A R L E S H E I M / D O R N A C H
ARLESHEIMER DOM TO GOETHEANUM
This walk, taking place along the west foothills of the Gempen plateau, focuses on the relationship between nature and architecture. We start in the heart of Arlesheim, walk to the wooded slopes of the Ermitage and further along the hill to the Goetheanumcomplex in Dornach.
At the Domplatz in Arlesheim we explore an intrinsically architectural ensemble of baroque houses crowned by the ornately decorated Rococo cathedral building. We look at the Dom’s finely sculpted and painted surfaces that were inspired not only by the Marian iconography but also by a variety of motifs derived from nature’s organic forms. A short walk up the hill brings us to Ermitage - an English style landscape garden of winding paths, artful grottos, picturesque waterfalls, rocky promontories and decorative architectural follies. Laid out originally in the late 18th c., this park exemplifies that time’s desire for return to simple yet noble life in nature. An idiosyncratic approach to architecture seen as art connecting the spiritual and the nature is presented by the buildings of the nearby Goetheanum complex. Stemming from Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophical ideas, architecture is interpreted here as metamorphosis of shapes that are to reflect our continual development in search of higher knowledge. We end the walk under a tree canopy on a natural promontory allowing for views both upwards - to the monumental Goetheanum and the stonyGempen behind it, and downwards - to the sprawling Birs valley and the undulating Jura mountains.
© 2012 architecture walks and talks