I just came back from two days at the Theaterwoche Korbach, a one-week theater festival in the quaint town of Korbach. In spite of its small size (approx. 25,000 residents) the town has community center where the festival takes place every year. Since 1999 my old school’s drama-group has been attending almost every year. I hadn’t been there since 2002, but when I was asked if I wanted to come along and help with the preparations for our play, I figured why not pay Korbach a visit again after so many years.
One advantage of no longer being a student is that I was accommodated at Hotel Touric, while the kids had to sleep on camp beds in a gym. Normally, everybody stays at Korbach’s youth hostel (which would have been fine by me), only this time, they decided to schedule some major renovations there right around the time they are the most crowded. Another advantage is that I didn’t have to take part in one of the workshops for festival participants. In these workshops, participants can learn about things like Japanese dance or pantomime, which is fine if you’re an actor, but for someone from the technical crew, this is an impertinence.
Anyway, this gave me some time to walk around Korbach and enjoy its beautiful old city. The city was (and in part still is) surrounded by two rings of walls. The area between these walls is now part park, part cemetery. The cemetery doesn’t have any street lights, but since it was the shortest route from the community center to the hostel, we would often walk through on our way home after the plays at night. It’s not actually that frightening, except for one time, when a bunch of us ran ahead of the group, hid in the bushes and as the others walked by, jumped out and scared them.
Inside the town wall one still finds many fachwerk (timber-framed) houses and a couple of small, but very beautiful churches. On the old city’s central square, there is even a pranger. Although it is probably no longer in use, it looks fully functional (no picture, though, sorry).
From the architecture and institutions found in Korbach, it’s evident that it must have once been a very prosperous city. Indeed, Korbach was a major gold mining site, after gold-bearing ore was found there. Today, there is a “gold-trail” running by and explaining important gold mining sites through-out the city. It originates at this lorry located behind the main train station.
As I have to study for the CFA level III exam in June, I went home before the rest of group by train. I don’t have a good reason for including this picture, but here is a shot of the Brilon Wald train station anyway. Unfortunately, many smaller train stations in Germany look like this one. Nonetheless, I find train travel the best choice for getting around the country, if you want to see something of the country-side as you pass through. That is, if you have some time and money to spare, as air travel is often faster and also cheaper when going between two major cities that have airports.