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By Admin (from 05/12/2010 @ 05:00:52, in en - Global Observatory, read 2098 times)

ImageFrontline Club: WikiLeaks - The US embassy cables

This event, held on December 1st, featured WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson and data journalist James Ball in a discussion with Colleen Graffy, former deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy (US State Department), and Sir Richard Dalton, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House. The discussion was moderated by author and broadcaster Tom Fenton.

The video recording of the event is now available on the Frontline website.

BBC HardTalk: WikiLeaks - Open Secrets

In this December 3rd panel show, Host Stephen Sackur speaks with former UK ambassador Carne Ross, former US deputy secretary of state John Negroponte, and WikiLeaks data journalist James Ball about the Cablegate disclosures.

The video is available on the BBC website until December 10th.


Democracy Now!: Is WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange a Hero?

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales hosted a debate between Glenn Greenwald of Salon and Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News on December 3rd.

Glenn Greenwald: "If you look at the overall record of WikiLeaks—and let me just stipulate right upfront that WikiLeaks is a four-year-old organization, four years old. They’re operating completely unchartered territory. Have they made some mistakes and taken some missteps? Absolutely. They’re an imperfect organization. But on the whole, the amount of corruption and injustice in the world that WikiLeaks is exposing, not only in the United States, but around the world, in Peru, in Australia, in Kenya and in West Africa and in Iceland, much—incidents that are not very well known in the United States, but where WikiLeaks single-handedly uncovered very pervasive and systematic improprieties that would not have otherwise been uncovered, on top of all of the grave crimes committed by the United States. There is nobody close to that organization in terms of shining light of what the world’s most powerful factions are doing and in subverting the secrecy regime that is used to spawn all sorts of evils."

The video and full transcript are available on the Democracy Now! website.


Democracy Now!: U.N. Special Rapporteur Juan Méndez: Instead of Focusing on Assange, U.S. Should Address WikiLeaks’ Disclosures of Torture

Democracy Now! interviewed Juan Méndez, the new U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, on December 2nd. The interview focused on Cablegate revelations regarding US spying on UN officials and torture committed under the Bush administration.

Juan Méndez: "What I am really worried about is that we seem to be focusing on whether disclosing these cables is legal or illegal, whether it merits some kinds of action against Mr. Assange. We’re not really discussing the merits, the substance of what some of these things reveal. And in my case, for example, I’m very concerned about the documents that show that literally thousands of people were first imprisoned by American forces and then transferred to the control of forces in Iraq and perhaps even in Afghanistan, where they knew that these people were going to be tortured. That’s a very clear violation of a standard that applies to the United States as a signatory of the Convention Against Torture, and I want to know what’s being done about getting to the bottom of that."

The full video is available on the Democracy Now! website.

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By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 23:00:34, in en - Global Observatory, read 2008 times)

PayPal joined Moneybookers, Amazon, Tableau and EveryDNS in cancelling services for WikiLeaks.

In a statement posted on its website, the company wrote: "PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action."

Daniel Ellsberg and many WikiLeaks supporters have called for a boycott of Amazon. PayPal may be next.

There are many other ways for supporters of truth and free speech to contribute to WikiLeaks, and we would like to encourage you to do so:

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By Peter Kemp, Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW, on 2010-12-04

Dear Prime Minister
From the Sydney Morning Herald I note you made a comment of "illegal" on the matter of Mr Assange in relation to the ongoing leaks of US diplomatic cables.

Previously your colleague and Attorney General the Honourable McClelland announced an investigation of possible criminality by Mr Assange.

As a lawyer and citizen I find this most disturbing, particularly so when a brief perusal of the Commonwealth Criminal Code shows that liability arises under the Espionage provisions, for example, only when it is the Commonwealth's "secrets" that are disclosed and that there must be intent to damage the Commonwealth.

Likewise under Treason law, there must be an intent to assist an enemy. Clearly, and reinforced by publicly available material such as Professor Saul's excellent article:
...Julian Assange has almost certainly committed no crime under Australian law in relation to his involvement in Wikileaks.

