World Cup and Mathias’ Arrival – July 2014

Mathias arrived just in time for all the World Cup craziness here in Europe.  Besides watching a whole lot of soccer (for the first few rounds we were following the US, the Netherlands, and Germany) we spent the two weeks leading up to our “Big Driving Trip” (as I’ve been calling it):

  • Showing Mathias around town – including a little shopping
  • Taking a guided tour of Osna  (see below)
  • Visiting the Felix Nussbaum Museum and the Kulturgeschichtliches Museum (see below)
  • Visiting neighboring towns (Bad Iburg and Ankum in Germany, Enschede in the Netherlands)
  • Checking out farmers markets
  • Bike riding
  • Going to my German lessons
  • Grilling out (even in the rain!)
  • Dominik’s 30th birthday party
  • … and lots of trip planning!

I was so glad we finally did an official tour of Osna; I can’t believe we’d lived here a year and a half and hadn’t done one yet! This one was an English tour during the day and is called “My Osnabrück”.. so each time you do the English tour it would be different depending on which guide you get because they pick the itinerary based on what they like best or are interested in about Osnabrück.  On the tour we got to go in the Town Hall for the first time to see the room where the Peace of Westphalia was negotiated and agreed to (it was signed in Muenster but they shook hands on it here, which is what counted back in the day). Upstairs there is a large model which shows Osnabruck in 1633, when there was a large wall surrounding the entire city. As we walked around town, we learned a lot about half-timbered houses and vault houses from the middle ages in addition to other historical facts about our German home town.

One day while Morgan was at work, Mathias and I checked out the Felix Nussbaum Haus. The museum was designed by New York architect Daniel Libeskind who was the master plan architect for One World Trade Center.  Felix Nussbaum was a German-Jewish painter who was born in Osnabrück in 1904 and developed his talents in Hamburg, Berlin, and Rome at the Berlin Academy of Arts until the Nazis took control of Germany. He lived in Belgium in exile with his wife until he was arrested in 1940. While being transported back to Germany he was able to escape and meet back up with his wife. They lived in hiding for 4 years until German armed forces found them living in an attic. They arrived at Auschwitz on August 2nd and a week later he was murdered at the age of 39.  You could really see the difference between the pictures from the time period up until he had to leave Rome, the work he did while in exile in Belgium, and his final works he did while hiding out.  Surrealism isn’t my cup of tea to begin with and then on top of it his dark, foreboding style and topics (reflective of the times) are not something I could look at every day (ie. The Storm or The Damned). Here is a link where you can see many of his works: http://www.felix-nussbaum.de/werkverzeichnis/archiv.php?lang=en&.

One ticket gets you into the Kulturgeschichtliches Museum in addition to the Felix Nussbaum Haus so we walked through there as well. They focus on art and cultural history related to Osnabrück/Germany. They have an extensive Albrecht Dürer collection, a collection of Roman and Greek coins, several painting collections from Osnabrück natives, etc.

I think the rest of our activities are best explained through pictures!