Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution
For this Monochrome Madness I went to a park in the triangle of three towns in our neighborhood: Wuppertal, Remscheid and Solingen. Leanne Cole asked us for bridges for this challenge. The park is called “Brückenpark” (bridge park). I wasn’t in that park for a few years, because it is quite small. It’s located in the valley of the river Wupper. I showed some photos taken there in a past post. And proposed to discover a not so hidden secret 🙂
This is the proposed secret: a huge iron railroad bridge crossing the valley 107 meters above the river. The bridge was built more than 100 years ago by using the same technique, that was used for the Eiffeltower in Paris and the Wuppertal Schwebebahn.
The next few paragraphs are an excerpt from the english Wikipedia:
The bridge was a masterpiece of Victorian-era engineering. For its time, it was a highly sophisticated structure. It astonished the local population, many of whom had had little exposure to such state-of-the-art engineering work.
First drafts for a bridge connecting the two cities of Remscheid and Solingen go back as far as 1889. Preparatory work began in 1893, the bridge was finished in 1897.
The six support columns have a maximum height of 69 meters (230 ft). In the middle of the structure, the main arc has a span of 170 meters (560 ft). The overall length of the structure is 465 meters (1,530 ft).
A total of 5,000 tons of steel were used in its construction. 950,000 rivets hold the structure together. During construction, a number of advanced building techniques were used.
Anton von Rieppel (1852 – 31 January 1926), an architect and engineer, was in charge of the project. A memorial plaque at the foot of the bridge reminds one of his efforts.
Originally, the bridge was planned to be single-track. However, high future traffic growth projections led to the redesign as a dual-track bridge. Before its opening, the rail distance between the cities of Remscheid and Solingen was 42 kilometers (26 mi). With a direct connection via the bridge, this distance shrank to 8 kilometers (5.0 mi).
The german Wikipedia has much more details, than the english one.
Since November 2010, the bridge was closed for reconstruction and restoration works. I already was in that park in May 2010, thus I included two old photos. The one with the red S-Bahn (S = schnell = quick/fast, Bahn = train – one of our public short distance people transportation vehicles). The other one shows the complete bridge, but with way lower trees. This time I was in the same place to get a view to the bridge.
For commuters the closed bridge is a huge disaster. To come from one side of the bridge to the other side, they have had to leave the train and use a shuttle bus to the next railway station on the other side. I was told, that has had cost them more than an hour, because the bus has had to go down in narrow serpentines, drive to the closest street bridge and then climb up through narrow serpentines.
The bridge was reopened in December 2014 but closed again in January because of a landslide as a result of heavy rains. I don’t know for sure, if the bridge is already open again. Nevertheless, there are still restoration works ongoing.
On Saturday we have had a quite summerly day. Sunny and warm.
My son’s girlfriend just bought her first DSLR with a kit lens. Before she bought it, she has asked me to show her how to use it properly.
Our first lesson was two or three weeks ago, when I introduced her to the basic functions and terms: aperture, ISO, shutter time, magic triangle, white balance, image stabilizer, focal length, field of depth and so on. This time, we went outside to a park. Here we tried some of the settings in practice lessons. A third lesson, a feedback session with reviewing her images, will be held soon.
I certainly brought back some images on my own. Our Sunday was cold and wet again. Thus, I developed the images, instead of being outside again 😦
You can see the river Wupper, a side river of the river Rhine. The Wupper is about 116 km long and crosses the town Wuppertal. Wuppertal was founded in 1929 by combining the older towns Elberfeld and Barmen, now quarters of Wuppertal. Instead of choosing one of the old names for the new town for several reasons, they created “Wuppertal” (= Wupper valley), because of their location in the valley of river Wupper. Nowadays Wuppertal has about 350.000 citizens, a university and some industry. Only few houses survived the massive attacks with aircraft bombs during WW2, thus Wuppertal is not really attractive from a photographers perspective. Although, there are still a few interesting houses around.
Wuppertal is famous for the Schwebebahn. Also, Aspirin was developed in the Bayer laboratory in Wuppertal. Once, Wuppertal was important for producing textiles in weaving mills (often home weaver) and dyeing yarns. But, these industries died. The last weaving mill was closed more then 40 years ago.
In the 1970s the peek of water pollution was reached. Many companies used the river as a cheap and easy way to get rid of their liquid remains from their production. Lots of chemicals from weaving mills, dyeing mills, groundwood mills and forges were channeled in the river. Locals told me, schools beside the river often got “stink free” in summer. In those times, the water got a different color nearly each day, depending on the different chemicals used for dyeing yearns in different colors.
Now, the river is clean again. Pew! Rare bird are back. You can see dippers, kingfishers and grey herons finishing for larvae and small fishes. Renaturation was successful!
This park has a secret. It’s not hidden. Rather it’s very large. It’s built more than 100 years ago. So, it’s worth its own post. But, not today.
This time we were in a valley nearby. The valley proposed several remains from the industrial revolution, back in the 18th and 19th century. We expected to see some of the old grinding shops, groundwood mills and knife forges. But, we only found creeks, ponds, forest and signs, telling what kind of workshop once was in that place. Once, more then 10 of these workshops were beside those creeks. Nevertheless, we have had a wonderful afternoon: November 1st and t-shirt weather, what a surprise.
So, instead of showing some industry culture, I’m able to show some autumn photos from one of our local forests.