I join with Professor Saul also in asking you Prime Minister why has there been no public complaint to the US about both Secretaries of State Condaleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton being in major breach of International law ie UN Covenants, by making orders to spy on UN personnel, including the Secretary General, to include theft of their credit card details and communication passwords. Perhaps the Attorney General should investigate this clear prima facie evidence of crime (likely against Australian diplomats as well), rather than he attempts to prosecute the messenger of those crimes.

It is also disturbing that no Australian official has castigated Sweden for the shameful treatment Mr Assange has received ie his human rights abused, in that he has not been charged and served with papers in the English language regarding the evidence against him of alleged sexual offences. This is contrary to Article 6 of the European Covenant on Human Rights to which Sweden is a signatory nation.

Those offences remain unclear and the Swedish prosecutor Ms Ny appears to be making up the law as she wants. It appears now, by Ms Ny's interpretation that when consensual sex occurs but if a condom breaks, the male party is liable to 2 years imprisonment for sexual assault. All this information is publicly available.

An Australian citizen is apparently being singled out for "special treatment" Prime Minister. There are legitimate concerns among citizens here that his treatment by the Swedes is connected to US interests which are against the activities of Wikileaks, and you will note the strident, outrageous (and illegal) calls inciting violence against him in the US in demands for his assassination, by senior influential US politicians.

Granted that in western political circles, Mr Assange is not flavour of the month, but what he is doing in my opinion, and in the opinion of many here and abroad, is vitally necessary to expose American foreign policy failures and potential war crimes and crimes against humanity--not for the purpose of damaging US interests but to make them accountable.

While we have close and a good relationship with the US, there is no doubt that US influence and power is declining. That we appear to be still posturing, (given that declining power and a new paradigm of privately enforced accountability) to the US on the issue of Wikileaks is, Prime Minister, deeply disappointing.

Yours Faithfully
Peter Kemp.

(Readers are encouraged contact the Australian Prime Minister here:

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By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 21:00:30, in en - Global Observatory, read 1713 times)

ImageWhile some of his colleagues are calling for Julian Assange to be prosecuted as a terrorist or assassinated, in an interview on Fox News' Freedom Watch on Thursday, Republican Rep. Ron Paul said that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks should get the same kind of protections as the mainstream media when it comes to releasing information.

"In a free society we're supposed to know the truth," Paul said, quoted by Politico. "In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it."

"This whole notion that Assange, who's an Australian, that we want to prosecute him for treason. I mean, aren't they jumping to a wild conclusion?” he added. “This is media, isn't it? I mean, why don't we prosecute The New York Times or anybody that releases this?"

"What we need is more WikiLeaks about the Federal Reserve," he added. "Can you imagine what it'd be like if we had every conversation in the last 10 years with our Federal Reserve people, the Federal Reserve chairman, with all the central bankers of the world and every agreement or quid-pro-quo they have? It would be massive. People would be so outraged."

In a Twitter post on Friday, Ron Paul wrote: "Re: WikiLeaks — In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."

Read more at Politico, CBS News and Raw Story

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By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 20:33:24, in en - Science and Society, read 2238 times)

Around 32,000 people commit suicide in the U.S. each year; 20 percent of those suicides are veterans. Traditionally, when we think of suicide among vets, we think of men. But this week, for the first time, a sizable study was published that looked specifically at female veterans and suicide.

Dr. Jan Kemp, who runs the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Suicide Prevention Hotline, says that about a year ago, her office got a call from a female vet who had recently returned from abroad. The woman explained that she was in a car, in a remote area, and was calling the hot line because she needed it to relay a message.

"She had had a recent argument with her husband and had come to the conclusion that he and her two young children would be better off without her," Kemp said. "She had [post-traumatic stress disorder]. She had a history of MST — military sexual trauma — and she just couldn't get it together — and was tired of trying. So she had gathered up a lot of pills, she had them with her, and she called us because she wanted us to let him know that it wasn't his fault, that she was doing this for him.

"And we could hear her actually get out of the car and start walking through the woods."

Before the line went dead though, a worker at the hot line figured out the woman's local VA office and called it. The office identified the woman and then called her husband, who gave the police a description of her car.

"We were able to get the authorities to start driving around those backcountry roads till they found the car and followed her path in through the woods and found her," Kemp said.

The woman — groggy and practically unconscious — was carried to the hospital and saved, which, in a way, makes this a happy story. But there aren't happy stories for everybody.

