GERMANY FROM ABOVE
2nd Season


Episode 4: Cities

„Germany From Above 2“ keep silent at the beauty of breath taking aerials and the amazing new knowledge we get about Germany. From time to time, we switch perspective: from the distance of the heights to the faces of people (and animals) that live in and constantly change Germany.

It is an aerial scanning of the country. Idyllic landscapes are combined with the real Science Fiction of satellite images and their high tech monitoring projects. This is the contemporary version of the a Heimatfilm: an astonishing HDTV view over a country, from the Wattenmeer to the Alps, from the river Rhine to the Elbe, from mining areas to Kreuzberg.

Germany is completely covered by a network of cities. From the ten largest cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Essen and Bremen to the hundreds of small and middle-size cities. 85% of all Germans live in big and smaller cities. But why do Germans live so close to another? 

The TV audience adored the first season of the ZDF series „Germany From Above“ on the TerraX slot. In the second season we look from above onto German cities and worm some secrets while flying on the unique German Zeppelin. A team of the Research Center in Jülich is measuring from the Zeppelin the pollutants and their distribution in the atmosphere. Is the air in Frankfurt or over the world largest chemical plant, BASF, in Ludwigsburg really worse than in the Black Forest or Freiburg.

Aerial archeologist Klaus Leidorf identifies the buried remains of the oldest German cities. Maching, in Upper Bavaria near Ingolstadt, used to be a big cities in the Celtic times. Up to 10,000 people used to live here in the Iron Age: it was the highest populated place north of the Alps. Thanks to the iron ore in the surroundings this Celtic city became the centre of the iron industry and was perfectly located in the crossing of trade routes and along the Donau. Klaus Leidorf can prove the existence of 7 kilometres of the city wall of old Manching. As early as in the Iron Age cities were the place of wealth and culture. But why did the old oppidum of Manching disappear for centuries before the Romans eventually took it over?

Almost all German big cities were born in old times: in the times of the Romans or during the High Middle Ages. They have been able to defend their position over the centuries. Cities founded by the Romans like Cologne or Mainz developed along the Roman garrison routes. Cities like Bamberg or Munster remained over centuries important bishop residents. Harbour cities like Bremen, Hamburg, Duisburg at the Rhine have been fighting for centuries to keep the access to the sea and readjusted constantly to the increasingly bigger ships or moved when the river changed its course through floods. In the Ruhr area the former steel giants in Dortmund and Essen are reinventing themselves after the deindustrialization and becoming real magnets for young people. Cities seem to be as tenacious as old trees – and from above you can see their growth rings. But why have we been living in the same place over centuries even when the old appeal of cities had long gone. And when does a place turn into an abandoned gold mining town, like Manching?

When you look at it from above, you can recognise even in mega cities like Cologne other aspects. Where do we bury our deads in cities? In Cologne you can see a separate city of the deads. In German cities dead people were buried in different places over different times: in the centre of the city besides the church, then outside the city walls, especially during the big plagues. So cemeteries wandered over the centuries leaving their traces.

2WW caused the most radical change in German cities. Hamburg, Dresden, Cologne and Dortmund, Nuremberg or Stuttgart were levelled to the ground between 1943 and 1945. Then the citizens had to decide how much they wanted to keep of the old, medieval labyrinth, or if they preferred to build a modern city. Today we long to the „old“. We love high windows and the facades decorated with stucco that were heavily damaged during the war. Some cities, like Nuremberg and Munster, decided to rebuild some areas as they were in the Middle Ages, just slightly simplified. Today they remind us nostalgically of the good old times. It took a long time in Dresden the Frauenkirche was rebuilt. This allegedly historic building is laser-scanned from an helicopter.

Other German cities were planned on a drawing table and were completely built out of the blue: the Kings of Baden decided to have planned cities like Karlsruhe, Mannheim or Freudenstadt, while the new towns like Wolfsburg or Eisenhüttenstadt were created by the two German dictatorships during the Nazi and the DDR.

