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Posts Tagged ‘medieval’

I am skipping all kinds of stuff just to show you what I did this past weekend! I saw my first actual CASTLE RUINS.

This is Castle Ehrenberg (in Reutte, Austria), which lies on the Via Claudia Augusta, the Roman road that stretched from Venice to Augsburg. It’s part of a complex of fortifications — this castle, from the 13th century with multiple additions to the 17th century; an 18th century fort on the hill just above it; a 13th-14th century “klause” or hermitage guarding the road (the Via Claudia Augusta) through the valley; and a smaller 16th century fort on the opposite hill across the valley. This gorge along the River Lech was a strategic point from the Romans on up, and the Romans actually had a fort down in the valley, in Breitenwang, just next to the town of Reutte.

If that’s a little confusing, no worries… just look at the pretty pictures. (more…)

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… a quick overview of six little churches I visited in the suburban outskirts of Munich.

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Last Saturday (look how prompt I am! this post is not even a week old!) I took the afternoon to ride to a little village not too far away so I could find MORE CELTIC RING FORTS. (Or whatever I should be calling them — in German they are Viereckenschanze or Keltenschanze, referring to the fact that they are raised earthworks which are rectangular in shape and/or were made by Celts. See how that works?) Here is a link to the Wikipedia article, if you want to hazard Google Translate (or, I guess, if you read German).

You might remember that I visited one a couple of weeks ago when I explored the Roman roads — but that site had been excavated and studied, and was set up like a (modest) tourist or cultural site. This time I found one that was just out in the woods and has never, apparently, been closely studied. Then I came home and realized that there is a second enclosure in the same part of the woods, which I wasn’t aware of and so didn’t look for — AND there are also some remains of an old castle or fortified watchtower, further up in the woods. So I’ll definitely have to go back another time and find those, although it’s hard to locate them exactly on the map. (more…)

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Two weekends ago I went to see a real, true-blue Romanesque church, one of the few in the area around Munich. (Bavaria was caught up in the love of Baroque Catholic architecture, so most of its churches, even its small village churches, were rebuilt or at least redecorated in the Baroque era.)

I had never gotten around to researching outlying churches, but one of my language exchange partners, Peter, knew some places already. He has an interest in local history and has tracked down or accidentally discovered some of these very old churches.

(My interest in local history means I go to the Whatcom Museum and look at their (admittedly cool) photo exhibits of the logging days and other things, around a hundred or hundred and fifty years old. His interest in history means he goes to 900 year old churches. But I’m not bitter.)

So anyway: this church. (more…)

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So as I was saying… it was All Saints Day and I was printed off a bus schedule and given money and directions and urged to visit Esslingen by my gracious hosts.

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Yes, this post is about what happened over two months ago, at the beginning of November. Sorry! I got busy (busy or lazy? who can tell). Anyway, as I was saying, I got back into Munich from visiting Warsaw and Vienna on a Sunday night. Then on Monday morning N. and the kids and I packed into the car (J. stayed home to work) and drove the two hours or so to Stuttgart, where N.’s parents and sister live.

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Way, way back at the beginning of October, I went to Freising. (Rhymes with “prizing,” not “freezing.”)

Ah, Freising. Freising was a significant medieval town long before Munich. It’s a cathedral town, the heart of the archdiocese for centuries, until it was joined with Munich in 1821. By that time there had been a cathedral (the seat of the bishop) in Freising for over a thousand years. (more…)

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