July 30, 2013

0775 GERMANY (North Rhine-Westphalia) - Glaselefant in Hamm

Founded on 1226 by Count Adolf I of the Mark, Hamm was member of the Hanseatic League, and in 15th century became one of the most powerful towns in the region. Ham means "corner" in the old Low German dialect, and the name of the city derives from the description of its location in the corner of the Lippe river and the narrow Ahse affluent, in the northeastern part of the Ruhr area. During the 19th and early 20th century, Hamm has been one of the West German mining towns.

Hamm hasn't castle, cathedral, or tower, but has a glass elephant, which became the landmark of the city. In the context of the North Rhine-Westphalian garden show in 1984, the 35m high structure was created out of a former coal washing and even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest building in the shape of an animal. The artist and architect Horst Rellecke was responsible for the concept and the redesign. The inside of the elephant hosts a permanent exhibition with ten of his kinetic objects of art as well as a palm garden, in which even weddings are officiated. The entire back area serves as a greenhouse or tropical glasshouse. Visitors are ‘sucked’ upward by an elevator in the trunk of the glass animal and leave the animal building via the stairs in the tail. The top level offers a fantastic view over the surrounding Maximilianpark.

About the stamp, depicting the balloon flower, part of the Blumen series, I wrote here.

Hamm - Wikipedia
The Glass Elephant (Glaselefant) - Inzumi

sender: Nadine / NadineDo (postcrossing)
sent from Bönen (North Rhine-Westphalia / Germany), on 26.07.2013

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