Sunday, January 22, 2017

Limburg an der Lahn, 21 Jan 2017

Limburg Cathedral completed in 1235
We joined 4 other couples for a P-day in Limburg an der Lahn about an hour north of Frankfurt toward Cologne. The old city is quaint and small enough to be fun to walk. It was freezing this morning. When we arrived it was 19 degrees. Jeff stopped to use an unheated public restroom on the cathedral hill and came out with hands the temperature of the glacier water in the sink. The cathedral was built early enough that it's architecture is Romanesque rather than the usual Gothic. The exterior was stripped of its medieval plaster and color in the Romantic period of the late 1800s when they couldn't imagine that these people in the middle ages had all of this color and plaster on buildings. When restoration work was done in the 1970s, the exterior plaster was replaced with the original colors. The interior had been covered with wall paintings that had been painted over. Those were uncovered, and while most are faded, there is one of St. George that is still quite vibrant.
Two young girls agreed to take our picture. From left to right, the Mumms, Markles, Kirks, Kays, and Snapps
These vaults are awe-inspiring, especially when you realize they were erected without modern cranes in the 1200s

Long part of the central nave
St. George on one of the 12 massive pillars supporting the roof

Medieval family tree

Faded painting of Christ handing Peter keys
Count Konrad Kurzbold's memorial grave dates to the 11th century. Shown as a young man with his eyes wide open expressing a belief in eternal life and him being young forever in eternity.  

Madonna and child from Mainz around 1750

Stained glass is 20th century, but beautiful

There was a large display in the back corner of the cathedral with hand carved pieces from Oberammergau.

The manger was empty and the sign reads, "The Flight to Egypt"

Joseph, Mary and child on the way to Egypt
After we visited the cathedral, we did a little shopping in the old city and then found our way to Schwarzer Adler (The Black Eagle) inn for lunch. Time for real German food!
Left to right: Kirks, Kays, Mumms, Markles, Snapps
Janet's choice - she's gone native! Pork loin stuffed with dried meat, sauerkraut, and pickles with a side of fried potatoes. 
Jeff's choice - the daily special of Schnitzel (pork cutlet) with Spätzle (dumplings). Delicious.
One of the most ornate buildings in the old city

Not an optical illusion. The top part of the building leans out toward the street.

Narrow streets confined to pedestrian traffic

Love the face just under the peak of the roof.

House built in 1670 lovingly restored in 1999. the two crests are from the original owners.

Some of the houses look like they may topple into the street.

Almost narrow enough to touch opposite walls while standing in the middle of the street. You can see why fire was the great fear in cities in the middle ages (besides black death or having a chamber pot emptied on your head). 

Now a restaurant in what was the fish market

Other buildings fronting the fish market

Interesting fountain. In warm weather, he is drinking continuously from the wine barrel hoisted over his head.
An old post box still in use. Pickup from this box Monday through Friday at 8:00am.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bamberg, Northern Franconia, November 12, 2016

Bamberg Townhall in the middle of the Regnitz River
We should have posted this a long time ago -- time just doesn't allow for this blog. We spent a wonderful Saturday in November with senior missionary friends in Bamberg. The old city is from the middle ages with many updates. The historic town hall was built in the middle of a branch of the Regnitz River on oak pilings because the local Catholic bishop, who had secular power as well, refused to give the town council land for a city hall. He was apparently afraid of competition for power. The local tourist information office rents audio devices for a 17-stop walking tour of the old city. The devices are GPS enabled, so we followed the map on the device and listened to narration at each stop, including inside the cathedral. We spent about 5 hours strolling around the old city and then finished the day with dinner in a nice Italian restaurant.

River channeled between buildings is apparently also a kayak course.
Clock tower of the city hall

Town hall walls are covered with Baroque paintings

The 18th century folks loved this type of decoration

The columns are painted - not actual columns. The paintings depict mythological stories or events from German legend

The art isn't spectacular, but it is impressive that it covers the entire side of the building

Not sure what this depicts, either. The narration wasn't that detailed.

Hard to see, but there are legs or other parts of cherubs protruding from the painting just to the right of center. That is another baroque fashion that seems odd.

It was cold that day. In fact, snow started to fall late in the afternoon - just a little.

Sister and Elder Markle. Elder Markle is a gadget guy, so he really liked the GPS device.
Bamberg is referred to as Little Venice -- a substantial part of the old city sits on an island between two branches of the Regnitz
The baroque Neptune statue is a well-known landmark but is called the Gabelmann locally which means the Fork Man

A more modern bronze called Woman Lying with Frucht by Fernando Botero 

Bull on the facade of a building on the riverfront

Centurion I by Igor Mitoraj, a Polish sculptor. It appears to attract a row of pigeons.

Baroque statue on the island with the town hall
The Meeting -- made us laugh
Catholic church in the Green Market called St. Martin

Quiet and sort of warm

Lots of color in the baroque churches

Behind the main altar this elaborate installation

A side altar

Ceiling of the dome painted so that if you are seated in the pews it looks like you are looking at an angle -- a unique perspective
Beautifully painted 18th century residence

Detail from the facade of the baroque residence

Carefully restored houses of medieval fishermen are now high end residences

Walking area (or Fussgänger Zone)

All of the windows of this hotel had beautiful window boxes

Elder Snapp and Elder Markle trying to get the whole story from the audio devices
St Christopher on the exterior of a former Kloster (monastery)
Towers of the Bamberg cathedral

Large palace to the right is the 17th century home of the archbishop

2016 was proclaimed by the current pope to be a year of mercy and this is the mercy gate for the cathedral

Spectacular wood carving from the middle ages for this triptych.

Oldest art work in the cathedral

Scene of martyrdom of early Christian

Gruesome depictions 

Bavaria has some beautiful woodcarving

Close up of the lower panel of the above triptych

The thumb is broken, but this sarcophagus lid was very lifelike carved marble
The Catholic bishop at rest now for centuries

Another entrance flanked by statures of apostles and Adam and Eve

The statues are weathered

Frieze above the door depicting the final judgment with Christ in the center, the righteous on His right and the wicked  on his left.

Entry with the final judgment depicted above the door meant to represent a portal to heaven or hell

Interesting relief above a gate

Gateway to an inner courtyard
View from a rose garden over the red roofs of the old city

We want one of these for home

Organ loft of another baroque church

Late afternoon sun on the main altar

White marble statues

Carved baptismal font

Ceiling panel

Typical baroque fittings with angels protruding from the wall

Nice Italian place with a fun proprietor

End of the day discussion before we head for home. Ahh, it was a good day.