Frankenstein in Ingolstadt

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Ask any kid during Halloween of which character  they wanna be and it is for sure that one of them would shout   ‘Frankenstein’. Do you know Frankenstein?

Now who would not know this monster, I think everyone does because  it’s as famous as Mickey mouse ,Olaf and Winnie the Pooh. Although this 8 ft. monster is not always favored by babies and toddlers because of its scary face and humongous built, it is for sure a favorite among Halloween parties. Frankenstein the monster becomes a world-wide enigma  and is a part of any childhood ( even adults!)  since numerous movies and world literature were adapted based on this novel.

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I admit that I knew Frankenstein myself, but I never ever imagine that I would live in the place where the setting of this gothic novel is based upon.When I found out about this, I was definitely itching to explore and visit the Álte Anatomie’  in Anatomiestrasse 18-20 in the old city of Ingolstadt. I thought, it could be in Holland , Austria , Switzerland or somewhere else in Europe, but why in Ingolstadt?

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Old Anatomie  Building

Did you know that Ingolstadt is the Birthplace of Frankenstein?

Not many knew but the Frankenstein novel was written by English author Mary Shelley in 1818. From a chapter in her book ,she had named the place where she created the character of Victor Frankenstein  in Ingolstadt, here in Bavaria, Germany . Basically, Frankenstein is the name of the mad Doctor who created this monster,and not the monster itself. Eventually, it becomes his identity. For a fact that Shelley has never been to Ingolstadt, and the University is no longer existing during the period that she wrote the novel.This is what I find quite interesting.

Why Ingolstadt?

This is because Ingolstadt holds a unique and great story that not everyone knows.I myself didn’t know of this , only after I visited the Old Anatomy Building that I’ve learned some fascinating facts that relates to Shelley’s writing.

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Mary Shelley,Author of Gothic novel’Frankenstein’

Do you know about the Illuminati? I only learned about this when I read about Dan Brown’s novels. The University of Ingolstadt produces Johann Adam Weishaupt, a German philosopher, born in Ingolstadt, who gained a Doctorate degree at the age of 20 in 1768. Weishaupt founded in 1776 the academic secret society which included “Illuminati”, the Goethe, Knigge, Herder, Pestalozzi and many other sizes of German intellectual life in the Age of Enlightenment and also Mary’s husband – the famous poet Percy Bisshey-Shelley. Think about a place of thinkers & revolutionaries!

On a closer look, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is  the story of Victor Frankenstein, who study Chemistry  in the University of Ingolstadt . This renowned university was first opened on July 26, 1472, which from that time was  considered to be the medical and scientific center of whole Europe. Ingolstadt university housed the principal establishment specializing in anatomy and biology, The Ingolstadter Alte Anatomie (or the Old Anatomy Building). It has the ultimate “Experimental Building” for medical & scientific research from 18th century! For these reasons, Ingolstadt is the perfcet place for a setting of a Sci-Fi horror novel.

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The Alte Anatomie Botanical Garden with the Baroque building in the background. {Image source : ExtraPrimaGood}

Now this old baroque building is one of the tourist attraction in Ingolstadt which holds an enigma up to this day.

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View of the Old Anatomy and Herb garden-Hortus medico botanicus.

Fast forward to current times, the Deutsches Medizinhistorisches Museum (German Museum of Medical History) shows the  unique collection of medical and surgical exhibits from various continents and periods in the “Alte Anatomie” (Old Anatomy). The herb garden- Hortus medico botanicus contains an abundance of around 250 kinds of medicinal plants. The plants are selected firstly on the basis of their historic and present day psychotherapeutic importance and secondly on which drug can be extracted from them. The garden served as a scientific show garden imparting medico-botanical information on a wide range of indigenous and Mediterranean medicinal plants. I found out that some of the plants here are poisonous ( as it was properly labelled) and yet used to create medicine to cure diseases and for study purposes. The whole garden is therapeutic sight, right in the center of the city. I saw the prominent Opium poppy, passion-flower,Jimson weed, and so much more.

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Alte Anatomie Botanical Garden

In the reception, you will be handed out a remote control and headphones where you can have an audio tour while exploring the  Scent and touch garden, which is  also accessible for people with disabilities.Included in the renovation was a polished hip cafe just before the entrance of the garden. You can have some bread, pastry, and threats while enjoying a glass of wine, beer or coffee while enjoying the serene garden views.

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Lavender alley

As we walked through the Anatomiestr. , in the garden and in the extension building,my mind wonders that based from the novel, it is the same streets where the monster walked away and eventually fled into the wilderness. From above you can see the Liebfraunmünster towers, the old  gable rustic houses,and from this location, Ingolstadt still holds a mystery and enigma.

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Hortus Medico-Botanicus garden in Alte Anatomie

I didn’t see any fragment of the horrific imagery or personification of Frankenstein in the Alte Anatomie but rather a place bound with rich medical history that contributes to the advancement of medical field today. I didn’t know that knowing the story of Frankenstein would lead me to learn about the rich history of the place where we live now. In fact, if you wanted to learn more about the life of Dr.Frankenstein, there is a special tour for this. The story of Frankenstein is something that is only in Ingolstadt &  The Frankenstein Mystery Tour is specifically arranged by the Ingolstadt Tourismus and runs from August to October.This is a very interesting one-of a kind tour that you can have in your life if you are fond of such things.

Tell me, what’s your favorite Halloween character?

Have you ever wonder about the stories behind the famous Horror characters that you like?

Happy Halloween everyone! have fun &  and don’t forget to follow our Expat stories by clicking the follow button below!

 

 

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