When looked from above, you can see the fashions and the confusion of city planning in big cities like Berlin or Munich. And sometimes you can literally feel it. In Berlin, for instance, you can measure the different heath areas. Some areas are up to 5° hotter than others in the summer.

The UNESCO city of Bamberg is known also as the German Rome because of its seven hills, while Bremen is considered the most British German city and ranks at the top among the „most liveable city in Germany“. Both cities are a feast to the eyes, no matter which perspective you are choosing. It is a mix of fate and building rules that makes out what we particularly like about cities. The little medieval city of Nördlingen in Swabia, which once was a free imperial city, is the perfect time travel: to the times when fields were still inside the city walls, the cemeteries were in the city centre and when sewerage, garbage collection and electricity did not yet make our lives easier.

It is an aerial scanning of the country. Idyllic landscapes are combined with the real Science Fiction of satellite images and their high tech monitoring projects. This is the contemporary version of the a Heimatfilm: an astonishing HDTV view over a country, from the Wattenmeer to the Alps, from the river Rhine to the Elbe, from mining areas to Kreuzberg.

Germany is completely covered by a network of cities. From the ten largest cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Essen and Bremen to the hundreds of small and middle-size cities. 85% of all Germans live in big and smaller cities. But why do Germans live so close to another? 

The TV audience adored the first season of the ZDF series „Germany From Above“ on the TerraX slot. In the second season we look from above onto German cities and worm some secrets while flying on the unique German Zeppelin. A team of the Research Center in Jülich is measuring from the Zeppelin the pollutants and their distribution in the atmosphere. Is the air in Frankfurt or over the world largest chemical plant, BASF, in Ludwigsburg really worse than in the Black Forest or Freiburg.

Aerial archeologist Klaus Leidorf identifies the buried remains of the oldest German cities. Maching, in Upper Bavaria near Ingolstadt, used to be a big cities in the Celtic times. Up to 10,000 people used to live here in the Iron Age: it was the highest populated place north of the Alps. Thanks to the iron ore in the surroundings this Celtic city became the centre of the iron industry and was perfectly located in the crossing of trade routes and along the Donau. Klaus Leidorf can prove the existence of 7 kilometres of the city wall of old Manching. As early as in the Iron Age cities were the place of wealth and culture. But why did the old oppidum of Manching disappear for centuries before the Romans eventually took it over?

Almost all German big cities were born in old times: in the times of the Romans or during the High Middle Ages. They have been able to defend their position over the centuries. Cities founded by the Romans like Cologne or Mainz developed along the Roman garrison routes. Cities like Bamberg or Munster remained over centuries important bishop residents. Harbour cities like Bremen, Hamburg, Duisburg at the Rhine have been fighting for centuries to keep the access to the sea and readjusted constantly to the increasingly bigger ships or moved when the river changed its course through floods. In the Ruhr area the former steel giants in Dortmund and Essen are reinventing themselves after the deindustrialization and becoming real magnets for young people. Cities seem to be as tenacious as old trees – and from above you can see their growth rings. But why have we been living in the same place over centuries even when the old appeal of cities had long gone. And when does a place turn into an abandoned gold mining town, like Manching?

When you look at it from above, you can recognise even in mega cities like Cologne other aspects. Where do we bury our deads in cities? In Cologne you can see a separate city of the deads. In German cities dead people were buried in different places over different times: in the centre of the city besides the church, then outside the city walls, especially during the big plagues. So cemeteries wandered over the centuries leaving their traces.

2WW caused the most radical change in German cities. Hamburg, Dresden, Cologne and Dortmund, Nuremberg or Stuttgart were levelled to the ground between 1943 and 1945. Then the citizens had to decide how much they wanted to keep of the old, medieval labyrinth, or if they preferred to build a modern city. Today we long to the „old“. We love high windows and the facades decorated with stucco that were heavily damaged during the war. Some cities, like Nuremberg and Munster, decided to rebuild some areas as they were in the Middle Ages, just slightly simplified. Today they remind us nostalgically of the good old times. It took a long time in Dresden the Frauenkirche was rebuilt. This allegedly historic building is laser-scanned from an helicopter.

