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June 27, 2008 , 2008

Written July 20, 2008

Dear Friends and Families,


We were on our way to Karlovoy Vary, in the Czech Republic, and we were making good time so we needed a tourist stop along the way. Near Hohenberg (a.d. Eger), still in Germany, we saw a sign to THE Porzellonikon. Well, it seemed like it should be "THE", because I'm not sure there are any others. The formal name is the Deutsches Porzellan Museum (The German Porcelain Museum, for our English-readers) .

It was just 10 in the morning and everything in Hohenberg was quiet, very quiet. The museum was even quieter, since we were the first guests of the day (perhaps the only guests of the day?). This allowed plenty of time to study this work done in porcelain tile and wonder just how something like this is done.

Further inside, we entered a room with samples of many or all of the porcelain manufacturers in the area. Porcelain, or "China", has been made in this area for almost 300 years, longer than anywhere else in Europe.



The display had a traveling exhibition of calligraphy on pottery. These modern works are being done by Chinese artists, this vase by Pang-Chiu Liu, but they seem like they should be a thousand years old. I think this was my favorite "china" in the Porzellanikon.
The museum also had several rooms, decorated with ordinary dishes of the era. The 1950's modern is now old enough to be back in style and the 1850's "kitchen" was a reminder of how simple life used to be and how important a little decoration might have been in a household so plain.

Out in the yard, there was a single "industrial" display, an old stone wheel used to grind the material for fine pottery. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more "history" like this, but the display of finished work was enough, I suppose.

Later, when I started writing this diary, I discovered that we had visited just one of three or four museums in the area, all dealing with ceramics, including one filled with "history" and another describing modern industrial ceramics, the mainstay of the local economy in Selb.

Now we have an excuse to go back to yet another destination!

John and Marianne



Porzellanikon (German) http://porzellanikon.org/

Porzellanstrasse (German, again, but useful touring info) http://www.porzellanstrasse.de/


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