"Letters 1938"

Name of traveller

Luise Mendelsohn (1894-1980)

Reason for travel

  • recuperation following an operation and during process of naturalisation as British citizen

Date of travel

September to October 1938

Das ganze Leben liegt in diesem Fjord - alles scheint diesem Gesetz des Aufbegehrens und Verebbens zu unterliegen. Es ist schön - aufregend und beruhigend zugleich - dies so wahrhaftig vor sich zu sehen. Dazu die samtenen Berge - die herrlich geschnittenen Rasen - bis zum Wasser - die gefiederten engl. Bäume - Diese Halbinsel ist ein Stück übrig gebliebenes Paradies. (Mendelsohn, 22 Sep 1938 2)


  • agriculture: generally rural aspect of north Wales with a preponderance of farms
  • architecture: brief description of use of natural stone in building houses
  • industry: repelled by nearby small industrial villages and slag heaps
  • people:
    • series of letters to her husband, Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953)
    • journey undertaken together with her friend Hede Vasen
    • character sketch of Clough William-Ellis (1883-1978) and pays a visit to his home, Plas Brondanw
    • complains about German holiday makers in the same hotel
    • visit to birthplace of T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935) and evaluation of his character as thoroughly formed by Welsh landscape and mythology
  • politics:
    • discusses in great detail current political events in her letters, especially the ongoing Sudenten Crisis and the Munich Agreement
    • describes effects of ongoing political crisis on the holiday-makers
  • recreation:
    • low quality of furnishing, electrical appliances and plumbing in Hotel Portmeirion, but excellent menu
    • description of Portmeirion holiday village as kitsh and looking like a left-over amusement park
  • terrain:
    • does not differentiate between Wales and England
    • romanticised descriptions of the coastal landscape
    • mild climate, mediteranian vegetation and "Turneresque" colours
    • detailed description of Dwyryd estuary and the effects of the tides on the character of the landscape
    • autumn storms
  • transport: travels via car
  • click here to read the full account

Nationality of traveller


Language of publication

German, English

Gender of traveller


Type of publication



Mendelsohn, Luise. "Letters 1938." Letters to Erich Mendelsohn. 1938. Penrhyndeudraeth: n.p., 1938. N. pag. EMA - Erich Mendelsohn Archive: Correspondence of Erich and Luise Mendelsohn 1910-1953. Web. 16 Feb. 2015.