The journal Psychiatric Services published this week the first large-scale study of suicide among female veterans. To do the study, Portland State University researcher Mark Kaplan collected information about all the female deaths by suicide in 16 states.

He then compared the rate of suicide among female veterans to the rate of suicide among female civilians, and found that in general female vets are much more likely to commit suicide than their civilian peers, especially, Kaplan says, younger vets.

"Female veterans — age 18 to 34 — are three times as likely as their civilian peers to die by suicide," he said.

That's a very big difference. Because historically there have been many more men than women in the military, the problem of female suicide hasn't received much attention. But the armed forces are integrating: In the current wars, women are on increasingly on the frontlines.

Kaplan says he wants people to take suicide among female vets more seriously.

"When we think of suicide, and suicide completion, I don't think we often think of women enough," he said. "That's my point."

Kemp, the director of the suicide hot line, agrees with Kaplan. And though she says the underlying problems of adjustment and PTSD are similar for both men and women, there are some differences. Many of the women who call her hot line, she says, are struggling to deal with military rapes they experienced during their deployments. And the women who call, Kemp says, talk much more about their children.

"They worry that because they sometimes get angry and don't deal with things well that they won't be appropriate with their kids," she said. "And I think that is one of the things that it most poignant on the hot line is when young mothers call and they're concerned about their ability to take care of their children because of their problems."

In the coming decades, both Kemp and Kaplan say, more women will work on the frontlines of war. An increase in female suicide, this study suggests, is likely to follow.

Source: - Author: ALIX SPIEGEL

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By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 15:00:01, in en - Global Observatory, read 2527 times)

(Parts 1-4 of this coverage series can be found here, here, here, and here.)

United States: The Office of Management and Budget today directed all federal agencies to bar employees from accessing the Wikileaks web site. Talking Points Memo obtained a copy of letter sent out by OMB, which "directed the agencies to immediately tell their employees to 'safeguard classified information' by not accessing Wikileaks over the Internet.

Classified information, the OMB notes, 'remains classified ... until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. Government authority.' Employees may not view classified info over a non-classified system (i.e., the Internet), the OMB says, 'as doing so risks that material still classified will be placed onto non-classified systems.'"
Read more

AFP, The Guardian and CNN have more on the story.

Update 1: Gawker reports that "U.S. soldiers in Iraq who try to read about the Wikileaks disclosures—or read coverage of them in mainstream news sites—on unclassified networks get a page warning them that they're about to break the law.[...]

A tipster wrote to tell us that 'the Army's unclassified, NIPRNET network in Iraq has blocked every major news website because of the Wikileaks issue,' going on to say that,,, the Huffington Post, and a variety of other sites are blocked on the Army's unclassified network."

Update 2: US corporations are getting in on the censorship game too. We are informed that HP sent out a letter to all employees warning them not to visits the WikiLeaks website. Will HP censor The New York Times as well?

Canada: The Montreal Gazette reports that "Defence Department staff have been warned against using government computers to sift through secret documents released by WikiLeaks. An email dubbed 'Wikileaks Notice' in the subject line says military computers are 'not to be used to visit the Wikileaks site or any other websites containing such information.'"

Update 3: Australia: We were also informed that a letter was sent out on the Australian defence network yesterday, warning employees not to access WikiLeaks, which would be considered a security breach.

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ImageTIME magazine's December 13 edition features Julian Assange on the cover and a number of WikiLeaks-related articles, including Massimo Calabresi's cover story, WikiLeaks' War on Secrecy: Truth's Consequences, and an additional feature by Fareed Zakaria: WikiLeaks Shows the Skills of U.S. Diplomats.

Further TIME WikiLeaks coverage includes an interview with Julian Assange, features on the US relationship with Germany and Pakistan, and deception in Mideast diplomacy. TIME also spoke with Julian Assange's lawyer Björn Hurtig about the Sweden case.

We would like to remind you that you can still vote for Julian Assange in TIME's Person of the Year reader poll.