Other German cities were planned on a drawing table and were completely built out of the blue: the Kings of Baden decided to have planned cities like Karlsruhe, Mannheim or Freudenstadt, while the new towns like Wolfsburg or Eisenhüttenstadt were created by the two German dictatorships during the Nazi and the DDR.

When looked from above, you can see the fashions and the confusion of city planning in big cities like Berlin or Munich. And sometimes you can literally feel it. In Berlin, for instance, you can measure the different heath areas. Some areas are up to 5° hotter than others in the summer.

The UNESCO city of Bamberg is known also as the German Rome because of its seven hills, while Bremen is considered the most British German city and ranks at the top among the „most liveable city in Germany“. Both cities are a feast to the eyes, no matter which perspective you are choosing. It is a mix of fate and building rules that makes out what we particularly like about cities. The little medieval city of Nördlingen in Swabia, which once was a free imperial city, is the perfect time travel: to the times when fields were still inside the city walls, the cemeteries were in the city centre and when sewerage, garbage collection and electricity did not yet make our lives easier.

Facts

Awarded the German Camera Prize (Deutscher Kamerapreis)
First aired 15th May 2011, 19.30 pm on ZDF

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    Toller Erfolg für die Reihe „Deutschland von oben“, die dem ZDF schon im vergangenen Jahr auf dem Terra X-Sendeplatz am Sonntag-Vorabend starke Quoten eingebracht hatte: In diesem Jahr wollten zum Auftakt der zweiten Staffel sogar noch mehr Zuschauer einen Blick aus der Vogelperspektive aufs Land werfen.

    DWDL

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    Als vor einem Jahr die erste Staffel Deutschland von oben im ZDF lief, gelang dem Fernsehen mit der dreiteiligen Dokumentation etwas Seltenes: Es überraschte. Das Projekt in der Reihe Terra X entschlüsselte mit Luftaufnahmen in hochauflösender Technik und Computeranimationen, was Städteforscher und Archäologen daraus erkennen können – Grundrisse mittelalterlicher Kastelle, jahrhundertealte Verkehrswege. (…)Vor allem aber kam Deutschland von oben genau zu der Zeit, um uns zu zeigen, wie unsere Vorstellung von der Welt sich gerade verwandelt. Die Vogelperspektive ist ja kein neues filmisches Mittel, aber das 21. Jahrhundert hat es in einen anderen Zusammenhang gestellt. Die Zoomfahrt von weit oben in die Städte hinein ist seit Google Earth die zeitgenössische Art sich auf der Benutzeroberfläche Erde zu orientieren. (…)Die Filmemacher Petra Höfer und Freddie Röckenhaus (der Autor des Sportressorts dieser Zeitung ist) haben im Hubschrauber und Flugzeug mit Deutschland von oben Bildungsfernsehen inszeniert, das emotional, schnell geschnitten und schön ist, und dabei dichte Informationen über deutsche Geschichte und Geografie transportiert.

    Süddeutsche Zeitung

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    Der Überblick von ganz oben vermag unsere sonst so eingeschränkte Sicht der Dinge nicht nur im buchstäblichen Sinn zu ver- ändern. Ein Jahr lang bestiegen die Filmautoren Petra Höfer und Freddie Röckenhaus diverses Fluggerät , um ihr Heimatland einmal nach augenfälligen, geographischen Strukturen zu durchkämmen. (…) Aufwendige Animationen und beeindruckende Zeitraffer-Aufnahmen schärfen dabei den Blick für Details. Besonders eindrucksvoll fallen etwa die Rundflüge über Karlsruhe, München und Eisenhüttenstadt aus, die aktuelle Stadtplanungsprojekte erkennen lassen.

