries and by NATO, obviously. But it does not commit it to any particular level.

   

The bottom line is that that kind of decision will be made on a national basis, and as I said, in consultation with ISAF and the Afghan country. But the purpose of that goes back to our core goal, which is to dismantle and ultimately strategically defeat al Qaeda, and to deny them safe haven in Afghanistan. So any decisions about post-2014 presence will be guided by that fact and by our efforts to train Afghan National Security Forces to ensure that this does not become a safe haven again for al Qaeda.

   

Q Thanks very much. You guys have lots of positive language about responsibility, social development, enduring partnerships, ending the war. But in strict military terms, the U.S. is withdrawing while the Taliban think they're winning the war, and the Afghans are reorganizing their politics in expectation of a Taliban greater power. So, frankly, are you simply spiking the ball and walking away from the fight with the Taliban?

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The short answer to your question is no. The longer answer to your question is that every indication is that the Taliban as well as other actors in the region recognize that a Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Afghan government and the United States, as well as the Strategic Partnership Agreement that the Afghans have signed now with five or six other countries are indications that they -- nefarious actors cannot wait out the international community; that the Afghans will continue to have partnerships across the international community, including with the United States. And we'll continue to make sure that we are providing them the resources, for example, to train and equip the very capable Afghan National Security Forces who have performed exceedingly well in light of a series of very significant challenges over the course of the last several months.

   

So we’re very realistic about the challenges that we face here. The Presidents were very realistic about the challenges we face when they had the discussion in their bilateral meeting today. But the bottom line is this agreement, like the memoranda of understanding that has been signed over the course of the last two months, are indications that we have the pieces in place to successfully execute on our core national security prerogative in Afghanistan, which is to dismantle and ultimately strategically defeat al Qaeda and to ensure that it can never come back here to a safe haven.

   

Q Hi, there. Thank you all for doing the call. Two questions. If we could go back to the troops, again, who could potentially remain beyond 2014, is there a way to say, definitively, whether or not this might include combat forces? And then secondly, can you talk a little bit about how much the recent incidents -- the burning of the Korans and the killing spree that left a number of Afghans dead -- how much did those incidents complicate the efforts to finalize the Strategic Partnership Agreement?

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, just on your second question, I think the clear point is that they did not complicate that progress. In fact, we were able to negotiate very complex issues like the transfer of detention facilities to the Afghans and the transition of special forces operations to the Afghans in the context of those very difficult and tragic circumstances, and then close out the Strategic Partnership Agreement. So I think it shows that the United States and Afghanistan, even given the tragic incidents of war, are able to work together on very difficult issues.

   

On your first question, I think what’s clear is we are going to be dramatically reducing the number of U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan as we move forward with our transition to 2014. We’ll be down to 68,000 by the end of the summer. There will be steady reductions after that. Our missions will change as we move into a support role and the Afghans are in the lead next year. And then of course, the Afghans will be fully responsible for security.

   

If we do have any presence here after 2014, it would be on Afghan facilities. We will not be building any permanent bases in this country. We will not be patrolling Afghanistan cities and mountains. That will be Afghan security forces who will carry out those functions.

   

The only missions that we are contemplating and discussing with the Afghans involves counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda, which we would need to carry out to ensure that al Qaeda cannot reestablish a safe haven in Afghanistan, and then continued training of Afghan forces. But again, these would be dramatically reduced number of U.S. troops focused on a very narrow set of missions that would be entirely different from the type of combat that we’ve been engaged in over the course of the last decade. This would be counterterrorism and training of Afghan security forces who will have the responsibility for carrying out combat operations.

   

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Okay, guys, we’re going to have to wrap this up. I want to thank you for your participation. Thank you all very much. Have a good night.

 

END 2:34 A.M. AFT

----------------

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

May 2, 2012

    

Lots of work keeping me away from Flickr as the year comes to a close. Hopefully the Christmas break will provide an opportunity to catch up.

 

Nonetheless, I thought I'd take a moment to share a quick shot from a recent shoot with Mia Sollis around the northern edge of Soho.

 

There's a black and white version in my mood board for the Soho Noir series.

 

I'd pre-scouted a few interesting looking locations at lunchtime, which was essential for a quick evening shoot. This is a smokers' shelter at the back of a hotel. Scratched and stained, the perspex pane was picking up the background light from office strip lights through dirty windows, creating a suitably neo noir tone set for my Soho Noir project.

 

As we shot this one, hotel security shouted at me from behind. In all fairness they were pretty decent about it and let me take a few frames after we'd been asked to leave.

