Okay, here is a post about the neighborhood (and the adjoining ones) I’m living in. It’s called Untermenzing; also featured is Obermenzing and Allach. This past week I’ve gone out a little further and discovered how easy it is to skip from suburban street to old farming fields. The neighborhood is also studded with new and old Catholic parishes. I’m more charmed by these suburbs than perhaps I should be — it’s just that, where I’m from, suburbs didn’t used to be medieval villages…
I tried St Georg Dorfkirche (village church) again on Thursday, when there was supposed to be Mass, so it would be unlocked. But I showed up and nobody else did – I guess they’re still during summer holiday (there are other parishes in the area, so this is not a regularly staffed church). So once again, I was stuck taking pictures of the exterior:
Here’s the door. If you look at the full-size version, you’ll see the plaque listing the family names of people once buried in the grave yard outside. A lot of the graves in cemeteries in the city were relocated as the city grew. But if you look closely, you’ll see the name of my favorite Untermenzing family: Niggl. Also notice how one of the families was just named “Menzinger.” They’d been here for a while. (Other names I can pick out that seem to refer to occupations: Kastner (box/cabinet-maker), Sattler (saddler), Burgstaller (castle stable-er).)
There has been a church on this site since the 9th century. This outside entryway/vestibule was added in 1679.
The windows are Gothic and the tower was built in 1610 and rebuilt in 1679.
After WWII the church was closed because of damage, and wasn’t restored until 1969.
(It was nearing dusk so the lighting in these pictures isn’t the greatest.)
The River Würm, I was told, is the fastest-flowing stream in Germany. If this is true, that is funny, because it can’t be going much faster than Whatcom Creek.
It is the only outlet for the Starnberger See – the lake in southern Bavaria where King Ludwig II mysteriously drowned, as Wikipedia informs me. It’s also mentioned in “The Waste Land,” which I would read if I had it with me. The lake used to be called Wirmsee and Würmsee, after the river.
There have been people living along the Würm for a long time. In 1910, while building a road in Obermenzing, they found an early Bronze Age “crouched burial” which is about 4000 years old. The name “Würm” looks like “worm” in English, like it’s winding around — but that’s not the meaning. It also looks like the Celtic word meaning “fast-flowing” (the Celts lived here, and in most of France and Germany, before the Romans conquered up to the Rhine-Danube frontier in the 1st century AD) — but it’s actually probably related to an even older Indo-European word, “-uer,-uor,” meaning “water.” I’m getting this etymology from German Wikipedia, by the way. I haven’t been able to find good books yet.
The Würm drains into the Isar River, the river through the middle of Munich, and from there into the Danube. The picture above is a postcard of a 19th century painting of some villagers sitting in Pipping (an old village, now part of Obermenzing) along the Würm, with St Wolfgang’s in the background. (I’ll show you St Wolfgang in an upcoming post…)
If you keep following the Würm south, you get to Schloss Blutenburg, in Obermenzing. But when I went there this weekend, I got pictures of the late-medieval chapel, and that plus the castle will take a whole post by itself.
But I biked back toward the house, and then went through St Martin’s cemetery, crossed the Würm, and went along the bike path that trails the Würm past old fields and more cozy-looking Bavarian houses. Most of them are new, but they look old. (Let’s try that, America.)
Bavarians seem to visit their dead more often than Americans. Not only were there flowers, candles, and lanterns lit at most of the gravestones, but there were even big wire trash bins for the wrapping that comes off your flowers/etc. I’ve seen them in every cemetery I’ve been through! It was around 7:45pm, and there were a handful of people there.
The bike path along the west side of the Würm.
The farm fields used to be all around the village, until (I’m assuming) sometime after the war. The farmers (N. told me) sold their land for huge profits when the city spread and the real estate became valuable, and now they are so rich they only farm some of their fields.
All these houses are for Courtney, who loves houses…
Look, it’s Nigglstraße! Niggl from the cemetery!
A picture of our street, Everbuschstraße.
Okay, I gotta go. Lunch time. The pictures of Sts. Peter und Paul will have to wait for next time.