Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Merano

When I was very young, on our address came on summer postcards  with high mountains and many flowers, from a place called Meran. They were written by an aunt living in Austria, who spent her summer vacation in Meran. When I grew up and started to read a map, I found out this was Merano and was in Italy, not in Austria as I thought. Northern Italy or South Tyrol, another delicate subject. In Europe, almost in every country there are border regions which have been disputed, in time, between two countries. In the end, remained only a line on the map, drawn by treaties.

So, being in Trento, I decided to go and see Merano, on a Saturday.  I traveled by train, not very far, in the beautiful region of Alto Adige. The name of the stations drew my attention. Always two: one in Italian and one in German. I was amused because it was the time of the bilingual names of the locations in Transylvannia. Nobody was intrigued here, in Italy, nor by the two names of the shops, neither by the "Gebratene Wurstl" sold on the street.

In 857 here was Mairania, which became in 13th century the capital of Tyrol. The bishops of Trento ruled the region in the middle age, then it was the possession of the Counts of Tyrol. They moved the capital to Innsbruck, and the decline begun. But once again, during the 19th century, the place was revitalized. It became a well-known health resort. All the nobles from Europe came here to relax.

I found in Merano the atmosphere of the little Austrian towns. Even the architecture of the old houses was the same. So, I passed under the Vinschgauer Tor, the oldest gate, erected in 1290, I walked on the Steinerner Steg or Ponte Romano, an old stone bridge constructed in 1617, over Passer/Passirio and I admired the beautiful Judendstill/Art Nouveau Kurhaus. This was planned by the Austrian architect Friedrich Ohmann, who planned the Viennese Hofburg also.

It was a warm day on March, 1997.
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Cand eram mica, pe adresa noastra veneau vara ilustrate dintr-un loc frumos, cu munti inalti si multe flori, de la o matusa austriaca (destin de familie banateana multiculturala), care isi petrecea mereu vacantele acolo. Pe ilustratele acelea era scris "Meran". Abia cand am crescut si am putut citi o harta, am inteles ca acea localitate se numeste Merano si se afla in nordul Italiei si nu in Austria, cum credeam eu. Italia de Nord sau Tirolul de Sud, un alt subiect sensibil. In Europa, aproape in orice parte te-ai duce exista aceste zone de granita care, in cursul istoriei, au apartinut cand unora, cand altora, pentru care s-au batut multi, a curs multa cerneala si pana la urma dreptatea fiecaruia s-a pierdut si a ramas o granita-linie trasata de tratate.

In ultimii ani ai secolului trecut am fost de multe ori la Trento, pentru proiectele in care eram angrenata, asa ca, intr-o sambata de martie am luat trenul si m-am dus sa vad si eu Merano. Era o zi calduta si senina, iar drumul catre granita austriaca este foarte frumos. Ici-colo vedeam pe coaste muntoase ruinele cate unei fortarete si incepeau sa-mi atraga atentia denumirile bilingve din gari, italiana si germana. Le priveam amuzata fiindca la noi nu se stinsese inca de tot ecoul placutelor bilingve...Aici ele nu mirau pe nimeni, dupa cum nici in Merano/Meran, cand am coborat, nu deranja pe nimeni faptul ca firmele magazinelor erau scrise in doua limbi, iar la tonete, langa gara, se vindeau "Gebratene Wurstl", adica carnati prajiti.

In 857 exista aici o asezare numita Mairania, iar in secolul al 13-lea, Meran era capitala Tirolului. Condus in evul mediu de catre episcopii de Trento, a fost apoi preluat de catre contii de Tirol. In secolul al XV-lea, acestia au mutat capitala la Innsbruck si importanta politica si economica a zonei a intrat in declin. Climatul bland si peisajul minunat al unor munti de peste 3000 m inaltime, au determinat nobilimea tiroleza sa-si construiasca aici frumoase resedinte. Din secolul al 19-lea, Meran devine o binecunoscuta statiunea balneara.

Nu urmaream sa vad ceva anume, ma plimbam doar pe strazi, recunoscand o arhitectura specifica oraselelor austriece.Am dat astfel peste una dintre cele patru porti ale orasului medieval, Vinschgauer Tor, cea mai veche, construita in 1290. In secolul al 18-lea poarta a fost renovata si a fost folosita ca inchisoare a datornicilor o perioada de timp.
 Vinschgauer Tor
Pasii m-au purtat spre parcul in care se afla capodopera Jugendstil/Art Nouveau a regiunii Alpilor, asa-numita Kurhaus. Prima cladire, construita si inaugurata in 1874 (arh. Josef Czerny) a ramas aripa sa d evest deoarece, intre 1911-1914 s-a construit noua aripa, dupa planurile arhitectului vienez Friedrich Ohmann, cel care a proiectat si Hofburgul (Palatul Imperial) vienez. Acum se tin aici congrese si alte evenimente, precum prestigiosul Festival International al Vinului de la Merano. Cand am fost eu acolo, in fata cladirii era o mica expozitie de masini de epoca.
Kurhaus
Nu mi-a scapat nici micul pod de piatra, aruncat peste Passer/Passirio, construit in 1617. El se numeste Steinerner Steg sau Ponte Romano.
Steinerner Steg/Ponte Romano
A fost o zi calda de martie a anului 1997.

24 comments:

Randy said...

Another amazing place.

Imperator said...

He, he, am fost in 1997. Tot ca day trip din Trento :)

Liliana said...

97?! Woooooow.
Frumoase imagini.

magda said...

I see here, a beautiful lady who guides us through a beautiful alpine setting!
Wonderful pictures and thorough as ever tour!
Many greetings my good friend!

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks again, Randy!

Traveling Hawk said...

Ha, ha, poate ne-am vazut pe strada, Imperator :)

Traveling Hawk said...

Multumesc, Liliana. Sunt putine, din pacate. Locul este frumos, se pot face plimbari lungi catre satele din jur.

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Magda, for your nice words!

Rizalenio said...

Wow! I love the photos. Looking at it made me imagine you traveling and seeing the mountains while you're inside the train. Beautiful place.

Take care in your trip next week. Hope you'll enjoy asia.

rama said...

Such lovely pictures. With sun shining so bright and the white mountains at the back, I can only wish I were with you,enjoying it.
Happy Holidays, and White Christmas!!
I could read only half of your blog, the other half remained un translated

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Rizalenio! I am sure I will be delighted.

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Rama, for the visit. I started to add English abstracts from the beginning, June 2010.

VP said...

Nice to see some unknown (to me) part of my country through your eyes!

Traveling Hawk said...

Well, there are only few photos, VP, and not very good ones. Anyhow, I'm glad I succeed to show you a place you don't know.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

What a beautiful place!!

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks for the visit, Phivos!

Kumiko said...

I can enjoy beautiful scenery of Merano through your post.Thank you for sharing it.

mircea said...

imi plac imaginile.e frumos ca ne prezinti si alte locuri frumoase,mai putin cunoscute turistilor.

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Kumiko, for your appreciation!

Traveling Hawk said...

Bine ai venit, Mircea, multumesc!

Helma said...

Traveling Hello Hawk,

Now I understand better your blog above. I see you have an aunt living in Austria who wrote postcards to her summer holidays in Merano.

You have made ​​another great trip report with great pictures.

Greetings, Helma

Traveling Hawk said...

You are right, Helma. My aunt's postcards have been the inspiration for this trip. Thanks for the visit. Have a nice weekend!

LifeRamblings said...

Merano looks like a wonderful place to explore. The Alps have always intrigued me. great journey.

Traveling Hawk said...

It's a little place, Life Ramblings, but it has great surroundings!