At Rothenburg's Castle Gate

Lately, I see a lot of concern on Instagram that everything looks the same. People taking the same photograph, at the same places, wearing the same outfits, etc. I can't get too worked up about it because I feel like the argument of whether there's anything original left to create in this world is one that has been waging for years--Instagram is just the latest analogy. However, I will say it is interesting when you go somewhere really lovely and notice that all the crowds converge on one "famous" spot. This was the case for us in Rothenburg ob der Tauber where we recently spent a few days celebrating my birthday. Rothenburg boasts some of the best surviving examples of medieval architecture; the Old Town is dotted with 40 towers and hundreds of gingerbread houses, but there's one particular angle of the town with a clock tower that seems to be the most famous. It's on all the postcards and while other picturesque corners vie for attention, it feels that nothing can compete with this one tower and the houses surrounding it in terms of popularity. We got pictures there ourselves naturally, because there's no point in not capturing a beautiful location just because it is popular, but it was a bit wild how as soon as we ventured beyond that street and the main square the streets grew quiet. Other towers seemed just as striking, other streets just as beautiful, but they didn't draw the same crowds or attention. We took pictures here at the Burgtor (Castle Gate) with hardly anyone around, we wandered down little colorful alleys to find charming houses and squares all to ourselves. Part of the quiet was due to our off-season visit--most people don't travel in February when you're too late for the Christmas markets and too early for spring. But the tourists who had also come in this brisk month congregated in certain areas, leaving just as picturesque spots nearly deserted. I do think the popular spots are popular for a reason; people take the same photograph again and again because it works, not because it looks bad. Still, it's good to remember that there might be something equally lovely and undiscovered just around the corner...peachytower-5 peachytower-25-side peachytower-13 peachytower-14 peachytower-26 peachytower-11 peachytower-16 peachytower-2-side peachytower-19 peachytower-12 peachytower-6



  1. I exactly see your point - there is an anecdote from my trip to Vienna last summer, when we went to an arts museum and there was that painting by Gustav Klimt, "The Kiss", and there was such a huge crowd of people in front of it that you could barely catch a glimpse at the painting! Obviously, everyone was taking photographs and, while it is indeed an iconic and beautiful painting worth seeing, there were also many other, less known beautiful works that everyone seemed to ignore. I suppose that people feel that they'll miss out on something if they visit a place and don't take a photo of some painting/destination/whatever that is so popular. But you're right, it's definitely worth visiting some other less famous spots - you never know what you'll discover!

  2. This is very interesting because I think the discussions about Instagram have really drawn to the forefront (or contributed to the fact) that image has become a language - or rather, a form of discourse. The way I see it people take pictures of those views they already know from tourist advertisement and post cards, because that way other people who haven't been there will still understand what message they want to convey when they post an image.


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