Work of Heinrich Blumenthal: A book shows the most beautiful houses of Königswinter

Heimatverein Honorary President Heinrich Blumenthal has written a book about the most beautiful houses in Königswinter. The author asks if we are creating an architecture for the well-being today.

By Roswitha Oschmann, 05.09.2019

A magical landscape is one of the characteristics of the Siebengebirge. "But we would like to remind you that we also have treasures to keep here, which were created by human hands," said Heinrich Blumenthal, honorary president of the Heimatverein Siebengebirge. By this allusion he meant the many beautiful houses of Königswinter. "Architektur zum Wohlfühlen" is the title of his new book, which he presented to the members of the board of directors of the Nibelungenhalle. On 186 pages, the experienced architect presents some of the model specimens of charming real estate.

Villas on the Rhine, residential and commercial buildings of the city, the row houses of the Wilhelmstraße dating back over 100 years, which resemble the current development of townhouses as a castle with a hut and in the fourth chapter details such as gables and playful balconies, led by Blumenthal his work. Christian Kieß has done the photos in a proven way, so that an impressive full work exists. Even the title page is an invitation to browse the book "Schöner-Wohnen". There is a brick villa on the Rheinallee presented, the canopy of mighty trees gives the building an extra charm.

An architecture for well-being?

"Of course, you will not build such homes today, and the demands and living conditions of customers have changed dramatically," says Blumenthal. One may wonder, however, "if our great-grandchildren will look with admiration at our current buildings in a hundred years, just as we admire the old houses of today". The author therefore asks: "Do we create today an architecture for the well-being?" His answer: "Everything that works is not beautiful."

The Rheinallee Königswinters represent a jewel of the city, considered a "noble residential street". Blumenthal criticized: "But she runs the risk of disappearing irretrievably." Many of these villas are listed "but do not always protect against disfigurement". For example, Villa Spindler was demolished in the 1950s to build new buildings. "The villas need distance, so do not squeeze the new style flat roofs between two old houses, you should not allow any addition to classified buildings." Thus, the character of the road can be quickly reduced to street level Allerweltsstraße.

On the Titanic, there were Mettlacher tile floors

The book also offers strange stories: one learns, for example, that Mettlacher tiles, such as those found in Königswinter's villas, were sometimes placed in Russian railway carriages for special passengers. For example, for the tsar's family, for which two cows were transported, so that passengers could drink Russian milk daily. The legendary Titanic also had floors with the legendary Mettlacher tiles – divers hid them from the bottom of the sea. And they should have been like new.

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