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By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 12:00:28, in ro - Stiinta si Societate, read 1749 times)

 Oamenii de stiinta se afla inca departe de elucidarea problemei originii speciei umane. Intr-o bulversare greu de imaginat, se mentin in picioare teorii dintre cele mai diferite, de la evolutionismul darwinist, pana la „paranormala” idee a ingineriei genetice, nemaintrand in amanuntele creationismului biblic. Adevarul este ca melanjul halucinant de rase, care le ofera antropologilor o materie prima inepuizabila, pune sub mari semne de intrebare ipotezele lansate pana in prezent. Iar, ca o cireasa pe tortul umanitatii, o observatie stiintifica interesanta vine sa creeze un plus de senzational in jurul parintior nostri primordiali, asa cum ne-au fost ei prezentati, de milenii.

Dilema cromozomului adamic

Ce element esential face ca astazi sa existe barbati? Un cromozom Y in varianta „moderna”, foarte diferit de cel al primilor barbati, de acum 2,5 milioane de ani. Dar se pune intrebarea: cand a aparut acesta? In ce epoca si unde anume traia acel „tatic” care avea sa fondeze liniile paterne actuale? Cercetatorii americani au lansat ideea ca acum vreo 60.000 de ani, in Africa.

Rezultat la care geneticienii au ajuns dupa studii laborioase, in 22 de regiuni de pe intreaga planeta. Cromozomul Y este considerat un excelent marker pentru a observa istoria populatiilor umane si a realiza o harta a migratiilor. Aceasta, deoarece el nu se transmite decat de la tata la fiu si se pastreaza nemodificat, cu exceptia unor rare mutatii, ceea ce permite conturarea, pe timp indelungat in urma, a evolutiei certe pe linie paterna.

Un rendez-vous ratat

Analizele miilor de subiecti au restrans - cel putin, pentru cercetatori - sfera de localizare a stramosului Adam intr-o zona din Africa populata de etiopieni, sudanezi si bosimani. Asadar, barbatul modern e originar de pe „continentul negru”? Un alt mar al discordiei pentru geneticieni, unii dintre acestia refuzand sa creada in „exodul cromozomial masculin”, din Africa, pe toata suprafata terestra. Pe de alta parte, o datare mai exacta a varstei tatalui barbatilor de azi ni-l aduce pe acesta mai aproape, la 59.000 de ani.

In mod natural, exista insa si o Eva, calificata de cercetatori drept mama intregii omeniri si localizata tot in Africa. Logic ar fi, asadar, sa ne gandim la o intalnire dintre cei doi, totusi aici apare o problema. Contrar parerii cu nuante anecdotice, de azi, barbatul a fost cel ce s-a lasat asteptat la presupusul rendez-vous. Si nu „sfertul academic”, ci aproximativ 83.000 de ani, batrana noastra mama avand varsta estimata la 143.000 de ani!

Copilul cu mii de parinti

Cam asa ar trebui sa-l vedem pe Homo sapiens sapiens (adica pe noi insine!), potrivit unei teorii ce urmeaza linia evolutionista. Am fi deci un fel de puzzle realizat in timp, prin multiple contacte intre specii si mutatii datorate mai degraba hazardului, unde piesele amestecate si asezate apoi in faptura numita om sunt si foarte vechi, dar si mai recente. Daca ar fi sa ne referim la toti stramosii nostri, am ajunge inevitabil sa numim mama si tata chiar si o bacterie sau un vierme de pamant.

Si nu prea ne-ar incanta aceasta perspectiva, chiar daca cercetatorii non-creationisti o sustin vehement. Tot ei exclud, in consecinta, existenta UNUI Adam si a UNEI Eve primordiali, context favorabil dezvoltarii altei ipoteze, de data aceasta cu o mare capacitate de a ne flata pe noi, oamenii veacului 21: macar unii dintre noi ar putea fi purtatorii elementelor determinate pentru o viitoare mutatie in specia umana. Dar cine va putea sa confirme acest lucru?


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By Admin (from 04/12/2010 @ 11:00:47, in en - Global Observatory, read 2779 times)


The Australian Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance issued an official statement on WikiLeaks:

Alliance condemns WikiLeaks backlash

The Alliance condemns the political attacks being made against whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, and says the vital role of the press in reporting matters in the public interest and holding the powerful to account must be respected. ceased to host WikiLeaks after United States officials condemned the torrent of revelations about political, business and diplomatic affairs that has given the public unprecedented access to detailed information from United States sources, much of it embarrassing to leading public figures.

