Wednesday, April 18, 2018

German Cities & Towns: Dinkelsbühl


In an effort to preserve my memories and pictures of Germany, I am writing a series:  German Cities & Towns.  While you can get information about these cities from far more professional websites than mine, these are MY memories, perspectives, and pictures.  I hope you will enjoy them with me!  And share what are YOUR favorite German cities & towns.  


In April of 1996, soon after arriving in Germany for a 3 year tour with the U.S. Army (we were stationed in Würzburg), we explored the nearby town of Dinkelsbühl, also located on the Romantic Road.
Dinkelsbühl is located in Central Franconia (Franken) in the state of Bavaria.  It was about an hours' drive from our home in Würzburg.  The U.S. military also had a post in nearby Ansbach, Katterbach Kaserne and a small artillery division in Dinkelsbühl itself.  

Dinkelsbühl - like Rothenburg - is a medieval, walled city.  Another walled city of note is Nördlingen, also on the Romantic Road.  


There are several towers along the walls ...


St. George's minster (Münster) is the largest church in the heart of the city, built in the 15th century.


An interesting fact about Dinkelsbühl is that is that during the Reformation in Germany, it is one of only four bi-confessional cities.  There was approximately an equal amount of Catholics and Lutherans living in the city, combining the rights and rule among leaders from both denominations.  This remained until 1802, when it was annexed into the Kingdom of Bavaria.  


There are many more churches, museums, chapels, and streets to explore in Dinkelsbühl than I can mention.  This town is well worth spending a day exploring if you are ever on the Romantic Road!

Other Cities to read about:  



Monday, April 16, 2018

German Cities & Towns: Bamberg



In an effort to preserve my memories and pictures of Germany, I am writing a series:  German Cities & Towns.  While you can get information about these cities from far more professional websites than mine, these are MY memories, perspectives, and pictures.  I hope you will enjoy them with me!  And share what are YOUR favorite German cities & towns.  

Other cities:  
Rothenburg o.d. Tauber
Dinkelsbühl

Soon after arriving in Germany in January of 1996 for a 3 year tour in Würzburg with the U.S. Army, we began to explore our surroundings.  
In February, we drove the approximately 65 miles east of our new home to the town of Bamberg.  (The U.S. military's Warner Barracks was also located in Bamberg until 2014).  

Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia (Franken), in Bavaria, on the Regnitz River.  It extends over 7 hills, which gives it the nickname the "Franconian Rome".  


Bamberg has a cathedral and an abbey, dating back to the 12th century.


^Bamberg's famous alte Rathaus (old town hall) has an interesting story.  It was built in 1386 in the middle of the Regnitz River.  The current bishop of Bamberg did not allow for a town hall to be built, so the citizens planted stakes into the middle of the river and created a small island on which to build their town hall.


The neue Residenz was built from 1698 to 1704.  It was initially intended as the home of the prince-bishops who ruled various cities of Bavaria.  

The elaborate Residenz can be toured (for a mere 4.00 Deutsch Mark back in 1996).  We happened to snap pictures of the ball room and the desk that Napoleon used when he passed through Bamberg at one time.  

Bamberg is Germany's largest UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) city -- and well worth a visit!




Saturday, April 14, 2018

German Cities & Towns: Rothenburg o.d. Tauber


In an effort to preserve my memories and pictures of Germany, I am starting a new series:  German Cities & Towns.  While you can get information about these cities from far more professional websites than mine, these are MY memories, perspectives, and pictures.  I hope you will enjoy them with me!  And share what are YOUR favorite German cities & towns.  

First of all, let me show you how I look EVERY TIME I arrive at the Frankfurt airport:  pure joy! 


This was in early January of 1996.  My husband and I were greeted at the Frankfurt airport by my 2nd cousin, who lived in Frankfurt.  We were about to begin our 3 year tour of living in beautiful Würzburg, Germany, thanks to orders from the U.S. Army.  Married just 3 years and before we had children, this was about to be the beginning of an adventure I will never forget.  

