mago, Places


Now and then I meander towards the bookshelves and take out something that grabs my attention.
This time it was a book with photographs of old things:
Tote Technik. Ein Wegweiser zu den antiken Stätten von Morgen. Fotos Manfred HAMM (Ger.). Herausgeber Rolf STEINBERG (some books he edited). Einleitender Essay Robert JUNGK [they should realy re-work their site!] (Ger., Eng.), Berlin 1981.
I think it was not yet called “urban exploration” then. And it hits me like a ton of bricks, its 32 years since this book was published!

They show
– “Gemäuer des Krieges” (Verdun, Maginot-Linie, Atlantikwall, (Ger., Eng.)),
– Barry Docks (Eng., pics,  flickr),
– “Versunkene Häfen (New York, Brighton, Port Winston),
– England’s last aircraft carriers (Ark Royal and Eagle in Cairnryan),
– “Ruinen der Montankrise” (“the ancient age of coal and steel”),
– “Die neuen Pyramiden” (heaps of dead cars in Philadelphia and the West Side Elevated Highway in NewYorkCity),
– “Tod in Tucson” (the airplane cemetery in Arizona),
– “Frühe Stätten der Weltraumfahrt” (Cape Canaveral after Apollo), and
– “Morsche Mailer” (ruins of the “atomic state” (Atomstaat (Ger., Eng.) as we used to call it back then, before the Green Party even existed; nuclear power plants at the end of their life cycle) – everything becomes history).

There’s noting to it, just a book and some links. And 32 years.


16 thoughts on “Ruins

  1. Hipster Yaya says:

    My dear father loved bookbinding in his spare time. I treasure his books in my library. Among them, the complete works of Jules Verne.

    Talking about ruins and abandoned treasures, some really sad stuff I saw during my summer holidays in August:

    Gold and iron mines of the 18th century, abandoned and graffitied.
    Hearts carved in a 2.000 year-old olive tree.
    An underground city of the Civil War, abandoned.
    A visigothic cemetery, abandoned.
    A beautiful French iron carrier platform of the 18th century that transported the metal to the harbour, DESTROYED. (I saw old pictures)
    And the worst: the beautiful 1.500-year old arab wall that surrounds a small southern city. Apparently, some uncivilized citizens thought it was an excellent dumping site.

    What can I say about abandoned nuclear power plants at the end of their life cycle… we also have some of those.

    PS.- I have an Atomkraft, Nein Danke sticker –a friend from Frankfurt sent it to me many years ago!-

  2. I think its all well documented, Ruine LX. The big objects in the outside are just allowed to dilapidate, the effort of preserve would be too much. But the project goes on. And think about other places on earth where such machines start that reach the stars: The Europeans start from Kourou, the Russians, Chinese, Indians – a list of spaceports.

    There was a time when pinning such a sticker to your Parka could mean trouble at your school. Not with radical atomic fanatic classmates but with foaming teachers, who did not like these communistic anti progress terrorists …

    Bookbinding is a fine art, Hipster Yaya. I always enjoyed the bound magazine tomes in the bookmines. Some customers preferred special outfits and papers, and after handling the books for some time one could easily guess where it came from – out of which library it came originally.
    A subterranean city? Abandoned gold mines … Using the city wall as dumping site is really idiotic, not only because of the lack of respect towards the own history, but because of very practical health issues. But that wall may have seen a lot over time, so a bit of 21st century nonsense may be not entirely new to it.
    The atomic power plants are a real crux. I read somewhere that they are working on a version that uses old fuel rods, those which normally would go to the dumb – hopefully not besides the Arabic wall; this promised “Endlager” still does not exist – and never will. Now lets only hope that the Japanese get all that garbage out of building 4 without further major incidents. Then let’s stuff the nonsense into those surplus intercontinental missiles we have left over, and shoot them into the sun. Would put cosmic pollution on a new level, but the world would get rid of some very dangerous stuff.

  3. Hipster Yaya says:

    The japs are pouring thousands of gallons of radioactive water to the sea every week from Fukushima -funny, after Tokyo had been awarded with the 2020 Olympic Games, Prime Minister Abe-San gave his personal guarantee that the athletes would not be in danger (let’s not forget he was talking about 2020!). I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw 2-headed sardines one fine day!

    It seems the world has forgotten all the list of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents.

  4. Hipster Yaya says:

    On another note, can you really find out from what library comes a book only by the binding? WOW! This is what I call EXPERTISE in capital letters!

  5. The water is one thing. but they sit on a heap of kaput fuel rods, part of them is not even evacuated; part of the stuff is in crumbling “Abklingbecken”. Next earthquake, next heavy storm and only God knows where pieces of that stuff land.

    No no, Hipster YAYA! My ability is limited to the stock in the bookmines only! AND it is less the binding itself but the use of some papers, the layout, the design in all.
    At one time librarians looked or uniformity and if they had the means to it (money!) they made their books look similar – call it Corporate identity.

    Historical books (f.e pre-18th century) can very well be identified by their binding, the materials, even when the Besitzeintrag is lost: Books out of the possession of bishop Echter will always be recognizable and identifiable, even if the coat of arms is not there.

    Between my humble things there are at least two very individual kinds of books – when you see it you know that it comes from that library, possibly made around this time +/- five years – I had them in my hands for over a year, and would very much like to go back asap.

  6. Hipster Yaya says:

    I had never thought about that. That’s very interesting, and I guess it’s a part of your historical research abilities.

    Dear Young man, you should be very proud of your skills and abilities. You are modest indeed!

  7. In general I’m modest, and hence, poor, dear Hipster Yaya.

    Today at the counter of the library the man behind, roughly my age, and me realised that we frequent this building for thirty years – and have replaced the alten Säcke from years ago. No, Baumschaum could not imagine this 32 years ago.

  8. I can also confirm that Ms Scarlet is indeed manifesting herself into an antique. Dry rot is setting in to her more dustier,drier, intimate crannies and her rugulose appearance is becoming more apparent by the hour.

    If she was of the equine variety I would recommend lead in each ear to ease further suffering.

  9. Tata, Chef – do I sense a little animosity here ? Courtoisie, old chap ! I guess you stared too long at the recent pictures of Heidi Klum.

    I think you are God’s gift to mankind dear MsScarlet. And as long as there’s no butter stick treatment involved …

  10. Thank you, Mr Mags! I think Mr Files will be for ever scornful of me due to the state of my kitchen floor…. he is a Chef, so I imagine he is hygiene conscious. Other than that, I am as clueless as you…. well… apart from me, on occasion, calling him Mr Flies…. I suppose I am asking for trouble, like a child poking a lion with a small stick.

  11. Mr. Files may thunder and growl as he wants, dear MsScarlet – your beautiful, lovely and friendly character will outshine anything on the kitchen floor.

    The chefs I had to deal with in real life were interested in exactly two things: Cooking and sex. Must be something oral.

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