“Amazon’s decision is extremely disappointing,” said Alliance federal secretary, Christopher Warren. “We need to take a step back from the hysteria. It is not known whether WikiLeaks has broken any law. It has – via a free media – upheld the public’s right to know. ”

The Alliance welcomes the decision of WikiLeaks to collaborate with respected publications, including Der Spiegel, The Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde and El Pais.

“These publications have given assurances that the material published does not put the lives of individuals or sources at risk or reveal material that compromises ongoing military operations or the location of special forces.” said Warren

The Alliance is concerned that the Australian Government has signalled that it may attempt to pressure Australian media outlets not to report some of the WikiLeaks information. “Given that WikiLeaks is working with five leading media organisations around the world to publicise the Cablegate material, any attempt to muzzle the Australian media in this instance would ultimately prove pointless,” Warren said.

The Alliance is concerned about the welfare and well-being of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning, the United States soldier who is under arrest and suspected of leaking the information.

“This is a time for calm. The leaks are astonishing in their volume, and what they reveal. But this is not the first time that government or diplomatic material has been leaked.” said Warren.

The Alliance says attacks on Assange and Manning point to a dangerous atmosphere of intolerance and persecution not just for the two men, but for all journalists investigating public affairs.


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Schwangau è una località molto popolare della regione dell'Allgau, sita nei pressi di Fussen, e la sua fama è strettamente connessa a due magnifici castelli che sorgono sul suo territorio: Neuschwanstein e Hohenschwangau. Ma a parte questi due gioielli assoluti, Schwangau offre il clima di ospitalità della Baviera più vera, quella che si snoda a fianco dei contrafforti più settentrionali della catena alpina, tra montagne, foreste e laghi suggestivi.


Qui si incrociano percorsi storici e culturali dalla Romantischstrasse (la strada romantica) che serpeggia tra Fussen e Wurzburg, con l’antica via romana, e cioè la Via Claudia Augusta, spalleggiate dai contrafforti bavaresi dell’Allgau e della Lechtal che disegnano paesaggi magici costellati da laghi, laghetti e cascate. Qui sul manto verde della Baviera si adagiano i villaggi, le chiese ed i conventi , creando zone molto interessanti dal punto di vista turistico, come quella del Pfaffenwinkel. In definitiva le zone di Schwangau e di Fussen hanno tutti gli ingredienti per candidarsi come una delle province turistiche più complete di tutta la Germania.


Ludwig II è indubbiamente il più famoso ambasciatore dell'incantevole località di Schwangau. Già da bambino, il "re sognatore" bavarese aveva imparato ad amare la bellezza del paesaggio alle pendici delle Alpi di Ammergau, i laghi scintillanti, le dolci colline dell'Algovia e le imponenti vette alpine. Cresciuto nel castello Hohenschwangau, volle realizzare un palazzo fiabesco che non avesse eguali: Neuschwanstein, un castello che con le sue torri e merlature si innalza maestoso sopra Schwangau. Nella valle sottostante, la tipica accoglienza bavarese invita a trattenersi e a rilassarsi nelle Kristall Therme reali ammirando il sublime panorama. La varietà e quantità delle proposte va oltre i confini geografici di Schwangau. Infatti le gite oltre il confine della vicina Austria offrono uno svago ulteriore: mete possono essere per esempio le valli "Tannheimer Tal" e "Lechtal".


Grazie alla sua posizione, proprio sul tragitto della Strada Romantica, Schwangau è anche un ideale punto di partenza per viaggi più lunghi. Si possono raggiungere le cittadine cariche di storia e romantiche come Würzburg, Rothenburg e Augusta. La località e i dintorni offrono agli ospiti che vogliono gestire attivamente e in maniera personalizzata il proprio soggiorno, le soluzioni ideali.


Il clima di questo magnifico angolo di Baviera è caratterizzato da una stagione estiva piuttosto vivace. Il verde di boschi e prati è presto spiegato dalle precipitazioni temporalesche che caratterizzano le estati della Baviera del sud. I valori possono raggiungere quantitativi ingenti, però anche in seste c’è spazio alle giornate soleggiate con massime che raggiungono e superano i 18-20 °C. In inverno si possono avere temperature rigide, con minime che mediamente raggiungono i -6 / -8 °C e le nevicate sono piuttosto frequenti, anche se nel suo insieme, la stagione invernale è quella relativamente più secca dell’anno.


