Thursday, October 8, 2015

P-day Visit to Marburg, Pt. 2

View from the Landgraves' Castle
We wandered around St. Elizabeth's Church for some time before we made for the old city and the castle atop the hill. When we left the church, we heard a band and followed our ears to a celebration at the base of the old city. They were great musicians and they and the crowd were having a great time -- maybe that was the beer they were drinking before noon.
Lots of big brass horns

Lederhosen and dirndl - It's traditional
Most Americans wouldn't think of Germans as whimsical people, but Marburg certainly has its fun side. There are statues in various parts of the old city with connections to Grimm Brothers fairly tales or other fantasy figures. They are nice surprises.
The Frog King
For Aschenputtel (Cinderella) - reminded us of Jessi for some reason
Could be a postman?
The Wolf and the Seven Kids
A plaque said "Trinkwasser" or drinking water - we passed
There is a dark side to the town, too. We found the old "Alley of the Jews" whose name was changed in 1933. At the top of that alley was an excavation of a medieval Jewish synagogue. The top of the excavation was roofed over and surrounded by glass walls so that you could look down into it. There wasn't much to see, but we noticed that people had pushed hundreds of Euro coins through the spaces between the glass panels -- a sort of penance or expression of sympathy? We thought about this Jewish community that had been in Marburg since the Middle Ages but was wiped out during the Third Reich.

The narrow way to the Castle leads up the path -- Jews Alley until 1933. A reminder of another history here.

The climb to the castle was steep and on rough cobblestone streets -- hard on the feet.

You need rigid soles to walk on these things

We assume the mirror above the bench was for Snow White

The view from the top of the hill was worth the climb. We met a nice couple from the former East Germany and Janet gave them a pass-along card. Elder Jarrard and Jeff stopped to chat with an older woman carrying a large basket in which there was a puppet. She was intrigued by our name tags, so we told her who we are and what we are doing. When she clued in that we were Mormons, she smiled and moved away quickly. Ah, we're so dangerous looking.

The view from just below the castle is worth taking in for a while - especially on a warm sunny autumn day.
The fortification on the top of the hill was begun in approximately 800 AD. It was expanded over time until it became this beautiful castle. It is now a university building, but it contains a large museum dedicated to German history and culture.

It's definitely fall

We love the flowers everywhere

We got tickets to the museum as "seniors." That still feels odd to us -- are we really senior citizens? Of course, we enjoy the small discount. Following are just a few items from a very large collection in the museum.

The chapel at the palace is pink - interesting color choice

The arches supporting the roof come together in this colorful pieces.
Kochherd - a ceramic stove for heating. The firebox would have been behind it in a kitchen or serving area.

Collection contained a lot of furnishings - This piece dates from the 17th century. Magnificent craftsmanship. Imagine making all of those inlays with only hand tools.
18th century painting of Marburg -- either the river has been moved, or the artist tried to cram everything he could into one view that is completely unreal. St. Elizabeth Church is even facing the wrong direction.

Entire top of the table was this detailed needlepoint under glass

A dollhouse size toy kitchen

Kaiser Wilhelm I who united Germany in 1871
Kaiser Wilhelm II who led Germany into WW I and set the stage for the rise of fascism
Before the drive back to Frankfurt, we walked back down to the old city and ate outdoors in the central plaza near the old Rathaus (City Hall).

The leaning buildings are not an optical illusion

Nice to see families with young children out together
The beams on the exterior of this house from the 1500s are warped from centuries of settling

You can almost reach across the alley and touch another house - and people live in these. They aren't museum pieces.
The van with the open rear doors was broadcasting a message about cruelty to cows while people ate sausages and cutlets at the outdoor restaurants. 

They had no where to expand, so some of the houses creep forward in the upper stories.

Sister Jarrard is studying the menu pretty hard. 

This was a wonderful day with our new friends and was capped off by General Conference. The Saturday morning session was live here at 6pm. We watched both Saturday general sessions live in our apartment via the internet, although Janet drifted off before the afternoon session was over at midnight. We waited to watch the Priesthood meeting until Sunday morning.

General Conference was inspiring. We are grateful for our church leaders and the inspired guidance they give to the church and to the world. There are those who mock, but I can't find anything but good in these addresses that would lift and ennoble the world if they would only pay attention. More about our conference impressions later.


  1. My goodness so gorgeous!! Can't wait to see it in person! ;) way to go putting yourself out there and talking to people. You are the least scary people I've ever seen :)

  2. This looks so enchanting!! So cool! I love that you have other couples to explore with too. That's awesome!

  3. Thanks for sharing Jeff, I love the pice with the ant-beef message while people eat the sausages and cutlets, priceless!

    1. Germans love pork. And chicken, turkey, beef, and everything else meat. There's always someone around who objects to everything. The van was a curiosity, but it didn't keep people from having a wurst.