Gauss-Telegraph: An intercultural exploration of the city quarter
Magni-Tour on October 5th, 2018
On the fifth day of Gauss Friends’ “First Steps” (05.10.18), around 45 curious and interested, international students gathered on the Schlossplatz with blue skies, golden light and warm autumn air. Distances quickly disappear, the atmosphere is jolly, group talks and the first group photos emerge. Despite the differences in students’ places of origin, their new place of residence – Braunschweig, and the mutual interest to get to know the city better links them all up.
To discover the cultural, urban and historical traits of the city, a stroll – the slowest mode of transportation in our modern society – is particularly well suited to experience the surrounding.
The city explorers attentively follow the narration about culture, history and architecture of the city in a relaxed mood. From the Schlossplatz one can walk across the narrow alley of the Magni quarter, through the Löwenwall Park to the birthplace of the composer and conductor Louis Spohr, to Lessingplatz, the monastery of St. Ägidien and the Jewish Museum of Braunschweig. The students turned their attention to the many small details and major features of the city – especially those features, which they aren’t aware of from their native place.
What is particularly striking for the students? How do the future Braunschweiger perceive their new place of residence?
Graphic: Where do the participants come from?
- Compared to their hometowns, Amanda and Vicenzo from Brazil find the city to be very clean and green. They especially liked the well-organized public transport infrastructure.
- Manuel from Portugal is thrilled that the tap water in Germany is potable and that he can drink the water directly from the faucet.
- Frédéric from France is amazed that people actually wait obediently at the red traffic lights.
- For Ali from Iran, the cobblestones are the obvious – in his hometown there is only asphalt. As a future architecture student at TU Braunschweig, he appreciates urban design features and the change of perspective.
- Kong from Malaysia is amazed that the doors of the shops are closed. Back at home, it’s warmer, so shops keep their doors open. Besides, she has never seen such big churches. In their previous place of residence, they are much smaller.
- For Gabor from Hungary, the small streets and the numerous half-timbered houses are a special feature.
- Christian from Hamburg enjoys the atmosphere of the city. He also thinks it’s great that he can reach everywhere on a bike.
- Tauseef from Pakistan feels the streets in Braunschweig are much bigger. In his hometown, Lahore, the streets are much narrower moreover lots of people are moving on these. The shops are also open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Everything is extraordinary for him.
- For Jessie from the U.S. everything seems very close and small. She finds it amusing that, you can reach everywhere in the city on our foot.
- Min from South Korea finds it unusual to see so few Asians. Quite strange she finds the tram in Braunschweig, this means of transport was unknown to her earlier. She finds the many small and cute houses of the city strikingly beautiful. Due to space problems, houses in their hometown are built rather vertically.
- Even Ximena from Mexico is thrilled to see so many small houses in the Magni quarter. In her memory it’s now embedded that the baton inventor and well-known composer Louis Spohr lived in Braunschweig.
- Irene and Carlota come from a small town in northern Spain. They loved the fact that there’s a plenty of choice for cultural events and museums, as well as large green parks in the city. In their native place, more old people and fewer young students are moving on the streets.
In addition to the narrow alleys and beautiful half-timbered houses, the students will remember an ambivalent place that some would like to return to – the Lessingplatz. There stands the monument of the well-known atheist philosopher Gotthold Ephraim Lessing “in the shadow” of the Catholic Church and the Jewish Museum.
At the end of the two-hour city quarter tour many new sensory impressions of space emerged, contacts exchanged, appointments made and tandem partners created.
You will find the pictures of the Magni-Tour here.