Cosa vedere? Se qualcuno pensa ad un castello di fiabe, slanciato e ricco di guglie, ed avvolto da un paesaggio incantantato, forse sta proprio pensando al castello di Neuschwanstein, il più recente ma anche più straordinario dei due castelli che circondano Schwangau. Anche la stessa Disney ha tratto ispirazione da questa magica costruzione.


Questo magnifico edificio, costruito tra il 1869 ed il 1886, con la sua splendida posizione fantastica e le ricche decorazioni d'interni, è unico al mondo, una delizia per ciascuno del milione e trecentomila visitatori che qui vengono ogni anno a vivere l’emozione di trovarsi in un luogo che stimola i ricordi di infanzia e riporta alle fiabe che ci venivano raccontate da bambini. Pur essendo abbastanza recente, lo stile con cui fu pensato e realizzato ci riporta al periodo medioevale, e cioè al 12° secolo, quando le fortificazioni erano concepite slanciate in altezza, perché l’unico modo per difenderle era impedire l’assalto con scale e torri mobili.


 Il nome di Neuschwanstein significa “Il Nuovo Castello della Pietra del Cigno” e ad oggi è il monumento tedesco che riceve più visite turistiche, oltre ad essere la fortezza più fotografata di tutta l’Europa. Fu voluto dal re Ludovico secondo di Baviera, ed il nome riporta al grande Wagner (l’opera il cavaliere del Cigno), autore musicale amato e venerato dal re, in modo quasi ossessivo. Le sue camere che compongono i 4 piani della struttura, sono riccamente decorate con opere d'arte, vi sono ritratti della saga del poeta Tannhäuser, si parla di Lohegrin, Tristano e Isotta, i Nibelunghi, di Parsifal e della vita di Walter von der Vogelweide, un poeta lirico medievale tedesco.


L’atmosfera del luogo rispecchia comunque la personalità complessa e visionaria di Ludovico II di Baviera, re che poi fu dichiarato pazzo e destituito dopo avere speso una fortuna nella realizzazione di questa opera. . Per fare una bella fotografia di insieme del Castello di Neuschwanstein e la magica cornice montuosa alle sue spalle, conviene fare la passeggiata al Marienbrücke, un ponte ardito sulla gola di Pöllat e dedicato alla moglie di Massimiliano II, il padre di Ludovico II. Il primo concerto nella Sala dei Cantori si svolse nel 1933 e guarda a caso per commemorare il 50 ° anniversario della morte di di Richard Wagner. E’ dal 1969 che il Castello di Neuschwanstein ospita concerti ogni anno nel mese di settembre.


Meno famoso, ma non per questo vale meno la pena di vederlo, è il Castello Hohenschwangau. In particolare, gli originali arredi Biedermeier del 19° secolo e il parco del Lago dei Cigni ne fanno una importante meta di viaggio per ogni turista.


L'antico castello di Schwangau "Schwanstein", che era già fatiscente e inabitabile, fu acquistato nel 1535 da Johann von Paumgartner zu Paumgarten e completamente ricostruito dal 1538 al 1547. Egli gli dette il nuovo nome di "Hohenschwangau". Quasi 300 anni dopo l’opera Paumgarten l’edificio era nuovamente caduto in rovina. Fu allora che il principe ereditario bavarese Massimiliano, il figlio di Ludovico I, venne nella regione di Füssen: in occasione di una "storia escursione" con la sua insegnante si accorse dell’edificio e decise l’acquisto del rudere. Era il 1839, l’anno che segna la rinascita di Hohenschwangau e che prepara la nascita di Neuschwanstein che avvenne alla successione con Ludovico II, figlio di Massimiliano II.