As a student of history, my husband was enthralled with the chance to see and explore the places he had yet only read about.  We jumped into traveling immediately!   Our first weekend after settling in was to visit the town of Rothenburg.  It was a mere 40 minute drive away, so we visited very often afterward.

Rothenburg is in middle Frankenland, in Bavaria, a stop along the famous "Romantic Road".  It is one of - if not THE - oldest walled cities in Germany.  It is officially known as Rothenburg ob der (or o.d.) Tauber.  ob der means "above the" ... this city is above the Tauber River.  

Sites to see include Käthe Wohlfahrt's Christmas store.  There are many of these stores across Germany now - and there is even one in Stillwater, Minnesota!  

St. James Lutheran church is lovely ... There are wood carvings by the famous Würzburger resident Tilmann Riemenschneider, which he completed somewhere between 1500 - 1505.

 ^a typical lane in Rothenburg.  I recommend trying a local bakery delight:  Schneeballen (snow balls).  They are crunchy but sweet - a unique "pastry".

The town hall of Rothenburg is amazing, there are beautiful garden paths all around the city - and there is a criminal museum in town, if you like the macabre.

Have you been to Rothenburg?  It is truly one of my FAVORITE places in Germany!

OTHER CITIES in the SERIES:  







Thursday, March 29, 2018

"Green" Thursday

Those who follow the liturgical calendar (church calendar) observe today as Maundy Thursday.  It commemorates the evening when Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples - the "Last Supper" before his death on the cross.  It's also when Jesus washed this disciples' feet, which is another symbolism of the day.  Coins (alms) might also be given to the poor as a sign of charity. 


Maundy might be a word that is derived from the same root from which we get the English word "mandate".  In John 13: 34 - 35, Jesus gave his disciples a mandate, a new commandment: 

...that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.


In Germany, today is called Gründonnerstag (Green Thursday).  Why green?  Some sources say that green symbolizes the "new beginning" of being forgiven of sins.  Apparently, some churches decorate with green, budding branches for a green themed decor. 

In my hometown of Frankfurt, many people look forward to eating grüne Soße (green sauce) this time of year.   It's called Grie Soss in the Frankfurt dialect. This herbal sauce is equivalent to chimichurri or salsa verde - and yet, it is uniquely Frankfurterisch


One needs 7 herbs to make green sauce:  Kerbel, Schnittlauch, Petersilie, Pimpinelle, Sauerampfer, Kresse & Borretsch
1.  chervil - also known as French parsley
2.  chives
3.  parsley
4.  pimpinella - an herb of the carrot family, which includes anise, also considered medicinal
5.  sorrel
6.  cress - garden cress, related to mustard and watercress
7.  borage or starflower, also considered to be medicinal

This wonderful blend of herbs is combined with yogurt, sour cream, cooked egg yolks - through a sieve, mustard, garlic, oil, and lemon juice - then cooked, chopped egg whites and salt and pepper.  It is served with boiled eggs and boiled potatoes.  A true Frankfurter will drink Appelwei' (apple wine) or Apfelsaft (apple juice/cider) with this meal. 


A real Frankfurter recipe can be found here:  Traditional Grüne Sosse

My recommendation is you get on an international flight TODAY and fly immediately to Frankfurt and try this sauce for yourself.  ;)


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

On the 1st Day of Spring: More Ostern


I was last in Germany about 6 years ago with my son Andrew, who was 13 years old at the time.  I love springtime in Germany!  German florists are AMAZING - the above picture is a shop in the train station in Frankfurt.  

Germany is well known for its Christmas markets, but did you know there are also Easter markets?  Once again booths are filled with delicately painted, hollowed-out eggs, crafts, and flowers - along with food and drink. 


The Easter rabbits below are very much like ones my mother had to set around our living room.  We also had little, wooden duckling figurines:

There are so many more things I could say about Easter in Germany, but a google search would show you way more than I can adequately explain.
I will mention, lastly, the one thing I find MOST clever about German Easter - and that is that they celebrate not only Easter Sunday but also Easter Monday, which is a holiday in most German states.  I have always thought that Easter deserved an extra day of celebration!