 

Part of me wishes I'd pushed the tones much harder, especially in a set of many gelled shots with some dramatic colour, but I wanted to keep it in tune with how it looked saturation-wise on location if only as a visual reference for me as I work on more wider environmental portraits. The major change in post is pulling up the yellow the light against the blue shadow. That's how it felt, but in the actual shot the window and shadow were much more consistent, with the windows much colder.

 

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

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GETTING A LIVING

 

Aspen sunflower (Hellianthella) resides in high elevation montane and subalpine meadows and open woodlands. It is one of those big, showy, yellow spring and early summer wildflower that stands out and advertises to the world, and especially to pollinators, "here I am." Hellianthella ironically means "little sunflower," but these guys are by no means little, reaching as much as 1-2 meters in height and sporting always east-facing, single flower heads that reach 10cm in diameter. Their mostly basil leaves have five veins running through them if you need some security about having the plant correctly identified.

 

DEFENSE

 

Some countries have historically hired mercenary armies to defend themselves against their enemies. In a certain sense, some plants do the same thing. Hellianthella does something very much like this to defend itself against egg-laying flies whose larvae prey on its seeds. Hellianthella produces nectar in its tiny flower bracts on its flower head that is continuously harvested by ants throughout the summer. In the process of collecting nectar, ants chase off flies that would otherwise lay their eggs. The ants get a living and Hellianthella gets its seeds protected and increases its potential for reproduction. Unfortunately, Hellianthella is not so well defended against night freezes.

 

The single most important force driving biological timing at high elevations is the date of snowmelt. If snows melt earlier, plants will emerge and bloom earlier, gaining a longer season in which to grow and reproduce. The plus of a longer growing season can be more than trumped by a dangerous stress: increased exposure to night frost from early emergence due to a shift backward in the snowmelt date and stability in the nighttime freezing temperature profile. Hellianthella lacks defenses against frost. Because it emerges and develops typically after snowmelt, and snowmelt historically occurred mostly after the danger of nighttime freezes, such defenses were unnecessary. A warming climate can cause daytime temperatures to rise above freezing earlier in the spring but works more slowly on pushing back nighttime freezing temperature. Early snowmelt moves up the timing of first emergence for Hellianthella, exposing flowers to a greater danger of frost damage. Seventy-four percent of flower buds have been damaged by frost annually on survey plots near the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in recent years. The resulting loss of flowers and the seeds they produce dampens recruitment to the plant's populations and diminishes food supplies for pollinators, herbivores, and seed predators.

 

REPRODUCTION

 

A "killing frost" reeks havoc on plant parts essential to survival and and reproduction. Older plant parts such as stems and mature leaves are better able to resist frost then newer leaves and buds. A plant's reproductive organs are usually the most frost sensitive of all. Flowers and ovaries in Colorado Rocky's wildflowers, such as the Hellianthella, frequently suffer damage from early season frosts even though leaves and stems survive. Below freezing, ice crystals can form within and between cells destroying cell walls and causing plant solutes to leak away. Frost damage can also become a pathway for infection by pathogens, and freezing in soils can cause soil heaving that can damage newly emergent plants.

 

Over the long haul, the picture on frost and plant population health is murkier. An early spring killing frost in one year will reduce seedlings in the next but also put a dent in future seed predator populations who will lack a fruitful site to lay their eggs. With less predation in the next year, seed survival will increase and a boom in seedlings will occur in year two. Predator populations will take more time to recover than seedlings giving wildflower populations such as Hellianthella a window for population recovery. Here is a plus offered by climate change--starved pathogens. Species prone to frost exposure because of early blooming may well genetically adapt with an in-species variation in timing for emergence and blooming, and this could be the case for Hellianthella. If early spring killing frosts become the norm, those plants within the species genetically prone to a later emergence and blooming time will selectively become more predominant. This won't be a free lunch because increasing populations of late bloomers will be constrained by competition for space, resources, and pollinators with suites of other species already adapted for late blooming. Evolutionary adaptation may offer some wiggle room for dealing with climate change but how much is unclear.

 

Crossing historic Union Pass (John Colter was one of the first Mountain Men to cross this pass at the northern end of the Wind River Range), is more like crossing a wide meadow saddle than a mountain pass. Lovely wide open landscapes and cool air comes with the elevation.

 

I could see the Green Fire burning at the north end of Wind River Range as I stopped at Mosquito Lake and drove the high country to Union Pass. Then when I crossed Union Pass, I could see even more wildfires burning in the mountains up north.