Oggi il castello di Hohenschwangau vi accoglie con le sue stanze magnificamente arredate e l'intero complesso vive in uno spirito di epoca romantica. Da segnalare la grande “Festsaal” detta anche sala degli eroi e dei cavalieri, la Stanza Orientale (per i suoi decori in stile turco) dove dormiva Marie, la regina moglie di Massimiliano II, la camera Hohenstaufen, dove Ludovico studiava musica, e la stanza Berchta riccamente dipinta. Magnifico è il cortile del Castello che è racchiuso da un muro esterno, con la bella fontana di Maria, bene decorata, e il lago dei cigni.


In Algovia, a Schwangau, gli ospiti invernali estremamente dinamici, che prediligono la stagione fredda e tersa e gli amanti degli eventi culturali possono provare indicibili sensazioni di benessere. Perché il passaggio graduale da una vasta pianura, che si innalza fino alle Alpi dell'Algovia, permette allo sguardo di spaziare ed intravedere i percorsi della migrazione invernale, le piste dello sci di fondo certificate dalla DSV e persino una discesa lunga più di 4 km lungo la montagna di argilla calcarea ed infine i famosi castelli di Neuschwanstein e Hohenschwangau.


Il tempo libero che si può trascorrere tranquillamente con la famiglia a Schwangau, un villaggio dalle tipiche caratteristiche, i numerosi laghetti ghiacciati e lucidati a specchio e il Nordic Active Center della DSV garantiscono una perfetta sinergia fra il corpo e lo spirito. Anche alla fine della giornata gli eventi sportivi sono ancora alla ribalta grazie all'illuminazione artificiale dei proiettori. Gli sciatori volteggiano di notte nell'arena degli sport invernali, dove l'innevamento ai piedi dei due castelli è sempre assicurato, mentre a nord si staglia una vertiginosa vista in prospettiva. Sulla pista dello sci di fondo di Neuschwanstein, i fondisti e gli appassionati di skate-board percorrono piste ben illuminate in un giro di pista innevato a 2000 m.


A Schwangau i pomeriggi romantici sono caratterizzati da fenomeni estetici che si intercalano vicendevolmente. Naturalmente nel paese dei sogni di re Ludwig si va in carrozza azionata da due cavalli a vapore attraversando un meraviglioso paesaggio invernale e passando davanti alla Chiesa di S. Coloman. Vivere sulla propria pelle una meravigliosa esperienza, immersi nella natura, cibandosi di frutti selvatici davanti allo steccato dei cervi e sentirsi sprofondati nel calore di uno stupendo benessere nelle sorgenti termali reali è il completamento di questo delizioso quadro suggestivo. Oltre alla grotta di cristalli e pietre preziose, sette saune termali, bagni immersi nel vapore e indicibili sensazioni di benessere, lo sguardo sfiora di nuovo la dimora reale di Neuschwanstein e il castello di famiglia di Hohenschwangau.


Eventi a Schwangau:

La zona di questa porzione di Baviera è molto legata alle tradizioni del sud di Germania e le celebrazioni sono sempre rappresentate con l’utilizzo dai costumi tipici bavaresi e accompagnate dalla musca delle bande tradizionali. Tra i vari eventi folcloristici segnaliamo il Maibaum, l'albero di maggio, la processione del Corpus e l’importante festa di St. Coloman, che si svolge con una processione dei cavalli, nel mese di ottobre. Da non perdere poi l’atmosfera del Natale di Schwangau, con il classico mercatino del bambin Gesù.


Schwangau è facile da raggiungere in automobile a partire da Monaco, più complicato ma spettacolare è anche il percorso per chi vuole raggiungere la località attraversando il vicino confine con l’Austria. Da Monaco la strada più rapida è forse quella di utilizzare l’autosrada A96 che collega Monaco con Lindau. L’uscita consigliata è quella di Landsberg. Da qui si procede verso sud lungo la strada n° B17, si oltrepassa la località di Schongau in direzione di Fussen, e dopo un'altra trentina di km si raggiunge Schwangau. Per chi arriva dall’Italia un percorso alternativo può essere quello di percorrere la Alpenstrasse da Innsbruck a Garmish fino a Schongau e da qui percorre come detto la B17 verso sud, oppure da Innsbruck seguire l’autostrada per Bregenz, uscire a Imst, da qui imboccare la strada del Fernpass, seguire le indicazioni per Reutte e poi deviare per Fussen ed il lago Forggensee su cui si affaccia Schwangau.

Fonte: Ente Turismo Tedesco/

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