Altkönig Statue at Camp King Oberursel

In August of this year, one of the members of the B-17 delegation asked me about the significance of this statue, Altkönig (Lit: old king).  All I could tell her was the inscription left by the artist, Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein, who donated her piece of art to the city of Oberursel in 1998, and then found its permanent spot in Camp King in 2004.

Now, who is the ‘Altkönig’? In its original form, the Altkönig is the third highest mountain of the Taunus range in Hesse, Germany, reaching 798 metres above sea level. Around 400 BC, the Celts settled on the Altkönig Mountain, built the Heidetrank Oppidum, as well as several ring walls around the summit, which are still present.

This is the only information I could find in regards to the statue’s namesake.

The statue is part of a little rest area adjacent to the former Officers’ Club (Mountain Lodge).

Der Altkönig

Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein – 1975  Ms. Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein ( Name of the artist and date presented)

Geschenk an die Stadt Oberursel -1998  (Presented to the city of Oberursel in 1998)

The Mountain Lodge at Camp King Oberursel in January 2015

The contractor’s advertisement had announced the apartments would probably be ready by the end of the year 2014.

As with any old building, more work has probably turned up, and moving in has been delayed.

Mountain Lodge Oberursel 2015

The building’s addition on the left is going to be part of the new entrance hall.

Visit www.studio-aw.de and click on the images lodge 14 and lodge 16 to get an idea what it will look like once construction is finished.

Mountain Lodge Camp King Oberursel 2015

Status update from 25 January 2015 at 4pm.

The Old Mountain Lodge at Camp King in Oberursel

Another opportunity for Open House to the Mountain Lodge at Camp King Oberursel was given on 29 June, when Col. Halverson (Ret.) came by for a visit in remembrance of the airlift Berlin-Frankfurt 1948/49.

Join me on a stroll through this landmark of military history.

These stairs are leading from the first floor to the second floor.

Stairway

Stairway

This is what the basement looks like today. Apparently, this area will be turned into apartments too.

There's work to be done

There’s work to be done

Pictures were on display throughout the house, including this one of the bell in the attic.

The bell at the Mountain Lodge, Oberursel

The bell at the Mountain Lodge, Oberursel

This is another photo on display of the belfry.

Camp King Mountain Lodge belfry

Camp King Mountain Lodge belfry

This is one of the rooms on the second floor.

More rooms and entries on the second floor.

This is the stairway today, connecting the first and second floor of the building.

Walking down the hallway on the second floor.

Another photo on display of the stairway connecting first and second floor.

This room overlooks the north side on the second floor.

Here we are in the attic.

attic

attic

The basement with this haloed door truly has the look of a haunted house.

basement

basement

Some of you might remember the shower rooms in the basement.

shower

shower

If you have ever been to the Mountain Lodge (a.k.a. Officers’ Club) in Camp King Oberursel, then I am sure you can appreciate this last tour of the building in the way it has been. Soon much will change when renovation is complete and apartments are for sale.

The White Mountains of Germany

One of my expat friends passed by one these white mountains in Germany. With her mobile phone, she took a photo to inquire about this phenomenal sight of a mountain.

At first, I had no idea either, as I had never seen this before. But I learned, in Germany, there are a few of these.

This is Kaliberg, also referred to as Monte Kali or Kalimanscharo in other locations. It is an artificial mountain, created by dumping its innards of potassium salt.

Kaliberg

This form of mining poses environmental hazards as nearby rivers are getting too salty. Additionally, each rainfall delivers more salt into the soil. Some worry about the quality of the drinking water as this is slowly getting contaminated as well.

The mining of this Kaliberg in the photo has been going on for 30 years and another 35 years of mining are expected.

Locations of these white mountains are:

* Kaliberg near Vacha (Widdershausen) – click here for a better image: Anywhere you want to go
* Bokeloh and Sehnde (both in the Hannover region),
* Kaliberg mine Neuhof-Ellers near the ICE- tracks in Neuhof (near Fulda, Hesse),
* near Zielitz in Saxony-Anhalt
* closed mine Kalimandscharo in Sollstedt.

Mister Camp King

On 1 August, the American Los Angeles Times journalist and book author, Annie Jacobsen, came to Camp King Oberursel to do research for her forthcoming book.

Her previous book, Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 14 weeks.

Initially, while doing research via the internet and other sources, she came upon my blog posts about Camp King and found what she was looking for – Mister Camp King a.k.a. Manfred Kopp, our local Camp King Historian.

It only took a few more mails to set up our meeting in Oberursel.

Mr. Kopp and the Taunus Zeitung reporter

When she first arrived at Camp King, she took us out to lunch at the local pizzeria, followed by a tour through Camp King. Mr. Kopp also had the keys for the Mountain Lodge, so we got to take a look inside. Yes, something is actually being done, I saw paint buckets in the corner!

Mister Camp King with Annie Jacobsen

The Taunus Zeitung had sent its reporter, Ms. Takim, and a photographer as well.

Inside the Mountain Lodge

After the interview with the paper, we then proceeded to head on to Schloss Kransberg (a 30-minute drive to Usingen). Due to Annie’s arrival, she had obtained permission to visit the castle from the current owners. Jan Herrmanns, the building and grounds manager, gave us a tour.

Schloss Kransberg near Usingen

It was interesting to be standing in Göring’s office. More about that in another post.

Note: The Taunus Zeitung published the article about Annie’s visit today, see Auf der Suche nach Geheimem.

 

 

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