Now that I’ve been here for a couple weeks and am slowly beginning to feel like a local in this peculiar little city, I wanted to discuss the beauty of this place. On my arrival, I was constantly greeted with Mannheim’s infamous motto, “Leben. Im Quadrat.” Which literally translates to, “Life. Squared.” Despite its bluntness, I can assure you, that Mannheim is far from, dare I say it, square. I’m going to dedicate this post to absolutely debunking this quote, and hopefully you’ll see the same beauty and magic of this city that I see.
First and foremost, what Mannheim lacks in initial artistry, finding the chance to explore the towns quirks and oddities provides you with a newly found charisma of the city itself. Without a doubt, the Mannheim palace/university anchors the entire region, providing a home base for its citizens. Dominating its surroundings, it seems, at first, as though there is nothing else worth seeing, but once you tap that silly idea out of your mind, there’s plenty of beauty to be found interwoven within these streets (and I’m not talking about the food here people, although that is a masterpiece in and of itself to be discussed at a later time).
Located within a ten-minute walk from the city center, the Wasserturm (or Water Tower for all my non-German speaking friends) is predominantly the most highlighted landmark of Mannheim. With its exquisite detailing and Romanesque qualities, it towers (no pun intended) over the entire city, often peeking through various side streets and alley ways. But it’s not the tower itself that locals and tourists alike find so alluring about this location, it’s the elegant gardens and walkways that adorn the grounds surrounding the monument. It’s the perfect place for basking in the sun, eating a gelato (or two), watching as water in the grand fountains dances in the warm sunlight.
But some of Mannheim’s truest treasures lie hidden within the streets of the city itself. There are plenty of lavish statues and fountains sprinkled throughout the town squares, leaving you with a vast amount to explore. You can’t walk a couple blocks without stumbling into another building or monument embellished with traditional European detailing. Every bend in the road, every corner street, every square is waiting to be newly rediscovered by people like you and me. With some deliberate detective-level sleuthing, paired with Google Maps, you’ll be finding Mannheim’s secret gems in no time, and maybe you’ll also begin to see that special charm that Mannheim has to offer.