 

After leaving the DeSmet overlook, I returned to Daniel to give Dee a cold can of a Pepsi, some cinnamon rolls, and my thanks. Then on to Daniel Junction, to buy a made on the spot deli sandwich to eat as I drove on.

 

Leaving Daniel Junction I headed toward Pinedale, then turned north on the road I had never driven and was looking forward to traveling: The Union Pass Road (Wyoming highway 352 to start with).

 

I had spotted the Kendall mountain fire all the way from the DeSmet overlook, and it was now in my constant view as I drove north on Wyoming highway 352. It would flare at times and the topography looked very much like both Mann Gulch and Storm King Mountain (only no major river flowing beneath it).

 

I read later that this fire was being allowed to burn and "managed" as long as it didn't threaten life or property. Lightening caused natural fires clear thick dense underbrush and are a natural part of the "health" of a forest. The fires are essential to the propagation of some trees and play a vital roll in the well being of other tree species; like aspen.

 

The fire camp I had stopped at earlier in the day was responsible for the: Packer Creek fire; the Kendall Mountain fire; and the Green fire.

A public information sign board (a good idea), located off the Union Pass Road gave me the information on the wildfires I could now see: The Green Fire and the Kendall Mountain Fire.

 

The road forks after pavement turns to dirt and one road leads to the Green River Lakes and by a super rare fish species called the Kendall Dace, who live in warm springs water that is 84 degrees year round. I took the Union Pass Road turn at the "Y" but want to go back and check out the other route to the Green RIver Lakes (a good trailhead for some hiking in the northern Wind River Range).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Union Pass, Wyoming & Green River/Horse Creek - Road Trip.

 

I had been suffering from what felt like "walking pneumonia" for a couple of weeks, and had just started feeling a little better. I decided what would do me a lot of good, would be get on a road trip.

 

I left my hiking and backpacking gear at home, and determined to just enjoy driving back roads and visit and travel a few historic and scenic places along the way. A "windows down", back road, take your time....road trip.

 

DAY ONE: I drove the freeway from my home in Eastern Washington to Pocatello, Idaho on day one. I got a good night's sleep at a motel in Pocatello and started driving early the next morning, with back road routes on my mind.

 

DAY TWO: I headed south a short ways on I-15 then turned east on highway 30. I would travel in reverse a scenic back highway route, that I had driven for the first time a year ago. I drove through Lava Hot Springs; Soda Springs; Henry (a major city); and over to Freedom - - on the Idaho and Wyoming border.

 

From Freedom it was north to Alpine, Wyoming then highway 26 to Hoback Junction. The stretch of highway from Alpine to Hoback Junction was a "zoo". LOTS of people traveling to squeeze in that last vacation before school starts.

 

There were so many river rafters (commercial) carrying 12 to 16 "river tourists" like eggs in a double wide carton, on the Snake River, that you could walk across the river and up and down the river without getting your feet wet, jumping from overcrowded rubber raft to the next. All the support camps and transport buses added to the carnival like atmosphere. Though not for me, those on the commercial rafts seem to be having a great time, and that is what life is all about.

 

Most of the automobile traffic headed north towards Jackson, Wyoming at the Hoback Junction. I turned up the historic Hoback River road (hwy 189/191) and enjoyed less traffic and great scenery as I headed for Daniel Junction via Bondurant.

 

Before I reached Daniel Junction though irony and serendipity converged and I came upon a "wildfire fighting camp", just off the highway and spread out across a sage brush flat.

 

I had moved a photograph of the victims of Mann Gulch up to the front of my Flickr photostream page just before I left home. August 5th, 2013 was the 64th anniversary of the Mann Gulch fire fatalities, and it just seemed like something I wanted to do.

 

Also I had just finished reading the story of the 1994 fire fighting tragedy of Storm King Mountain in Colorado. I had also been exchanging a few emails with a person telling me they were friends with the sister of one of the Mann Gulch victims (David Navone).

 

So, as I left my home, it seemed as though "wildfire" stories were very much in my mind, including the most recent incident at Yarnell, Arizona ~ where 19 firefighters lost their lives.

 

There were no signs telling the public to keep out, so I drove in to see a wildfire fighting camp first hand. I drove slowly, and moved completely off the road when any "official" vehicle came the other way. I did not want to interfere in anyway with the job they were doing.

 

I drove to far end of the camp to the Helitack unit. I parked off in the sage brush and asked two firefighters if I could take some photos, if I stayed out of the way. Permission granted. Then I drove back on the dirt road, to the center of the operatio