    Frankfurter Neue Presse

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    Überflieger – “ Terra X“: „Deutschland von oben 2″ (…) – 4,63 Millionen Zuschauer sahen am Sonntag, 15. Mai 2011, 19.30 Uhr, den Auftakt zur zweiten Staffel der Reihe „Deutschland von oben“. (…) Damit knüpft die ZDF-Dokumentation an den Erfolg der ersten Staffel an, die mit bis zu 4,57 Millionen Zuschauern (15,4 Prozent Marktanteil) im Mai 2010 ihr Publikum fand. Alexander Hesse, Leiter der Redaktion „Geschichte und Gesellschaft“: „Innerhalb eines Jahres sind uns wieder magische Aufnahmen von einem Land gelungen, das enorm viele Facetten bietet und das die Zuschauer so noch nicht gesehen haben – sonst wären nicht wieder dermaßen viele Zuschauer mitgeflogen.“

    Finanznachrichten Web

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    Manche Wunder sieht man nur von oben. Wenn tiefblaue Seen wie Puzzleteilchen im üppigen Grün liegen oder die Straßen der Städte verblüffende Muster bilden, zeigt sich die Heimat völlig neu. Diesen Höhenrausch verschafft uns jetzt die ZDF-Reihe „Deutschland von oben 2″ (…).Vor einem Jahr verblüffte „Deutschland von oben“ mit sensationellen Luftaufnahmen. Jetzt hebt die „Terra X“-Reihe wieder ab. Spezialhubschrauber, Gleitschirmflieger, ein Zeppelin und sogar Vögel waren dafür zwölf Monate im Kameraeinsatz. Steinadler Sky, ausgestattet mit einer Minikamera auf dem Rücken, filmte imposante Szenen aus den Bergen. Mehr Vogelperspektive geht nicht. Auch die drei neuen Folgen gliedern sich nach dem Motto „Stadt, Land, Fluss“. Computeranimationen und Zeitrafferaufnahmen runden den Fernseh-Höhenflug ab.

    Hörzu

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    „Deutschland von Oben“ erlebt die zweite Staffel. Die Dortmunder Filmemacher Freddie Röckenhaus und Petra Höfer präsentieren wieder spektakuläre Luftbilder der Republik, darunter eine Nachtaufnahme des Dortmunder „U“.

    Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

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    Deutschland ist von einem Städtenetz durchzogen. Neben den zehn großen Metropolen Berlin, Hamburg, München, Köln, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen und Bremen gibt es Hunderte von mittelgroßen und kleineren Ortschaften, in denen heute 85 Prozent der Deutschen leben. Auch die zweite Staffel der Doku-Reihe „Deutschland von oben“ schaut aus der Luft auf unsere Siedlungen und entlockt ihnen ungewöhnliche Perspektiven sowie manche Geheimnisse – etwa bei der Fahrt mit dem einzigen deutschen Zeppelin (…).

    Mainzer Rhein-Zeitung

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    Dokumentationen wie „Terra X“ (Deutschland von oben …) kommen auch beim jungen Publikum gut an.

    Kölner Stadtanzeiger

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    „Deutschland von oben“ – 4.6 Mio. Zuschauer sahen Sonntagabend im ZDF den ersten von drei Teilen aus der „Terra X“-Reihe. Besonders spannend: Die Bilder vom Ipf dem majestätischen Berg auf der Schwäbischen Alb, der sich 668 Meter hoch, ganz alleinstehend, in den Himmel erhebt.

    Bild-Zeitung -Ausgabe Rhein-Main

Credits

Written, directed and produced by: Petra Höfer and Freddie Röckenhaus

Aerial Photography: Peter Thompson

Director of Photography: Marcus von Kleist, Ingmar Lindner u.a.

Video Editor: Jörg Wegner, Maren Grossmann

Producer: Friederike Schmidt-Vogt, Kay Schlasse, Francesca D`Amicis, Johannes Fritsche

Line Producer: Svenja Mandel

Narration: Leon Boden

Commissioning Editors: Alexander Hesse (ZDF), Katharina Rau (ZDF)

A colourFIELD production commissioned by ZDF

Full credits

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